A Trumpet Call
Dr. John G. Lake
March 22, 1905
The 13th Chapter of Acts tells us the story of the ordination and sending forth of the apostle Paul, his ordination to the apostleship. Paul never writes of himself as an apostle until after the 13th chapter of Acts. He had been an evangelist and teacher for thirteen years when the 13th of Acts was written, and the ordination took place that is recorded there. Men who have a real call are not afraid of apprenticeships.
There is a growing up in experience in the ministry. When Paul started out in the ministry he was definitely called of God and was assured of God through Ananias that it would not be an easy service but a terrific one: for God said to Ananias:
“Arise and go into the street which is called Straight,
and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul
of Tarnum for, behold, he prayeth; He is a chosen
vessel unto me, to bear my Name before the Gentiles,
and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will show
him how great things he must suffer for my Name's sake.”
That is what Jesus Christ, the crucified and glorified Son of God told Ananias to say to the Apostle Paul. He was not going to live in a holy ecstasy and wear a beautiful halo, and have a heavenly time and ride in a limousine. He was going to have a drastic tine, a desperate struggle, a terrific experience. And no' man in Biblical history ever had more dreadful things to endure than the Apostle Paul. He gives a list in his letter to the Corinthians of the things he had endured.
“Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save
one. Thrice I was beaten with rods. Once was he
stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day
have I been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils
of waters, in perils of robbers, in. perils by mine own
countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the
city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in
perils among false brethren. In weariness and painfulness,
in watchings often, in hunger and thirst in fastings often,
in cold and nakedness.”
They stripped him of his clothing, and the executioner lashed him with an awful scourge, until bleeding, lacerated, and broken, he fell helpless, and unconscious and insensible; then they doused him with a bucket of salt water to keep the maggots off, and threw him into a cell to recover.
That was the price of apostleship. That was the price of the call of God and His service. But God said, "bear my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel" (Acts 9:15). He qualified as God's messenger.
Beloved, we have lost the character of consecration here manifested. God is trying to restore it in our day. He has not been able to make much progress with the average preacher on that line.
Do you want to know why God poured out His Spirit in South Africa like He did nowhere else in the world? There was a reason. This example will illustrate.
We had 125 men out on the field at one time. We were a very young institution; were not known in the world. South Africa is 7,000 miles from any European country. It is 10,000 miles by way of England to the United States.
Our finances got so low under the awful assault we were compelled to endure, that there came a time I could not even mail to those workers at the end of the month a $10 bill. It got so I could not send them $2.
The situation was desperate. What was I to do? Under these circumstances I did not want to take the responsibility of leaving men and their families on the frontier without real knowledge of what the conditions were.
Some of us at headquarters sold our clothes in some cases, sold certain pieces of furniture out of the house, sold anything we could sell, to bring those 125 workers off the field for a conference.
One night in the progress of the conference I was invited by a committee to leave the room for a minute or two. The conference wanted to have a word by themselves.
When I came back in I found that they had rearranged the chairs in an oval, with a little table at one end, and on the table was the bread and the wine.
Old Father Van de Wall, speaking for the company said, "Brother Lake, during your absence we have come to a conclusion; we have made our decision. We want you to serve the Lord's Supper. We are going back to our fields. We are going back if we have to walk back. We are going back if we have to starve. We are going back if our wives die. We are going back if our children die. We are going back if we die ourselves. We have but one request. If we die, we want you to come and bury us."
The next year I buried twelve men, sixteen wives and nine children. In my judgment not one of the twelve, if they had had a few of things a white man needs to eat but what might have lived. Friends, when you want to find out why the power of God came down from heaven in South Africa like it never came down before since the times of the apostles, there is your answer.
Jesus Christ put the spirit of martyrdom in the ministry. Jesus instituted his ministry with a pledge unto death. When He was with the disciples on the last night He took the cup, “when He drank, saying.” Beloved, the SAYING was the significant thing. It was Jesus Christ's pledge to the twelve who stood with Him, “This cup is the New Testament in my blood.” Then He said, “Drink ye all of it.”
Friends, those who were there and drank to that pledge, of Jesus Christ, entered into the same covenant and purpose that He did. That is what all pledges mean. Men have pledged themselves in the wine cup from time immemorial. Generals have pledged their armies unto death. It has been a custom in the race. Jesus Christ sanctified it to the church forever, bless God.
“My blood in the New Testament.” “Drink ye all of it.” Let us become one. Let us become one in our purpose to die for the world. Your blood and Mine, together. “My blood in the New Testament.” It is my demand from you. It is your high privilege.
Dear friends, there is not an authentic history that can tell us whether any one of them died, a natural death. We know that at least nine of them were martyrs, possibly all. Peter died on a cross, James was beheaded, for Thomas they did not even wait to make a cross - they nailed him to an olive tree. John was sentenced to be executed at Ephesus by putting him in a cauldron of boiling oil. God delivered him, and his executioners refused to repeat the operation, and he was banished to the Isle of Patmos. John thought so little about it that he never even tells of the incident. He says, “I was in the Isle called Patmos, for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.” That was explanation enough. He had committed himself to Jesus Christ for life or death.
Friends, the group of missionaries that followed me went without food, and went without clothes, and once when one of my preachers was sunstruck, and had wandered away, I tracked him by the blood marks of his feet. Another time I was hunting for one of my missionaries, a young Englishman, 22 years of age. He had come from a line of Church of England preachers for five hundred years. When I arrived at the native village the old native chief said, “He is not here. He went over the mountains, and you know him, he is a white man and he has not learned to walk barefooted.”
That is the kind of consecration that established Pentecost in South Africa. That is the reason we have a hundred thousand native Christians in South Africa. That is the reason we have 1250 native preachers. That is the reason we have 350 white churches in South Africa. That is the reason that today we are the most rapid growing church in South Africa.
I am not persuading you, dear friends, by holding out a hope that the way is going to be easy. I am calling you in the Name of. Jesus Christ, you dear ones who expect to be ordained to the Gospel of Jesus Christ tonight, take the route that Jesus took, the route the apostles took, the route that the early church took, the victory route, whether by life or death. Historians declare, “The blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church.” Beloved, that is what the difficulty is in our day - we have so little seed. The church needs more martyr blood.
If I were pledging men and women to the Gospel of the Son of God, as I am endeavouring to do tonight, it would not be to have a nice church and harmonious surroundings, and a sweet do nothing time. I would invite them to be ready to die. That was the spirit of early Methodism. John Wesley established a heroic call. He demanded every preacher to be “ready to pray, ready to preach, ready to die.” That is always the spirit of Christianity. When there is any other spirit that comes into the church, it is not the spirit of Christianity. It is a foreign spirit. It is a sissified substitute.
I lived on corn meal mush many a period with my family, and we did not growl, and I preached to thousands of people, not coloured people, but white people. My missionaries were on the field existing on corn meal mush, I could not eat pie. My heart was joined to them. That is the reason we never had splits in our work in South Africa. One country where Pentecost never split. The split business began to develop years afterward, when pumpkin pie eating Pentecostal missionaries began infesting the country. Men who are ready to die for the Son of God do not split. They do not holler the first time they get the stomach ache. Bud Robinson tells a story of himself. He went to preach in the southern mountains. It was the first time in his life that no one invited him to go home and eat with them. So he slept on the floor, and the next night, and the next night. After five days and five nights had passed, and his stomach began to growl for food terribly, every once in a while he would stop and say, “Lay down, you brute” and he went on with his sermon. That is what won. That is what will win every time. That is what we need today. We need men who are willing to get off the highway. When I started to preach the gospel I walked twenty miles on Sunday morning to my service and walked home twenty miles in the night when I got through. I did it for years for Jesus and souls.
In early Methodism an old local preacher would start Saturday and walk all night, and then walk all night Sunday night to get back to his work. It was the common custom. Peter Cartwright preached for sixty dollars per year and baptized ten thousand converts.
Friends, we talk about consecration, and we preach about consecration, but that is the kind of consecration that my heart is asking for tonight. That is the kind of consecration that will get answers from heaven. That is the kind God will honour. That is the consecration to which I would pledge Pentecost. I would strip Pentecost of its frills and follies. Jesus Christ, through the Holy Ghost, calls us tonight not to an earthly mansion and a ten thousand dollar motor car, but to put our lives, body and soul and spirit, on the altar of service, All hail! Ye who are ready to die for Christ and this glorious Pentecostal Gospel. We salute you. You are brothers with us and with your Lord.
Oh, Soul, on the highway, from earth unto glory
Surrounded by mysteries, trials and fears;
Let the life of thy God, in thy life be resplendent;
For Jesus will guide thee; thou need’st never fear.
For if thou wilt trust me, I’ll lead thee and guide thee
Through the quicksands and deserts of life, all the way.
No harm shall befall thee; I only will teach thee
To walk in surrender with Me day by day.
For earth is a school to prepare thee for Glory;
The lessons here learned, you will always obey.
When eternity dawns, ‘twill be only the morning
Of life with Me always, as life is today.
Therefore, be not impatient, as lessons thou’rt learning;
Each day will bring gladness and joy to thee here;
But heaven will reveal to thy soul, of the treasure
Which infinitude offers, through ages and years.
For thy God is the God of the earth and the heavens;
And thy soul is the soul that He died for to save;
And His blood is sufficient, His power is eternal;
Therefore rest in thy God, both today and alway.
Given in the Spirit in tongues with interpretation
to John G. Lake at Johannesburg,
South Africa, 1908.
The Forerunner of God's Latter Rain
by John G. Lake
A General Letter to the Christian Public Pentecost in South Africa
Beloved in Jesus everywhere! In order that the Christian public may be aware of what God is doing in our midst, we have decided to issue this newsletter to inform our friends everywhere of the marvelous way in which God is working, not alone in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Krugersdorp, and other centers, but in many places throughout the entire land, where the Holy Ghost is being poured out upon the people.
On May fourteenth, a party of Holy Ghost-baptized missionaries arrived from America in Johannesburg and at once commenced to conduct meetings in this city, the principal place of meeting being the old Presbyterian Church at the corner of Bree and Von Wieligh Streets. Right from the commencement of these services, the power of God has been greatly manifested in the salvation of sinners of all classes, many of whom have been sanctified and baptized with the Holy Ghost and have spoken in various kinds of tongues as on the day of Pentecost. (See 1 Corinthians 12 and Acts 2.) Also, there have been many cases of miraculous healing of all manner of diseases. Preachers and laymen, young men and young women, old men and old women have alike received from God the baptism of the Holy Ghost and are speaking in tongues and praising God with a new joy and power formerly unknown to them. The universal testimony of those receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost has been, and is, that God has worked with them, and is working with them, in the salvation and sanctification and healing of others in a degree never before known in their lives. The testimony of one Dutch Christian worker illustrates this point. He says:
I have been a preacher of the gospel for years. Up to the time that I commenced to attend these meetings, I had never been able to lay my hand definitely upon anyone that I was really sure had been converted and saved under my ministry, but since I have found Jesus as my Sanctifier, and since I have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and since God has commenced to speak through me in tongues, I have entered into such a nearness with God that now my ministry is all changed. At almost every meeting, persons are either saved, sanctified, or baptized with the Holy Ghost.
This work of God that is being made manifest in our midst is only that which is being manifested at the present time throughout the whole world. In every land, this same outpouring of the Spirit of God upon all flesh is occurring. We believe it to be the scriptural “latter rain” as promised by the Lord. (See Joel 2:23–29 and Acts 2:17–21.)
This outpouring of the Spirit of God is manifesting God’s preparation of the world for the soon appearing of Jesus Christ in His second coming. (See James 5:7–8.)
Almost universally, the first words of the first message that the Lord gives to the newly baptized soul, either in tongues or their native language, is, “Repent. Jesus is coming. The time is at hand. Get ready!”
This outpouring of the Spirit is not confined to any group or church or sect. In Johannesburg, we see persons of every denomination and of every religious creed alike seeking God for a real and definite work of grace in their souls, receiving from Him the baptism of the Holy Ghost, for “The same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost” (John 1:33; see also Acts 10:44–48).
We find that, in the lives of these baptized children of God, the signs of a real gospel ministry follow, as promised by Jesus in Mark 16:14–20.
We are only telling of things that our eyes have witnessed and our ears heard. The most wonderful messages for the Lord, by the Holy Ghost, have been given through many in our midst. It is not uncommon at any public service for the Holy Ghost to use individuals for messages in tongues, the interpretation invariably following, as occurred in the early church of the first century. (See 1 Corinthians 14.)
It is the intent and purpose of this committee, which is composed of only earnest Christian workers and is entirely nondenominational in its character, to publish a paper (both in Dutch and English) so that the people of South Africa and the world may have the opportunity of knowing for themselves these wonderful workings of God in these latter days; that they, as well as we, may join in prayer to God that a mighty outpouring of His Spirit upon this land may come and that the tide of sin and iniquity which has so swept and cursed this land shall be turned back and a reign of righteousness be manifestly established and that all people and all nations shall get down low at the feet of Christ our King, that God may bless and prepare each and all for the appearing of our Lord. (See John 14:1–3.)
The operations of the Spirit of God are easily identified. (See John 14:12–17, 26 and John 16:7–14.)
These Apostolic Faith missionaries who are now in our midst—Brother and Sister Thomas Hezmalhalch, Brother and Sister John G. Lake, Brother Jacob O. Lehman, and Sister Ida P. Sackett—are humble men and women who unquestionably have been sent of God to South Africa at this time with this message. They represent no organization, and their ministry is to the people. There is no board behind them. As in all Holy Ghost work throughout the earth, they trust God and God alone for their support. No charges of any kind are made for religious services, prayers for the sick, or otherwise. No salaries are received, each individual relying solely on God for his or her maintenance, as the apostles did in the early days. (See Luke 9:1–6.)
Marvelous testimonies of miraculous healing are invariably heard at the meetings. These meetings are simply evangelical services where the Spirit of God controls—God in many cases using boys and girls as well as older persons to deliver messages and pray with the sick.
Amongst those who have been baptized with the Holy Ghost are Dutch and English, Jews and Gentiles, black and white, and at a recent meeting a Chinese missionary from Canton, who is ministering amongst the Chinese here, received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues. That the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ is at hand we who have watched the progress of this work verily believe. In all these messages spoken by the Holy Ghost, no times or dates are given, but in every message comes the universal warning: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).
Our purpose in writing this letter is that the people may know what God is doing. We contract no debts of any character, but obey the command of the Lord: “Owe no man any thing” (Romans 13:8). Consequently, when funds are needed, we ask God in prayer to send such funds as are necessary. And we ask every Christian man and woman to join us in prayer to the end that God will provide the means with which to publish a paper in both Dutch and English, which will be known as “God’s Latter Rain,” in order that the testimonies of those who have been saved, sanctified, and baptized with the Holy Ghost—and others who have been miraculously healed by the Lord, and so forth—may be published, that all may know and become partakers in these latter-day blessings.
This is God’s evangelization movement. It is not controlled by man or the government of man, and it is no organization of man’s promoting. It is the Spirit of God being poured out upon the people. Instances are known where the Spirit of God has fallen upon families in South Africa, where no preacher or teacher has been—God alone, in answer to prayer, baptizing these children of God with the Holy Ghost, filling and thrilling their souls with the joys and powers of the world to come. (See Hebrews 6:1–6.)
The hymn printed below was given to Brother Thomas Hezmalhalch by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Is Coming
Words by T. Hezmalhalch
Music by F. A. Graves
© 1907 by Thos. Hezmalhalch
Jesus is coming! Yes, coming for me!
Jesus is coming! His glory I’ll see.
The clouds are His chariots; the angels His guard.
Jesus is coming! How plain are His words.
Coming again, coming again,
Jesus is coming, is coming to reign.
The clouds are His chariots,
The angels His guard.
Jesus is coming,
How precious His Word.
Jesus is coming! O glory divine!
Jesus is coming! The Lord who is mine;
Yes, coming in triumph with shout and with song;
Jesus is coming! The time is not long.
Jesus is coming! He’s not far away!
Jesus is coming! We’ll care not to stay;
The clouds as our chariots; the angels our guard;
Jesus is coming! This truth is His Word.
Jesus is coming! The just shall arise!
Jesus, whose coming we’ll greet in the skies;
The world will not see us. With Jesus we’ve gone,
Singing forever the glad chorus song.
Jesus is coming! Yes, all then shall know!
Jesus, whose coming has conquered our foe;
In victory we’ll meet Him; in triumph we’ll rise!
Jesus has come! We will shout in the skies.
Jesus is coming! O saints, do rejoice!
Jesus is coming! So lift up your voice;
The clouds are His chariots; the angels His guard.
Sing of His coming and tell of His Word.
Jesus is coming! Let anthems arise!
Jesus is coming! Our God’s loving prize;
The world’s great Redeemer, the Savior of men,
Jesus has conquered! He’s coming to reign.
by John G. Lake
Dutch Reformed Church Hall
Somerset East, Cape Colony
To understand this great subject of Christian baptism, we must view it through its various stages of progressive revelation. For, like the revelation of God to man, baptism has been continuous and progressive in its meaning and character. In the short time allotted to me to speak, I cannot spare the time to read all the Scriptures to which I shall refer, but I will tell you where they are to be found. When the report of this discussion is published, I urge you not only to read it, but to study it carefully and prayerfully, so that this question may forever be settled in your minds. For hundreds of years, many eminent scholars have tried to connect infant baptism with the practice of the male-child circumcision in the Old Testament. It cannot be done; there never was any connection, there never will or can be.
But there is a connection between Christian baptism—that is, a believer’s baptism—and the higher, or inner, circumcision of the heart, the cleansing of the natural man from carnality and sin, which the outward circumcision of the male child’s flesh typified.
Circumcise [purify] yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. (Jeremiah 4:4)
Again, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked” (Deuteronomy 10:16). From this Scripture, it will be seen that God demanded not only the circumcision of the body but also the circumcision (the purifying) of the inner heart-life from all sin.
Now we come to the New Testament. John the Baptist was the last of the Jewish prophets. His ministry crowned and closed the dispensation of the Father. When John began his ministry of baptism, Christ had not yet commenced His public ministry. The ministry of John was nearing its close before Jesus commenced His, for John was the forerunner of Jesus Christ.
(See Mark 1.)
Was John the Baptist an innovator? Did he on his own account introduce baptism? Where did his authority to baptize come from? John the Baptist was a Jewish prophet under the law. The common notion that he was a Christian disciple is an error, for Christ had not yet publicly appeared. Where, then, did his baptism spring from? I propose to show you the error of associating Christian baptism with circumcision of the male child.
Error of Associating Christian Baptism with Circumcision of the Male Child
John’s baptism had Old-Testament precedent and authority behind it. It is ignorance on this point that has caused the farce of infant baptism to obtain credence and support. Turn with me to Exodus 40 and read. For consecrating persons to the office of priesthood, the law says:
And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and wash them with water. And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments, and anoint him, and sanctify him; that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.(Exodus 40:12–13)
The Levites were also separated to the service of the tabernacle, from the Jewish multitude, in a similar manner. (See Numbers 8:6–7.) Note that neither the garments nor the anointing admitted one to the priesthood. This belonged to one by virtue of being a priest. It was the washing that separated him from the Jewish multitude and constituted him a priest.
This separation from the multitude and simultaneous separation from sin by a real, genuine repentance and a wholehearted turning to God were the conditions essential to the baptism of John. “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission [forgiveness and putting away] of sins” (Mark 1:4). In this demand, he stood only upon the high plane of circumcision (purifying) of the heart which God demanded.
Now, from whom did he demand repentance? From all who would be baptized, though already they, when children, had been circumcised. John himself had been circumcised. (See Luke 1:59.) Again, in Luke 2:21, we read that Jesus also was circumcised. This brings us to where we can plainly understand the reason why Jesus had to be baptized.
Why Was Jesus Baptized?
According to the law, a priest had to be thirty years of age before he could be consecrated to the priesthood. And in Luke 3, we read,
Now when all the people were baptized [Jesus came last, so His baptism was not an example for others], it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age.(Luke 3:21–23)
John the Baptist was a priest, as well as the son of a priest of the Levitical, or priestly, tribe. He was, therefore, a priest according to the law. He was filled with the Holy Ghost from his birth, which was the anointing and ordination of God. Therefore, by divine as well as human authority and appointment, he was qualified to administer the ordinance of separation to the Son of God. Water baptism was the visible sign of separation from the congregation of Israel to the priesthood according to the law of Moses. (See Exodus 40:12–13.) King by descent from David, priest through His baptism by John, Jesus was now a royal priest forever, “after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 7:11).
We will now return and further consider the baptism of repentance which John administered to the penitent for the “remission of sins.”
John did not baptize all who offered themselves as candidates. He refused baptism to the Pharisees and Sadducees. He demanded from them “fruits meet for repentance” (Matthew 3:8), the undeniable evidence of a change of heart. Children of Abraham according to the flesh, and circumcised the eighth day, they might have been, but, without the inner circumcision—without real repentance producing purity of life and character—they were denied the baptism of John.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who bath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.(Matthew 3:7–9)
Circumcision was the sign of God’s covenant with Abraham. (See Genesis 17:10–14.) The Pharisees had been circumcised as children and therefore claimed the advantages and privileges of that covenant. But the covenant with Abraham was conditional: “Walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Genesis 17:1). There was no place for sin; the heart as well as the flesh must be circumcised. “And I will make a covenant with thee.” (See Genesis 17:2.) But the Pharisees, like those who depend upon what they call the covenant of infant baptism, wanted to claim the benefits of the covenant notwithstanding that they were godless and wicked men.
John drove them from him, warning them to flee from the “wrath to come.” Heart purity was an essential condition to John’s baptism.
And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father [like many today who argue, “We had Christian parents, and they had us baptized when we were babies”]: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees (heart-sin, the sinful nature): therefore every tree (the individual) which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (Matthew 3:9–10)
We have shown that the baptism of Jesus was His inauguration to the appointment and office of priest. He demonstrated and enforced His priestly authority when He cleansed the temple by casting out the money-changers and gain-getters. (See John 2:14–17.) When the Pharisees questioned His authority, He answered, “The baptism of John, whence was it?” (Matthew 21:25). He referred them to the baptism of John as the official act and seal of His separation and induction to the priestly office, which was the “fulfilling of all righteousness” of which He spoke at His baptism. (See Matthew 3:15.) Now we come to the evolution of baptism in the New Testament and there learn its deepening significance and its increased demand upon the life and heart and conscience of the baptized.
The Baptism of John
Into what name did John baptize? Into the name of the Father. John’s baptism was by single immersion into the name of the Father only; for the Son, Jesus, was not yet revealed. The public ministry of Jesus Christ commenced only when John’s preaching and baptism were at the climax of power and popularity, from that point to decline, to fade, and to pass away to make room for a new development under the preaching and baptism of Jesus.
Let us read in the third chapter of John:
And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou bearest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.(John 3:26)
Read on further, where John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (verse 30).
Now we come to the evolution of baptism under the personal ministry of Jesus Christ. Let us read in Mark:
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.(Mark 1:14–15)
Jesus required repentance toward God and faith in God the Father, even as John taught. In addition, Christ demanded faith in Himself, the Son, as one with the Father and coexistent with Him from all eternity. Those who accepted Him as the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God, were baptized by a double immersion into the name of the Father, as were the disciples of John, and into the name of the then-present Son of God. All this only brings us to the practice of baptism as performed during the earthly life and ministry of Jesus Christ.
The Baptism of Jesus Christ
After the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, He initiated His disciples into the practice and teaching of Christian baptism. This is a baptism by triune immersion into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. In Matthew, we read,
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:18–20)
Here we have a command to baptize into a new name, the Holy Ghost, into which no man was ever baptized before. Christian baptism requires, therefore, from the candidate for baptism:
Faith in God as John the Baptist demanded from his disciples.
Faith in God the Son, an indispensable condition to the baptism administered by the disciples of Jesus.
Faith in God the Holy Ghost, the new name introduced by Jesus into the terms of the great commission in Matthew 28:19, which we have just quoted.
Like the ministry of John the Baptist, that of Jesus had its baptism. Are these baptisms alike? Again, was John’s baptism identical with Christian baptism? It cannot be so, for Christian baptism was administered to those who had already received the baptism of John. This is abundantly clear from what we read in Acts:
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. (Acts 19:1–6)
Christian baptism was to be administered in the name of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—and differed widely in significance from any that had preceded it. In the baptism of John, the name of the Trinity was not invoked.
The Johnaic baptism discipled the people to John. It was a seal of subjection to him as God’s prophet and as a sign of their faith in the after-coming Mightier One, who would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire.
(See Luke 3:16.)
The baptism administered by the disciples of Jesus was the seal of their acceptance of, and subjection to, Him as the promised and now-present Savior of man.
(See John 3:14–17.)
It is quite obvious, therefore, that these three baptisms differed in quality and scope. In central aim and in purity, they agreed, and repentance was common to all three. (See Matthew 3:2; Mark 1:14–15; Acts 2:38.) But repentance under Christian baptism differs from the other two, being threefold respecting the Trinity.
I have already proved that between Christian baptism, into the name of the Trinity, and the rite of circumcision, there is an impassable gulf of separation and distinction. When religious teachers endeavor to establish an identity between them, their arguments are unsupported by one honest interpretation of scriptural truth. The whole fabric of such contention is as flimsy as the spider’s web, while the earnest investigator is left with a list of specious arguments as groundless as they are unconvincing.
The high character of Christian, or believers’, baptism as instituted by Jesus Christ (see Matthew 28:18–20) is best seen and understood in the light of progressive revelation. This is further demonstrated in verses 1 through 6 of the sixth chapter of Romans. We will read the fourth and fifth verses:
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death [burial in baptism], we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.(Romans 6:4–5)
The “old man” of sin is buried in baptism, and the “new man” after the likeness and character of Jesus Christ is raised up. Lest we should fail to grasp the high and holy demands of God and be satisfied with less than the experimental knowledge of the perfect work of the grace of God within the heart, which God expects us to possess and for which He has made full provision in the redemption wrought by Christ on Calvary, we will further endeavor to emphasize certain important and convincing facts:
That John refused to baptize those who had been circumcised under the covenant with Abraham, until they had repented and brought forth the fruits of righteousness.
(See Matthew 3:7–8.)
That, though their parents had been circumcised when children, John warned them to “flee from the wrath to come.” They were children of wrath, their circumcision and all else notwithstanding, until they had truly repented and turned to God. John further warned them that unless they repented, they would be “cut down and cast into the fire” as worthless and incorrigible.
That God demanded circumcision (purification) of the heart, which is a conscious, practical, indwelling heart experience.
That John demanded repentance from sin and a turning to God, and that his baptism was the seal of separation to God. This is illustrated both figuratively and literally by the form of baptism which separated Jesus into His priesthood, being also that which separated sinners from their sins. (See Exodus 40:12–13; Matthew 3:13–17.)
That Jesus demanded repentance and faith, and baptized disciples. (See Mark 1:14–15; John 4:1–2.)
That those already baptized by John were rebaptized by Paul. (See Acts 19:1–5.)
That Paul declared that death unto sin (separation from sin) and resurrection life in God (conversion and sanctification) to be the import, the true significance, and purpose of believers’ baptism. (See Romans 6:1–14.) This will bring us to the place where we can see the tremendous importance of baptism as Christ established it. This is not the foolish practice of sprinkling water on a helpless infant’s nose.
The baptism of infants is of man’s invention, and a wicked parody of the true baptism instituted by Christ. Literally and figuratively, it is a screaming farce. On the other hand, heaven and earth bear witness to the deep spiritual meaning and significance of true believers’ baptism. “There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 John 5:7).
The Father is He who gave His only begotten Son for our redemption (see John 3:16); the Word is Jesus Christ, “in whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14; see also John 1:1, 14); and the Holy Ghost is He that witnessed to our pardon, and to our adoption as sons and daughters of the living God. (See Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5.)
Again, there are three that bear witness in the earth—the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and these three agree in one. The Spirit witnesses that He convicted us of sin. The water witnesses to our repentance and public renunciation of sin—that we have become disciples of Jesus Christ and that, being born of the water and of the Spirit, we have entered the kingdom of heaven. (See John 3:5.) The blood witnesses to the remission of our sins, for the blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin. (See 1 John 1:7–9.)
Oh, is it not sad that this ordinance of God, pregnant with meaning of spiritual worth and significance, should be robbed of all its original sense and purpose and degraded to mean only the outward symbol of a covenant made as with Abraham!
To the early Christians, obedience to God in baptism meant the forfeiture of the rights of citizenship and of the benefits and protection of the law. Secular history records that during the fierce persecution in the reign of Nero, and after the burning of Rome, a Roman officer was present at Christian baptisms to take down the name of the candidates; when this was done, the property of those baptized was confiscated to the State, and they themselves were outlawed to become the defenseless prey of malice, or cupidity, from which the State offered them neither protection nor redress.
They suffered every indignity which the forces of lawlessness and barbaric cruelty could heap upon them. They fought with wild beasts in the public arena. They were butchered to contribute to the enjoyment of a Roman holiday. Paul himself was compelled to take part in a gladiatorial contest, and he spoke of fighting wild beasts at Ephesus. (See 1 Corinthians 15:32.) In the eleventh chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews, we read:
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy).(Hebrews 11:37–38)
May God help us to raise the standard of a true baptism as John did! Let us confess that in continuing the farce of infant baptism, which is one of the errors the Protestant churches have inherited from Roman Catholicism, we have robbed Christian baptism of its dignity and power and deep spiritual significance. Let us nobly acknowledge our error. “The times of this ignorance God winked at [overlooked]; but now commandeth all men every where to repent”
Let us return to apostolic practice by planting again the standard of baptism as instituted by our blessed Lord and Master. The conditions and blessings attached thereto may be enumerated as follows:
Repentance towards God’s circumcision of heart (heart cleansing); separation unto God; faith in a triune God; baptism of the triune man (spirit, soul, and body) into the name of the triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost), bringing in a triune blessing; death to sin; life in God; and power for service; witnessed to in heaven by the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost and in earth by the Spirit and the water and the blood.
The question may well be asked: What do you do with babies?
To ensure an obedient, God-fearing race of children, let the parents themselves become obedient to God. Wayward, disobedient, and wicked children are “a seed of evildoers” (Isaiah 1:4), the product of parents who themselves refuse obedience to the law of their God. “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22).
After the birth of the child, the parents in due time appear with their child before God in His house. The pastor receives the child and solemnly dedicates it to the Lord and His service. In this, again, we follow Bible custom and precedent. Let us learn what that means from Luke 2:22:
And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they
[Joseph and Mary] brought him [Jesus] to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord. (Luke 2:22)
Again, in Mark we read,
And they brought young children to him [Jesus], that he should touch them [not sprinkle them, but touch them]: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them [not sprinkled them].
The parents pledge themselves to bring up their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4), to teach them the Word of God, and to instruct them in the exercise of faith and prayer until such time as they are converted and so obtain an experience in God of salvation from sin and regeneration of heart through faith in the precious blood of Jesus. Then follows baptism as our Lord commanded, at which time they publicly profess a personal and practical knowledge of the salvation of God, their discipleship to Jesus Christ, and that they have the witness of the Holy Ghost to their adoption.
These conditions being fulfilled, they are then baptized into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
A Word to Young Converts about Baptism
Reverend Charles H. Spurgeon, in The Sword and the Trowel, alluding to the miracle performed upon Saul when his eyes were opened, wrote:
One more thing that Saul saw when his eyes were opened was what some do not see, although their eyes are opened in other respects. “He received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized” (Acts 9:18). He saw the duty of believer’s baptism and he attended to it directly. You who believe in Jesus should confess Jesus, and you who have confessed Jesus should gently bestir the memories of those very retiring young converts who are afraid to put on Christ in baptism. You know right well that salvation lies in the believing, but still how singularly the two things are put together, “He that with his heart believeth, and with his mouth maketh confession of Him, shall be saved.” (See Romans 10:9–10.) “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” (See Mark 16:16.) The two commands are joined together by God; let no man put them asunder. Surely, dear friends, wherever there is genuine faith in Christ there ought to be speedy obedience to the other command.
Our Faith according to Scripture
We believe in, and preach, the following truths as found in the Scriptures:
First: Repentance and its fruits. (See Matthew 3:2–8; Mark 1:14–15; Luke 15:18–21; 2 Corinthians 7:10–11; Luke 19:8.) This embraces the new birth, when one’s name is recorded in heaven and one becomes a child of God.
Second: Sanctification, the act of grace which cleanses the child of God from the evil nature—the old man (see Romans 6:6) and the carnal mind (see Romans 8:7)—and makes him a partaker of His divine nature (see 2 Peter 1:4).
Third: The baptism of the Holy Ghost, the fulfillment of the promise of the Father, the enduement of power for service upon a sanctified life (see John 15:3; Luke 24:49; Acts 2:4–5, 8); empowering for service with an irresistible message, as Stephen, in Acts 6:10. Also speaking in new tongues, a confirmation to the believer (see Mark 16:20) and a sign to the unbeliever (see 1 Corinthians 14:22).
Fourth: The full restoration of the gifts to the church. (See 1 Corinthians 12:7–10.)
Fifth: Divine healing provided for all in the atonement. (See Isaiah 53:5; Psalm 103:3; Matthew 8:17; John 10:10; 1 John 3:8.)
Sixth: The premillennial second coming of Jesus Christ. (See John 14:3, Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18.)
Seventh: Baptism by immersion (see Matthew 28:19–20) and the Lord’s Supper (see Matthew 26:26–29; 1 Corinthians 11:23–29).
We are not fighting men or churches but seeking to displace dead forms and creeds and wild fanaticism with living, practical Christianity. “Love, faith, and unity” are our watchwords, and “Victory through the atoning blood” our battle cry. God’s promises are true. Hallelujah! Our motto is: “In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
John G. Lake
Now I want to teach you something of the inner things of healing that people are not aware of. There is a conscious dominion Jesus Christ gives to the Christian soul. It was that thing in the soul of Peter when he met the lame man at the Beautiful Gate.
Instead of praying for the man's healing, Peter said, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. Acts 3:6. No prayer about it; no intercession.
Peter exercised the dominion that was in his soul. The divine flash of the power of God went forth from his soul, and the man instantly arose and went with them into the Temple walking and leaping, and praising God. Verse 8.
Sometimes those who minister to the sick are aware of what takes place, although the individual himself is unaware of any healing. There is a dominion in the soul of the real man of God who is in touch with Heaven. When the real thing takes place when a person is saved or healed from disease we know what it is. We pray until we are satisfied in our souls that the work is complete.
In the same building that we had our Healing Rooms, there was an X-ray laboratory. The technicians wanted to see what it was all about, so they asked to take X-rays, at no charge to us of some of our prospects for healing. It was a unique opportunity.
Among those we sent to them was a man with tuberculosis. Each time after he was ministered to in prayer, they would take an X-ray. We could see the progress of the healing. Each picture showed less and less of the disease until there was no more evidence of it. He was completely well.
We always prayed for a person until we were satisfied that the healing was complete. There was no dependence on the arm of man (flesh).
Mr. W. A. Fay suffered from cancer of the stomach. He has been ministered too perhaps thirty times.
For the first ten days there was no evidence of healing whatever or a subsiding of his suffering. After that, there was a gradual subsiding; then color began to return to his face, and he began to put on flesh.
Now he can eat anything and everything, and as much of it as he can get!
And that is not all, beloved. He found the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ while the process was going on, and he says that is the big part of it.
I guess the Lord knows how to open doors in people's hearts. A good many Christians overlook the fact that Jesus Christ made the ministry of healing just as broad as He could make it.
Luke 10: 8-9. To the Seventy, He said.... into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you ... heal the sick that are therein. And then what did He tell them to do? ... Say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
I once lived near a man who was sick unto death. Some went to him and told him he had to be baptized, or he would die and go to hell.
I have always said that was a form of coercion, and Jesus Christ never used it. He was too much of a gentleman. He never took advantage of a man when he was down to grind his soul and try to influence him to be a Christian.
If the man was sick, Jesus went and healed him by the power of God. Then, when that man was healed, the natural response of his loving soul led him to Christ.
I wonder, have you ever paid attention to the different occasions in reading the Scriptures when the Voice of God is mentioned?
You know, the thing that makes the Bible the Bible is the fact that somebody had an interview with God! Somebody heard from Heaven before there was any Bible. Then the conversation or the incident was recorded, and these became the Word of God.
Now, the Word of God is indestructible, because it was a real Voice, a real experience. God really did or said something, and the record of it is true.
It is very simple to prove the inspiration of the Bible. Every child is taught to "prove" whether or not his sum in mathematics is correct.
If you have doubts, questions, and fears concerning the Bible and its inspiration, we know that if one soul ever heard from Heaven, another soul may.
If one soul ever had an interview with God, another soul may.
If any man ever knew his sins were forgiven at any period, another man may know his sins are forgiven now.
If a man or woman ever was healed by the power of God, then men and women can be healed again.
The only thing necessary is to return again in soul experience to that same place of intimacy where the first individual met God.
That is the way you prove the Word of God.
That is the reason Christians love the Word of God.
That is the reason the Word of God becomes the thing men live by, the thing men will die for. The Word of God becomes a present, living reality to them not just a theory.
In my church in South Africa we published a paper in 10,000 lots. We would have the printers send them to the church, and we would lay them out on the front platform in packages of 100 and 200. At the evening service I would call certain people from the congregation (that I knew to be in contact with the living God) to come and kneel around the packages and lay their hands on them.
We asked God to not only bless the reading matter in the paper that the message of Christ should come through the words printed on the paper, but that the paper' itself become filled with the Spirit of God, just as the handkerchiefs became filled with the power of God. (Acts 19:12.)
I could show you thousands of letters from people in all parts of the world, telling me that the Spirit of God came upon them when they received our paper. Not only were they healed, but the joy of God came into their hearts and many were saved.
One woman wrote from South America: "I received your paper. When I took it into my hands, my body began to vibrate so, I could hardly sit on the chair. I did not understand it. I laid the paper down, and after a while took it up again. As soon as I had it in my hands, I shook again. The third time I picked up the paper, the Spirit of God came upon me so powerfully, I was baptized in the Holy Ghost."
Beloved, do you see that this message and this quality of the Spirit contains the thing that confuses all the philosophers and all the practice of philosophy in the world? It shows the clearest distinction, which characterizes the real religion of Jesus Christ. It is distinct from all other religions and all other ministries.
The ministry of Christianity is the ministry of the Spirit. It is the Spirit of God that inhabits the words, that speaks to the spirit of another and reveals Christ in and through him.
Miss K. is a woman I term a victim of surgery operated on 26 times, then left to die. She was an invalid for 13 years, and was visited and ministered to by different physicians for 6 years.
(I know you will pardon me if I speak with great plainness. I must in order to let you know what God has done in this woman's life.)
In one operation, an incision was made connecting the rectum and the vagina. That wound refused to heal. Three times the wound was sewn up, but to no avail. Also, she was thought to be tubercular, and no doubt she was.
One day this dear soul called Brother West wood to minister to her. We commenced to pray the prayer of faith on her behalf, and right away the wounds on her body began to heal until all the outer wounds were healed. If you were close enough to her, you could see scars all down her throat and neck where some of these 26 operations had been performed.
Now I want you to see the power of God: When she discovered that the rectal incision had not healed, it became a matter of special prayer. Soon her bowels ceased to operate; she had no movement for 28 days. Think of it! If such a thing occurs in your life for three or four days, you think you are going to die.
Note the purpose of God: During those 28 days when there was no movement whatever, the wound healed up.
Miss K. went to the south side of town to do some dressmaking; but while working, she became unconscious due to the gas pressing upon her heart and lungs.
A physician was called. In his examination, he discovered that the incision was perfectly healed; but during the long time that the lower end of the rectum had not been used, it had adhesed. Now according to the doctor, she could never have a movement of the bowels until she was operated on.
They were about to carry Miss K. off to the hospital when she became conscious and said, "No more operations for me, even if I die. I have committed my body, my soul, and my spirit to God!"
So they took her home.
She came down to the Tabernacle to drill the children for their Christmas entertainment. On her way home, she fainted on the street and was carried to the emergency hospital. They examined her there and corroborated the statement of the other physician.
They were in the act of taking her to St. Luke's when she became conscious and said, "No, sir! No more operations for me, even if I die."
When they asked her what she wanted to do, she told them she was coming to my home. That was on Saturday, November 27th.
On Sunday afternoon, November 28th, she was sitting in the audience. As prayer was being offered, she said it seemed as though a hand was laid upon her body (abdomen) and another hand on her head. Then a Voice said, "You are healed."
She left the Audience Room and became perfectly normal, and has remained a normal woman ever since.
Beloved, people who oppose this ministry and do not understand it will say, "That is all right. We know God does do such things as that on special occasions, but they are special cases. Paul had a thorn in the flesh. He prayed three times that it might be healed, and the Lord said, 'Paul, My grace is sufficient for you'. 2 Corinthians 12 9, and he was not healed."
Who said so? Who gave you the interpretation? Did you hear the Voice of God, or are you repeating the old fable that has come down through theology for 100 years?
Do you not see, beloved, just one of the many tricks the old theological dodgers use to get away from the responsibility of praying the prayer of faith that saves the sick?
My, the Church has had a time trying to dodge this issue of healing! They come up with Paul's thorn in the flesh.
Paul said, "I wrote this large letter with my own hand" (Galatians 6:11), and they interpret that to read that he had bad eyes. Who said so?
On another occasion, the people said they loved Paul so much they would pluck out their eyes for him. I believe they would have cut off their leg or their right arm, too, if it would have done him any good, but none of these things argue for a moment that there was anything wrong with his leg, his arm, or his eyes.
Paul prayed three times. The first two times he was not conscious of the answer. He prayed again, bless God, and this time God met his faith and said to him, "Paul, My grace is sufficient for you."
Apply it, Paul. Dive in, Paul, and take all you want of the grace of God. It will fix your thorn in the flesh and everything else that is troubling you.
We went to Lourdes, France, in the company of a group of Church of England people who had been appointed as a committee to visit all the institutions of repute along the healing lines in Europe.
We visited a Catholic institution where healing is obtained by the waters of Lourdes. They maintain a board of 200 physicians whose business it is to examine all candidates and report on them.
We also visited the greatest hypnotic institution for healing in the world while at Lourdes. This institution sent its representatives to demonstrate their method before the Catholic board of 200 physicians. Hearing of our committee, they invited us to come before this body and demonstrate healing along our lines.
I agreed to take part, if I were given the final demonstration. The committee selected five candidates. People who had been pronounced absolutely incurable.
The hypnotists tried their several methods without success.
I then had the five candidates placed in chairs in a row upon the platform, in view of this large audience of physicians and scientists. I then prayed over each of them separately and at the same time laid my hands upon them.
Three were instantly healed, a fourth recovered in a few days, and one died.
In 1901, I joined the Dowie Institution and moved to Zion City, Illinois, with the objective of becoming a student and teacher of divine healing.
I was made manager of Dowie's Building Department. During that year we handled business amounting to $1.2 million, or $100,000 per month. We issued 1,200 building contracts.
This was the year John Alexander Dowie made his trip from Zion City to New York City, taking 3,000 people with him in ten trains. We had a road choir of 1,200 selected voices and a road processional of 100 church officers.
Dowie rented Madison Square Garden, which holds 20,000 people. The New York City Police said some nights they turned away as many as 100,000 people. The streets were congested for four blocks away.
In 1904, when Dowie's financial affairs were entangled, I left Zion City practically broke, my holdings in the Dowie property having become depreciated at his death.
One Saturday night in South Africa, the church was packed. All available standing room was occupied as men stood shoulder to shoulder. The majority of them were men from the Tattersall Racing Club. Most were Jews. They included horsemen of all classes: bookies, jockeys, stablemen, racetrack gamblers, etc.
I was preaching on the power of God and, in a strong spirit, was endeavoring to demonstrate that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever; that His power is as great as it ever was; and that the only qualification for touching God for anything is faith in Him. The audience was greatly moved.
At this point, I observed a gentleman and two ladies trying to squeeze through the people who were standing in the aisles. I asked the crowd to separate, if possible, to permit the ladies to come through and I tried to arrange seating space for them on the steps of the platform.
As they approached, I observed that one of the ladies held her arms perfectly stiff. She did not move them at all. By instinct, I knew at once that she was a rheumatic cripple.
When she got to the platform, I asked, "What is the reason you do not move your arms?"
She said, "My shoulders are set from rheumatics." I said, "How long have they been like this?"
She replied, "Ten years."
I inquired if she had been treated by physicians.
She replied, "I have been discharged from three hospitals as incurable." "What hospitals?"
She answered, "Kimberley, Johannesburg, and Pretoria.
Then addressing the gentleman who accompanied her, I asked, "Do you know this lady?"
He said, "Yes, she is my sister in law."
I said, "Do you know her story to be correct?" "Absolutely," he said.
I asked her what she had come for.
She replied, "In the hope that the Lord would heal me."
I inquired, "Do you wish me to pray for you for healing?" "Yes," she said.
Addressing the noisy crowd in the aisles and around the doors, I said, "You men never saw Jesus heal a person in your life. You do not know anything about this matter. You have never witnessed an exhibition of the power of God, and therefore you should be considerate enough to keep still, confess your ignorance of such matters, and learn.
"This is what I want: Select two men from your group, and let them come and see for themselves if this woman's arms are stiff, as she states."
I waited for them to make their selection. Finally, they put forward two men. One was a barber, a very intelligent gentleman. I learned afterwards he was an American.
They examined the lady's arms critically and found them to be as she had said quite immovable.
I asked the men, "Have you finished your examination? Are you satisfied her condition is as stated?"
They said, "We are."
"Then stand back, for I am going to pray that the Lord will heal this woman." Placing my hands on her shoulders, I commanded in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that this rheumatic devil that bound the woman be cast out. In Christ's name I commanded it to go, rebuking it with all the energy of my soul.
The power of God flashed through me like a burning fire until perspiration burst from the woman's face.
Then, taking her by the hands, I said, "In the name of Jesus Christ, put your arms up!"
The right arm went up.
Then I said, "In the name of Jesus Christ, put the other arm up, too." She instantly obeyed. Her arms had become free!
As I moved her arms, making the shoulders rotate, I heard a grinding sound in the joints. I said to the two men from the audience, "You have never heard a dry joint in your life. Come put your ear to this woman's back while I make her arms move." As they did, I moved her arms, and the shoulder joints ground, because the oil had not yet returned to them.
In the woman's delight at being healed, she threw up her hands, praised God, and started for the door. The crowd parted for her, and she disappeared. I did not see her again for some months.
The Baptism in the Holy Ghost (Sermon)
By John G. Lake
Beloved friends, it is indeed a grief to me today that I am unable to address you in Dutch, knowing that I must consume more time in using an interpreter. A disappointment that came recently was the discovery on looking into my son's schoolwork to find they were not studying, as a specialty, the Dutch language. Upon inquiry, I found they had been advised not to do so. In a country like this where such a great amount of the people use Dutch, I feel this policy in an educational institution is a great mistake.
The baptism of the Holy Ghost is a most difficult subject to discuss with any degree of intelligence, for though we may not care to admit it, the fact remains that the density of ignorance among people and the ministry on this subject is appalling. To view this subject with any degree of intelligence we must view it from the standpoint of progressive revelation. Like Christian baptism, the operation of the Holy Ghost must be seen in its various stages of revelation. Otherwise, we shall be unable to distinguish between the operation of the Spirit in the Old Testament dispensations and the baptism of the Holy Ghost in the New Testament.
As we approach even the threshold of this subject it seems as if the Spirit of God comes close to us. A certain awe of God comes over the soul. And it is my earnest wish that no levity, satire, or sarcasm be permitted to enter into this discussion, as such things would be grieving to the tender Spirit of God.
As this morning, when we viewed the evolution of baptism through its various stages of development, so this afternoon we must view the revelation of God to man.
In the beginning of this revelation, after the deluge, it seems as if God was approaching man from a great distance, so far had sin removed man from his original union with God at the time of his creation.
God seems to reveal Himself to man as rapidly as man, by progressive stages of development, is prepared to receive the revelation. Consequently, we see that, as baptism was a further revelation of God's purpose in purifying the heart from sin than was the original ceremony of circumcision. So the baptism of the Holy Ghost is a greater revelation of God than was the manifestations of the Spirit in the Patriarchal or Mosaic dispensations.
Three distinct dispensations of God are clearly seen. Each with an ever-deepening manifestation of God to man. A following dispensation of God never destroys a foregoing one. On the contrary, it conserves its spirit and broadens its scope in a deeper revelation of God. This is plainly seen in looking at the Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian dispensations.
In the Patriarchal dispensation we see God appearing to man at long intervals. Abraham furnishes the best example, for to him, God appeared at long intervals of twenty and forty years apart, so with the other Patriarchs.
Under the Mosaic dispensation there is a deeper and clearer manifestation of God. God was ever present in the pillar of cloud and in the pillar of fire. He was present also in the tabernacle where the Shekinah of glory overshadowed the mercy seat. This is a continuous, abiding revelation of God. It was God with man, not to man as was the Patriarchal dispensation, but with man - leading, guiding, directing, forgiving, sanctifying, abiding with man.
But the revelation of God under the Christian dispensation is a much deeper and thicker revelation of God than this. It is God in man, for the baptism of the Holy Ghost is the actual incoming of the real Spirit of God to live in man. This, then, brings us to where we can see the purpose of God in revealing Himself to man by progressive stages of revelation of Himself, as man, by progressive stages through repentance and faith, is purified, not alone forgiven for his transgressions, but cleansed from the nature of sin within that causes him to transgress.
This cleansing from inbred sin - the nature of sin, the carnal mind, the old man, the man of sin, etc. - is the actual taking out of our breast the desire for sin. All correspondence with sin in us is severed, and the carnal life is laid a sacrifice on the altar of Christ in glad surrender by us. This inner heart-cleansing that John and the disciples of Jesus demanded before they would baptize a man is the necessary preparation for baptism of the Holy Ghost. A holy God must have a holy dwelling place. O! wondrous salvation, wondrous Christ, wondrous atonement. Man born in sin, shapen in iniquity, forgiven, cleansed, purified outside and inside by the blood of Jesus, and made the habitation (dwelling place) of God.
It was that man, once created in the likeness of God, should again become the dwelling place of God, that the atonement of the blood of Christ was provided.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. - Galatians 3:13-14
This reveals to us God's purpose in our salvation. We must be prepared by the blood of Jesus Christ to become the habitation of God. "In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit" (Ephesians 2: 22).
Again, in First Corinthians 6:19 we see Paul in astonishment says, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?" Let us now see where we are at and we will better understand how to go on.
0, the density of our ignorance on this subject. See, the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. His purpose is to dwell in man after man's perfect cleansing from sin through the blood of Jesus. His coming was definite, just as definite as was the advent of Christ. When Jesus was born, His birth was proclaimed by angel voices and chanted by a multitude of the heavenly host praising God. (See Luke 2:9,13-14.) Equally so was the Holy Spirit's advent attested by His bodily form as a dove (Luke 3:22). And by the sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind and by the cloven tongues of fire upon each of them (Acts 2:2-3).
Heavenly dove, tempest roar, and tongues of fire crowning the :eared and twenty were as convincing as the guiding star and midnight shout of angel hosts. The coming of the Holy Ghost upon the hundred and twenty is found in Acts 2. At the Last Supper, when Jesus is addressed the disciples He said to them,
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart,I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. - John 16:7-8
As the disciples were together at Jerusalem after the resurrection, when the two who had walked with Him to Emmaus were conversing with the eleven disciples, Jesus Himself stood in their midst and saith unto them, "Peace be unto you." They were affrighted, believing they had seen a spirit. Jesus addressed them and said unto them, “and, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. (See Luke 24:36-37,49.) Then in Acts, first chapter, we find the one hundred and twenty tarried in prayer in the upper room, thus ten days between the crucifixion of Jesus and Pentecost is fifty-three days.
There was a crucifixion day. It was necessary. And now we, the children of God, must be crucified with Christ and freed from sin. Our man nailed to the cross, we die to sin - a real act,a genuine experience. It's done so we are made partakers in Christ's death, but there was a resurrection day. He arose. He's a living Christ, not a dead one. He lives. He lives. And by our resurrection into our new life we leave the old sin life and the old man buried in baptism (Romans 6) and are made partakers of His new resurrection life. The life of power, the exercise of the power of God is made possible to us.
But Jesus having now elevated us into His own resurrection life by actual spiritual experience, there comes His ascension. It is just as necessary as the crucifixion or resurrection. Jesus ascends to heaven and sits triumphant at the right hand of the Father and, according to His promise, sends upon us the Holy Ghost. This experience is personal as well as dispensational, and it is by the Spirit of God. The Holy Ghost descending upon us, entering into us for the baptism of the Holy Ghost is the Holy God, the Spirit of Jesus, taking possession of our personality, living in us, moving us, controlling us. We become partakers in His glorified life, the life of Christ in glory. So with the hundred and twenty (see Acts 2:2-4).
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind. (Suppose we heard it now. What would this audience think?)
And it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Not as they liked, not when they liked. They spake as the Spirit gave them utterance. It was the Spirit that spoke in other tongues. What Spirit? The Holy Ghost who had come into them, who controlled them, who spoke through them. Listen! Speaking in tongues is the voice of God. Do you hear? God's voice. They spake as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now we have advanced to where we can understand God's manifestations. Not God witnessing to man, not God with man, but God in man. The Holy Ghost in man. They spake as the Spirit gave them utterance.
(Editor's note: At this point the Spirit of God fell on Brother Lake, causing him to speak in tongues in an unknown language. The audience was asked to bow their heads in silent prayer and pray for the interpretation of the words spoken in the tongue. As they prayed the interpretation was given as follows.)
Christ is at once the spotless descent of God into man, and the sinless ascent of man into God, and the Holy Spirit is the agent by which it is accomplished. Bless God. He is the Christ, the Son of God. His atonement is a real atonement. It cleanses from all sin. Man again becomes the dwelling place of God. Let us now see one of the most miraculous chapters in all the Word of God, Acts, chapter 10. A man, Cornelius, is praying. He is a Gentile centurion. An angel appears. The angel speaks to Cornelius. The angel says, "Send to Joppa for Peter."' Peter is a Jew. He don't like Gentiles. Salvation is only supposed by him to be for Jews. God has to teach him something. How does God do it?
Peter goes up on the housetop to pray, and as he prays, he is in a trance. Think of it - a trance. He falls in a trance. Suppose I was to fall on the floor in a trance. Nine-tenths of this audience would be frightened to death. They would instantly declare that my opponent, Brother Du Toit, had hypnotized me. Why? Because of the ignorance among men of how the Spirit of God operates. But listen. Listen! As he lays on the roof in a trance, he sees a vision. A sheet let down from heaven caught by the four corners full of all manner of beasts and crawling things and a voice - what voice? - the Lord's voice, said, -Rise, Peter; kill, and eat."'
But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.'
That was the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Ghost, speaking. Peter obeyed. He went with the messengers and see the result: As he spake the Word, the Holy Ghost fell on all of them that heard the Word. And they of the circumcision that believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. How did they know? For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.' Then answereth Peter:
Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?' And so it all ended in a glorious baptism service in water of all who had already been baptized in the Holy Ghost.
Now let us see the twenty-second chapter of Acts. This again will teach us the manner in which the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost, operates. Paul is in the hands of a mob. That wasn't dignified was it? He is standing on the stairs and the chief captain gives him the privilege of addressing the mob. He tells them who he is, where he was born, of his education, his religious training, etc. But above all, of his conversion from sin and his becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ.
A party of horsemen is riding to Damascus, officers of the law. Paul holds a commission to arrest all who call on the name of Jesus. Suddenly there shined round them a light from heaven above, like the brightness of the sun, and in Acts the twenty-sixth chapter he says, "When we were all fallen to the earth."' Think of it. The whole party fallen to the earth, and while he lay on the road, "And heard a voice saying unto me," and saying in the Hebrew tongue, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?"
Who is "me?" Who is speaking?
And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said..., I am Jesus of Nazareth whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, (get up off the road) and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus."
In order to get the force of this scripture we must compare carefully the following chapters, for in each of them a portion of this wonderful incident is related. And only a careful study of all three will give us an understanding of the entire incident and the secret not only of Paul's conversion, but the secret of his wonderful ministry and of his knowledge of spiritual things. We must find out where he received his knowledge of the Gospel. Did he learn it from others? Was he taught it? How, then, did he get it? He got it by trances, by visions, by revelation from God. It was not communication to his brains. It was revealed to his heart. Compare now Acts 9:1-31 with Acts the twenty- second chapter and Acts the twenty-sixth chapter. Read also Galatians 11-12. In fact, read both the first and second chapters of Galatians.
Acts 22:12, Paul tells of Ananias coming to see him. But how did Anianias know Paul was there? See now Acts 9: 10-19:
And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus.
Now let us see that as we would say it today. The Lord said, "Ananias, go down into Straight Street to the home of Judas. Ask for a man named Saul of Tarsus, for behold he prayeth." And now the Spirit tells him what Paul had seen.
And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
And Ananias now talks with the Lord. Do you know anything of such communion or talks with God? If not, get the baptism of the Holy Ghost like the early Christians, and you will see as we do the operation of the Lord upon both saint and sinner by the Holy Ghost. Men say to us, "Where do you men get your insight into the Word of God?" We get it just where Paul and Peter got it, from God by the Holy Ghost. (Galatians 1:11-12.)
Beloved, don't read God's Word as I have asked you to do, but read t on your knees. Ask God by His Spirit to open it to your understanding. Read the Word, read it with open hearts. It is a lamp unto our feet, a light unto our path.' Ananias went as the Lord directed him and found Paul, and Paul was healed of his blindness and was - baptized in the Holy Ghost and also baptized in water and spoke in tongues more than ye all. (See 1 Corinthians 1:4-18.)
Now see again Acts 22:14. Ananias is speaking to Paul,
And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One. Did you notice that? "See that just One."
And shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thoushalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard."'
Say, what about the people who say, "Don't tell these things to anyone?"
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."You see, as with Peter at Cornelius' house, all this work of the Spirit, indeed in salvation and baptism, how God through Ananias promised Paul that thou shouldest know His will and see that Just One and hear the voice of His mouth. Now when did that come to pass? Why, three years after when Paul returned to Jerusalem. (See Galatians 1: 15-24.)
After three years Paul came to Jerusalem.
And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance.
- Acts 22:17
Think of it: The intellectual, wonderful Paul, the master theologian of the ages, the orator of orators, the logician of logicians - in a trance. Bless God for that trance. It was the fulfillment of what Ananias had said to him three years before.
And saw him (Jesus) saying unto me, Make haste, and get e quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me (Jesus).'
Now what is a trance? A trance is the Spirit taking predominance over the mind and body, and for the time being, the control of the individual is by the Spirit. But our ignorance of the operations of God is such that every minister of religion has been known to say it is the devil.
Now let us see where Paul got his commission to preach and instructions about what he was to preach and what was his condition and attitude when Jesus gave him his commission. (See Acts 26:16-18.) He was lying on the road on his way to Damascus. Now if we were to see someone lying on the road talking to an invisible somebody, no doubt in our ignorance we would send for an ambulance or for the police.
But this is where the glorified Christ spoke to Paul and gave definite instructions about what he should preach, and the purpose of his preaching was to be the salvation - not the entertainment- of others.
But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I (Jesus) have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee.- Acts 26:16(Jesus promises to appear to Paul again and that was fulfilled while he in a trance in the temple three years later.) Now are the objectives of his preaching:
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified (present experience) by faith that is in me (Jesus). Whereupon, 0 king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision. - Acts 26:18-19From this we see and are able to understand the operations of God by His Spirit. And now, beloved, is the Holy Ghost in the church today? Verily yes. But you say, "We do not see Him work in this way. Why?" It is because you say, "All these things were for the apostolic days." They were not. Take the Word of God and find for one place where the gifts of the Holy Ghost were withdrawn. You can't. But let me tell you. I have preached in four different countries and over and over in order to demonstrate the ignorance of people and ministers concerning the Word of God have said, "Name the nine gifts of the Holy Ghost." And I never found a minister who could, but one, and today you can imagine how pleased I was to hear Brother Du Toit read them. It shows people are beginning to read and think on these lines.
These nine gifts of the Holy Ghost are found in First Corinthians 12:8-19.
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom (that's gift 1); to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit (that's gift 2); to another faith by the same Spirit, to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit (gift 3).... to another discerning of spirits (gift 4); to another divers (different) kinds of tongues (languages - not by acquirement, but by the Spirit).
0, I praise God for the discovery of the gifts of the Holy Ghost and especially the gift of healing. May we all learn to know Christ, not alone as our Savior, but as our Sanctifier and Healer too.
Now I will go over these gifts on my fingers. First, wisdom; second, knowledge; third, faith; fourth, healing; fifth, miracles; sixth, prophecy; seventh, discerning of spirits; eighth, divers kinds of tongues; ninth, the interpretation of tongues.
Beloved, we have seen that the Holy Ghost came into the Church at Pentecost and the gifts are in the Holy Ghost. Consequently, if the Holy Ghost is in the Church, the gifts are too. But for lack of faith we do not see them exercised in the ordinary church. Now, we stand for the obtaining of the Holy Ghost through our personal baptism in the Holy Ghost and the enduement of the Holy Ghost power as promised by Jesus, yea, commanded by Him. "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you" (Acts 1:8).
People ask, "What is tongues?" Tongues is the voice or operation of the Spirit of God. In Acts 2:4 they, the one hundred and twenty, spoke in tongues - the external evidence of the Spirit of God within. When the Holy Ghost came in, He spoke again in Acts 10:44-48. When the Holy Ghost fell on the Gentiles, Peter demanded the right to baptize them in water, saying, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
How did they know they had been baptized in the Holy Ghost? See verse forty-six: "For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God." Tongues was, then, the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost by which Peter claimed the right to baptize them in water. Again in Acts 19:1-7, Paul at Ephesus met twelve men whom John had baptized unto repentance, but now Paul rebaptized them by Christian baptism. And in verse five we read,
When they heard this, they were baptized (water baptism) in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spoke with tongues, and prophesied."
Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not.
- 1 Corinthians 14:22
The Baptism in the Holy Ghost (Booklet)
by John G. Lake
Reprinted from “The Comforter” of September 1910
Published by The Apostolic Faith Mission Tabernacle’s Printing Works
Johannesburg, South Africa
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. (1 Peter 3:15)
- The Rev. S. J. Du Toit, minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, challenged the brethren of the Apostolic Faith Mission to meet him and publicly defend, in open debate, the teaching believed and disseminated by them.
- The Rev. S. J. Du Toit is considered one of the ablest and most skillful debaters in Africa.
- It was at the Dutch Church, Somerset East, Cape Colony, during 1910, that the Reverend gentleman, according to a Graaff-Reinet paper, “Met his Waterloo” at the hands of two Apostolic Faith Brethren from Johannesburg. To God be the praise.
...We give our readers the more important features of that address of Brother Lake on the baptism in the Holy Ghost (the Holy Spirit).
Progressive Revelation of God
This is a subject so profound and so comprehensive that to intelligently understand it, we must view it from the scope of continuous and progressive revelation. Like water baptism of the Christian believer, the operations of the Holy Ghost must be apprehended in its successive stages of revelation; otherwise, we shall be unable to distinguish between the operation of the Spirit in the Old Testament and the baptism of the Holy Ghost in the New Testament.
A successive dispensation of God never destroys a preceding one. On the contrary, it conserves its spirit but broadens its scope.
This is obviously seen by comparing the Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian dispensations.
In the Patriarchal dispensation, we see God appearing to man at long intervals. Abraham furnishes the best example. God appeared to him at intervening periods of time, twenty and forty years apart. The Patriarchal age may therefore be designated the dispensation of God’s revelation to man.
There is a perceptible advance under the Mosaic dispensation to a deeper, clearer, and more pronounced manifestation of God. He was ever present in the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire. Afterwards, His visible presence abode in the Shekinah glory overshadowing the mercy seat. This was God with man, not to man, as in the Patriarchal dispensation; but rather, God leading, guiding, directing, forgiving, sanctifying, abiding with man.
Coming to the Christian dispensation, we obtain a clearer and more palpable revelation of God than in the preceding Mosaic dispensation.
Revelation teaches its climax in this, the Christian dispensation. God in man! For the baptism of the Holy Ghost is the actual incoming of that Third Person of the glorious Trinity to live in man. This, then, brings us to where we can see the purpose of God in revealing Himself to man by progressive stages of revelation.
As the Christian dispensation supersedes and eclipses all other dispensations, so the real Christian is to excel all who have preceded him. He is the culminating point of God’s effort for mankind. Man is not only to be forgiven, but also is to be cleansed through the blood of Jesus from the nature of sin, from the evil principle that causes him to transgress. This cleansing from “inbred sin” (termed also the “carnal mind,” the “old man,” the “man of sin”) is the actual and experiential taking out of our breast the desire for sin. All correspondence with sin is severed, and the old self-life is laid in glad and willing surrender on the altar of Christ.
God Wants a Clean Temple
This inner heart cleansing that John and the disciples of Jesus demanded before they would baptize a man is the necessary preparation for the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Our holy God must have a holy dwelling place. O wondrous salvation! Wondrous atonement! Wondrous Christ! Man—born in sin and shaped in iniquity (see Psalm 51:5)—forgiven, cleansed, purified by the blood of Jesus, and made a habitation, a dwelling place of God through the Spirit.
The redemption that Jesus Christ wrought out on Calvary restores to man all the privileges and prerogatives forfeited by the fall.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.(Galatians 3:13–14)
This reveals to us God’s purpose in our salvation. We must be prepared by the blood of Jesus Christ to become the habitation of God, “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:22). Again in 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul asked in astonishment: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you?”
A Marvelous Fact
The personal coming of the Holy Ghost into human consciousness is a marvelous fact of God’s manifestation in history! His coming was just as definite and conspicuous as the advent of Christ. Was the Christ’s coming proclaimed by angel voices and chanted by “a multitude of the heavenly host praising God” (Luke 2:13)? Equally, was the Holy Spirit’s advent attested by His “bodily shape like a dove” (Luke 3:22), and by the “sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind,” and by the appearance unto them of “cloven tongues like as of fire” (Acts 2:2, 3).
Heavenly dove, tempest roar, and tongues of fire crowning the hundred and twenty were as convincing as the guiding star and midnight shouts of angel hosts.
The Promise Given and Realized
In John 16:7, the promise of the Holy Ghost is explicitly given by Jesus:
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
“If I depart, I will send him unto you.” That promise was realized on the day of Pentecost after the disciples had tarried, according to the command of Jesus, “with one accord in prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:14).
The Believer’s Identification with Christ in His Death and Resurrection
Between the day the Holy Ghost was promised and the event of His coming at Pentecost, there was the great day of our Lord’s crucifixion. It behooved Christ to suffer in order to make the gift of the Holy Ghost possible to man. There is also a day of crucifixion to the Christian. He must be crucified with Christ: the “old man” must be nailed to the cross, for in no other way can we be delivered from sin. Dying to sin is a real act, a genuine experience.
“Buried with him by baptism into death” (Romans 6:4) and “being made conformable unto His death” (Philippians 3:10), we become partakers of the resurrection life of Jesus. The new life of power and victory in God becomes ours, and we are elevated through Christ into His own resurrection life, in actual spiritual experience.
Just as necessary as the crucifixion or the resurrection is the ascension. Jesus ascended into heaven. He sits at the right hand of the Father. According to the promise, He sends down the Holy Ghost, who is also called the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of Christ, and the Holy Spirit in the Bible. The Holy Ghost entering into us, taking possession of our personality, living in us, moving us, controlling us, and lifting us into heavenly experiences in Christ Jesus is the baptism in the Holy Ghost, through which we become participators in the ascended life of Christ in glory.
A Personal Reception of a Personal Holy Ghost
The outpouring of the Holy Ghost is not only dispensational, but His reception into the heart is to be the personal, conscious experience of every Christian who has sought the enduement of power from on high. The first Pentecostal experience is given in the second chapter of Acts:
There came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind…. There appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire…. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:2–4)
Speaking in tongues is the voice of God. It is God speaking through us.
Note: At this point the Holy Ghost spoke through Brother Lake in an unknown tongue. (See 1 Corinthians 14:2.) The congregation was asked to engage in silent prayer for the interpretation of the words spoken in tongues. (See 1 Corinthians 14:13.) Immediately, God answered. The interpretation was as follows:
Interpretation of a Message in Tongues
Christ is at once the spotless descent of God into man, and the sinless ascent of man into God, and the Holy Ghost is the agent by whom it is accomplished.
Bless God! He is the Christ, the Son of God. His atonement is a real atonement. His blood cleanses from all sin. Man again becomes the dwelling place of God.
What about Manifestations?
Let us now consider some of the wonderful manifestations of God to His people in the New Testament, under the baptism of the Holy Ghost. We will take up the tenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.
Cornelius, a Gentile centurion living in Caesarea, has a vision. An angel appears to him. The angel speaks to him a comforting message from God. This heavenly messenger also gives him the address of Peter the apostle, who was down at Joppa preaching Jesus, healing the sick, and restoring dead Dorcas to the widows who lamented her. Cornelius is commanded to send for Peter: “He shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do” (Acts 10:6).
Two trusted servants and a devout soldier are immediately dispatched to Joppa for Peter. On the following day, as these messengers drew nigh unto the city, Peter was praying and, in a trance, saw a vision. Through this vision God taught him a very necessary and effective lesson on the brotherhood of man and removed from his heart certain inherent and racial prejudices that Peter, as a Jew, had to the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles.
Think of it, the great Peter in a trance! If I were to fall on the floor in a trance at the present moment, I have no doubt that nine-tenths of this audience would affirm that it was a case of hypnotism—that my opponent, Brother Du Toit, had hypnotized me.
While Peter thought on the vision, he received a message through the Spirit, saying: “Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them” (Acts 10:19–20).
The Sign of Tongues
Peter accompanied the three men to Caesarea. He preached the gospel to the gathering at the house of Cornelius. The whole company was baptized in the Holy Ghost, “And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost” (verse 45). How did they know they were baptized in the Holy Ghost? “For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God” (verse 46). This glorious Holy Ghost service ended in a water baptism of those who had already been baptized in the Holy Ghost.
Paul Speaks to Us
In the twenty-second chapter of Acts, we read Paul’s account of his conversion from Judaism to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. A party of horsemen (Saul and certain officers of the law) is on the way to Damascus. Saul holds a commission to arrest all who call on the name of Jesus. Suddenly, there shone from heaven round about them a light greater than the light of the sun. “And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me” (Acts 22:9).
In the twenty-sixth chapter of Acts, Paul says further:
When we were all fallen to the earth [think of it—the whole party fallen to the earth], I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? (Acts 26:14)
Who is the speaker? “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (Acts 26: 15).
Trances, Visions, Revelations
In order to understand the full force of this incident, as well as to learn the source of Paul’s wonderful ministry and of his profound insight into spiritual things, we must find out where he obtained his knowledge of the gospel. Was it communicated to him by the other apostles who had been with Jesus during His earthly ministry? No. It was revealed to him in trances and in visions. He received the knowledge of it directly from the ascended and glorified Christ Himself.
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.(Galatians 1:11–12)
In Acts 22:12, Paul tells of Ananias coming to see him. How did Ananias know Paul was there? The mystery is explained in Acts 9:
And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananais. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth.(Acts 9:10–11)
And now the Lord tells Ananias what Paul had seen:
And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.(Acts 9:12)
In the next verse, Ananias talks with the Lord. Do you know anything of such revelations, of such communion or talks with God? If not, get the baptism of the Holy Spirit like the early Christians had, and their knowledge and experiences in God shall be yours. Men say to us, “Where do you get your insight into the Word of God?” We answer, “Where Paul and Peter obtained it, that is, from God through the Holy Ghost.”
Ananias went as the Lord directed him and found Paul. Ananias laid hands on him, and he received his sight. He was baptized in water and also in the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues “more than ye all” (1 Corinthians 14:18).
Now, look again at Acts 22:14. Ananias is speaking to Paul:
And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.(Acts 22:14)
I want you to notice the phrases “see that Just One” and “hear the voice of his mouth.”
When did Paul see that Just One? When did he hear the voice of His mouth? The first mention—following Ananias’s prophetic words in Acts 22:14—of Paul’s seeing and hearing the Just One was when he was in a trance after he had returned to Jerusalem:
And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem [three years after Ananias had prophesied], even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; and saw him [Jesus] saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.(Acts 22:17–18)
Now, what is a trance? In a trance, the Spirit predominates over the mind and body, and for the time being, the control of the individual is in the Spirit. Our ignorance of spiritual manifestation is such that even ministers of religion have been known to say that such experiences and conditions are of the devil.
Now, let us see when Paul first heard and saw the Just One—when he received his commission to preach—and his condition and attitude at the time. (See Acts 26:12, 16–18.) Paul received his preaching commission while lying on the ground in the dusty roadway near Damascus in a trance, having been ushered into that state by the power and glory of the heavenly light shining around him. Now, if we were to see someone lying on the road talking to an invisible “somebody,” no doubt in our ignorance we would send for an ambulance or the police. But this is where Paul received his commission and appointment as preacher and apostle to the Gentiles.
Note: Receiving revelation from the Lord does not require being in a trance state, as Paul clearly said: “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11–12).
Manifestations of the Spirit
From this we are able to perceive and understand in a measure the operations of God upon those who come under the power of the Holy Ghost. And now, beloved, is the Holy Ghost in the church today? Verily, yes. But you say, “We don’t see Him work in this way in our church!” Why? Because you say, “All these things were for apostolic days.” Can you find anywhere in the Scriptures that the gifts of the Holy Ghost were withdrawn from the church of Christ? There is no biblical authority for such an assertion, but rather we read, “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:29).
I have preached in four different countries, and, with one exception, no Christian minister has been able to name me the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are enumerated in 1 Corinthians 12:8–11. I was very pleased to hear Brother Du Toit read them at the commencement of this service. It shows that people are beginning to read and to think along these lines. The gifts of the Holy Ghost are:
- Gifts of healing
- Working of miracles
- Discerning of spirits
- Diverse kinds of tongues (various languages not by natural acquirement but by the Spirit)
- Interpretation of tongues
I thank God for these precious gifts of the Spirit, and especially for the gifts of healing. May we all learn to know Christ, not alone as our Savior, but as our Sanctifier and Healer, too!
God Restores His People
Beloved, we have seen that the Holy Ghost came at Pentecost and that those gifts were there also. However, through lack of faith, many times we do not see them exercised now.
The Apostolic Faith Mission stands for the obtaining of the Holy Ghost through the personal baptism in Him and the enduement of “power from on high” (Luke 24:49), as commanded by Christ, and for which the disciples were commanded to “tarry” before they went forth to preach the gospel. For, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8).
Baptism in the Holy Ghost
Speaking in tongues is the external evidence that the Holy Ghost has taken possession of the body of the believer and, therefore, of the tongue. It is the voice of God speaking through the sanctified lips of the believer.
In Acts 2:4, the hundred and twenty disciples spoke in tongues. In Acts 10:44–48, when the Holy Ghost fell on the Gentiles, Peter commanded that they should also be baptized in water.
Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? (Acts 10:47)
How did they know they were baptized in the Holy Ghost?
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. (verse 46)
Speaking in tongues was therefore the evidence of the baptism in the Holy Ghost, by which also Peter claimed the right to baptize them in water, because he knew that only those who were saved could receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. In Acts 19:1–7, Paul found at Ephesus twelve men who had been baptized unto John’s baptism. He rebaptized them into Christian baptism and the name of Jesus Christ. When Paul laid hands on them, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.
Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not.(1 Corinthians 14:22)
Also known as Divine Healing Is Not New
The following address was delivered by Bro, J. G. Lake at the Dutch Church Hall, Somerset East, in October, 1910
Beloved, I feel a personal responsibility in speaking to you on the subject of divine healing. This truth was very little known and still less understood prior to the arrival of Brother Tom Hezmalhalch and myself upon these shores, in connection with the introduction and the establishment of the Apostolic Faith Mission in this land.
We had prayerfully considered this subject on our way from America to this country, and had come to the decision that the present was an opportune time to separate this truth from the dogmas and traditions which bound it, and to send it forth on broader lines in harmony with our conception of the truth as it is revealed to us in the Scriptures.
You will therefore appreciate my feelings as I undertake to address you tonight on this subject.
It is affirmed by the thoughtless that we teach new doctrines. It is not so, for…
Divine Healing Is Not New
It has come to us through a process of progressive revelation running parallel with man’s history and perfected in the vicarious death and suffering of our Lord on Calvary.
In its stages of evolution and development, it finds its illustration and parallel in the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which advances from a revelation from God to man in the patriarchal age to that of God dwelling and abiding with man in the Mosaic age, and reaches its climax in the baptism of the Holy Ghost in the Christian dispensation—which is God in man, whereby man becomes the habitation of God through the Spirit.
In Exodus 15:26, God revealed Himself to the people of Israel under His covenant name of Jehovah-Rophi, or “the Lord that healeth thee.”
There at the waters of Marah, after they had escaped from the Egyptians and Egyptian medical practitioners by crossing the Red Sea, God made with them…
An Everlasting Covenant
There he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, and said, if thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
The covenants of God are as unchangeable and eternal as Himself. The covenant of divine healing stands today as steadfast and irrevocable as the day it was made by the eternal, immutable God at the waters of Marah. It is writ large upon the pages of Holy Writ. Saints have rejoiced in it; prophets have confirmed it; David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, sang in inspired verse of its validity:
Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.(Psalm 103:1–3)
Jesus Christ, who was God manifest in the flesh, demonstrated the perpetuity of that covenant in Himself, “healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” (Matthew 4:23); by communicating the power of healing the sick to all believers (see Mark 16:15–17); and through the Holy Ghost, placing “the gifts of healing” (1 Corinthians 12:9) as a perpetual manifestation of His power and presence in the church through all ages.
Jesus Christ, like any great reformer, had a specific mission to fulfill. This was outlined in the inspired words of the prophet Isaiah. (See Isaiah 61:1–2.) In the synagogue at Nazareth, at the beginning of His public ministry, Jesus announced the essential points embraced in that ministry imposed upon Him, and which He said was now being fulfilled. Healing was one of the conspicuous features of that ministry, as we read in the fourth chapter of Luke:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Luke 4:18–19)
Like a true reformer and the Son of God, He put His mission into immediate effect and practice. How did He do it? Read the fourth chapter of Matthew, and you will see the evolution of the ministry of healing:
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.(Matthew 4:23)
In the ninth chapter of Luke, we read of the first step taken by our Lord suggestive of the broadening, progressive scope of this ministry of healing, by sending forth…
Twelve Other Men with Power to Heal
Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. (Luke 9:1–2)
And He said unto them, “Take a thousand pounds a year.” Is that it? [Voices: No!] Then what is it?
And he said unto them, take nothing for your journey, neither staves, not scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.(verse 3)
Oh, my! That is not much like your modern preachers! Today it means the finest house in town, the highest salary, the smartest carriage and horses! Everybody bows down before this display of so much worldly pomp and temporal greatness! These are some of the reasons why the church has lost spiritual power and stands impotent in the presence of sickness and suffering. To hide her feebleness and inefficiency, she takes refuge under the discreditable subterfuge that the gifts of healing have been withdrawn and the age of miracles is past. No wonder infidelity is eating the heart out of the church of God! Has Jehovah-Rophi, the eternal covenant God, changed? Or, is the modern disciple of a different stamp and pattern than they whom Jesus called in the days of His flesh? Truly, the change is in the disciple and not in the one unchangeable Lord and Master. I find that the old-time power is to be had today by the old-time men who are willing to walk and work and suffer and die to get this gospel of Christ to people everywhere.
He endued the twelve with the power. And in the tenth chapter of Luke we read how the Lord took an additional step to the extension of the scope of the ministry of divine healing by sending forth…
Seventy More Men with the Power to Heal
“After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also” (Luke 10:1); and in verse 9 we read that Jesus commanded them to “heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” There were now eighty-three men endued with this power: Christ Himself, the twelve disciples, and the seventy more. At the close of the forty days separating the event of the crucifixion from that of the ascension, our Lord still further extends the range of the ministry of healing by furnishing…
Every Believer with the Power to Heal the Sick
Every person, in every age, in every land, who has faith in the living, eternal, covenant-keeping God is empowered to lay hands upon the sick, and “they shall recover” (Mark 16:18). The general terms of that great extension of the ministry of healing are found in that great and final commission given in Matthew 28: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (verse 18).
Beloved, has He lost any of that power? Never! He is still the Son of God.
All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.(Matthew 28:18–20)
Is He with us still? Yes, bless God. Is He changed? No. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). “I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:29). God has never repented of having placed the gifts of the Holy Ghost in the church. In the name of Jesus Christ, I challenge any man to show by the Word of God that the gifts and power of God were withdrawn. We have lost the old-time faith—that is where the trouble is! Having forsaken God to lean upon the arms of flesh, and the fountain of living waters for broken cisterns that can hold no water (see Jeremiah 2:13), let us honestly acknowledge our sin and return to the Lord our God.
Having examined the general terms of that extension of the ministry of healing, let us now consider the peculiar characteristic, the trademark of God’s endorsement, which was to be the accompanying circumstance, the continuous sign and symbol of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is given in the sixteenth chapter of Mark:
Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel 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; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hut t them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.(Mark 16:14–18)
“And these signs.” These are God’s own mark and endorsement of the faithful preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We know the goods by the trademark that they beat. These signs are God’s eternal trademark, issued by the Son of God, and sealed in His own blood. The devil has tried to rob us of it by telling the preachers and teachers that these verses are an interpolation, and not found in the Sinaitic manuscript of the New Testament. The Sinaitic manuscript was, however, only written in the fourth century. That these verses are authentic has been proved from the writings of the church fathers, which were written prior to the Sinaitic manuscript, and less than two hundred and seventy years after Christ.
This is a matter of history. Lord Hailes, an eighteenth century Scottish writer, is our authority. He tells us that at a dinner at Edinburgh, it was decided that a compilation of the New Testament be made from the New Testament references and quotations found in the writings of the church fathers, previous to ad 300. The whole was completed some years ago and found identical with our present edition, except that it lacked seven verses in Hebrews, and these have since been forthcoming. Preachers and teachers of God’s Word, don’t make any more infidels with such an excuse, but rather confess that the faith to get results is lacking, that the Word is true, that the failure is on the human side.
Have you noticed how frequently church officers and members say, “Oh, I don’t believe this or that portion of God’s Word!” Why don’t they? How could they when the Word of God is continually twisted out of its original sense and meaning by those whose vocation should be to guard it as a sacred deposit? This wresting of the Scriptures is responsible for the unwarranted belief that the gifts of the Holy Ghost have been withdrawn.
Jesus said, “These signs shall follow [not the doubter, but] them that believe; in my name [the name of Jesus] shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
Someone asks, “What does it mean to cast out devils?” It means that the man with the Holy Ghost dwelling within him is the master and has dominion over every devilish force and counterfeit. At Johannesburg, someone said, “Your power is hypnotism.” One night, God demonstrated through us the falsity of that accusation. The power that is within the true Christian is the power of the living Christ, and “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
I can best illustrate this by introducing an incident in my own personal ministry.
The Power of God against Hypnotism
In the Johannesburg Tabernacle, at a Sunday evening service about a year ago, God instantly healed a lame girl. She came from Germiston. She had been suffering for three-and-a-half years from what the doctors said was either an extreme case of rheumatism or the first stage of hip disease. She was not able to get up the steps without assistance when she came to the platform to be prayed for. They asked her, “How long have you been sick?”
She said, “For three-and-a-half years.”
“Have the doctors treated you?”
“Yes; for two-and-a-half years, and then they gave me up.”
“Who has been treating you for the last year?”
Just then, a well-known hypnotist arose in the audience and moved forward and took the front seat. The leader said, “Never mind about the hypnotist; Jesus is going to heal you right now. In two minutes you will be well.” They laid hands on her and prayed, and instantly the Lord delivered her, and she walked up and down the platform several times to demonstrate to herself and the audience that she was well.
The leader said:
I stepped back and looked at her, my heart going out in praise to God for His mercy, when suddenly the Spirit of the Lord descended upon me in power—not in any gentle influence, but with a mighty intense power—a spirit of revulsion against the spirit in the hypnotist. I stepped on the platform directly in front of him and said, “Are you the man who has been hypnotizing this woman?”
He replied, “Yes, I am.” He rose to his feet and looked towards me in a challenging attitude.
I said to him, “In the name of Jesus Christ, you will never hypnotize anybody again.” And before I realized what I was doing, I reached over the front of the platform, grasped his collar with my left hand, while with my right I slapped him on the back, saying, “In the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, you come out of him. Now,” I said, “go and hypnotize another if you can.”
He laughed at me and said, “Do you mean to tell me that I cannot hypnotize anybody?”
I said, “Yes, sir, that is the end of the thing. The devil that caused you to hypnotize people is out.”
He worked all night in an endeavor to hypnotize some subjects, and in the morning at six came to my house saying, “This is a mighty serious business, mister, this is my bread and butter.” He wanted me to give him back the power to hypnotize.
I explained to him that it was not I but Jesus who had cast out the devil. I added, “Brother, it looks to me as if the Lord wanted you to earn an honest living.”
He cancelled his engagement at the theatre where he was billed to give exhibitions, and last heard of, he was working in the mine and earning an honest living.
That demonstrated there is a mighty manifestation of the Spirit of God that has dominion over every other power. It is still true that in His name we shall cast out devils.
Brother Fisher and
“They Shall Take Up Serpents’’
This afternoon I heard a brother ask, “What about ‘They shall take up serpents’?” Let me tell you a story. Brother Fisher of Los Angeles, California, told me this incident in his own life. He was a Baptist minister at Glendale, a suburb of Los Angeles. (He is now associated with Brother George G. Studd in the Upper Room Mission, 327½ South Spring Street, Los Angeles, California, USA.)
One morning my wife called me up on the telephone and said the water pipe beneath the house was broken. I went home about ten in the morning. I opened the little door in the basement of the house and, on putting my hand in to feel for the pipe, I was bitten by a serpent. At once I commenced to swell. The poison worked into my body fast. What was I to do? I said, “God, Your Word says, ‘They shall take up serpents.’ I trust You for this; You must heal me or I die.”
That afternoon and evening my sufferings were terrible. By midnight my blood was so congealed I was well nigh insensible. Oh, I shall never forget that sense of death creeping over me, steadily, surely, until three in the morning. I could pray no more. I ceased to struggle, I fell to the floor, and that instant God healed me. The life of God thrilled through my body, and I was healed. It is true, “They shall take up serpents.”
Brother Tom and “They Shall Take Up Serpents’’
Let me give you another illustration of “taking up serpents.” It is an event in the life of Brother Tom Hezmalhalch, one of the pastors of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Johannesburg. Brother Tom, as we call him for short, is a man of great faith and simple trust in God. (He has since returned to America.)
In Southern California, during one of the harvest seasons, I had an honest young infidel working for me. The young man was engaged in loading, and I was pitching sheaves on the load, when he said, “Brother Tom, do you believe in the Bible?”
I said, “Every word of it.”
He said, “Do you believe in Mark 16:18?”
I said, “I do.”
He answered, “I have never yet met the person who does.”
I prayed silently to Jesus, that if He wanted to convince this young man of the truth of His Word, that He send along a snake, and I would take it up. Soon I heard a hissing sound from under the sheaves. I said, “Jesus sent you along; I want you.” I grabbed the snake some distance from the head, and I lifted it up to my friend on the wagon. He looked at me and then said, “Kill it! Kill it!”
“No,” I said, “Jesus sent it along; I am going to let it go about its own business.”
After a while he laughed, and said, “Tom, that was only a common Californian snake.”
I judged from his expression he was not satisfied with the test. I prayed again. “Jesus, why did You send along a common snake? If you want to convince this man, send along a venomous one.”
Not long after, I heard the hiss of another snake. I cried, “Hold on there; I want you,” and laying hold of it as I did the former one, I held it up to my friend, saying, “How about Mark 16:18?”
He turned pale and said hastily, “Drop it! Drop it! Kill it.”
I put it quietly down after stroking its head and body with my other hand, and said, “Go on, Jesus sent you here, I’ll not kill you.”
When my friend could speak, for he was pale and shocked, he said, “Tom, did you know what kind of a snake that was?”
I said, “No.”
He replied, “That was a deadly viper, and if it had bitten you, you would be a dead man.”
I said, “It could not bite. Jesus would not permit it.”
I don’t pretend to have that kind of faith, but I am not going to belittle it in the man who has. I am, I trust, man and Christian enough to praise God when I see someone going further than I can.
“If They Drink Any Deadly Thing,
It Shall Not Hurt Them”
You ask, “What about, ‘If they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them’?” History abounds with instances in which the early Christians were compelled to drink the juice of the deadly hemlock, but through faith in Jesus, one of the deadliest of poisons became as harmless as water. According to your faith be it done unto you. (See Matthew 9:29.)
My own sister’s son, Fred Moffatt, when a child, entered his father’s workshop and ate some Paris green. My sister and brother-in-law sent for me. I quoted the words of our Savior, “And if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.” Upon this precious promise of God we rested, and Jesus healed the child. (His parents now reside at 4 Milbourn Road, Bertrams, Johannesburg, and their son was a student at the Marist Brothers Schools and has since returned to America.)
I have outlined the development and progressive revelation of divine healing from the covenant at Marah, and on through succeeding dispensations until it is perfected in the redemption wrought by Christ on Calvary. The blessings of healing in the old as well as the new dispensation flow from the atonement that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made for man’s sin and sickness on the cross of Calvary.
In Matthew, we read:
He cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.(Matthew 8:16–17)
In the general epistle of James, through the inspired writer, the Holy Ghost instructs the Christian what to do when sick.
Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he hath committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
In spite of the clear, convincing testimony of the Scriptures and the ever accumulating cloud of witnesses who testify of healing received through faith in Jesus, many preachers and teachers are still found blindly rejecting the truth to their own final discomfiture and undoing.
God Has a Controversy with the Church in Africa
Your own prophet, the Reverend Andrew Murray, was healed of God at Bethshan, London, England, of a throat disease that medical skill had proved itself impotent to heal. Thirty years ago the reverend gentleman wrote a book containing the fundamental teaching on divine healing. Why was it withdrawn from circulation? Why is it not possible to obtain this book at any of the Christian literature depots in Africa?
Why? Because the preachers foresaw that the members of their churches would call upon them for the exercise of that faith which saves the sick! They feared the ordeal which would test their faith in God and the value of their own prayers! Instead of confessing their spiritual poverty and inefficiency and reaching out to touch the springs of life and power in God, they fell back into a state of even greater spiritual apathy and inertness, being satisfied with the cold externals of religious forms and observances, which without the indwelling life-giving power and presence of the Holy Ghost have no saving grace or spiritual virtue.
Divine Healing Is the Seal of God’s Acknowledgment
Divine healing is the seal of God’s acknowledgment and the proof to the world that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. John the Baptist was in prison. He was troubled with doubts as to whether Jesus was the Christ. He sent two of his disciples to Jesus to put the question, “Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?” (Matthew 11:3). Jesus’ answer was to appeal to the signs of His ministry. These were, and are still, God’s answer to doubt or unbelief:
Go and show John again these things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, and the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.(Matthew 11:4–6)
These are still God’s seal and endorsement of the preaching of the true gospel. The preaching that lacks the signs that Jesus promised lacks the divine attestation by which God confirms the preaching of as own true gospel. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12).
And at the end of the age as at the beginning, the command of Jesus Christ to all workers everywhere is:
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel 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; 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)
The results now, as then, will be, “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following” (Mark 16:20).
“My Grace Is Sufficient for Thee”
The other evening I was riding home after a heavy day’s work; I felt very wearied, and sore depressed, when swiftly, and suddenly as a lightning flash, that text came to me: “My grace is sufficient for thee”
(2 Corinthians 12:9). I reached home and looked it up in the original, and at last it came to me in this way: “My grace is sufficient for thee.” I said, “I should think it is, Lord,” and burst out laughing. I never fully understood what the holy laughter of Abraham was until then. It seemed to make unbelief so absurd. It was as though some little fish, being very thirsty, was troubled about drinking the river dry, and Father Thames said, “Drink away, little fish, my stream is sufficient for thee.”
Or, it seemed like a little mouse in the granaries of Egypt, after the seven years of plenty, fearing it might die of famine. Joseph might say, “Cheer up, little mouse, my granaries are sufficient for thee.” Again, I imagined a man away up yonder, in a lofty mountain, saying to himself, “I breathe so many cubic feet of air every year; I fear I shall exhaust the oxygen in the atmosphere.” But the earth might say, “Breathe away, O man, and fill thy lungs ever, my atmosphere is sufficient for thee.” Oh, brethren, be great believers! Little faith will bring your souls to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your souls.”
—Charles H. Spurgeon
They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.(Psalm 36:8)
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
But my God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.(Philippians 4:19)
Jehovah fills to the brim the vessels faith presents to Him.
The present circumstance, which presses so hard against you, if surrendered to Christ, is the shaped tool in the Father’s hand to chisel you for eternity. Trust Him then. Do not push away the instrument lest you lose its work.
A Nickel for the Lord
Yesterday he wore a rose on the lapel of his coat, but when the plate was passed today, he gave a nickel to the Lord. He had several bills in his pocket and sundry change, perhaps a dollar’s worth, but he hunted about, and finding this poor little nickel, he laid it on the plate to aid the church militant in its fight against the world, the flesh, and the devil. His silk hat was beneath the seat, and his gloves and cane were beside it, and the nickel was on the plate—a whole nickel.
On Saturday afternoon he met a friend, and together they had some refreshments. The cash register stamped thirty-five cents on the slip the boy presented to him. Peeling off a bill he handed it to the lad and gave him a nickel tip when he brought back the change. A nickel for the Lord and a nickel for the waiter.
And the man had his shoes polished on Saturday afternoon and handed out a dime without a murmur. He had a shave and paid fifteen cents with equal alacrity. He took a box of candies home to his wife and paid forty cents for them, and the box was tied with a dainty bit of ribbon. Yes, and he also gave a nickel to the Lord.
Who is this Lord? Who is He? Why, the man worships Him as Creator of the universe, the One who puts the stars in order, and by whose immutable decree the heavens stand. Yes, he does, and he dropped a nickel in to support the church militant.
And what is the church militant?
The church militant is the church that represents upon the earth the triumphant church of the great God.
And the man knew that he was an atom in space, and he knew that the almighty was without limitations, and knowing this he put his hand in his pocket, and picked out the nickel, and gave it to the Lord.
And the Lord being gracious, and slow to anger, and knowing our frame, did not slay the man for the meanness of his offering but gives him this day his daily bread.
But the nickel was ashamed, if the man was not.
The nickel hid beneath a quarter that was given by a poor woman who washes for a living.
—G. F. Raymond, in the Toronto Star
Disclaimer: It is Healing Rooms policy to advise that a person receive a Doctor's approval prior to discontinuing any prescribed medication.
Divine Healing (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
by John G. Lake
January 30, 1914
If there is something wrong with a man’s spirit, he goes directly to God, but the next day he has a pain in his back, and he goes down the road to the doctor’s. Where do you get your right to do such a thing?
There is a wretched looseness about consecration to God. Christians do not seem to know what consecration to God means. What would you think of Jesus Christ, if you saw Him going down the road and into a doctor’s office for some dope? Why, you would feel like apologizing for the Lord, wouldn’t you? Well, He has just as much reason to apologize for you. When you became a Christian with a consecrated body, soul, and spirit, your privilege of running to the doctor was cut off forevermore.
“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). This young man who testified says he suffers because of an appetite for cigarettes, and he hopes that we will pray so that the next time he wants to smoke he won’t. I tell you, God says, “Quit your sins and then come to Me, and I will pardon.” He doesn’t say, “You come on with your sins, and I will pardon you.” He says, “You quit your meanness, you quit fooling with the doctor and the devil, you quit your secret habits and come to Me, and I will deliver you.” That is the only road to God; that is the way in God.
So a Christian’s consecration is not just a consecration of his spirit to God, not of his soul to God. It’s a consecration of body and soul and spirit—the entire man, everything there is of us—and it cuts us forever plumb off from looking for help from the flesh, the world, or the devil.
There are three enemies of man: the world, the flesh, and the devil. Our nature has three departments: spirit and soul and body. What would you think of the Christian who would go to the devil or to some deceitful spirit to find balm for his spirit? Why, you would think he was not a Christian at all, nor would he be. Suppose a man wants peace for his soul (mind), and he appeals to the spirit of the world or the flesh to get it. You would not think he was a Christian at all. Then how will you consider a man who wants healing for his body and goes to the world and man to get it?
I am going to preach to you for five minutes out of the fifth [chapter] of James. He is very explicit in this matter. He is not laying down rules for the people of the world. He is talking straight to the Christians. “Is any among you [Christians] afflicted? let him pray” (James 5:13), not “let him go to the devil or the doctor or some human source.”
“Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church” (verse 14) means this: if you have prayed and deliverance has not come, unquestionably it is a weakness of your faith. You need help. Then the next thing is, “Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord” (James 5:14).
When I was preaching in Washington, D.C., recently, an old sister said she had anointed her little girl the night before and she had put a whole bottle full of oil all over her. So you see, she was not looking to God to heal; she expected the anointing oil to heal. Satan is a subtle old devil, but the Lord gives us fight. He says not the anointing of oil, but “the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up” (verse 15). That is why I never use oil except when requested to do so, because people are looking to the anointing oil instead of to the Lord God. “Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick,” not the anointing oil. The use of anointing oil is a matter of obedience. It is a symbol of the Spirit of God, and that is all it is. So we place upon the individual the anointing oil in order that we fulfill the symbol of the Spirit of God as the Healer, and that is all.
“The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him” (verse 15). Thus, he goes on and makes the teaching broader.
One of the beautiful things about the gospel of Jesus Christ is that it is progressive in its revelation and application. First, we were asked to pray if we are afflicted. Second, we were asked to call for the elders. Then, the Lord goes down to the real business in a man’s heart. “Confess your faults one to another” (James 5:16). Get your old tattling, blatting tongue tied up, and confess to the other party that you have been tattling.
If all the Christians had that gag in their mouths, there would not be half as much shouting in the meetings as there is. Now listen, I don’t want to pound people on the head, but I want to teach you a lesson. Here is the broad principle of the gospel: “Confess your faults.”
When I went to Africa, I had the advantage of getting on absolutely new ground that no one had spoiled with a lot of loose teaching. In this country, our people have been slobbered over with teaching that doesn’t amount to anything, and they wobble this way and that way, “like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” And God says, “Let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (James 1:6–7).
One day, as a young man, God brought me in to see my own need when I needed healing from heaven. There was nobody to pray for me, and I was not even a Christian in the best sense of being a Christian. I was a member of a Methodist church, but I had seen God heal one dear soul, who was very dear to me. As I sat alone one day, I said, “Lord, I am finished with the doctor and with the devil. I am finished with the world and the flesh, and from today I lean on the arm of God.” I committed myself to God; and God almighty, right there and then, though there was no sign of healing or anything else, accepted my consecration to Him. That disease that had stuck on my life and almost killed me for nearly nine years was gone. It was chronic constipation. I would take three ounces of castor oil at a single dose, three times a week.
The place of strength and the place of victory is the place of consecration to God. It is when a man shuts his teeth and says, “I go with God this way,” that victory is going to come.
My! This wobbling business makes one think of the old Irish woman who was on a ship in a storm. When the ship rolled one way, she would say, “O good Lord,” and when the ship would plunge to the other side, she would say, “Good devil.” When someone asked her why she did that, she said, “Why, how can I tell into whose arms I will fall?”
May the Lord wake us up in our souls and get us out of this wobbly state and get us where we all commit ourselves once and for all and forever to almighty God, and then live by it and die by it.
People say, like the dear soul last night who sent word to the meeting, “I am very sick, and if I don’t get deliverance, I will have to do something.” Why, sure you can do something—you can die. You ought to die instead of insulting and denying the Lord Jesus Christ and turning your back on Him. People say, “I can’t die.” Yes, you can, if you are not a coward, but you cannot sin. And it is just as much a sin to commit your body to the Lord Jesus Christ and then to turn to the doctor as it is to go and commit adultery or any other sin. It is a violation of your consecration to God.
Make a consecration to God and stand by that and live by that and be willing to die by that. Then you will grow up into God, where your faith is active enough to get answers to prayer.
There is no man who lives and has the ministry of healing that could pray for all the sick people. There are so many of them. Why, you come to an assembly like this, and every old saint who has a stomachache will come and ask you to pray for them, and there is no time for anything else. God wants us to grow up into Him where we get answers to prayer for ourselves. Then, if there is an extreme case and your faith is broken, confess your faults one to another and get the rest of the people to pray for you; and then in the extreme cases, send for the elders of the church—that is the mind of God.
In the twelfth chapter of 1 Corinthians, the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit are enumerated.
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.(1 Corinthians 12:8–10)
These are the gifts or enablements that are given by God to certain [ones] in the church. Now, here is a thought I want to leave with you. We go over into Ephesians, and we see a different order: not the gifts of enablements are mentioned, but the gifts in this case are individuals. It is men to whom God has given definite ministries.
And in the church of Jesus Christ not only should the gifts exist, but also the faith to use them. And they do exist if they are developed, and they are workable when the faith in your heart is made active to use them. But you can have the gifts right out of heaven, and if the faith in your heart is not active, you cannot operate them.
There is only one prayer that is answered. It is not prayer that is answered but the prayer of faith. It is the prayer of faith that shall save the sick. Believing prayer is not much noise. Believing prayer may not be any noise at all. Believing prayer is a committing, an intelligent committing of yourself to God; and your mind is stayed in God and your heart is stayed in God and you are walking in God. You are ready to die rather than go to anyone but God. That is the real believing prayer. That is the continuous prayer. That is prevailing prayer. Blessed be God!
So in Ephesians, the Word of God tells us that there are some apostles, some prophets, some teachers, some evangelists, and some pastors. (See Ephesians 4:11.) These are God’s gifts, these men—not gifts as they are mentioned in Corinthians, but men are mentioned in Ephesians—and the men with ministries are God’s gift to the church until such time as they shall all come, the entire body of Christ, into the unity of the faith, into the likeness of Jesus Christ, into the measure of the stature of the Son of God. “Till we all come” (Ephesians 4:12), not one or two. Blessed be His precious name!
These things will demonstrate to you how far we are behind the gospel ideal. We are so far behind. A few years ago, many commonly believed that when the baptism of the Holy Ghost was being poured out upon the world, that we were the particular little lot who were to be the bride of Christ and go with Him when He came. But pretty soon it began to dawn on those who looked into the Word that there was not even a tangible body of Christ yet. The body of Christ is the members called of God, united in one spirit and in one hope of their calling—blessed be God—with one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. That is the body. Then all the other developments, the bride, and all the rest of it are born out of the body. (See Ephesians 4:2–6.)
God is getting a body at this present time, and in the body of Christ, the orderly body of Christ, the unified body, He wants to bring it forth today. He has set His gifts: the word of wisdom, knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, etc. He has set likewise men: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the statute of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:12–13)
Now healing is not a difficult matter. It does not take a bit more faith to be healed from your sickness than it does to be saved from your sins. The only difference is that in your own consciousness, you knew there was no place to get forgiveness except from God. You had sense enough to know you could not get it from the devil; you had to get it from the Lord.
But your body gets sick and your consciousness, because of your education, permits you to go to the doctor or the sorcerers or the devil, and the one is just as offensive to God as the other. The Christian body and soul and spirit are one [unit]. A real Christian has committed his whole being unto the living God; he has consecrated himself to Jesus Christ with all the fullness that Jesus consecrated Himself to the Father at the river Jordan. He was baptized. He consecrated Himself unto the uttermost, unto “all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15), unto everything that was right, unto the will of God forever. Blessed be His name.
Now there are examples in the Word of God that are very striking along this line. You listen to the Word of God: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man” (Jeremiah 17:5). Talk about your running to the doctor. That is what the Lord thinks about it. “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” And the Word of God in the fourteenth [chapter] of 2 Chronicles gives us a most remarkable example of Asa, the king of Israel, who trusted God when the great armies of their enemies came up against them. He went down on his knees before God, and he said,
Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Lord our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude O Lord, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee. (2 Chronicles 14:11)
Their little handful of men conquered the whole mob.
But after a while, Asa got a disease in his feet, and the Word says his disease became exceeding great; and in his disease he trusted not the Lord, but the physicians; and Asa died. It is recorded against him as an offense against God that he failed to trust God for the disease in his feet, but instead trusted the physicians. (See 2 Chronicles 16:12–13.)
Somebody says, “Well, all right, I will commit myself to the Lord, and then of course, I will not have any more stomachache. I will just be kept, etc.” Maybe you will if your faith in God stands strong enough, and perhaps you won’t if it does not. But there is one thing that stands—that is, your consecration to God. If your faith fails, it does not make any difference; you stand consecrated to God just the same. If you do not get an answer to prayer, you are consecrated to God just the same; and if God almighty has got to let the devil thrash you half to death for a week or two months or longer, you take it until the [fault] that the Lord is after is out of your life and faith has conquered. Then you will learn obedience to God by the things you suffer. (See Hebrews 5:8.) That is the only way.
People go around cursing the devil all the time. [When] you go in the ways of the devil, you get crooked in your soul and proud in your heart, and that cuts you off from God, and you are left in the hands of the devil. The wisest thing to do with you is just like I did with one of my sons. I said, “Young man, you just take your own way until you bump your head against the wall.” When he was hurt almost to death, he was glad to come back to his old dad to be helped out.
We know the Word of God so well, so in our proud hearts we say, “We have been baptized in the Holy Ghost,” and all that kind of attitude. It is just as offensive to God as it can be, and God has just got to draw back His hand and let you go, like I did my son. And then you will come down with some old disease, and you will lay and fret and fume and cry until you get right with God and open your heart to God; then He will rebuke the devourer, and He will take the thing away. Bless God.
I used to be a member of a church where it was considered just as offensive to take medicine or go to the doctor as it was to go to the devil for health. The Christian who would run to a doctor was on a level with the adulterer or the thief. That is absolutely right. That is according to the Word of God. A whole consecration of your whole being—your body and soul and spirit—is what Jesus demands. It is what Jesus asks and, bless God, that is the only place that is worthwhile.
We go around talking and shouting about the almighty Christ and what He can do and what He is, etc. But the first time we get a stomachache, away we go to the doctor and get a dose, and the almighty Christ gets a slap in the face.
Beloved, you listen to me. If there are any people in all the world who ought to be taught of God, who ought to be walking with God, who ought to be consecrated to all the will of God, it is the Christian people, especially those who are baptized in the Holy Ghost. It ought to be absolutely unnecessary for any man at this day to even speak of these things in a public service. We ought to have been so committed from the first day to the Lord Jesus Christ that the committing of ourselves to any man for anything would be highly offensive to our spirits. And if we saw our brother or sister becoming weak and falling into the hands of man, our prayer and love and faith and sympathy ought to get under them as though they were falling into the habit of drinking whiskey again.
It is just as offensive for the Christian to take medicine as for the drunkard to take whiskey. Don’t you see, beloved, the great wonderful advantage in the Christian’s life of becoming cut clear and free from all dependence on the arm of man? You are cut forever from the world, from the flesh, from the devil. Bless God.
I had a friend in Africa who was greatly distressed because he could not learn to swim. Finally, one day he got drunk and walked off the docks into the sea at Cape Town into about five hundred feet of water, and he could swim after that, all right.
Don’t you see, beloved, that you will never have faith in God in the world until you launch out into God, until you commit yourself to God and then either live or die? I belong to God; I am done with man, and I am done with leaning on his arm.
I know what these things are. In my home I had seven children. They were born without medicine. One dear brother testified the other night that the Lord had kept disease out of the home. It was not that way in mine. There wasn’t a devilish thing that came down the road that my family did not get, from pneumonia, smallpox, and typhoid fever to a shooting accident, and God let us be tested right up and down the line.
It is one thing to get down on your knees and say, “I commit my body, my soul, my spirit to God,” and it is another thing to stand by your baby until you hear it gasp, and it is another thing to close its eyes in death if necessary, but I am not going back on my Lord. That is the kind of training I got, and that is the clearness in faith my heart cries out for.
Maybe in another generation we will have a multitude of people who stand in God like giants, and we can have a manifestation of the sons of God and take the world for God and crown the Christ King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Now, I do not preach to anybody else what I have not been through myself. I tell you, the Lord has let me go through the mill. One time I got inflammatory rheumatism, and for nine months I suffered. I guess I did. But I shut my teeth and I said, “You devil, you can’t put me in bed; I won’t go,” and I dragged myself home, and I would get in bed and feel like crying out in my agony. At the end of nine months, God had wrought one thing in my heart: that if I died, the devil would not get me to take medicine again. One day I felt in my spirit I needed help. There was nobody there that could pray for me. So I got on a train and went to Chicago to John Alexander Dowie. One day there was a company of people like this, and when I came along, it was so packed full I could not even look into the door. After a while, there were some other people who couldn’t get in. Finally an old man, an elder, came along and prayed for us out there; and as he did, I was healed from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. Years after, he told me that was the only healing he ever had that he knew about.
I often wondered if the virtue came through the old brother or not, but God met my faith. Do you not see, to commit yourself to God means something? I tell you, it is probably going to mean some suffering someday, but that is the way of clearness, the way of truth. That is the way you can look every man in the face and say, “I am not leaning on the arm of flesh; I am going God’s way.”
We are such a weak, wobbly lot in these latter days. God is just trying to get some backbone in us. We come along and are baptized, and about a week after, we can find them doing all sorts of things. The Christians in the old days came down to be baptized, and as they did so, a Roman officer took their names and sent them up to Rome. Instantly their citizenship was canceled, their right of protection from Roman government was cut off, their goods were confiscated, and they were left as prey to the avarice of the people, but they got baptized just the same. Bless God.
I tell you, that is the kind of people that thirty million of them gave their lives to God in the first four centuries and were blotted out of the world in various ways. Thirty million of them! There was some Christian spirit, and there was some consecration to God in those days. It was poverty or death or sickness or prison or anything else, but it was God’s way of consecration. I tell you, God will meet that kind of thing. If they lived, all right, and if they died, all right. They belonged to God, and the world ever since, for 1400 years, looks back with pride to that list of people who gave themselves to the Lord God. They put the stamp of character on the Christian world. Bless God.
All the heroes, bless God, did not live back there either. You come down to the history of Scotland, to the Covenanters. They wrote a covenant and said, “We will have nae King but Jesus,” and you can see the old Scottish man shut his teeth and, opening a vein in his arm, sign the covenant with his own blood. And three hundred thousand of them gave their lives then to make that covenant good and died saying, “We will have nae King but Jesus.”
Now you listen to me. I will guarantee to you that if there are fifty sick people in this room, and you commit yourselves to God in that spirit and with that reality, bless God, you won’t need anybody to pray for you. You will just get well. Bless God. The devil cannot come around you when that kind of thing is in your soul.
One of my sons was dying with pneumonia once. I prayed for that fellow, and I prayed for him, and it was not a bit of good. But one day I was downtown, and I was praying about that boy, and the Lord said, “You go home and confess your sins to your wife.”
And I said, “I will.” I stopped and got one of the old elders to come down to my house. As we rode along, we talked together, and I said, “I have some things I want to fix up with my wife before you pray. There have been all kinds of prayer, but He won’t hear.” So I took my wife in the other room and told her the whole business, all there was; and we went into the other room and prayed for that son, and he was healed in a second.
I want to tell you that when Christians are not healed, as a rule, you get digging around and get the Holy Ghost to help you; and when they have vomited out all the stuff, they will get the healing.
You listen to me. Healing comes straight down from God. All man is, is a medium through which God can work. God is a Spirit; He needs embodiment. He chooses man as a body. The church is the body. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16). There is something that gets into your spirit or into your body that is obstructing the free flow of the Spirit of God. Get that thing out; it is between you and God.
I tell you, when you line people up so they will trust God for their bodies as they do for their souls, there will not be one half the backsliding there is now. I was a member of a body of one hundred thousand people, and I never heard of such a thing as any of them backsliding. They stood for God, and they died for God. The character was in them, and they did not know half as much about God as we do by the revelation of the Spirit in these days.
I am twice as anxious this afternoon about this great body of people here, to know whether or not they are going to commit themselves clear in God, than I am about the sick. There may be dozens in this room who are so very sick that they need God. But, beloved, listen. Suppose one of them was not healed and the rest were made clear in their consecration to God; you would have a bigger demonstration.
As fast as you get them healed, the Christians without Christ’s consecration are down in their faith and becoming sick. After a while, a preacher gets to be a kind of doctor of saints in his little assembly. God does not want it. Get clear; get straight in your consecration to God. Put yourself body and soul and spirit forever in God’s hands. Do it today, bless God. Do it today.
How ashamed a Christian ought to be that he is trusting in the arm of flesh or in a medicine bottle somewhere around the house! You go home and gather up the abominable stuff and put it in the alley box [a garbage pail] and then apologize to the alley box.
You cannot tell me anything about medicine. There never was a bigger humbug practiced on mankind than the practice of medicine. The biggest men in the medical world have declared it over and over again, but the mob does not pay any attention to it.
Professor Douglas McLaggen, who had the chair of medical jurisprudence, stood up among one thousand students, when asked to lecture on the science of medicine, and he said, “I am an honest man, and ‘An honest man is the noblest work of God’; from the days of Hippocrates and Galen until now, we have been stumbling in the dark, from diagnosis to [illegible].” Sir Ashley Cooper, who was physician to Queen Victoria for twenty-five years, the greatest physician in Great Britain, said, “The science of medicine is founded upon conjecture and improved by murder.” Dr. Magendie of Paris, who has the greatest system of diagnosis in the world, said, “We take up the attention of the patient with our medicine, while nature cuts in and makes a cure.” But you cannot tell a third-rate American doctor that.
Yet, the Christian world turns its back on the Son of God and goes and puts itself in the hands of men. No man who ever lived, or ever will live, will ever reduce the subject of medicine to a science. No two doses of medicine will ever produce the same effect in your own person. You can take a dose of medicine today and another tomorrow, and you will have a different effect tomorrow than you had today.
That may be all right for the world. Why, the man who is not a Christian has got to have a physician of some kind, but the Christian can’t. God cut the privilege off long ago. Bless God. “Is any sick among you [Christians]? Let him call for the elders of the church” (James 5:14). That is all the privilege the Word of God gives him. That is the way in to God, on the line of divine healing. Bless God.
Bless God, I tell you, I am just looking for the day when there will be a great, blessed, true company of men and women in this world who will stand in this through the living God just as clear as crystal, who have cut clear off from the world, the flesh, and the devil. That is the characteristic of the church of Philadelphia all right.
God has let me see healings in every way that human eyes can see them. I have seen them come like the flash of lightning. I have seen the Spirit of God flash around the room, just like the lightning. God was there in lightning form, and the devils were cast out and the sick healed. I have seen God come as the tender bud when nobody knew He was there, and people were healed. I have seen people healed in the audiences when cancers would melt away and varicose veins were healed. Nobody prayed for them. They just put themselves in the hands of God. That is all.
There is no man who lives who can define the operations of faith in a man’s heart. But there is one thing we are sure of: that when we cut ourselves off from every other help, we never find the Lord Jesus Christ to fail. If there is any failure, it is our failure, not God’s. Bless God.
Finis, Thank God
Building on a Firm Foundation
By John G. Lake
March 1, 1914
Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you."' We are entitled to it, bless God. We are glad to see some of it and wish, bless God, that we might see a great deal more. And beloved, I have a splendid conviction in my heart that we will.
I want to read some familiar verses, as a basis of thought.
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. - Matthew 16:13-18
Those of us who are familiar with this scripture will remember that Peter is very careful to call attention to the fact that Jesus wasn't referring to him as the one upon which the Church was to be built. He speaks in the second chapter of First Peter of how Jesus Christ is the great foundation and is established upon the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, etc.
Foundation laying is always a hard process. Over here in the East, with your solid ground, you are not so badly as some cities in the West, Chicago, for example. Chicago is built on a great quicksand bed, which is from seventy to eighty feet deep. After the great Chicago fire, the board of aldermen did a thing that no body of men had ever dared to do till then. They passed an ordinance raising the grade of the city sixteen feet. In sections of the city where the old buildings still stand, you go down a story and a half from the street level to the original street. It was a tremendous undertaking, but it got them everlastingly out of the mud. So sometimes a destructive process is good. The Chicago fire became the great means by which the new and wonderful city came into existence.
I want to talk to you today about foundation building. When I was a young man I was a builder. I looked upon Chicago as the great Mecca of all builders, so I got to Chicago as quick as I could. I looked around among various occupations and I settled on this fact: There were two classes of men always in demand: the man who understood scientific foundation building, and the man who understood scientific roofing. And I said, "I will master these two things."
In those days, they used to build twelve story skyscrapers, sometimes fourteen. Foundation building was not known as it is today. In those days they went to the forests and brought great pilings, seventy, eighty, and ninety feet long. These were driven into the ground until they touched bedrock. At the surface, these were cut off level and railroad iron laid on top. Then they commenced their stone work on top of the railroad iron, and after they got to the street level it would probably be brick.
I lived long enough to see that these great buildings would get out of plumb and it would be necessary for a civil engineer to go over the buildings every three months to see whether they were moving out of plumb one way or another. If they were, great systems of jackscrews were used under the buildings to adjust them. It may surprise some of you to know that some of these great buildings in Chicago would literally stand on a system of jackscrews, which are adjusted every three months by civil engineers. That was too much like hanging a city up in the air, so they said, "We will drive great steel castings down to the rock and we will take out the earth and fill the castings with cement." That system likewise passed away. And now they excavate clear down to the bedrock, four or five stories if necessary. The quicksand and mud is removed. The foundation is laid on the base rock.
For the Church of God and Christian faith to become strong and to be built up in God, it is necessary to get a good foundation. It is a greater problem with most builders to get the old rubbish out of the way than to do the building. If we will look at our own lives, we will observe this: that the things that have been rooted and grounded in our hearts - some tradition of the Fathers, some of it misconception of the meaning of the Word of God; much of our teaching is fragmented - these form the greatest obstacles to the engrafting of the living Word of God. Every one of us who have progressed in God have found that the difficulty was not in believing the Word of God, but the difficulty was to get away from things that were settled in our own being as facts, though untrue. How hardly have we struggled over the matter of, "If it be Thy will," concerning sickness. From our babyhood and all down through the generations, we have been taught that if you are sick, the proper thing to do is to pray, "If it be Thy will," forgetting all the time that the Lord has forever demonstrated and declared His eternal will concerning the subject of sickness by healing all that come to Him.
Well, bless God, some have succeeded in getting over that difficulty and put the subject, "If it be Thy will," behind their back and moved out where they believe the declarations of Jesus Christ. So it was that victory came on that line.
Now dear ones, the thing that the Spirit of God is laying deeply upon my own heart these days is the need of a settled, established state in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the movement of the Spirit worldwide is to bring into unity the children of God who will raise A Standard of Truth for the World.
Now listen! This come-together call of the Spirit is not an isolated movement. It don't belong to a little company of people in Philadelphia, nor in any other city. In the last days, months, or the last year, in my correspondence worldwide, I have discovered this quote and the Lord is beginning to move everywhere in this particular line. Only yesterday I received a letter from Los Angeles from one of the prominent leaders. He goes on to outline the processes of development in God through which he has been brought during the last few years and its final result. I had written of what God was doing in our own midst and what God was endeavoring to do in the establishment of the Church, etc. He said, "Brother, your letter is a revelation. We thought that was all confined
to ourselves, but I see that this movement, that we supposed was local, is a general movement, and of the Holy Ghost, and it is in your heart just as it has been in ours."
So God is moving in these days on a certain definite line. The man who has a settled, established faith in God has got that faith based on the eternal declarations of the Lord Jesus Christ and is moving in harmony with the revealed plan of God as outlined for this hour in God's Church Plan. The difficulty with most individuals and teachers in times past has been that the revelation of the mind of God, as revealed in the Word, was limited to such a degree that they were compelled to take only a certain few of the great principles of the Gospel, and thus their entire system was based on them. But in these days, as the coming of the Lord approaches and as the added light of the Spirit has been given, God has revealed in a larger way, in a broader manner, the truth. So that in these days it seems to me it is the purpose of God that the Church of the latter day, the Church of Philadelphia (if you like), should be based upon the great broad basis of the eternal truth, as laid down in the New Testament by the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles, not on any fragmentary principles.
In days past, it was thought necessary to endeavor to bind men's hearts and consciences to certain established truths that the Church was ready to accept. And so these truths were usually embodied in the form of a creed, and they said, "This is all of truth that we accept. This is our faith." So they laid this basis and built a fence around themselves. After awhile, to the amazement of the Church and to her discomfiture, it was discovered that their creeds have been the means that squeezed them in, and instead of being a foundation broad enough for the Word of God, they are strangled inside their unyielding creed and there is no room for expansion. When the dear Lord has wanted to give a revelation of progressive truth, He has been compelled to go outside of the Church fence and raise up a new body. That was because a fence had been built. A certain little enunciation of truth had been collected and the structure established on that instead of on the entire Word of God.
We can see this: The individual who learns truth these days cannot confine it to certain declarations of doctrines. For as the days go by we see the progressive light of God, and if you were to compare your faith now with what you believed ten years ago, you would find there has been a great expansion. Now what is ten years more going to develop? What truths will it be necessary for us ourselves to accept from the Lord in the coming days? Consequently, beloved, there is only one basis upon which the Church of Jesus Christ can rest: That is, upon Jesus Christ and the apostles and the whole body of truth as outlined in the New Testament.
Then, beloved, in that great body of truth there must be the accompanying largeness and Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ who didn't confine Himself to certain little dogmatic teachings, but He laid the great broad principles upon which the whole great kingdom of heaven rests and upon which a great Christian life can rest eternally.
There never was a teacher like Jesus. He was the one great Mastermind who understood the Spirit of the living God, who understood that all revelation of God was a progressive revelation. And thereby the minds that He must prepare by His own personal teaching were not able to receive all the great body of truth He had to reveal, so He said, "Ye are not able to bear it now."' They had to grow up into the place in God where they were able to bear and analyze and utilize the greater truths of the Word of God. Now, beloved, we are in the place, just that place, bless God.
I believe in my heart that God is laying, even in this little company with her one hundred and twenty like the church at Jerusalem, the foundation of the truth of God that will command the attention of the Christian world.
Yesterday I received an invitation from E. N. Bell, Editor of Word & Witness, Malvern, Arkansas. In April they are having a great convention down there that includes all the Southern states. Among other things he says, "Brother Lake, there are two contending forces; the one which desires a strong organization, the other which don't want any organization, but desires to be a law unto themselves."
As I read the letter I said, "They are both wrong." The man who is an anarchist and is a law unto himself and don't put himself into line with the Word and cooperate with God according to God's plan is just as great a sinner as the other who comes along and wants to organize the Church into a frozen, man-created mass.
Jesus Christ laid down the principles of eternal truth: Every man who accepts the principles, who lives the life, is acceptable to Me. So, beloved, the Church of God these latter days must just return to the blessed basis that the Lord Jesus Christ laid down.
Beloved, the day has long gone past when men's consciences can be bound with certain little doctrines. If we were to take this audience today, of those who are living holy lives, baptized in the Holy Ghost, and note carefully what this brother believes and that brother believes, we would perhaps have twenty different statements before you got through with this little company.
Don't you see, the thing is this: Our hearts are one in the blood of Jesus Christ, our hearts are one in the recognition of a common Spirit of God. Blessed be His name! Every one of us can join hands and hearts on the seven unities demanded and experienced in the Church at Ephesus, "One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of you all, who is above all, through all, and in you all." (See Ephesians 4:4-6.)
So the dear Lord, in these days, is once again moving upon the hearts of men that the body of Jesus Christ shall be brought together in holy oneness, that the power of God may be poured upon her, that the Spirit of the living God may move through her in mighty power and demonstration, and that through her the last message of this present age may be given to the world - the great kingdom message. Bless God.
It seems to me we are only beginning to understand with what force the kingdom message is going to come and its revolutionary character. A few weeks ago the country was stirred by one man's endeavor to just touch in a small way the first principle of Jesus Christ, that first one, "Blessed are the poor in spirit."' I refer to Henry Ford, the manufacturer of the Ford Motor car. He set aside out of his profit, ten million dollars for 1914, to be divided between his twenty-six thousand employees. He established a minimum wage of five dollars per day to be the wage of every man. Then every two weeks, he would receive in a check the proportionate amount of the ten million dollars, in addition to his wages.
We say, "Bless God, that is a good thing." That's a starting point. It indicates that some men are beginning to see the mind of the Lord. It is not by any means a fulfillment [illegible]. Then the selfish man says, "Yes, that will draw to Henry Ford every expert workman in the United States, etc. and his profits thereby will only be increased, not lessened, but it is a start."
Now see, the blessed principles of the Lord Jesus Christ are the principles of unselfishness. That is the one crowning principle that the Lord Jesus Christ wants to lay down in His Church this very day. It makes no difference how it is applied. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself didn't undertake to tell us how to apply that principle. He left it to every man in his own station. But, beloved, the demand upon us is that we live that blessed principle of the Lord Jesus Christ.
My thought is this: Jesus Himself didn't undertake to tell us dogmatically how to apply that principle, but He, on the other hand, laid down the principles and left it to us, His sovereign servants, to apply them just as the Spirit of the Lord illuminated our own hearts and told us to do. That is the great basis upon which the Lord Jesus Christ is founding His Church. It is based on the principles of the Son of God. He don't ask us what we think about this or that petty doctrine, but He lays down the great principles of the kingdom as the essentials:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted."
"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."
"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy."
"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Beloved, these are the things that God calls us back to today: to the original basis, to the foundation - Jesus Christ Himself the chief cornerstone. We see these blessed principles exemplified all through the New Testament by the apostles themselves, who as the fathers of the Church, were desirous that they should not even become a burden on the Church and endeavored to keep themselves from being a burden. And with their own hands in some instances labored that they might have the privilege of living and preaching the blessed Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Don't you see, beloved, that every departure from the principles that the Lord Jesus has laid down has weakened the great fabric? Out of that condition has grown our divisions. All our departure from the principles of the Lord has robbed us of that vital faith that was necessary to get answers from God, even for our daily bread. A return to the principles of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the practical life of the Son of God, will bring again upon our souls the blessing of God.
Beloved, that's the entrance into power. That's the final manner of testing the spirit. The spirit must ever be tested by the Word of God, by the principles of Jesus Christ; the law that He laid down by the commandments of Jesus. If the spirit in you won't measure up with the principles that the Lord Jesus Christ laid down, be sure that it is not the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. If the spirit in you exalts itself, etc., just settle it. There is a spirit there that isn't like the Spirit of the Lord Jesus. The way we can see what His Spirit was like is from the principles He laid down and the life He lived.
I feel it this day that the Lord is going to pour a rich and wonderful blessing upon the saints when we come down and return to the blessed principles of the Gospel of Jesus.
If I were to advise you to do anything particular during the coming weeks it would be this: Take the fifth, sixth, and seventh of Matthew and read them and reread them on your knees, until the principles of Jesus Christ enter into your heart. Then, bless God, there will be a good basis laid in your soul for the everlasting blessing of God.
It is as impossible to get the eternal working power of God to appear in a man's life, or the life of the Church, until first the clearing away is done and the rubbish of petty doctrine and littleness is taken out of the way, as it would be to build a Chicago skyscraper without first taking out all the quicksand and mass of rotten stuff. It has got to come out. It has got to be cleared away. When the life goes down on the eternal Rock, Jesus Christ, then the structure will come up and will stand in the power of God.
So this morning I pray God that He will help us this day to take these blessed words of God, the declarations of Jesus Himself as He has outlined them in the fifth, sixth, and seventh of Matthew especially, and get these real basic things settled in our soul.
I have received during the week applications from several persons who want to come up here and receive membership into this body, who desire to receive the right hand of fellowship. You can't keep it from growing, from developing. But O, beloved, is it going to develop in God or is it going to be like every institution has been or is it going to be placed on eternal foundations? And is our life going down into the bottom, to the bedrock, to the foundation stone of Christ Jesus?
Let us pray.
O God, our Father, let our lives be once and forever and for all settled on the eternal Rock, Christ Jesus, Lord God, where our lives shall stand. Blessed be Thy name! And where the Church of Jesus Christ shall stand, Lord God, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. Blessed be Thy name! O God, let that deep, true, holy, unselfish working of the Holy Ghost in our lives be so pure and true and real that, my God, there shall not be left a superficial thing in us, Lord, but that our character shall be opened wide, opened to the living God, and wide open to one another. O God, reflecting, showing forth the real life of Jesus Christ. O God, we bless Thee for this day. Lord God, there is an echo of gladness in our soul. There is a shout of praise in our hearts. Lord God, the day has come. Thine appointed hour has come when Thou hast really begun to call together into one body the body members of Jesus Christ whose names are written in heaven. Lord God, we worship at Thy feet, and Lord, we declare our faith in Thee, the Son of God, this very day. Thou art going to bring forth Thy people, Lord God, the Church of Jesus Christ, bless God! Who shall give forth to the world the message of the kingdom. Bless God! Who shall raise up a banner of truth and demonstrate a righteousness that men of God will not have to be ashamed of.
O God, we pray Thee then, that the great virtue of Jesus Christ shall be so inwrought in us that, my God and Father, we shall look with love into the face of every other man. That, O God, our Father, we will have the eves of Jesus in us and the heart of Jesus in us in such a way that we will not see things that are evil, but O God, we will see the good in the man. We will see the purity, Lord, we will think of the things that are lovely, Lord, and are true, Lord. We will be so pure and clean before God that the light of God and the life of God shall shine in us and flow through us so that mankind will be blessed.
O God, our Father, we rejoice in this day. We rejoice in this hour. Thou art the Son of God, Lord Jesus. We are so glad You have let us live at this time of life. My God, we rejoice in the expectation of Thy soon coming. Bless God! But O Jesus, blessed Jesus, get us ready, get us ready. Lord God, get us ready to give the message that is going to stir the world. Get us ready, Lord, to receive the power of God that is going to demonstrate Christ to mankind, for Jesus' sake.
O God, we pray that upon this Pentecostal Movement worldwide and upon the Church of Christ at large, by whatever name it is known and upon the hidden ones who are known by no name, the power of God shall come. Lord God, once again let the pulsating movement of the Holy Ghost be felt through the body of Christ. Lord Jesus, draw Thy children together, Lord. Lord Jesus, establish them on the rock. Lord God, build up the body, we pray Thee, Lord. And bless God, we pray that upon our own souls these days there shall be such a passion of the Christ-heart that we will seek the lost, that we will seek the sick, that, my God, religious life, religious service shall forever cease to be a matter of religious entertainment. But O God, make it what Your heart desires, religious service, serving our fellowmen. O God, shedding Your tears with the afflicted, putting Your hands under the weary, lifting them up to God, praying for the stricken ones.
O Christ, let the pure heart and Spirit of Christ throb in every breast for Jesus' sake, that the will of God may come, that the prayer of Jesus Christ may be answered, that we may all be one. Lord God, that Thy kingdom may come and Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven, Lord, for Jesus' sake. Amen.
The Triune God
by John G. Lake
September 27, 1914
Yesterday I knew what I was to preach about—at least, I thought I did—and I was so sure about it that I gave the secretary the subject I was going to preach on, but tonight I do not know. It is all gone. Somehow or other I feel like telling you of an incident by which God taught me the greatest lesson of obedience to the Spirit that I believe has ever come in my lifetime.
If I were in my own congregation in South Africa, I would expect to see a descent of the Spirit upon the people and appearance of the glory of God, manifest in different ways as the Spirit manifests Himself, as I have many times witnessed.
As the days have gone by since I have ministered at this church, every day has brought an increasing consciousness that God has a great and wondrous purpose that He is endeavoring to work out through this congregation.
One of the things of which my spirit is impressed, is that our consciousness of Christ is not as vivid as it ought to be and as God desires that it should be.
God’s method for man in conceiving Himself was through the manifestation of Himself in Jesus Christ. And the individual who wants to understand the character of God has only to turn his face and heart toward the Lord Jesus Christ, observe His ways, listen to His words and His Spirit, to know the heart of God.
Indeed, beloved, I have felt, and I feel today, that the world has never had a proper comprehension of the Lord Jesus Christ. We all realize the common conception of the Christ as it has been presented to us by the Orthodox Church at large. And I want to say with all frankness that while in a large measure that conception of the church largely is true, yet it is ten thousand miles below the real standard, or God’s conception of presentation, of the Christ as I see it in the Word of God as the Spirit of God has made my own consciousness aware of.
On the other hand, I feel that liberal Christianity hasn’t given the Christ His due place, and I believe that God wants to establish a clearness of conscience concerning the Christ in the hearts of men. And this which I desire to say (and I believe not of myself, but by the Spirit of God) is that Jesus Christ was much more than a man. He was the Christ of God, the eternal Spirit.
Somebody says now, “Define the distinction between God and Christ.” One of the difficulties that always presents itself to one’s heart, and it did to mine from a very early time, was this: It seemed to me Christianity had confused God, and instead of one God it had established three Gods. And while in a sense that is true (in the real sense it is true), in the sense it has been presented to the world, mankind has stood facing the fact that there were three Gods. The creed said that they were one, but it has always seemed to be confused in men’s hearts how such a thing was possible.
I wish I could refer to other people’s experiences rather than my own, but when a man breaks out on a new track, he has no guide but his own heart and his own experiences. So I am compelled in teaching some of these things to refer to personal experiences.
One experience I want to speak of because I believe it will give the key that will help many minds to become clear on one of the distinctions, at least, between God the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ, and their union as one.
I have told you in this congregation on another occasion of how a friend of mine arose one Sunday morning in our tabernacle and presented a request for prayer with many tears, saying, “I have been a member of this congregation for four years. I have witnessed God heal all kinds of people—the lame, the halt, blind, deaf, dumb, insane, etc. And this morning I am convicted of God that I have never even presented a request for prayer for a cousin of mine, who is in an insane asylum in Wales.”
Something about the man’s spirit touched my own heart. The Spirit of God was deeply present. I invited the congregation to join in prayer as I knelt on the platform to pray. As my heart went out to God in prayer, something transpired within and to me that I can describe only like this:
Presently, my sight and consciousness were awakened to the fact that from this one and that one, from perhaps a hundred divergent streams, faith and power were coming to my spirit and concentrating in me as shafts of light. Indeed, it was the spirit of faith being imparted to my spirit from the hearts of those who knelt throughout the house. An unusual consciousness of God’s power and presence swept over me, and presently this seemed to take place, and I believe it did take place.
In my consciousness, I observed that I was no longer in that tabernacle. The first place I became aware of was passing the city of Kimberly. Then I became conscious that I was at Cape Town, South Africa, one thousand miles from Johannesburg. Presently, I remember of the Cape Verde Lighthouse on the coast of Spain, and I remember distinctly of passing the shores of France. I entered the hills of Wales (I had never been in Wales), but as I went over those hills, presently I came to a little village, and outstanding was a building that I recognized as the asylum.
I went into that place, walked straight into the room where a woman was strapped to the sides of a cot, and as consciously as I stand here now, I put my hands on the woman’s head and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ rebuked the insane spirit that possessed her and cast it out.
Her face became calm, and she smiled up into my face. I recognized in the look of her eyes the awakened consciousness.
All the time I had been kneeling on the platform at Johannesburg, and my heart and my voice had been expressing my desire to God.
You ask me what it was—how do I explain it? And I try to in this way. Perhaps I am right. If so, perhaps it will help us in the question that is before our hearts now.
Throughout the Word of God we read many times this expression, “The Spirit of the Lord caught away Elijah, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Elisha, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Jeremiah, or Amos or one of the other prophets.” (See Acts 8:39.) Now, that doesn’t mean that their physical bodies were transported to another place in all instances, though in some I believe it does. But it does mean that the inner man, the conscious spirit man, was transported for the time being to another place, and he saw and performed acts there.
As quickly as a letter could come from Wales, my friend received a letter saying, “A strange thing has happened. Our cousin who has been in the asylum was suddenly and instantly healed on last Lord ’s Day, and she is well.”
Beloved, I was there. I could tell you to this hour of the old-fashioned brass that was on the door and the pattern of that old Welsh knocker on the door. There was not a detail of the room that I didn’t see, and there was not a detail of the trip from Africa to Wales that I was not as conscious of as I was at a later time when I came via that route on purpose, to prove whether or not it were a fact.
Now beloved, I am going on.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1–4)
And that is the thing that distinguishes Jesus Christ from all other reformers. Varied philosophies have been presented by various minds, but the Christ imparted life. “In Him was life.” And the individual today who enters into Christ, and whose heart and soul have touched the realm of God-consciousness that God desires we should touch, received from God, through that open and quickened consciousness, a ministry of life—not a ministry of words, not a ministry of inspiration, but a ministry of life. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
“The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:5). If for five minutes God’s spiritual illumination could come over our souls, and our consciousness be awakened, and the things of God as they are and our own relationship to our God be realized, there isn’t a man or woman in this house who would not fall prostrate on his or her face before God.
“The light shineth in darkness.” It shone then, and it is shining just as brilliantly now.
The darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. (John 1:5–8)
Now I will return. Man is the image of God. He was made in His own image. Every function of spirit and soul that we observe within our own souls is but the counterpart of the functions of God.
But someone says, “God has no body. He is Spirit.” No, He hasn’t a material body, but there is a heavenly materiality as well as an earthly. Spirit itself has a heavenly, or definite, materiality. We cannot define it in the terms of material as we understand it in this world, but consciousness causes us to realize that all things, whether angels or God Himself, have a form of some character of heavenly material.
In my own mind I have tried sometimes to think of what could be the substance of which the person of angels is composed, and my mind has settled on three things as a possibility: light and fire and spirit.
But be that as it may, the Word declares to us that Christ was with the Father in the beginning (see John 1:2), and that through Him or by Him all things were made that are made, and that “in him was life” (John 1:4).
And this is my thought, be it right or wrong. I give it to you for what it is worth. The individual who knows everything usually knows nothing, and the man who is sure he knows everything is usually an ignoramus.
My person—my being—was in the attitude of prayer on the platform at Johannesburg, but I was conscious. And the woman was conscious that out from my being something went that carried my consciousness with it, and I consciously performed acts and witnessed scenes that in the natural were impossible. What was it that was transported or projected, for the time being, from my person but the spiritual entity—the real me, self, or ego—in such a degree that it was able to bring back to me all the consciousness that it possessed?
My thought of the Christ is exactly that thing. All through the Word of God we see this. The visible manifestation of God as He appeared to man at different times was in the form of the Christ. I say “as He appeared to man at different times,” for the Word records many appearances of the Christ in the world. Once, He appeared to Abraham as he sat under the tree and conversed with him and ate supper with him as a man in the flesh. (See Genesis 18.) The Christ for the time being was embodied in flesh. (See Micah 5:2.)
Over and over again throughout the Bible, we read of the angel of the Lord—not an angel of the Lord, but the spiritual entity of God, the spiritual presence of God, “The angel of the Lord.”
It would be just as proper to speak of the angel of Brother Fogwell, the angel of Brother Mills, the angel of Brother Grier, or anyone else. The spiritual presence that had power to make itself recognized was present. So the angel of the Lord was the visible, projecting entity of the Spirit of the Lord made visible to the individual.
And my convictions are that the Christ of God, who dwelt in the bosom of the Father from the eternal ages, and who has been presented to us usually as one who came to earth to mollify the anger of God against man [this was not finished]. And the thought has usually been that the Christ is moving the heart of the Father toward mankind. Why, bless your loving hearts! The Father’s heart did not need any moving toward the heart of man. For Jesus Christ, instead of moving the heart of the Father, was the movement of God in behalf of mankind. “He gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16). And the Christ who moved out of God and was present with mankind, in my conviction before God, was the spiritual entity of God Himself.
Then you say, “How can you then explain the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, as separate from the Christ?” And I reply that from your person and mine at this present moment there is a continual radiation of the Spirit of God going on. We feel the conscious presence of the Spirit. We realize the influence of the Spirit. We are conscious of that Spirit passing from our person, not in the form of an entity that carries our consciousness with it or any part of our consciousness, but the simple radiation from within going out.
So God, by the Holy Spirit, is universally present in all the world everywhere.
Way back when the Catholic Church divided into the Eastern and Western branches of the church, they separated over this issue: whether the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father or whether He proceeded from the Father and the Son. It has just been such foolish questions as this that have interested ecclesiastic minds from times immemorial.
Beloved, no truer word was ever spoken in the world than the pastor of this church spoke this morning, when he said, in substance, “The individual who knows himself knows God.” For every function of our being is the counterpart of God and beyond question in a degree that our consciousness has never realized. We are the image of God in truth.
So God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are one God, bless God, just as my person, the entity that proceeds from me, and the influence that radiates from my being is one man—spirit and soul and body. Bless God.
A further word—each one is conscious of our own personality to this extent: at least in our material consciousness, our earth consciousness, we are aware of our environments and the things that take place about us. And through the sensory organs we are brought into harmony with the world about us. All our life and being is on that plane to a great extent, without realizing as we should that the spiritual man and the real man—the God-man, the indestructible, eternal man, the God in us—has a being, a consciousness, and spiritual sensory organs, just the same as our material man has.
The soul is the consciousness, the ego, by which either that which takes place in the natural or that which takes place in the spiritual is brought to us and understood by us.
What, then, can be the greatest awakening that can come to the human heart? Is it not when the clouds are driven back and the soul becomes aware that he is linked to God, that he is a part of God, and that he came out of God? How different our five senses would be if our spiritual nature was developed on the material so that the things of the Spirit were coming to us as they should, with just as much ease as the things of the natural come to us.
When our fellowship should and could be with the angels of God, with the spirits of just men made perfect, with the things of heaven, what a world this would be! People talk about the heaven they are going to, but I want to tell you that heaven is right here when the consciousness is awakened to comprehend and understand and realize what our environment in the Spirit is.
One day, in a time of darkness and distress, as men speak of distress—a time of great strain, but a time that I look back to as the most marvelous of all my life, when, for weeks and months, I walked in the consciousness of the presence of God, so that when I would lie down and relax my spirit instantly would raise into the realms of God—I was walking through the veldt with my eldest daughter and another young lady when an awe of the presence of God overshadowed me, and I realized God wanted to manifest Himself to me. So I hurried on to the house and went quickly upstairs and threw myself on the bed, giving myself up to my spiritual reverie. In a moment, in the twinkle of an eye, the heavens seemed to open before me, and there was a choir of angels who sang the most soul-ravishing song that my soul ever listened to. And, whether you believe it or not, I declare before God that among that chorus of angels there was one voice that I had known and loved on earth. Those soprano notes were unmistakable. I had heard them on earth, but that voice had a new radius. Heaven is not far away.
Paul said concerning his own personal experience,
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) how that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. (2 Corinthians 12:2–4)
God is not far away. God is right here. Angels are not far away, only our eyes need to be opened to
The incident I am about to relate I have on the testimony of three men whose testimony would be received anywhere on earth on any matter of general knowledge.
A little meeting was going on in a little native tabernacle in South Africa. I was not there, but three other white men were present. One of them was Brother _______________ from Los Angeles, California. Another gentleman was a businessman from Johannesburg, Mr. _______________ , a Christian gentleman. But the third was a man whose name is Harry ________________ , a hardheaded businessman, as keen as a razor, a man not given to spiritual life at all, as we understand it, but a man who was seeking God. His heart was hungry.
Some hundreds of native children were in prayer. (And if you ever saw a company of native children in prayer, you would understand what real prayer is, bless God.) As these children prayed, they said a company of white angel children commenced to file into the church. And they stood in a line all around the wall as they sang, “Suffer the little children and forbid them not, to come unto Me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Mark 10:14). When they had finished the song, they filed out again, and one brother said, “I went to the door and stood and looked until they vanished.” They seemed to vanish at a distance of one hundred and fifty feet from the church.
You tell me that the kingdom of heaven is a long piece off? Not so. It is right here. It is here tonight. The Spirit of God is as consciously present here in this room tonight as it was on the Day of Pentecost. God is as desirous to pour out His Spirit upon this congregation as He was upon the hundred and twenty of Jerusalem.
I say from the bottom of my heart that I have a conviction that almighty God wants to pour His Spirit upon this congregation and give this old world a new demonstration of the love and power of God.
We turn our eyes with gladness to the Christ who lived two thousand years ago, but we turn our faces with rejoicing to the Christ who we see living in men’s lives today. Right now, God’s purpose is that the Christ shall be manifested through every man and every woman, bless God, and that we will realize that in God, in Christ, our union with Him as our elder Brother is a fact, bless God, and that He was one manifestation of God to the world, and we are another manifestation of God to the world. Bless God.
Interpretation of a Message in Tongues
Let the Word of God enter into your hearts with all fullness. Do not be deceived, for God is not only in heaven above, but He is in the earth beneath. The Spirit of God is permeating everybody, every spirit, every soul of man that will admit Him.
Let the Word of God enter into your hearts at this time, so that He may get the glory and the praise therefore. Let the Word of God settle down in your hearts and your minds.
Be not constrained by the evil spirit to turn away from that just God, but be constrained to enter into the fullness of God. Do not be afraid of the manifestation of the Spirit, whether it be in humility or whether it be for raising up.
O God, in this hour we lift our hearts to Thee. We are little children and we desire to know God. Not many of us want to pay the price. But, our Lord, we feel tonight that there is a new desire in all our hearts and a new yearning that God should have all our life, and that mankind should have all of God in us. Amen.
The Real Christian
by John G. Lake
October 11, 1914
When I first commenced to preach the gospel, at least after I got to the point where I gave up everything else and gave my life exclusively to the gospel, a number of my friends from the city of Chicago were in the habit of coming out to hear me preach, brokers from the Board of Trade and other business friends who were in my circle. It was sort of a curiosity. One day at the club, one inquired from a friend, “Have you heard Lake preach yet?”
He said, “Yes, last night.”
And the other said, “How was it?”
“Well,” he replied, “it was wonderfully apostolic. He took a text and went everywhere preaching the Word.”
When the secretary inquired yesterday what the subject of my sermon would be, I told her it was “The Real Christian.” I trust the Lord will let me keep in reasonable touch with the subject. However, I would rather the Lord would have His way than mine.
A Christian is unique. He stands alone. He supersedes all who have gone before. He will not have a successor. He is man at his best and God’s best effort for mankind.
When the conception of a Christian has been established within our spirits as the New Testament establishes the ideal Christian, we will understand then how it is that men have been ready to abandon all else in the world in order to attain Christ, in order to attain His character, in order to become the possessors of His Spirit.
I went to South Africa in a most unique time in the nation’s history, just after the reconstruction period following the Boer War. On account of the Great War, the native populace had been frightened practically out of the country. They had gone far back from the war zone, and the war zone covered practically the whole country.
The great mines were depending on the natives for labor, and it became a great issue as to how it would be possible to carry on the work while this condition of fear rested upon the natives. Finally, it was proposed that they should bring one hundred thousand men from China. They were brought on a contract for three years. The British government sent a fleet over to China and brought them all out at one time. They were a real living colony. They brought their teachers, preachers, priests, and prophets. Chinese are largely Confucians and Buddhists.
At the same period, the East Indian people who live in South Africa (and there are many of them; I think in the Transvaal alone there are two hundred and fifty thousand of them) felt that they were not receiving the attention from the government in the way of education that they ought to, so the British government sent teachers, both religious and secular, to supply them there.
So the Buddhist priests, the Yogis, and many others came and made their headquarters at Johannesburg. Our ministry was somewhat unique. We were the only ones who held [meetings] and preached on the subject of healing.
After a little time, it dawned on me that here was a possibility that had never come into my life before. If I could get these priests and teachers of the various Eastern religions to come together, we might have an exchange of thought. We would have something accomplished. It would at least give me an opportunity to discuss their beliefs. I was familiar to some extent with the Eastern religions, but I never had any touch with the soul life.
So, after some time, the matter was arranged. At the same time, we added to our company a rabbi from Chicago, Dr. Hearst. We had a combination, I presume, representing all the great religions on earth. We were able by wise exchange and guidance and much prayer to finally bring about such a condition of fellowship among these various ones that they spoke out their hearts to each other with a great deal of freedom. Many times we sat from sundown to sunup comparing notes and going over the various teachings, etc.
It had such an effect on me that I left that series with this conclusion: There is lots of light in the world, and men are groping after the light. Some possess it in a larger degree than others, but all possess it in some degree. I said to a man as I walked home on the last morning, “One thing surely has been demonstrated, and that is that in Jesus Christ there is a divine life of which, when a man becomes a real possessor, he has a richer appreciation of his power that no other man possesses.” And I have been more of a Christian, of a real Christian, from that day than I ever was before.
I am convinced tonight that there is a profound secret in the life, character, teaching, and virtue of Jesus Christ that when a man attains it, he is rich indeed beyond measure.
In order to have you appreciate some of the things that I trust the Lord will let me say, I want to relate some incidents. It seems as if I can teach things through incidents that I am not able to teach in any other way.
Among my young friends in South Africa were two young men whom I have regarded as the brightest men I have ever known. One was a Boer. His name was Von Shield, the son of an old-line stock of highly educated Hollanders. The other’s name was Kritzmall. He had come from a generation of Church of England preachers. I think his great-grandfather had occupied St. Paul Church in London. I believe he had been baptized there himself.
He has always stood out in my mind as a sort of counterpart of St. Paul, for if I can comprehend the character of Paul, I think he was more largely duplicated in that man than in any other I ever knew.
These two men were really the only up-to-date “new thought” men I met in Africa. Von Shield was an agent for Christian D. Larson and handled his books in South Africa. He began to attend our meetings and, one day when I was not present, came forward out of the audience and knelt at the altar and sought God for the conscious knowledge of his salvation. And, bless God, he received it.
Some days after that, when I was present, I was teaching at the afternoon service on the subject of the baptism of the Spirit. Raising up in his seat, he said to me, “Lake, do you suppose that if God gave me the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it would satisfy the burning yearning that is in my soul for God?”
I said, “My son, I don’t know that it would, but I think you would be a long piece on the way.”
So, without more ado, he came forward and knelt, and, looking up, he said to me, “Lay your hands on my head and pray.” As I did, the Spirit of God descended on Von Shield in an unusual manner. He was baptized in the Holy Ghost very wonderfully, indeed. He was a transformed man, I tell you. From that hour, that man became the living personification of the power of God, and in all my life I have never found a soul through whom such majestic, intense flashes of power would come as through his soul at intervals. He was not a student of the Word of God. Presently, he disappeared. His father came to me, saying, “I am troubled about Harry. He took a Bible and went off into the mountains almost three weeks ago, and they tell me he has gone up to such a mountain, a long piece off. I am afraid he is going insane.”
I said, “Brother, do not worry yourself. One of these days, he will come down in the glory and power of God.” I knew what was in that fellow’s heart.
One day, he returned under such an anointing of the Spirit as I had never before witnessed on any life. Here was a soul who had never read the words of Jesus. He was a full-grown man, but he said to me, “I have never looked into the Bible, unless it was in my childhood. I knew nothing of it.”
One day after that, he came to me, his face radiant, and said, “Brother Lake, did you know this was in the Bible?” and proceeded to read to me that familiar verse in the sixteenth chapter of Mark: “These signs shall follow them that believe…they shall cast out devils” (Mark 16:17). Looking up into my face with great earnestness, he said, “My! I wish I knew somebody who had a devil.” I believe God had planned that situation, for I was reminded that in my mail a couple of days before had come a request for an insane son. The mother said, “As far as I can tell, my son has a devil,” and her request was that we might come and pray that the devil might be cast out. So, I got the letter and handed it to him. He said, “Why, this is only two or three blocks from where I live.” He said, “I am going to find that fellow, and then I am coming back for you.”
And all the time I said, “Here is a newborn soul, just born unto God, whose vision enters into the real realm of God-power.” I realized that my own spirit had not touched the degree of faith that was in his soul, and I thought, I do not want to do a thing, or say one word, that will discourage that soul in the least.
Presently, he came back and said, “Brother Lake, come on.” We went and found a young man who had been mad from his birth. He was like a wild animal. He would not wear clothes and would smash himself or anybody else with anything that was given to him. He couldn’t even have a dish to eat on. But in the center of the enclosure where he was, they had a large stone hollowed out, and they would put his food on that and let him eat it just like an animal.
We tried to catch him, but he was as wild as a lion. He would jump right over my head. Finally, his father said, “You will never catch him out here.” This time, I realized what the situation meant. I had been somewhat of an athlete in my youth, and I said to Von Shield, “You get on one side, and if he comes to your side, you will take care of him, and if he comes to my side, I will take care of him.”
Now, beloved, this all sounds strange, I know, but I’ll never forget that afternoon as long as I live. As I looked across to the young man, Von Shield, I could see the lightning flash of faith, and I knew that if he got his hands on the insane child, the devil would come out.
Presently, he landed on my side of the bed, and in an instant Von Shield sprang over the bed, laid his hands on his head, and commanded that devil to come out. In two minutes, that lad was absolutely transformed and was a sane young man. The first moment of sanity he ever knew.
Sometime later, the family moved to another section of the country, so I have lost track of him.
One more incident in the man’s life will help you to realize this thing. Among the Boer people, especially in the Transvaal, they were a pioneer people. They had moved from Cape Colony and lived among the natives there many years. Finally, they succeeded in establishing their own community and later a republic. They did not have the advantages of good schools. In fact, about the time they passed into the hands of the English, education was becoming a real factor. About the only educated person in a community was the Dutch Predicant. He is a real old aristocrat. The firstborn of houses is the Predicant, and everything else likewise. He is the lord of all he surveys and some more. I believe they were people with all authority that the priests of Ireland exercise over the people there.
I wanted to leave you with the conception of a Dutch predicant, and then you can understand how a young fellow, unrecognized as a preacher, is situated when he begins to preach the gospel of Christ in a different manner than the predicant.
One day, when Von Shield was conducting a service with a couple of hundred people present, the predicant was there. He arose when he was teaching and told the people that they were being misled, etc., and that these things Von Shield was talking about were only calculated for the days of the apostles.
The young man, naturally, if he had been an ordinary young man, would have been somewhat nonplussed. But presently he said, “I will tell you how we will settle this thing. There is Miss LeRoux, whom we all know. She is stone blind in one eye and has been so for four years. You come here, and I will lay my hands on you and ask the Lord Jesus to make you well.” And, picking up his Dutch Bible, he said, “And when He does, you will read that chapter,” designating the chapter she was to read.
God Almighty met the fellow’s faith. The woman’s eye opened right then, and she stood before that congregation and, covering the good eye, read with the eye that had been blind, the entire chapter. I know her well; I had visited at their home a great many times.
Now I will return to the other young man, the most extraordinary incident that I have known in the life of any other human being, unless it was the history of St. Paul when he was on his way to Damascus, when suddenly there shone around about him a light, brighter than the sun, and he says, “When we were all fallen to the earth.” They were probably on horseback.
I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. (Acts 26:14–15)
Kratzmall was visiting one night at the home of some friends, a few doors from my home. These young people with whom he was visiting had just recently been baptized in the Spirit themselves, and they were very anxious about this friend and had been praying a great deal about it. This same night he was in the tabernacle, and his friends said, “Come down to our home.” So he went.
These two men, Kratzmall and Von Shield, were the highest developed men. I believe Kratzmall was physically the strongest man I ever met. He was an altogether unusual character. And here was a dealing of the Spirit of God such as I have never known with any other individual.
After a time, I believe it was suggested that they pray. He was going to stay all night. Harry said in speaking of it afterward, “It was not my custom to kneel. As I sat in my chair, I began to realize that a peculiar power was taking hold of me. I said, ‘This must be some sort of a psychological condition that I am not familiar with. Anyway, I will have nothing to do with it.’” And he sat up in his chair and shut his teeth and endeavored to resist. The Spirit of God intensified, and he said, “I will not yield.”
For two-and-a-half hours, he sat there while the perspiration poured off his person, until there were little pools of perspiration oozing from his shoes. But, at the end, as this battle was going on, a voice spoke within him and said, “I am Jesus.”
And instantly he said, “If You are the Christ, You can do anything You like.” The next moment, the Spirit of God deepened upon him, and he began to speak in tongues by the power of God.
Kratzmall, after that anointing, became the most remarkable preacher of the gospel I have ever known anything about. He traveled that country from end to end when he didn’t have a cent. I met him once when he had no shoes and his feet were cut and bleeding. But he established congregations of Christian people for three hundred and fifty miles out through the wilderness. Bless God.
Now then, I will return. I have told you these incidents in order to demonstrate to you that there is a force in the Christian life that mankind has not gotten hold of in any great degree. But the thing that interests me most, and I endeavor to present to you the facts of a Christian life, is the inquiry that comes to me day by day from souls whom I deal with in the healing room: “How can I enter into the consciousness of the presence and power of Christ?”
That is the real issue in all our hearts. We see the thing that was burning in the heart of Nicodemus when he came to Jesus in the nighttime and said,
Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. (John 3:2)
But Jesus, disregarding all that, said,
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.…That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
(John 3:3, 6–7)
The birth again of God, the conscious incoming of the Spirit of God into the life and being and personality, lifts mankind out of the condition of the professing Christian experience into the place of divine consciousness and power.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit was the common experience of New Testament times. The New Testament was written by men who had the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It was written to churches that possessed the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Indeed, in my study of the New Testament, the disciples seemed to consider it essential that each individual should himself possess the baptism of the Spirit. When Paul came down to Ephesus, the first question he asked them was,
Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. (Acts 19:2–3)
And then he explained what John’s baptism was. He said,
John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. (verse 4)
Then he laid his hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost and began to speak with tongues and magnify God and prophesy, etc.
There are only five cases on record in the New Testament of persons receiving the baptism of the Spirit:
The church at Jerusalem
The one hundred twenty, in the second chapter of Acts
The church at Samaria under the ministry of Peter and John. That is the case of Simon, the Sorcerer. When he witnessed the manifestation of power that occurred at the hands of the apostles, he offered them money, saying, “Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost” (Acts 8:19). But you remember the answer: “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money”
The next case is in the tenth chapter of Acts, where the Gentile church was baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Finally, in the household of Cornelius, as Peter preached the Word. No altar services there. No laying on of hands. There the Holy Ghost fell on all those who believed.
And, to this hour, it is my conviction that the real manner in which the Lord desires to pour out the Spirit in these days is the Spirit simply falling on listening believers. We had mighty few altar services or prayer services, but the power fell upon the people as they sat hearing the Word of God. I have witnessed the Lord baptize fifty people in an ordinary service like this on a Sunday evening.
There is a consciousness that seems to me by the Word of God and by my own personal experience to be possessed where any individual can enter into the direct presence of God and receive the baptism of the Spirit. That is the consciousness of sinlessness—the consciousness that your sins are gone. You can classify sin in any way you like. There is this much about it, that in our own inner soul we know that sin is offensive to God, because it is offensive to our own spirit.
So, as I said before, the consciousness of sinlessness seems to be God’s requirement for those who would seek the baptism of the Spirit. Indeed, I remember in my own experience when my heart began to be stirred along this line, and I definitely began to seek God for the baptism of the Spirit, that, as the illumination of the purity and holiness of God began to dawn over my soul, instead of going on boldly, there was an inclination to draw back as I realized the awful extreme between my own heart and the heart of God. And I was compelled to cry out, not once but a thousand times, “Lord God, by the divine process of God, cleanse my soul from this condition.” And I remember, bless God, how that one night I was present in a friend’s home. An ordinary meeting was going on, conducted by a little Quaker woman, but she outlined what seemed to me to be the method of cleansing the soul.
That night, as I knelt in Fred Bosworth’s home, that consciousness of the cleansing power of Jesus Christ went through my being, and I realized something of what I never realized before: that the battle between my spirit and my soul had ceased and that God reigned, not only in my spirit, but in my flesh, too. The war that had been in my spirit for years was all gone, and I entered into Beulah land. I really felt that I had crossed the Jordan and everything was new.
I tell you, beloved, that the external evidences of God and the power of His Spirit, no matter how wonderful, are a small matter compared with the consciousness of the Word of God in the human heart; in your heart and mine, bless God.
In the fourteenth chapter of John, there is this one verse. While Jesus was discussing this subject with the disciples, He said, “He is with you”—that is, the Comforter. “He is with you, and shall be in you.” (See John 14:17.)
There is a definite possession of the Spirit of God by which the individual becomes the conscious possessor of the Spirit of God. Indeed, the Word of God puts it in this forceful manner: “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). It is God’s purpose, as outlined by Jesus Christ and this Word from cover to cover, that man shall be the conscious possessor of the Spirit of the living God, the Holy Ghost.
That is the “real Christian.” That is the thing that has been lacking in the church throughout the centuries past. It was that consciousness of God’s presence and God’s power in the disciples and the church of the first centuries that wrote across the pages of history the wonderful, wonderful record of Christianity of the first four hundred years. There were thirty million Christian martyrs, those who were slaughtered in the Christian wars, etc. Thirty million gave up their lives for the Christ. There was a spirit that made it so intense, so powerful, that had such a power of induction, that the world had to get out. Bless God.
But there came a day when the church traded the communion of the Holy Ghost for the smile of the world, and then the long, long night of the middle centuries followed.
But, bless God, I tell you we are living in a day and hour when the Spirit of God has come into the world afresh, when the consciousness of mankind is opening up to God in a manner that it has never opened before. There is an awakening in the world from ocean to ocean, from pole to pole, as there never was before. And I believe, bless God, that God Almighty’s outpouring of the Spirit upon all flesh is at hand. And though we are receiving the droppings and our hearts are being warmed under the impulse of the Spirit, the day is not far distant when the flame of God will catch the soul of mankind. And the church of the latter day will close this era with a place of divine glory excelling that of the early church.
This is according to the prophecy of the Word: “If the former rain was abundant, shall not the latter rain be more abundant?” (See Deuteronomy 11:14.) Bless God.
If the disciples, without the train of Christian history behind them that you and I have, were able to enter into the divine consciousness and power of the Holy Spirit in such a way that they left a stamp upon Christianity, how much more shall men and women who have the advantage of two thousand years of Christian record enter into a diviner consciousness than ever the apostles possessed?
Interpretation of a Message in Tongues
The eternal God hath ordained that mankind, being united with Him as one heart and as one soul, shall glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in manifesting His life and character, His person and being.
Interpretation of a Second Message in Tongues
If, then, God’s purpose for mankind is to receive the Christ, shall we not yield ourselves body and soul and spirit to the conscious control of the Spirit of God and let Him manifest Himself in us in humbleness and meekness, bowing lowly at the feet of Him whose we are and whom we serve?
Down in the human heart,
Crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore.
Touched by a loving heart,
Wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broke will vibrate once more.
Our God, we ask Thee tonight that Thy almighty power shall be upon each soul. That, as we endeavor to yield ourselves to Thee for the conscious cleansing of our nature from sin and its effects, Thy power shall lift us into that consciousness of oneness with God whereby from Thy soul to our own will flow the divine unction of God. That we, being cleansed from sin, may manifest God to mankind, so that the hungry world and dying race and wandering world may be brought back into oneness with God. Amen.
by John G. Lake
November 21, 1915
The relation of the physical man and God’s final purpose has been absolutely left out. My convictions are, and they are deeply grounded, that man’s interest in the physical man at this present hour is not a maxim, but the natural development that this present hour of necessity brings to the spirit of man.
Historians tell us that prior to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and His birth as a man, there was a strange “looking forward” on the part of man for an event, for the coming of someone who would bring a new light, new life, new liberty to the world. The Jews spoke of him as their Messiah. The other nations, according to their philosophers, had one also whom they were looking for and whom they are looking for again. For the looking forward to the coming of the Christ by the Christian or to the return of Jesus to this world by the great majority of advanced Christian people has spread very rapidly throughout the whole Christian world during the past few years.
There is a reason why the souls of men catch the gleam, at particular times, of a coming event. The spirit that is anticipating and waiting and longing for and believing in the coming of Jesus of necessity has become sensitized along that line and of necessity will catch the fore-gleams of the rising sun. I believe it was that internal condition of the spirit of man that the historians and the scribes speak of as an electrical condition of the minds of men which preceded the coming of Jesus to the earth.
I believe at the present moment there is such a condition in the hearts of men throughout the world being repeated. Men are anticipating. They are looking forward to the event that they cannot explain.
About six years ago, I made a compilation, or rather made a selection, of quotations from some of the great magazines of the world. Among them I remember a statement of W. T. Stead, who is recognized as one of the greatest editors the world has ever produced. He was editor of the English Review of Reviews. He was drowned when the Titanic went down. In writing on this subject, he said…. I took the cuttings from his magazine. He had compiled them from various magazines all over the world, experiences that indicated in the minds of men of all classes that men were looking forward to an event soon to occur that they could not understand. However, many felt it. Some even suggested that if there be such a thing, it would not be unreasonable to believe that perhaps it might be what is commonly spoken of as the “end of the age” or the “end of the world.”
That “end of the world” expression is a misleading term, for there is no end of the world. There is a new age. And every age has its closing events, and the events are peculiar to that age.
Stead went further than some of the rest. He said,
Christians speak of the return of Jesus Christ, and the establishment of the kingdom of Christ. What events may precede such a thing we know not, but there is nothing unreasonable in believing that perhaps the thing that all feel is produced by the foregleam of the event to take place. Coming events cast their shadows before.
Physicalized Christianity has a reason. It is born because of conditions. It is born because of conditions produced by the Spirit of God, in anticipation of a day when mortal, both the living and those who have fallen to sleep, shall put on immortality. Of necessity men have begun to recognize a physical change that must be accomplished to make such a condition a possibility. Paul, in the words I read to you from 1 Corinthians, says,
Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.(1 Corinthians 15:51–53)
In discussing the subject of the resurrection, he says, “This mortal must put on immortality.” Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Consequently, a change in the living as well as the dead is an apparent fact.
If I were going to give a reason why the attention of mankind is turning to God today for the bodies of men, I would place it right there, in the fact that the Spirit of God or the rays of the coming age are breaking through into the days of this age, and we are anticipating the age which is to come. The very first gleams of the rising sun of that event must discover that it was not in God’s will or purpose for man to live in pain, in sorrow, in sickness, and in poverty. But, on the other hand, it is God’s purpose and intent of Jesus that mankind should be redeemed from sin, from sickness, and from death, bless God.
No finer phrase was ever coined to express the real thing that the Spirit of God is accomplishing at the present hour than the phrase “physicalized Christianity.” The secret of healing, the secret of physical healing is contained in this fact that the spirit of man, in union with the Spirit of God, becomes cognizant of the mind of God concerning itself.
The gleams of immortality that shine into the spirit are transmitted through the soul into the bodies of men, and that is the real issue, the real secret of real healing by the power of God.
I speak of man in the sense that the Scriptures describe him as a triune being—body and soul and spirit. The soul of man has ever been compelled to listen to two voices: The voice of the spirit and the voice of the flesh, or the natural man.
Those who have studied the subject at all of what is defined in the Scriptures as the fall of man, long ago, very long ago, arrived at this conclusion: That the fall of man was the descent of man from the control of his spirit, or God-man, into the control of his flesh, or animal-man. And the spirit became to some extent subject to the animal-man. Redemption is the restoration of the spirit of man to his normal place of authority, whereby soul and body become subservient to the spirit, not the spirit to the body.
Physicalized Christianity! Bless God for the phrase. It is splendid. It fills a need. It expresses a pregnant thought, the thought that the hour is coming when, through the enlightenment of the Spirit of God, man has arrived at that place in his growth toward (in) God where he begins to recognize that God has a definite purpose for the body and soul of man as well as for the spirit.
He who works in the greatest calmness, with the holiest and the greatest consciousness of the Father, is he who permits his spirit to dominate his being, not only working with the spirit of man in control of your personality, but more the spirit of man in union with the Spirit of God, whereby the mind of God and the thought of God for this present hour is understood and is being lived up to.
The transmission from the spirit of the thought of God through the soul is a continuous process. The transmission of the power of God from the spirit through the soul and into the body is a continuous process. And the real fact of sickness, the real fact of sickness is simply that somehow a portion of our body loses its correspondence with the rest of our being and is not receiving naturally and normally that sufficient measure of the life of God that other portions of the body are receiving.
The intelligent Christian has long since learned that if a portion of his body is not receiving the due measure of life from God that another portion is receiving, it is because there is not being directed to the afflicted portion of the body the due measure of the Spirit that it ought to receive, and that it is the privilege by the Spirit to take the life of God and direct it to any portion of his body that he so chooses. Blessed be God!
The climax of such thought is not simply the mere condition of physical healing. It is more. Of necessity there must come a condition of health, not healing. And I look forward with great joy and great hope and great expectation.
Holiness unto the Lord
by John G. Lake
March 6, 1916
Holiness is the character of God. The very substance of His being and essence of His nature is purity. The purpose of God in the salvation of mankind is to produce in man a kindred holiness, a radiant purity like that of God Himself. If God were unable to produce such purity in man, then His purpose in man would be a failure, and the object of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ would be a miscarriage instead of a triumph.
The triumph of Jesus Christ was attained through His willingness to be led by the Spirit of God. The triumph of the Christian can be attained only in a similar manner. Even though God has baptized a soul with the Holy Spirit, there yet remains for the person, as with Jesus, the present necessity of walking in humility and permitting the Spirit of God to be his absolute guide.
The unveiling of consciousness, of the desire of the flesh, of the sensuality of the nature and the thoughts of man and the revelation of adverse tendencies—all are part of God’s purpose and are necessary for growth in God. How can the nature of man be changed except that nature is first revealed? So there arises in the heart the desire and prayer for the Spirit of God to eject, crucify, and destroy every tendency of opposition to the Holy Spirit.
Think not that you shall attain the highest in God until within your own soul a heavenly longing to be like Him who gave His life for us possesses your heart. Think not to come within the court of God with stains upon your garments. Think not that heaven can smile upon a nature fouled through evil contact. Think not that Christ can dwell in temples seared by flames of hate. No! The heart of man must first be purged by holy fire and washed from every stain by cleansing blood. Don’t you know that the person whose nature is akin to God’s must ever feel the purging power of Christ within?
He who would understand the ways of God must trust the Spirit’s power to guide and keep. He who would tread the paths where angels tread must realize seraphic purity himself. Such is the nature of God, such the working of the Spirit’s power, such the attainment of the person who overcomes. In him the joy and power of God shall be. Through him the healing streams of life shall flow. To him heaven’s gates are opened wide. In him the kingdom is revealed.
Interpretation of a Message in Tongues
Fear not to place thy hand within the nail-pierced palm. Fear not to trust His guidance. The way He trod is marked by bleeding feet and wet with many tears. He leadeth thee aright, and heaven’s splendor soon shall open to thy spirit, and thou shalt know that all triumphant souls—those who have overcome indeed—have found their entrance by this path into the realms of light.
Ministry of the Spirit
By John G. Lake
November 24, 1917
One of the most difficult things to bring into the spirit of people is that the Spirit of God is a tangible substance, that it is the essence of God’s own being.
We are composed of an earthly materiality, that is our bodies are largely a composition of water and earth. This may sound a little crude, but the actual composition of a human being is about sixteen buckets of water and one bucket full of earth. I am glad that there is one bucket full of good mud in us. Water, you know, is a composition of gasses, so you can see how much gas there is in mankind. But we are not all gas.
Now as to the composition of the personality of God, for God has a personality and a being and a substance, God is a Spirit and Spirit is a substance. That is the thing I am trying to emphasise. All heavenly things are of spiritual substance. The body of the angels is of some substance, not the same character of materiality as our own, for ours is an earthly materiality; but the composition of heavenly things is of a heavenly materiality. In other words, heavenly materiality is Spirit. The Word says, “God is a Spirit.” He is a Spirit. Therefore, “They that worship Him must worship Him in spirit.”
You see, the spirit of man must contact and know the real Spirit of God, know God. We do not know God with our flesh, with our hands, nor with our brains. We know God with our spirit. The knowledge of God that our spirit attains may be conveyed and is conveyed to us through the medium of our mind, through the medium of our brains. The effect of God in our body comes through the medium of the spirit of man through the mind of man into the body of man.
There is a quickening by the Spirit of God so that a man’s body, a man’s soul or mind, and a man’s spirit all alike become blessed, pervaded and filled with the presence of God Himself in us. The Word of God is wonderfully clear along these lines. For instance, the Word of God says that “I will keep him in perfect peace whose MIND is stayed on thee” (Isaiah 26:3). Why? “Because he trusteth in thee.” That is the rest that a Christian knows whose mind rests in God in real, perfect trust. “I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.”
The Word of God again says that our FLESH shall rejoice. Not our mind, but our very flesh shall rejoice. The presence of God is to be a living presence, not only in the spirit of man, nor in the mind of man alone, but also in the flesh of man, so that God is known in ALL departments of our life. We know God in our very flesh. We know God in our mind: we know God in our spirit. Bless His precious Name.
The medium by which God undertakes to bless the world is through the transmission of Himself. Now the Spirit of God is His own substance, the substance of His being, the very nature and quality of the very presence and being and nature of God. Consequently when we speak of the Spirit of God being transmitted to man and into man, we are not talking about an influence, either spiritual or mental. We are talking about the transmission of the living substance and being of God into your being and into mine. Not a mental effect, but a living substance, the living being and actual life transmitted, imparted, coming from God into your being, into my being. Bless God!
That is the secret of the abundant life of which Jesus spoke. Jesus said, “I am come that ye might have life, and that ye might have it MORE ABUNDANTLY,” (John 10:10). The reason we have the more abundant life is because that by receiving God into our being all the springs of our being are quickened by His living presence. Consequently, if we are living today and we receive God, we live life in a fuller measure, we live life with a greater energy because we become the recipients of the energy of the living God in addition to our normal energy, through the reception of His being, His nature, His life into ours.
The wonderful measure that the human being is capable of receiving God is demonstrated by some of the incidents in the Word of God. For instance, the most remarkable in the Scriptures is the Transfiguration of Jesus Himself, where with Peter, James, and John the Spirit of God came upon Him so powerfully that it radiated out through His being until His clothes became white and glistening and His face shown as the light.
Now one must be the recipient of the light, glory and power of God before he or she can manifest it. Jesus demonstrated these two facts: the marvellous capacity of the nature of man to receive God into his being, and the marvellous capacity of the nature of man to reveal God. In the glory shining through His clothes, in the glistening of the glory of God that made His face glorious and wonderful, He demonstrated man’s capacity to reveal God.
The human being is God’s marvellous, wonderful instrument, the most marvellous and wonderful of all the creation of God in its capacity to receive and reveal God. Paul received so much of God into his being that when men brought handkerchiefs and he took them in his hands, and when the women brought their aprons and handed them to him, the handkerchiefs and aprons became so impregnated with that Living Spirit of God, that living substance of God’s being, that when they were carried to one who was sick or possessed of devils, the Word says when they laid the handkerchiefs or aprons on them the Spirit of the living God passed from the handkerchiefs or aprons into the sick man, or into the insane man, and the sick were healed and the devils were cast out.
You see, people have been so in the habit of putting Jesus in a class by Himself that they have failed to recognize that He has made provision for the same living Spirit of God that dwelt in His own life and of which He, Himself, was a living manifestation to inhabit your being and mine just as it inhabited the being of Jesus or Paul.
There is no more marvellous manifestation in the life of Jesus than that manifestation of healing through the Apostle Paul.
You remember the incident of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment knowing how His whole being, His whole nature radiated that wondrous, blessed life of God of which He was Himself the living manifestation. She said within herself, “If I can but touch His garment I shall be healed.” So she succeeded, after much effort, to touch the hem of His garment, and as she touched the hem of His garment, there flowed into her body the quickening life stream, and she felt in her body that she was made whole of the plague. And Jesus, being conscious that from Him something had flowed, said to Peter, “Who touched me?” Peter replied, “Why Master, you see the crowd, and do you say, who touched me?” “Oh,” He said, “SOMEBODY touched me, for I perceive that virtue has gone out of me.” If you will analyse that Greek word you will see it means the life or substance of His being, the quickening, living power of God, the very nature and being of God.
If I transmit to another the virtue of my life, I simply transmit a portion of my life to another, the life power that is in me, blessed be God. The life of God that flows through me is transmitted to another, and so it was with Jesus.
Now then, because of the fact that people brought to Paul handkerchiefs and aprons and they became impregnated with the Spirit of God, and the people were healed when they touched them, it is a demonstration in itself that any material substance can become impregnated with the same living Spirit of God.
In my church in South Africa we published a paper in ten thousand lots. We would have the publishers send them to the tabernacle, and we would lay them out in packages of one or two hundred all around the front of the platform, and at the evening service I would call certain ones of the congregation that I knew to be in contact with the living God to come and kneel around and lay their hands on those packages of papers; and we asked God not alone that the reading matter in the paper might be a blessing to the individual and that the message of Christ come through the words printed on the paper, but we asked God to make the very substance of the paper itself become filled with the Spirit of God, just like the handkerchiefs became filled with the Spirit of God. And if I were in my tabernacle now I could show you thousands of letters in my files from all quarters of the world, from people telling me that when they received our paper, the Spirit came upon them and they were healed, or when they received the paper the joy of God came into their hearts, or they received the paper and were saved unto God.
One woman wrote from South America, who said, “I received your paper. When I received it into my hands my body began to vibrate so I could hardly sit on the chair, and I did not understand it. I laid the paper down, and after awhile I took the paper up again, and as soon as I had it in my hands I shook again. I laid the paper down and took it in my hands a third time, and presently the Spirit of God came upon me so powerfully that I was baptized in the Holy Ghost.”
Beloved, don’t you see that this message and this quality of the Spirit contains the thing that confuses all the philosophers and all the practice of philosophy in the world? It shows the clearest distinction which characterises the real religion of Jesus Christ and makes it distinct from all other religions and all other ministries.
The ministry of the Christian is the ministry of the SPIRIT. He not only ministers words to another but he ministers the Spirit of God. It is the Spirit of God that inhabits the words, that speaks to the spirit of another and reveals Christ in and through him.
In the old days when I was in Africa, I would walk into the native meetings when I did not understand the languages and would listen to the preacher preach for an hour, and I did not understand a word he said. But my soul was blessed by the presence of the Spirit of God.
As Bishop of the church, as I went from place to place holding conferences here and there among white and native people, in many of them, people would speak either in English or Dutch. But I was just as much blessed when a Dutchman spoke and I did not understand him as when an Englishman spoke. Why? Because the thing that blessed my soul was the living Spirit of God. Perhaps I had heard better words than his, perhaps clearer explanation of the Scriptures than he could give, but I was blessed by the presence of God. The thing that the individual was ministering to my soul was the living Spirit of God.
The ministry of the Christian is the ministry of the Spirit. If the Christian cannot minister the Spirit of God, in the true sense he is not a Christian. If he has not the Spirit to minister in the real high sense, he has nothing to minister. Other men have intellectuality, but the Christian is supposed to be the possessor of the Spirit. He possesses something that no other man in the whole world possesses, that is, the Spirit of the living God.
(LETTERS PRESENTED FOR PRAYER)
These letters are to dear people all over the land, and I have this feeling that I would like to revive among us that blessed old practice of believing God for the very substance of the letter, the paper, or handkerchief to become so filled with the Spirit of the Lord God that when it comes into their hands that they would not only feel blessed by the words of the letter, but the blessed Spirit of God would flow into their being out of the substance of the paper itself.
That is Christianity. That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the thing that goes thousands of miles beyond psychological influence. If you want a clear distinction between psychological religions, as they are called, or mental science, you can see it in a minute. The real Christian ministers the real Spirit of God, the substance of His being. There should never be any misunderstanding along these lines in the minds of any.
A minister of Jesus Christ is as far removed above the realm of psychological influences as heaven is above the earth. Blessed by God. He ministers God Himself into the very spirits and souls and bodies of men. That is the reason that the Christian throws down the bars of his nature and he invites God to come in and take possession of his being. And the incoming of God into our body, into our soul, into our spirit accomplishes marvellous things in the nature of man.
A man came into my healing rooms one day, and said, “I am almost ashamed to call myself a man because I have simply indulged the animal of my nature so that I am more a beast than a man. You say, ‘Why don’t you quit such a life?’ I have not the strength of my being to do so. Unless something takes place that will deliver me from this condition I do not know what I will do.”
I tried to show him what the Gospel of Jesus Christ was. I tried to show him that through living in the animal state, thinking animal thoughts, surrounding himself with beastly suggestion, and contacting the spirit of bestiality everywhere that that element had taken such possession that it predominated in the nature. I said, “My son, if the gospel means anything it means there shall be a transference of nature. Instead of this living hell that is present in your being, the living holy God should flow into your life and cast out the devil, dispossess the beast, and reign in your members.”
We knelt to pray, and today he came back with tears in his eyes and said, “Mr Lakes, I feel I can shake hands with you now. I am a beast no more, I am a man.”
Yesterday a dear woman was present in our afternoon service. She had a tumour that for ten months the physicians believed to be an unborn child. She came with her nurse a few days ago to the healing rooms and told me her symptoms. The thing that fooled the physicians was that there was a movement that they considered similar to life movement, and the result was that during all these months they believed the woman would become a mother until the normal time had long passed. She was the first one to be prayed for after the Thursday afternoon service. Today she returned and said, “Mr Lake, I want you to see me. I have my corsets on. I am Perfectly normal. When I went to bed I was not aware that anything had taken place except that the choking had ceased and I felt comfortable. I was not aware of any diminution in my size. But when I awoke this morning I was perfectly normal.”
I said, “How did the tumour disappear? Was it in the form of a fluid?” She said, “No, nothing came from my person.”
Now I am going to ask you, “Where did a great tumour like that go?” What happened
to it? (Voice from the audience: “Dematerialised.”)
Yes, the living Spirit of God absolutely dematerialised the tumour, and the process was accomplished in one night while the woman slept. That is one of God’s methods of surgical operation, isn’t it?
Beloved, the Spirit of God took possession of that dear soul’s person. That tumour became filled with the Spirit of God, and the effect of the Spirit of God in that tumour was so mighty, so powerful, that the Spirit of God dissolved it.
That is the secret of the ministry of Jesus Christ. That is the secret of the ministry of Christianity. That is the reason that the real Christian who lives in union with the living God and possesses His Spirit has a ministry that no other man in all the world possesses. That is the reason that the real Christian here has a revelation of Jesus Christ and His almightiness and His power to save that no other human in all the world possesses. Why? He is full and experiences in his own soul the dissolving power of the Spirit of God that takes sin out of his life and makes him a free man in Christ Jesus. Blessed be His Name forever.
A few weeks ago a dear woman called me over the telephone and said, “I have a young friend who is a drunkard, and the habit has such power over him that he will go to any excess to obtain. Dry state or no dry state, he has to have it. He is an intelligent fellow. He wants to be free. We have invited him to my home for prayer, and he is here now. I want you to join me in prayer for him.” I said, “All right, but first you call one of your neighbours to join you in prayer for this man; then when you are ready, call me on the phone, and Brother Westwood, and Mrs Peterson, and we will join you in prayer.” She called me in a little while, and we united our hearts in prayer for the young man,, who was on the other side of the city. About twenty minutes afterward he arose from his knees and with tears in his eyes he took the woman by the hand and said, “I am a man of sense. I know when something has taken place within me and the appetite has disappeared.” That is the ministry of the Spirit, the ministry of God to man. Blessed be His Name.
Isn’t it a marvellous, wonderful thing that God has ordained an arrangement whereby man becomes God’s own co-partner and co-labourer in the ministry of the Spirit, “the Church which is His body.” Just as Jesus Christ was the human body through which the living Spirit was ministered to mankind, so God has arranged that the living Church, not the dead member, but the living Church, alive with the Spirit of the living God, should minister that quickening life to another and thereby become a co-partner, a co-labourer together with God. Blessed be His Name forever.
Men have mystified and philosophised the Gospel of Jesus, but the Gospel is as simple as can be.
Just as God lived and operated through the body of the man, Jesus, so Jesus, the Man on the throne, operated in and through the Christian, also through His Body, the Church, in the world. Just as Jesus was the representative of God the Father, so the Church is the representative of Christ.
And as Jesus yielded Himself unto ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS, so the Church should yield herself to do all the will of God.
The secret of Christianity is in BEING. It is in being a possessor of the nature of Jesus Christ. In other words, it is being Christ in character, Christ in demonstration, Christ in agency of transmission. When a person gives himself to the Lord and becomes a child of God, a Christian, he is a Christ man. All that he does and all that he says from that time forth should be the will and the words and the doing of Jesus, just as absolutely and entirely as He spoke and did the will of the Father.
Consciousness of God
by John G. Lake
November 26, 1916
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 like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1–4)
On the day of Pentecost, the hundred and twenty who composed the little circle of believers that had met in the upper room after the ascension of Jesus were sitting together in prayer and meditation upon God. Suddenly there came from heaven—not born out of man’s emotionalism, but by faith—there came from heaven the sound of a rushing, mighty wind, and it filled the house where they were sitting. And there appeared cloven tongues like fire, which rested upon each of them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost, the living Spirit of God. As a result of being thus filled, they began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. That filling of the Holy Ghost, that coming of the living Spirit of Jesus Christ upon mankind, was the dawning morning of the first Christian day. That was the day-dawn of Christianity. Christianity never existed before. Religion existed, but Christianity never existed before. The Christianity of Christ has its birth then and there, bless God. It had not even manifested itself in the world during Jesus’ own lifetime nor during the forty days after His resurrection.
Christianity has a secret, bless God, the secret of divine power, the secret that makes it different from other known religions. It is the secret of the consciousness that it contains, and the consciousness that Christianity contains is due to the fact that the Spirit of the triumphant Son of God, who had entered into death, who had experienced resurrection and thereby power over death, who had ascended in triumph to the right hand of God and sat down a victor, was poured forth upon the world. He poured forth His own living Spirit, containing that consciousness. Consequently, when the Spirit of Christ came upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost, it produced in them, of necessity, that which was in the mind of Christ, the same consciousness of power and victory and dominion and Christlikeness that was common to the nature of Jesus Himself as He sat down in triumph at God’s right hand.
When I went to Africa and sat down quietly to study the native peoples and their minds, I was forced to study myself and my people, too. I said, “What is the thing that makes us Anglo-Saxons different from these native people?”
My friend said, “Well, it is our education.”
I said, “Education does not do it.”
He said, “Yes, it does.”
I said, “No, it doesn’t. I will show you why.”
And I took him down to one of the towns and introduced him to an educated native missionary. Some missionaries had sent him over here, and he was educated at Yale, and he was just as much a heathen as he ever was. He was an educated heathen. He was not a Christian.
Another says, “It is our good breeding that makes the difference between the Anglo-Saxon and the African native.” It is not our good breeding. It is something else. It is the consciousness that the Anglo-Saxon mind contains that the other man has not. That consciousness is the consciousness of power, a consciousness of mastery, a consciousness of self-control, and all other varied qualities of the sensitive human mind.
How did they get there? They were established in the mind of the Anglo-Saxon through transmission of those who believed. Consciousness is a growth, an evolution, or an impartation. It is all three in most people.
The incoming of the Spirit of God into the disciples was an impartation of the Spirit of Jesus that brought with it the very conditions of the mind of Christ Himself. He was the one who had throttled death and mastered it and rose up in His own consciousness as King. Therefore, He could say to His disciples,
All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.(Matthew 28:18–19)
In other words, [teach the precept of] submitting your body, your soul, and your spirit in an act of union with the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, with the purpose of establishing in the individual the conscious knowledge of the living Father and the living Son and the living Spirit. Glory be to God!
When I was a little tyke, I was sprinkled like the rest, and I suppose I squalled just like the rest did. I was not an angel, so far as I know. But when I became a man, I put away childish things.
When I became a man, God revealed the real purpose of what real baptism was supposed to bring into a man’s consciousness. And I saw that the purpose of Jesus was to produce in the souls and bodies and spirits of man such a consciousness of the living, triune God that man became a king, a living king. I saw the dignity, I saw the power, I saw the manifestation of Spirit that Jesus purposed should be evident in the life of the person who has been really baptized into the living God—not just baptized in His name, but actually baptized into God—buried in Him, inducted into God, inducted into the nature of God the Father, into the nature of God the Son, and into the nature of God the Holy Ghost.
It is almost a sadness to my soul that men should be astonished and surprised at an ordinary, tangible evidence of the power of God. A woman came into the healing rooms on Thursday afternoon with a tumor larger than a full-grown, unborn child, and her physicians and nurse had been fooled, believing it to be such, until nature’s period had passed. Then they decided it must be something else.
She came to the healing rooms, and I interviewed her. She said, “Mr. Lake, I have the opinion of several physicians. They are all different, but each has said, ‘It is possible it may be a child,’ but now the time has passed, and they do not know what to say.”
I put my hand upon her for a moment, and I said, “Madam, it is not a child; it is a tumor.” She sat down and wept. Her nurse was with her. Her soul was troubled, and she did not receive healing.
She came back on Thursday afternoon for prayer and went away like the rest. But she returned on Friday with her corsets on. She said, “I came to show you that I am perfectly normal. When I retired last night at ten o’clock, there was no evidence that anything had taken place beyond that I felt comfortable and the choking was gone. But when I awoke this morning, I was my normal size.”
I said, “Did it disappear in the form of a fluid?”
She said, “There was not an outward sign of any character.”
Beloved, what happened to it? It dematerialized, did it not? There was nothing else. The tumor dissolved. It was evaporated, taken out of the system, and was gone in a single night.
I called a friend on the telephone to tell him about it. Another friend was present in the room, and while he still held the receiver in his hand, he turned to his friend and told him about it. The friend said, “My good God, man, that would be a miracle!”
What is a miracle? It is the tangible evidence of the supreme control of the Spirit of God over every character and form of materiality. The tumor disappeared. It was gone. Why? Because the living Spirit of God entered it, and, by the power and working of God, the woman returned to her normal condition. Blessed be His name.
If these evidences of God’s presence and power had no value except the mere fact of physical healing, they would not appeal to many thinking minds. Beloved, the power of such an event and of such an act and of such a sign is in this: it shows us that all things are possible through living, positive, actual contact with the Spirit of God. Blessed be His name.
I talked with the husband of the lady—one of the most profane men I have ever known—until Friday morning. He said to me, “Mr. Lake, when I got up on Friday morning and saw my wife, I said, ‘I will never again take that name upon my lips in vain.’” And he has walked softly, and a new light is shining in his soul, and a new presence has made itself evident to that man.
Salvation is the best thing that the mind of God ever evolved. Salvation, real salvation, bless God, is that blessed working of God by the Spirit that has for its one objective the absolute transformation of a man—body and soul and spirit—into the likeness of Jesus Christ. And there is no man on earth that could imagine Jesus Christ going around with a big tumor stuck on Him anywhere. Why? Bless God, He did not have any tumors in His soul or in His spirit, either. Why? Because all His nature was joined in complete and holy union with the living God, and the life and nature and substance of God’s being, which is the Holy Ghost, flowed through the spirit and soul and body of Jesus alike.
What marvelous union was accomplished through the consent of His own will, without which Jesus Christ Himself could never have been the spotless Lamb of God! But by saying “Yes” to God, by yielding His nature with His “Yes,” He permitted the mighty Spirit of God to possess His life and accomplish the will of God in Him and through Him. Blessed be His precious name!
Men are afraid to say yes to God. When a young man, I sat in a little meeting one night when the Spirit was talking to my heart. I said, “If I am going to be a Christian, I cannot do this, and I cannot do that.” Oh, mighty God, it almost makes my soul vomit in these days to think of the average conception a man has of Christianity.
About 90 percent of so-called Christianity is all spelled with four letters: D-O-N’-T. Don’t do this and don’t do that—the individual restraining himself, putting himself in a harness, walking according to laws and ordinances, etc. Why, bless God, Christianity is all contained in two letters: B-E. Not performing acts, but being the thing that God purposed.
I was in a meeting in Los Angeles on one occasion [Azusa Street Revival]. An old black minister [William J. Seymour] was conducting the services, and he had the funniest vocabulary that any man ever had. But I want to tell you, there were doctors and lawyers and professors listening to marvelous things coming from that man’s lips. It was not what he said in words, but it was what he said from his spirit to my heart that showed me he had more of God in his life than any man I had ever met up to that time. It was the God in him that was attracting people.
There was one man who insisted on getting up and talking every little while. Some people have a mania for talking. Every once in a while, he would get up and interrupt, and the old minister had endured it for a long time. Presently, he got up again, and the old man stuck his finger out and said, “In the name of Jesus Christ, sit down.” He did not sit down. He fell down, and his friends carried him out.
That is only one manifestation of the living fact of what Christianity is: the divine power of Jesus Christ, by the Holy Ghost, filling a man’s soul and body, bless God, flashing through his nature like a holy flame, accomplishing the will of God.
The idea that man may be the temple of the Holy Ghost brings a demand on his consciousness that nothing else in the world can bring. If God has ordained that my spirit and my soul and my body, and yours, may become the living, conscious temple of His Spirit—that He, God, will live in us and manifest Himself through us by His Spirit—what kind of demand does it bring upon us?
We can understand then what was in the mind of the apostle when he said, “What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:11).
Why is it that people are slow to yield themselves to the control and government and guidance of the Spirit of God? Why is it that there is not a divine passion in our hearts that such a blessed control should be made a possibility? Shall you and I today assert our own little humanity and walk according to our own light, or shall we, as wise men, as those who seek the most divine in life, say yes to God and let God take our being, inhabit our being, and let Him live His life in us, and then He will manifest His life through us?
I have a brother, a splendid fellow, a finely educated man, a professor. I returned from Africa some years ago, and we were visiting together. As we sat visiting, my sister, who was present, said, “John, I have some old neighbors over here. They are old German people, and they are having a very hard time. The old man died, and one of the sisters died. This thing happened and that thing happened, and finally the son, who was a shipbuilder, fell one day and was carried to the hospital, and they say his leg has to be amputated. Gangrene has set in. The physicians have amputated the toe and a piece of the foot, and now they say the leg has to be amputated. The old mother has been sitting in a wheelchair, a rheumatic cripple, for two and a half years and cannot move.”
My brother and I had been having somewhat of a discussion over this thing. He said, “Jack, don’t you think these things are all psychological?”
I said, “Not much.”
He said, “I think it is.”
He said, “Don’t you think it is a demonstration of the power of mind over matter?”
And I said, “No. If that was all it is, you could give just as good a demonstration as I could.”
After a while, my sister said, “I have been across the street and made arrangements for you to come and pray for these people.”
I said, “All right, Jim, come along.”
I said to the old lady, “Mother, how long have you been here?”
And she replied, “I have been here two and a half years.” She said, “It is awful hard. Not just hard to sit here all the time, but I suffer night and day, with no moment of relaxation from acute suffering in these two and a half years.”
As I listened to her, the flame of God came into my soul, and I said, “You rheumatic devil, in the name of Jesus Christ, I will blot you out if it is the last thing I ever do in the world.” And, laying my hands on her, I looked to heaven and called on God to cast that devil out and set her free. I said to her, “Mother, in the name of Jesus Christ, get up and walk.” And she arose and walked.
We went into the other room where the son was, whose leg was to be amputated. I sat for a few minutes and told him of the power of God. I said, “We have come to you with a message of Jesus Christ, and we have not just come with the message, but with the power of God.” Again, laying my hands on the limb, I said, “In the name of the living God, they shall never amputate this limb,” and it was healed.
I was gone for three to six months and then stopped at my sister’s home once again. The young lady called and said, “You must come across and see my mother and brother. They are so well.” I called and found the old lady very happy. She said, “Oh, Jake, he is not at home. Why, he is so well, he went down to the saloon and danced all night!”
I waited to see Jake, and I tried to tell him something about the living God that he had felt in his body, and who wanted to take possession of his soul and reveal the nature of Jesus Christ in him.
Five years passed by, and I returned again to the United States and was stopping at my sister’s home. She said, “Do you remember some people that you prayed for across the road? Here is Jake now, coming from his work.” We sat on the porch and talked, and I said, “Well, Jake, how is it?”
“Oh,” he said, “I do not understand it all, but something has been going on and going on. It is in me. First, I could not go to the dance, and next I could not drink beer, and next my tobacco did not taste good, and then a joy came into my heart, and then I found it was just Jesus.”
Born of God—the nature of man brought into union with God by the Holy Ghost. Blessed be His precious name.
This congregation has perhaps been blessed with the continued manifestation of the presence of God beyond that of any other congregation in the world. This city has been blessed with the manifestation of God’s presence perhaps beyond that of any other city in the world. Yet, the eyes of many are closed. They have not seen God. Some have seen Brother Lake, some have seen Brother Westwood, but not all have seen God, the living God. Many need the continued process of the Spirit of God in their souls that went on in the heart of Jake, revealing the nature of Christ until all his being said yes to God, and he became a Christian in deed and in truth. Blessed be God.
I leave you today with this message of God: Open your soul to Him, and let the blessed living Spirit of God have entrance into your nature. Say yes to God. Say yes to God.
John the Baptist was a prophet. One day, as Jesus stood among His friends, John said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), and “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but…he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matthew 3:11).
There is a baptism that belongs to Jesus. It is in His supreme right and control. No other angel or man can bestow it. It comes from Him alone. “He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost” (John 1:33). So the individual who wants the Holy Ghost must come into definite, conscious contact with Jesus Christ Himself. Bless God.
By John G. Lake
February 11, 1917
When I read this chapter there is a thrill that goes down through my soul, and I would to God that the real spiritual truths of it could forever be established in the minds of men.
I once listened to an eminent divine preaching from the text, “What is man?” When he got through I had a feeling that man was a kind of whipped cur with his tail between his legs, sneaking out to throw himself into the lake, and saying, “Here goes nothing.” I said, “He has never caught the fire of the thing Jesus is endeavouring to teach through the apostle; that man was the crowning creation of God - that God endowed him with a nature and qualities that by the grace of God can express more of God than any other of God’s creations - that God purposed by the Holy Spirit to make the salvation of Jesus Christ so real in the nature of man that “He that sanctifieth” (Jesus Christ) “and they that are sanctified” through His grace are both of one nature, of one substance, of one character, one in life, one in the righteousness of His death and one in the consequent dominion that came because of His resurrection and glory.
“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb. 2:11).
Brethren of the Lord Jesus Christ! He, the elder brother, we the younger members of the family of the same Father, begotten by the same Spirit, energised by the same divine life of God, qualified through the Holy Ghost to perform the same blessed ministry.
“He took not on Him the nature of angels;
But He took on Him the seed of Abraham.”
I wish I could write these things in your soul and brand them in your conscience.
When the purpose of God in the salvation of man first dawned upon my soul, that is when the greatness of it dawned upon my soul. Experimentally I knew God as Saviour from sin; I knew the power of the Christ within my own heart to keep me above the power of temptation and to help me live a Godly life; but I say to you that when I knew the purpose of God and the greatness of His salvation, life became for me a grand new thing.
When, by the study of His Word and the revelation of His Spirit, it became a fact in my soul that God’s purpose was no less in me than it was in the Lord Jesus, and is no less in you and me as younger brethren than it was in Jesus Christ, our elder brother, then, bless God, I saw the purpose that God had in mind for the human race. I saw the greatness of Jesus’ desire. That desire that was so intense that it caused Him as King of Glory to lay down all that glory possessed for Him, and come to earth to be born as a man, to join hands with our humanity, and by His grace lift us in consciousness and life to the same level that He Himself enjoyed. Christ became a new factor in my soul. Such a vision of His purpose thrilled my being so that I could understand then how it was that Jesus, as He approached man and His needs, began at the very bottom, called mankind to Him, and by His loving touch and the power of the Spirit through His word, destroyed the sickness and sin that bound them and set them free in both body and soul, lifted them into union and communion with Himself and God the Father. Yea, bless God, by the Holy Spirit indwelling the souls of men, Christ purposed to bestow on mankind the very conditions of His own life and being, and to give to man through the gifts of the Spirit and the Gift of the Spirit, the same blessed ministry to the world that He Himself had enjoyed and exercised.
The old song that we used to sing became new to my heart. Its melody runs through my soul:
“Salvation, O the joyful sound,
In a believer’s ear
It soothes our worries, heals our wounds
And drives away our fears.” And lots more, bless God.
I could then understand what was in Charles Wesley’s heart when he wrote his famous hymn, “Jesus Lover of My Soul,” and penned its climax that marvellous verse:
“Thou, O Christ, art all I want,
More than all in Thee I find;
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
Heal the sick and lead the blind.
Just and holy is Thy name;
I am all unrighteousness,
Vile and full of sin I am,
Thou art full of truth and grace.”
(This was not the last verse, but the third.)
The same thing was in the spirit of Isaiah when in the beautiful thirty-fifth of Isaiah his exultant soul broke forth in the shout of praise, “He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing.”
I could understand then the thrill that must have moved David, when he sang the
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; Who healeth all they diseases.”
The vision that has called forth the shouts of praise from the souls of men in all ages is the same vision that stirs your heart and mine today. The vision of the divine reality of the salvation of Jesus Christ by which the greatness of God’s purpose in Him is revealed to mankind by the Spirit of the Living One, transformed and lifted and unified with the living Christ through the Holy Ghost, so that all the parts and energies and functions of the nature of Jesus Christ are revealed through man, unto the salvation of the world. Bless God.
The vision of God’s relation to man and man’s relation to God is changing the character of Christianity, from a grovelling something, weeping and wailing its way in tears, to the kingly recognition of union and communion with the living Son of God. Yea, bless God, to the recognition of the real fact that the Word of God so vividly portrayed in the lesson I read. That “in the bringing of many sons into the world” not one son in the world, but in the bringing of many sons into the world, “it became him to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering.” Blessed be God.
I am glad, bless God, that the Scriptures have dignified us with that marvellous title of “sons of God.” I am glad there is such a relation as a “Son of God” and that by His grace the cleansed soul, cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, filled and energised by His own Kingly Spirit, that he too by the grace of God has become God’s king, God’s gentleman indeed and in truth.
The Spirit of the Lord says within my soul, that the kingly nature of the Son of God is purposed to be revealed in the nature of every man, that Christ’s kingliness may be prevalent in all the world and govern the heart of man, even as it governs the heart of those who know Him and have entered into His glory.
(A young man called up from audience.)
I listened to this young man’s testimony on Friday night with a thrill in my soul. I want him to tell you what God had done in him and for him.
“I do not know whether I can tell it all or not. I am sure there is a good deal I can not tell. When I was a lad of about 14 years old I was forced into the mines to work, and I worked a great deal in the water, which brought on rheumatism. I was crippled up for years in my younger days, and gradually grew worse. I could walk around, but you could hardly notice where I was afflicted. It was in the hips and back.
A great many physicians said there was no relief for me. When I came down here to Spokane and was labouring on anything I could not stoop down. When I would drop my pick or shovel I would have to pick it up with my feet and reach for it with my hands.
I came to this meeting last fall, and with one prayer by Brother Lake I was healed in thirty minutes of rheumatism, which had been a constant torture to me for years. Later on I contracted tuberculosis, and was examined by the county physician, Stutz, who advised me that the best thing to do was to go to Edgecliff. Also other physicians said I was very bad, and they did not think I could live more that six or eight months, unless I went out there right away.
I took the same thing for it. I went to the healing rooms for prayer, also Brother Peterson prayed for me, and in three weeks I went to Dr Stutz and he could not find a trace of it. I have gained eleven pounds, and I never felt better in my life.”
That is a simple story isn’t it, but that story is a revealer of the question that has probably caused more debate in Christian life than almost any other, and of which the world has little understanding. That is that the Spirit of God is a living force that takes possession of the nature of man and works in man the will of God, and the will of God is ever to make man like Himself. Blessed be His precious Name.
It would be a strange Word indeed, and a strange salvation if Jesus was not able to produce from the whole race one man in His own image, in His own likeness and of His own character. We would think that salvation was weak, would we not?
If the world were nothing but cripples, as it largely is, soul cripples, physical cripples, mental cripples everywhere, then I want to know what kind of a conception the world has received of the divinity of Jesus Christ, of the Power of His salvation? Is there no hope, is there no way out of the difficulty, is there no force that can lift the soul of man into union with God, so that once again the life of God thrills in his members?
Our purpose, by the grace of God, is to reveal to the world that that is the real truth and purpose and power of the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ. My soul rejoices every time I see a man set free, for I say within my heart, “There is one more witness to the divine fact that the Christ of God is a living power, taking possession of the nature of man and transforming man’s being into His own image.”
The mere fact of our brother’s deliverance from suffering and inability to help himself, and a possible premature death, is a very small matter in itself, in comparison with the wonder it reveals to us. The revelation of the power of God at the command of man, to be applied to the destruction of evil, whether spiritual or physical, mental or psychological, shows us Christ’s purpose and desire to bring man by the grace of God once more into his heavenly estate, where he recognises himself a son of God. Blessed be His Name.
Years ago I found myself like my brother, but worse crippled than he when my legs drew out of shape and my body became distorted by the common curse of rheumatism. My pastor said, “Brother you are glorifying God,” and my church said, “Brother, be patient and endure it. Let the sweetness of the Lord possess your soul.” And I was good enough to believe it for a long time, until one day I discovered that it was not the will of God at all, but the will of the dirty crooked-legged devil that wanted to make me like himself. And then, bless God, everything was changed and I laid down everything and went to Chicago to the only place where I knew then that a man could get healed. I went to John Alexander Dowie’s Divine Healing Home at 12th and Michigan Streets, and an old grey haired man came and laid his hands on me and the power of God went through my being and made my leg straight, and I went out and walked on the street like a Christian.
Do you know when my legs straightened out it taught me the beginning of one of the deepest lessons that ever came to my life. It taught me that God did not appreciate a man with crooked legs any more than He does with a crooked soul. I saw the abundant power of the gospel of salvation, and that it was placed at the disposal of man to remove the unchristlikeness of his life, and if there was unchristlikeness in the body, we could get rid of the curse by coming to God and being made whole. For there is just as much unchristlikeness in men’s bodies as in men’s souls. That which is in the inner life will also be revealed in the outer life. That which is a fact in the mental and psychological will become a fact in the physical also. And, Bless God, that which is the divine fact of all facts, that the spirit of man and the Spirit of God are of one substance and one nature, and his mind and body take on of the spiritual power imparted, until it too becomes Christlike. Blessed be His holy Name.
The Spirit of the Lord speaks within my soul and says:
“Within the breast of every man is the divine image of God (living God), in whose image and likeness he was made. That sin is a perversion, and sickness an imposter, and the grace and power of God through the Holy Ghost delivers man from all bondage of darkness, and man in all his nature rises into union and communion with God and becomes one with Him the truest sense. One in the thoughts of God, one in the aspirations of God, one in the Spirit of Jesus Christ as the Saviour of man and man then gives himself a Saviour also lifting man by the grace of God to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” Blessed be His holy Name.
“There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
Like the wideness of the sea;
There’s a kindness in His Justice,
Which is more than liberty.
But we make His love too narrow
By false limits of our own,
And we magnify His strictness
With a zeal He will not own.
There is welcome for the sinner,
And more graces for the good;
There is mercy with the Saviour;
There is healing in His blood.
For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of Man’s mind;
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.
If our lives were but more simple,
We should take Him at His word;
And our lives would be all sunshine
In the sweetness of our Lord.”
So the divine realities remain. The reality of God a living power. The divine assistance, the heavenly nature known to every man who enters by the Spirit through the door, Christ Jesus, into a living experience. The man who doubts is the man on the outside. The man on the inside has not questions to settle that do not comprehend God, as that soul that has never been in contact with His life and power. But Christ invites mankind to enter with Him into the divine knowledge and heavenly union that makes the spirit of man and the Spirit of God to be one indeed and in truth. Bless God!
Man is the divinest reality that God has given in His great creation. Man in the image of God, man renewed by the life of God, filled with the Holy Spirit, revealing and giving forth by the living Spirit, transformed eyen as himself has been transformed. Blessed be His name.
God has made us in the truest and highest sense co-partners and co-labourers with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He has not withheld one possibility that was manifested in Jesus from any man, but on the contrary invites mankind to come forth in the dignity and power of sons of God, and to that Christ and in Christ join in the mighty wonder of the salvation of the world over sin and sickness, and the power of death and darkness and hell. Bless God.
Salvation to my heart is Christ’s glorious reality. Under a tree away back in Canada one night I knelt and poured out my heart to God and asked Him, by His grace, to take possession of my life and nature and make me a Christian man, and let me know the power of His salvation. And Christ was born in my soul. Such a joy of God possessed my heart that the leaves of the trees seemed to dance for months following, and the birds sang a new song and the angels of God witnessed of the glory of heaven in my own heart. Blessed be His Name.
Salvation is a progressive condition. The difficulty with church has been that men were enduced to confess their sins to Christ and acknowledge Him as a Saviour, and there they stopped, there they petrified, there they withered, there they died, dry rotted. I believe in these phrases I have expressed the real thing that has taken place in 85% of professing Christians in the world. Oh, Bless, God, we never saw Christ’s intention. That day away back there, when the glory light of God first shone into my soul, was a glorious day, the best I had ever known to that moment. But, beloved, it would be a sorrowful thing in my life if I was compelled to look back to that day as the best. No, bless God, there were better days than that. There were days when the Lord God took me into His confidence and revealed His nature and revealed His purpose, and revealed His love and revealed His nature and revealed His ministry. Yea, Bless God, there came a day when God once more in His loving mercy endowed me with the Spirit of God, to be and perform the things that He had planted in my soul and had revealed in His own blessed Word and life.
I invite you to this life of divine reality. I invite you to enter into the Lord Jesus. I invite you to enter into His nature that you may know Him, for no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. It is through the revelation of the Spirit of Christ in the soul of man that he is privileged to know Jesus as the Lord. Blessed be God. We may know Him as an historic character, we may know Him as the ideal man, we may know Him as the Christ and Saviour, but we do not know Him as the living God who imparts His own nature and life and power to us, until we know Him as the Scripture says in the Holy Ghost. Bless God!
He who has lived and felt that religious life was a dream or a myth or an abstract something that was hard to lay your hands on, an intangible condition, has been mistaken. I bless God. In the bosom of the Living One is the divine realities of God, filling and thrilling the soul of Christ Himself, filling and thrilling the soul of every recipient of the life of the Lord Jesus.
And the Spirit of the Lord once more speaks within my heart and says that, “the joys of God and the glories of heaven and the understanding of angelic existence and being are only known to him who is privileged in consciousness to enter that life and realm. That God by His grace has purposed that man in his nature and consciousness shall live in union and communion with our Father God, and with the Lord Jesus Christ, His Son, the innumerable company of angels and the presence of just men made perfect and we shall know the power and wonder of the blood of Jesus that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
And the Spirit of the Lord speaks yet again and says that as Jesus was the Prophet of all prophets, because of the completeness of the union of His nature with God, that man in turn becomes the prophet of prophets as his spirit assimilates with the Spirit of Him, the divine One; that man becomes the lover of all lovers, even as Jesus Christ was the lover of all men, thrilling men with the intensity of His affection in the union of spirit with Himself, binding them by the love of His nature as the bond-salves of Christ forever.
So the Christian draws to himself the love of men, not because he slavishly desires it, but because of the fact that he obeys Christ’s divine law, “Give and it shall be given unto you, full measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over, so shall men give into your bosom.” Blessed be God.
And I want to tell you that this little church is one of the most loved of all churches in all the world. I want to tell you that more hungry hearts are turned in longing toward this little company of people than to any other company of worshippers in the land. Why? They have heard that God is here and the longing of the nature of man to know God causes them to turn their hearts and their faces toward the source of heavenly blessing. Shall we give it to them, or will we disappoint them? Shall they receive the blessing of God through our heart, or will they turn away hungry and dissatisfied? Yea, I know your answer, for I know the answer of the Spirit, “Give and it shall be given unto you.” Blessed be God. The greatest giver is the greatest receiver. He who gives most receives most.. God’s divine law. The reverse of God’s law is always evidenced in the soul of man as selfishness. Always getting, always getting, always getting, until the nature contracts and the face distorts and the brain diminishes and the life that God gave to be abundant becomes an abomination, that men are compelled to endure.
For a picture of this article, click here.
The Spokesman Review, Sunday, March 17, 1918
The Church at Spokane Maintains Divine Healing Parlors for the accommodation of the public at 340 Rookery building. Personal interviews and ministry for every need of spirit, soul and body. Lord's day service at Masonic temple, 11 a. m. and 3 p. m. Subject for tomorrow 3 p. m., "St. Patrick and His Power". Telephone Main 1463.
A Lecture on Divine Healing
Divine healing, what is it? It is healing by the spirit of God, exercised through the spirit of man. Jesus, the Master Healer, not only healed Himself, but empowered His 12 disciples to perform the same ministry. Later He empowered "seventy others also." making in all 82 men who practiced the ministry of healing during His earth life.
After the resurrection of Jesus, just before His ascension, a great new commission was given to His disciples. He sent them to preach to all men everywhere, commanding them to "preach the gospel to every creature," and declaring concerning those believers who were to become disciples through their ministry that, "These signs shall follow them that believe: In My name shall they (the believer) cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
A common fallacy in connection with the subject of healing is taught by the churches at large; namely: First, the days of miracles are past; second, no one healed but the 12 apostles. These statements exist because of the lack of knowledge on the general subject of healing, as set forth in the Scriptures.
In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul sets forth in order the various gifts of the Spirit prevalent in the church; First, the word of wisdom; second, the word of knowledge; third, faith; fourth, the gifts of healing; fifth, the working of miracles; sixth, prophecy; seventh, discerning of spirits; eighth, divers kinds of tongues; ninth, interpretation of tongues.
He commends the church in that, "Ye come behind in no gift," All these various gifts of the Spirit were exercised among them.
James, in instructing Christians concerning their faith in God, said, "Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him." Regarding this prayer, he said, "The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." He further declares, "The prayer of a righteous man availeth much in its working."
The writings of the church fathers for 400 years after Christ emphasized the power of healing as known in the churches at that period. Certain sects of Christians from the days of Jesus until the present have practiced the ministry of healing, namely: The Armenians, the Waldenses of Germany, and the Huguenots. In later years, the followers of Dorothy Truedell of Switzerland, the Buchlerites of South Africa, and, in our own day, the Christian and Missionary Alliance, with headquarters in New York, the Church of God, and the followers of John Alexander Dowie, who maintain a city in the state of Illinois in which no doctor has ever practiced medicine and where no one employs a physician or takes medicine. They trust God wholly and solely for the healing of their body. And the national vital statistics show that their death rate is beneath the average city of the same population in the rest of the country.
Since the establishment of the Spokane Divine Healing Institute in January, 1915, Spokane has become the healthiest city in the United States, according to the national record.
We are frequently asked, "What is Divine Healing?" "Is it Christian Science?" "Is it psychological?" or "Is it spiritual?" We reply: Divine Healing is a portion of the Spirit of God transmitted through the spirit of man. The Spirit of God was imparted by Jesus through laying His hands upon the sick. Again and again in the Word we read, "He laid His hands on them and healed them." Indeed, the Spirit of God so radiated through and from His personality that His clothing became impregnated by it.
The woman ----- touched the hem of His garment felt in her body that "she was whole of that -----" Jesus discerned that ----- hath gone out of ----- Having faith to touch His garment she received the power of the Spirit into her person. So mighty was the power of the Spirit in the Apostle Paul tha twe read in Acts 19 that "From his ----- were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs ----- aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them."
Lakes Reply to Dr. Elwood Bulgin
By John G. Lake
February 28, 1920
Dr Elwood Bulgin,
Dear Brother in Christ:
It was my privilege to be present at your meeting at the St. Paul Methodist Church at Spokane last Monday night and listen to your sermon. I was deeply impressed by the masterful manner in which you marshalled your facts, and the spirit in which they were presented to your great audience.
Your presentation of the deity of Jesus Christ, and the sharpness with which you brought the facts of the denial of the deity of Jesus by the Christian Scientists, were striking. The masterful handling of the whole subject commanded my admiration, and I believe the admiration of a great majority of your audience.
Men can speak with frankness to each other, particularly when their interest in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ are identical. You have lived, loved, and denied yourself, and suffered for the cause of the Kingdom of Christ in the earth. I, too, have loved and suffered for my fidelity to the vision of the redemption of Jesus Christ which God revealed to me.
For twenty-five years I have laboured, as few men in the world have laboured for so long a period, to bring before the world as far as I could the magnificent truths of the redemptive blood and life and power of the Son of God.
Your methods and my methods have been different. You, in your forceful, philosophical manner, have undertaken to destroy faith in Christian Science through opposition, ridicule, and exposure of what you believe to be its fallacies. On the other hand I have undertaken by specific revelation of the truth of Jesus Christ concerning the healing power of God and its availability for all men today to show the world that there is no need for any man to leave any stable Christian body in order to secure the benefits of salvation and healing specifically declared by Jesus Christ Himself to be available for every man.
Jesus, in contrast with the ancient philosophers and reformers of the past and present, first gave Himself in consecration to God, body, soul and spirit, thereby establishing the pattern consecration for all Christians forever. His baptism was the dedication and commitment of Himself “unto all righteousness.” He undertook to reveal the righteousness of God. Note the nature of this revelation.
Having definitely committed Himself, His body, His soul, His spirit, to God forever, immediately there descended upon Him the witness to His hundredfold consecration. The Holy Ghost came from heaven as a dove and abode upon Him, as it ever will upon every man who will meet Almighty God with the same utterances of real consecration to God, of spirit and soul and body. This reveals the demand of God upon the Christians’ person and conscience, and the answer of God from heaven to this fullness of consecration.
Being thus definitely equipped, He proceeded to the wilderness for testing by Satan to see if this consecration of body and soul and spirit would endure.
He overcame all the efforts of Satan to tempt him in the specific departments of His life; first, the body; second, the soul; third, the spirit. He overcame through reliance on God and His word, and came forth in the power of the Spirit. He announced the constructive platform of His life and ministry, containing the following six planks:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me.”
First- “To preach the gospel to the poor.”
Second - “He hath sent me to heal the broken hearted.”
Third - “To preach deliverance to the captives.”
Fourth - “Recovering of sight to the blind.”
Fifth - “To set at liberty them that are bruised.”
Sixth - “To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
God’s acceptable year had come. No more waiting for the year of Jubilee and all its consequent blessings. God’s never-ending Jubilee was at hand in Jesus Christ.
He then went throughout all Galilee teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people, and so established forever the ideal of Christian ministry for the Church of God.
Then He empowered twelve men, and “sent them to preach the Kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.” Profiting by their experience, and advancing in faith and knowledge of the power of God, He “called seventy others also.” But in sending forth the seventy He reversed the order of instruction. To the seventy He said, “Go into the cities round about. Heal the sick that are therein, and say to them, the Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.” And they returned rejoicing that even the devils were subject to them “through thy name.”
Then came His Wonderful entrance into death, His redemption on the cross, His resurrection from the grave, His interviews with His disciples, His last commission in which, according to Mark, He established in the Church of Christ, to be born through their preaching in all the world, the very same ministry of salvation and healing that He himself during His earth life had practiced. That ministry contained the message of Jesus to all the world and the anointing with power from on High, just as He had received it at His baptism. Indeed He commanded them to wait in Jerusalem until “Ye shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence.”
He declared to them that certain signs should follow, saying, “These signs shall follow them that believe.” Every one, every Christian soul, was thus commissioned by Jesus to heal the sick and sinful from sickness and sin.
“In my name shall they:”
First - “Cast out devils.”
Second - “They shall speak with new tongues.”
Third - “They shall take up serpents.”
Fourth - “And if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.”
Fifth - “They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.”
The same Holy Spirit of God which flowed through Jesus Christ, the anointing that was upon Him and which flowed through His hands and into the sick, was an impartation of God so real that when the woman touched the hem of His garment she was conscious of the instant effect of the healing in her body through it. “She felt in her body that she was healed of that plague,” while Jesus Himself was likewise conscious of an outflow. He said: “Somebody hath touched me, for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.”
Divine Healing is the particular phase of ministry in which the modern Church does not measure up to the Early Church. This failure has been due to a lack of knowledge of the real nature and the real process of Christian Healing. The above incident reveals the secret of what the power was, how the power operated, by what law it was transmitted from the disciple to the one who needed the blessing. The power was the Holy Ghost of God, both in Jesus Christ after His baptism in the Holy Ghost, and in the disciples after the baptism of the Holy Ghost came upon them on the day of Pentecost. It flowed through the hands of Jesus to the sick, it permeated the garments He wore. When the woman touched even the hem of His garment there was sufficient of the power of God there for her need.
The disciples healed the sick by the same method. Indeed, the apostle Paul, realising this law, permitted the people to bring to him handkerchiefs and aprons that they might touch his body, and when they were carried to the sick, the sick were healed through the power of God in the handkerchiefs, and the demons that inhabited their persons went out of them.
Herein is shown the secret of the early Church, that which explains the whole miracle-working power of the apostles and the early Church for four hundred years. The same is evident in branches of the modern Church. Herein is revealed the secret that has been lost. That secret is the conscious, tangible, living, incoming, abiding, outflowing Spirit of God through the disciple of Christ who has entered into blood-washed relationship and baptism in the Holy Ghost.
This is the secret that the modern Church from the days of the Reformation onward has failed to reveal. We have, however, retained a form of godliness, “but have denied the power thereof.”
When Jesus laid His hands on people the Holy Ghost was imparted to them in healing virtue. When the disciples and early Christians likewise laid their hands on the sick, the Holy Ghost was imparted through them to the needy one. Likewise the Holy Ghost was imparted to preachers “for the work of the ministry,” including healing. Primitive Church history abounds in examples of healing in the same manner. Paul specifically enjoins Timothy to “forget not the gift (power) that is in thee, that came through the laying on of my hands.” It was an impartation of the Holy Ghost to Timothy for the work of the Christian ministry.
In the whole range of Church history we have retained the form, but have lost its power in a great degree. The pope lays his hands on the head of the Cardinals, the Cardinal lays his hands on the head of the Bishops, the Bishop lays his hands on the head of the Priest, the Priest lays his hands on the head of the communicants when he receives them as members of the Church.
In the Protestant Church in all her branches, the laying on of hands in ordination for the ministry is practiced. But in the early Church it was not the laying on of hands alone, but through the laying on of hands the impartation of the definite living Spirit of the living God to the individual took place. Through its power in him he was constituted a real priest, a real elder, a real preacher with grace, healing power and faith anointed of God from on High.
God gave the blood of Jesus to the Christian Church. God gave the power of healing to the Christian Church in the Holy Ghost, and as long as they lived under the anointing of the Holy Ghost and exercised the faith of Jesus in their hearts, the healing power of God manifested and is still manifest where this condition exists. Christian Science exists because of the failure of the Christian Church to truly present Jesus Christ and His power through the Spirit and minister it to the world.
Robert G. Ingersoll assailed the Holy Scriptures, laughed at the Christian God, destroyed the faith of men, wrecked their hopes and left them stranded and abandoned amid the wreckage. Through this means he brought the just condemnation of the world upon himself. The world condemns him to this hour in that he destroyed the faith of men without supplying to their souls something to take its place, as he should have done, and as any man who is honourable and true must do.
You recommended Divine Healing in one breath and denied its potency in the next. You have attacked Christian Science, the followers of Dowie, and others and arraigned them at the bar and condemned them, without giving to men a tangible way by which the healing of God might be brought to them. Why do you not study and practice Jesus Christ’s own way of healing and so make your ministry constructive? What are you going to do with the multitude of dying that the doctors can not help? Leave them to die? The doctors have got through with them. And in many instances even though they are still prescribing for them and are perfectly aware of their inability to heal the sick ones and are candid and willing to say so. Dr Bulgin, what have you got for these? What have you given to these?
If a man were walking down the street with a very poor set of crutches and a ruffian came along and kicked the crutches from under him and let him fall, every honest soul would rise in condemnation of the ruffian’s act and demand reparation.
You come to the dying, kick their hope from under them, and let them fall to the ground, and leave them there to die without bringing them the true healing power in the blood and Spirit of Jesus. It is not sufficient to say “I believe in Divine healing.” If they are sick they must be healed.
This must not be construed as a defence of Christian Science. It is not given with that thought, nor in that spirit. It is given rather in the hope that as an influential man in the Christian Church, you may see the weakness of your position and of the position of the Church, and by the grace of God call the Church back again to faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for healing for every man from every disease, as Jesus Christ intended it should be and as the scriptures definitely, positively teach, and make proper scriptural provision for a definite healing ministry.
In the hope of supplying this need of the Church, the Protestant ministers of the city of Los Angeles have agreed in formal resolution to begin the teaching and study and practice of healing, How has this come to pass, and why? They have been whipped into it by the success of Christian Science.
A recent issue of a New York daily paper announces that the pastors of New York have likewise undertaken to teach the people the power of God to heal.
The Protestant Episcopal Church is endeavouring through the ministry of a layman of the Church of England from the old country, a Mr Hickson, to educate their people in the truth of healing through the atonement of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, by the laying on of hands and the prayer of faith. In a few days the gentleman will appear at All Saints Cathedral, Spokane, for that purpose, and the sick will be invited to be ministered to in the name of the Son of God and healed through His blood purchase.
The Church of England in England and also in Africa for ten years has been endeavouring to organise societies, not to teach their people Christian Science, psychic therapeutics, or mental healing, all of which belong to the realm of the natural, but to teach and demonstrate the pure power of God from Heaven by the Holy Ghost, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ, to heal diseases.
Frank N. Riale, a secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Education of New York, with sixty-three universities and colleges under his control and supervision, is the author of a remarkable book, “The Sinless, Sickless, Deathless Life,” in which he recounts in a chapter entitled “How the Light and the Fire Fell” the marvellous story of his own conversion. He was a minister of the Gospel and a graduate of Harvard. He found his Lord at the hands of an Indian in Dakota. He tells of the light of God that came to his soul in sanctifying power through the ministry of a Salvation Army officer, Colonel Brengle. He related his marvellous healing, when a diseased and dying wreck, through the reading of a religious tract on healing and his experience in seeing many healed of all manner of diseases by the power of God. You are a Presbyterian, my Brother. You need not go out of your own Church for the truth of God concerning healing.
The question before the Church, now that the break toward healing has come, and it has come, is who is prepared to teach and demonstrate the truth of God concerning healing? Will it be a fact that in the absence of knowledge of God by the ministry of the Church for healing, will the Church in her blindness and ignorance and helplessness be overwhelmed by Christian Science, New Thought and the thousand and one cults which teach psychological healing?
There is the prophet of God who should come forward, teach and demonstrate the pure spiritual value and power of the Holy Ghost, secured for men because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, gave His blood to get it for them? Is it not time that such men as yourself arise in the dignity of Christ and throw off the shackles of formal religion and by the grace of God enter into the real life of living power through the Son of God in the Holy Ghost, and rescue the Church out of her present degradation, re-establishing forever Divine Healing on its true and scriptural basis, the atonement of Jesus Christ?
Twenty-five years ago the light concerning healing came to my soul, after four brothers and four sisters had died of diseases, and when four other members of the family were in a dying state, abandoned by the physicians as hopeless, and after my father had spent a fortune trying to obtain human help. One man of God who had the truth of God in his heart came to the rescue. All four sick ones were healed. I was an ardent Methodist. I loved my Church. My parents were members of an old Scotch Presbyterian Kirk, The Presbyterian Church had no light on the subject of healing; the Methodist Church had no light on the subject of healing. I received my light through a man who had been a minister of the Congregational Church. He knew God. He knew Christ the Lord. He knew the power of God to save, and the power of God to heal.
When I accepted this blessed truth and saw my family healed out of death, what was the attitude of the Church? Just what the attitude of all the leading Churches has been. When I declared this truth before our conferences, she undertook to ostracise me; and from that day to this many, of her ministry, who have prayed through to God and secured the blessing and power of God upon their soul to heal the sick, have been forced out of her ministry.
Dr Bulgin, is it not time to quit attacking forms of faith, whether good or bad, and turn your attention and the attention of the Church to the only thing that will deliver her out of her present wretchedness and inability to bless, and to bring her back again to Christ, to the foot of the cross, to the blood of Jesus, to the Holy Ghost from on High, to the power of God and the real faith including healing, “once delivered to the saints.” Through this healing ministry the Church at Spokane reports 100,000 healings by the power of God through five years of continuous daily efforts and the kindred blessed fact that the majority of those healed were saved from sin also.
The dying world is stretching out her hands for help. The Church on account of her laxness in this matter opens the doors for the existence of Christian Science and all the thousand and one worn out philosophies that follow in her train. Let the manhood of the Church arise, take the place of the prophet of God, call her back to the ministry of real salvation, a blessed salvation not alone for men after they are dead, or that will give them bliss in heaven when they die, but to a salvation that gives eternal life in Christ, health for the mind, and health for the body, and supplies likewise the power of God for the immediate need, for the need of the sick, for the need of the sinful, the wretched and dying and sin-cursed and disease smitten.
Let the Church return in the glory of God and the power of Christ to the original faith as clearly demonstrated in the New Testament, as perpetuated forever in the Church through the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit, demonstrating beyond controversy that as long as the Holy Spirit is in the Church so long are the gifts of the Holy Spirit, not only present but exercisable through faith. See 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12.
“For to one is given by the Spirit”
First - “The word of wisdom.”
Second - “The word of knowledge.”
Third - “Faith by the same spirit.”
Fourth - “The gifts of healing.”
Fifth - “The working of miracles.”
Sixth - “To another prophecy.”
Seventh - “To another discerning of spirits.”
Eighth - “To another divers kinds of tongues.”
Ninth - “To another the interpretation of tongues.”
The unchanging order of government, spiritual enduement, and ministry of the gifts of the Spirit are further declared as follows; “And God hath set some in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly, teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
When the Church exercises these gifts then she may condemn Christian Science, Dowieism, or New Thought; then she may condemn every other philosophical cult; then she may condemn Unitarianism, and everything else that you preach against. Though she will not need to. Jesus never did. There were just as many strange philosophies in His day as in ours. The constructive righteousness of Christ, the presence of the living Son of God to save and heal, the revelation to the world of His divine power, will stop the mouths of every ‘ism’ and manifest one glorious, triumphant, all-embracing power of God through Jesus Christ, His Son, and its everlasting superiority. Neither will you be compelled as you are to glorify doctors, medicines, surgery, and so on, when the greatest physicians on earth have deplored their inability to deliver the world from its curse of sickness. Then you can not only teach the theory of the atonement of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ but demonstrate its reality and power to save both soul and body.
All the abstract criticism in the world is powerless to stop the drift from the Churches to Christian Science so long as Christian Science heals the sick and the Church does not. Men demand to be shown. When the authority of Jesus to forgive sins was challenged, He met the challenge with the healing of the palsied man, not with negations and criticisms. He said: “Whether is it easier to say, thy sins be forgiven thee or to say, arise and walk? But that ye may know I say arise and walk.” He was too big for abstract criticism. So must the Christian and the Church become.
This letter to Dr Bulgin was printed in the leading daily newspaper in Spokane, Washington, 1920.
The Portland Vision
(May 20, 1920)
In May, 1920, John G. Lake moved to Portland, Oregon to start and oversee another Apostolic Church. During this time he had the following vision:
He could not sleep so he walked in the shadows of the tall trees in Mount Tabor Park.
“Through the park is a footpath coming down through the trees that leads out to the street where we live, and in my vision I was seemingly out in the street, at the foot of this footpath, and as I looked up in the park I was attracted by a quite brilliant light far up in the park. It was very slowly coming down the pathway to the street. I stood somewhat surprised, supposing it was some night man on some duty in the park, probably searching for something or somebody. As it approached I discovered that, instead, it was an angel presence, and the brilliance was an illumination surrounding him. He stood a few feet from me, and said to me, "I have come to answer your prayers. Come with me.”
Three wreaths: black, pink white.
One dropped in San Francisco. One Honolulu. He said: “Through great suffering, through much tribulation, these have conquered.”
CHINA: A man, a European, was lying on the ground. Close by lay his wife. On one side of her a boy of about seven or eight and on the other side a girl of about ten or twelve. Turning to me the angel said, “These have given their all for the Lord and His Kingdom.” He took a white wreath and as he held it in his hands tears fell upon the wreath and each tear turned into a diamond. It was covered by sparkling diamonds. He dropped the wreath and it lit by the head of the dead missionary.
TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY to MOSCOW and PETROGRAD, He explained the state of suffering of those under Soviet rule. Some scenes were so pitiable that my own soul was moved to tears. He said, “The Dragon, the great red dragon, the hater of Jesus, the enthroner of the human beast-he shall come to his end and none shall help.”
He wanted to ask about Africa but was restrained by the demeanor of the angel. Only limited questions were permitted and some did not consider worthy of an answer.
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA: “The heart of Jesus was once gladdened here through the glory, the grace and the power of God manifested here. But human pride, formalism and lack of faith have brought disappointment to the heart of Him we love. But the glory will return, and the tried and true, those who have suffered and labored and prayed, will be rewarded. But all self- seekers shall be dethroned.”
INDIA: He could comprehend the soul struggle of certain elements. The angel said, “The present struggle is not a struggle to attain a knowledge of Jesus or to know His salvation. It is, rather, an endeavor to enthrone the heathen ideal of human efficiency.”
PALESTINE: He was made conscious of the enmity between the Jews and the Arabs. The angel said, “The Kingdom must first be in the hearts of men.”
PORTLAND: Church at Portland: “To my amazement, on approaching the building, high in the atmosphere a half a mile or more, I discerned millions of demons, organized as a modern army. There were those who apparently acted as shock troops. They would charge with great ferocity, followed by a wave, and yet another wave, and yet another wave. After a little while I observed there operated a restraining influence that constituted a barrier through which they could not force themselves. With all the ingenuity of humans at war, this multitude of demons seemed to endeavor to break the barrier or to go further, but were utterly restrained. In amazement, I said to the angel, "What does it mean?" He said to me, "Such is the care of God for those that strive in unselfishness for His best.”
I discerned the heart of the angel was overburdened. In answer to this the angel said, “Human selfishness and human pride have consumed and dissipated the very glory and heavenly power that God once gave from heaven to this movement as you have beheld tonight.”
We were now at the foot of the pathway again. He took a step or two away, and in a sort of despair my heart cried out, “Angel, these are struggling for want of an ideal. What constitutes real Pentecost? What ideal should be held before the minds of men as the will of God exhibited through a movement like this?”
During all this time I had carried my Bible in my hand. Reaching for the Bible, he opened to the Book of Acts, ran his finger down over the second page, that portion where the Spirit of God came down from Heaven. Proceeding through the Book of Acts to its great outstanding revelations and phenomena, he said, “This is Pentecost as God gave it through the heart of Jesus. Strive for this. Contend for this. Teach the people to pray for this. For this, and this alone, will meet the necessity of the human heart, and this alone will have the power to overcome the forces of darkness.” When the angel was departing he said, “Pray. Pray. Pray. Teach the people to pray. Prayer and prayer alone, much prayer, persistent prayer, is the door of entrance into the heart of God.”
Evolution of the Christian Consciousness
by John G. Lake
July 15, 1920
Chicago Convention of Pentecostal Assemblies
I want to talk to you tonight about my Lord. I want you to get acquainted with Him. Some know Him in one way or another. None of us has reached the place where we have it all, but, bless God, we are on the way. When I was a boy, I thought the sole aim and object of the gospel was to keep from going to hell. A good many other folks observe Christianity from that point of view yet. After awhile, evangelists changed the idea somewhat. They began to teach that the object of being a Christian was not to keep from going to hell, but to go to heaven. Then, I began reasoning. I said, “One is just as selfish as the other.” The one gets saved to keep from going to hell, and the other one gets saved to get to heaven. Both are wholly selfish, and neither one is the real purpose of Jesus.
Jesus gave one final reason for men being Christians, and, strangely, very few people have ever discovered, even from the Word of God, what that real purpose is.
One day, Jesus came along by the River Jordan when John was baptizing and asked for the privilege of being baptized. John was startled. He said, “I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?” (Matthew 3:14). Jesus said, “Suffer it to be so,” and then He gave the real reason: “for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness” (verse 15). In one of the liberal translations, it says, “Unto all righteousness.”
Jesus was going to be baptized as His commitment of His body and His soul and His spirit to God forever, in order that from thenceforth He might manifest the righteousness of God.
To manifest the righteousness of God is the real reason for a man’s desire to be a Christian—not to go to heaven when he dies or to keep out of hell, but to reveal the righteousness of God in this world. And then, heaven and all our rewards will be the natural result of having lived in unity with God and having revealed His righteousness in this world.
God has a wonderful purpose. God’s Christian is the most magnificent specimen in all the universe of God. God’s ideal for a Christian surpasses everything else in the whole world. Varied churches and varied religious institutions have their peculiar idea of what a Christian is. One of their ideals seems to be that the individual must be able to whoop and hop around and all that sort of thing. But Jesus never did it. He was too big for that. He had outgrown it. We have our ideas of religious meetings. Not one of them is like the meetings Jesus conducted, at least only in a slight way. Then, we have our ideas of what constitutes a real message. My! If you will read the Word of Jesus over again, you will discover that few of our messages are like the message of the Lord. His messages were an uncovering of the soul of man, an uncovering of the nature of God so that men could discern Him, and when they discerned Him, they loved Him. The message of Jesus was constructive, not destructive; positive righteousness, not negative obedience.
Jesus gave a new name to God that nobody had ever given Him before. The prophets were intimate with God, and the Old Testament is one marvelous revelation of intimacy with God. They knew Him as a great Governor, as a great Controller, as the One who guided the affairs of the universe, but Jesus knew Him as “Father.” He introduced into Bible vocabulary a new name to express God to us.
I am going to talk to you along a line that perhaps may seem new. First, I want to place before you God’s ideal of a Christian. Then, by His grace, I am going to undertake unfolding, step-by-step, how men arrive at that stature of Christ.
God’s ideal of a Christian is neither a man who is ready to go to heaven nor a man who lives a good life in this world nor a man who has victory over sin or victory over disease. It includes all these things, but it is ten thousand times more than that.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11–13)
And that is the ideal of my heart—that somehow, in God’s divine grace, by the wonderful processes of His Spirit, He is going to help me to grow up out of babyhood and infancy into the stature of Jesus Christ. And that is God’s ideal for the Christian.
You say, “But, brother, I was saved from my sins.” Yes, Jesus was. “Don’t you know I was sanctified?” Why, surely, Jesus was. Don’t you know Jesus was baptized in the Holy Ghost, but He went so far beyond that it reveals these were but the beginnings by which a Son of God was born and came into being? His development was beyond all that and went beyond all our known Christian experiences.
I want to speak now of the growth of the knowledge of God that took place in Jesus Christ. This will sound strange to some of you. But you say, “Jesus Himself was God.” Surely He was; He was likewise man. “He took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham” (Hebrews 2:16). “[He] was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
He came to our level. He demonstrated in the beginning that man could be an overcomer over the powers of darkness through reliance on God and His Word.
His demonstration began first in the order of nature, where He met no mind but His own. He changed the water into wine by the action of His own will; He stilled the sea by the word of His command; He walked on the water—each one of them an ascent over the other. Each one of them revealing that in the soul of Jesus Himself there was an ever-ascending scale in God.
Then, the next thing in the life of Jesus was when He began His ministry of healing. When He undertook His ministry of healing, He had another mind to meet—the mind of the individual who needed the blessing. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” (Matthew 4:23).
Then, Jesus entered a new realm. If you study the healings that took place under His ministry, you will observe that first, it was the healing of disease; next, the healing of the blind; next, the healing of the lepers—a gradual, continuous assent. And last, the creation of eyes in the man born blind. And now there developed in the soul of Jesus a holy dawning of the power of God, even over death, and in His demonstration over the power of death there are three degrees, like the other. (See Matthew 4; 8; 9; John 9.)
The daughter of Jairus was dead for a few minutes. While the father was interceding, the servants came, saying, “Thy daughter is dead.” Jesus went instantly to her bedside, and she arose to life. (See Matthew 9:18–19, 23–26.)
The son of the widow of Nain was dead for several hours, and they were carrying him out for burial, when Jesus touched the bier, and he arose. (See Luke 7:11–15.)
Lazarus was dead for four days, and the testimony of his sisters was, “By this time he stinketh” (John 11:39).
First instance, death in the first degree, dead a few minutes; next, in the second degree, dead a few hours; and, in the third degree, dead four days; “By this time he stinketh.”
My, there is a wonderful revelation in connection with the raising of Lazarus that is not given in the story as it appears in the New Testament. I want to quote from the New Testament Apocrypha, from the book of Nicodemus. It will explain a whole lot to you.
Before I give this story, I want to call your attention to one other thing, because it concludes the thought I had in mind. There are degrees in the experience of Jesus by which He took one step after another in every single realm until He eventually manifested God’s divine perfection. There was the crucifixion, followed by the resurrection, and climaxed by the ascension—each one of them a degree in the power of God beyond the other.
If Jesus had died on the cross and there had been no resurrection, there never would have been one single soul saved through the blood of Jesus Christ.
If Jesus had died on the cross, gone into the grave, and been resurrected from the grave only, there would still be no such thing as a real salvation in the world.
But because Jesus died on the cross, entered into death, arose from the grave, and ascended to the throne of God and finally received from the Father the gift of the Holy Ghost with authority to minister it to men, there is in existence a divine salvation, sufficient to satisfy the nature of every man.
The Story of Lazarus
In the story that I wanted to bring to you is this marvelous incident. Just prior to the crucifixion of Jesus, Satan appeared in the regions of death and said to Beelzebub, the keeper of the Regions of Death, that he might now prepare to receive Jesus Christ, because he (Satan) had brought to pass such a combination of circumstances that Jesus was to be crucified. Beelzebub replied, “But, Satan, is not this Jesus of Nazareth, who in His divine nature was so strong that He came here and took from our midst Lazarus when he was here, and we could not hold him?”
Satan said, “Yes, He is the one.”
Beelzebub said, “But if in His divine nature He was so strong that He came and took Lazarus from our hands, and we could not hold him, how can we hold Him Himself?” That was the problem.
Now I am going back. What is the real secret of the resurrection? That Jesus arose from the dead? No! Lots of men had risen from the dead. Way back in the Old Testament, they opened a grave to bury a man, and when he touched the bones of Elisha, there was enough of the Spirit of God in the old dry bones to give him life, and he arose. But he brought no revelation of God and manifested no particular power of God in the world.
The son of the widow of Nain was truly dead and was raised to life, but he brought no revelation from the dead. Lazarus was dead four days and restored again, but, so far as the record goes, Lazarus knew no more after his resurrection than he did before.
At the crucifixion of Jesus Himself, many that were dead arose and appeared in the city. (See Matthew 27:52–53.)
It was not in the mere fact, then, that they arose from the dead, or that Jesus arose from the dead, that gives the secret of the resurrection. I want you to see what it is.
All the way along in the life of Jesus there is a growth in consciousness of God. Step-by-step, Jesus Christ discerned God and His purpose for man and God’s purpose for Himself. Step-by-step, Jesus entered into the truth of His vision. Step-by-step, Jesus revealed the power of God in the new light that had dawned upon His soul until finally, after He had manifested His power in these three degrees of death, ending in the resurrection of Lazarus after he had been dead four days, He began to talk to His disciples about a new problem and a new possibility. He began to open the fact that He Himself was likely to be crucified. In fact, that it was in the prophecies that He should be and in the determined councils of the Godhead.
I want you to distinguish between Christianity and philosophy, for in these days the world is filled with philosophical religions, and everything psychological is used to impress the world that it is religious. And Christians ought to know what it is that makes the distinction between Christianity and philosophy and what makes Jesus distinct from the philosophers, and why it is that Christianity has a power that philosophy has not.
Some of the philosophies were old and whiskered and ready to die when Jesus was born. The Bhagavad Gita was written eight hundred years before Isaiah. Buddha lived hundreds of years before Jesus and taught most of the things Jesus taught. Confucianism was old, Brahmanism was old, most of the ancient philosophies were old when Jesus came to the world. The philosophers wrote their tenets, left them, came to the grave and died, and their revelation ceased. There was nothing remaining but the tenets they had written.
Buddha wrote his tenets, came to the grave; Confucius wrote his tenets, came to the grave; Brahman wrote his tenets, came to the grave; the Zenclavestas were written, and their authors came to the grave. They all died, and there was no further revelation. The grave ended all.
Not so with the Son of God. Not so the Lord Jesus. Why, Christianity began where philosophy left off. The crucifixion of Jesus was but the entrance into the greatest of His divine revelations. Jesus not only rose from the dead, but He determined in His own soul to take captive that power that had been captivating men and subjecting them to death’s control. So Jesus entered into the grave. The early church was much more conversant with this phase of the Lord’s victory than we are.
The literature of the early church fathers is full of the wonder of what took place in the life and ministry of Jesus after He was in the grave. Peter gives us just two little flashes. He says, “He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing” (1 Peter 3:19–20). Next, He went and “preached also to them that are dead” (1 Peter 4:6). What for? “That they might be judged according to men in the flesh” (verse 6).
He carried His word of testimony and power to the very dead, those who were dead before the flood and those who died between the flood and Himself. There are two classes—the spirits that were in prison from the days of Noah, and He went also and preached to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh. Remember that Jesus preached to the dead. The dead of His day had the prophets to listen to and receive and believe their teachings or reject them, just as you and I have. The purpose of His teaching was that they might be judged as men in the flesh.
Next, in the soul of Jesus there grew that wonderful consciousness that, having liberated them from death’s power, there was a step further yet to go. He must take captive the power that was binding their souls. So He entered into death, and His ministry and victory in the regions of death was the result. And one day He came forth from the dead, a living man once more, as He was before He died.
Over and over again, John tells us that He did this and He performed that work and He wrought that marvel and that in order that we might believe, in order that He might reveal to the satisfaction of the souls of those who were trying to believe that there was a foundation and a reason and a substantial ground on which their confidence in Christ could rest.
So He came forth from the dead with the consciousness of God and His power and His ability to command God’s power and utilize it, that no other in all the earth or sea or heaven ever had. No philosopher ever had it, or had ever known anything of it. But when Jesus came forth from the dead, He came forth speaking a word that had never been spoken in the world before. He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). Blessed be the name of God! He had proven it. Faith had become fact; vision was now consciousness.
All the triumph of Jesus in the regions of death had wrought in His soul the wonder of God. No other life ever had it. No other soul ever got the flame of it. No other nature ever felt the burning of it. Bless God.
And He was so anxious to lift His followers into it that the very first thing He did after His reappearance among them was to breathe on them. He said, “Let Me give it to you. Let Me breathe it into your life. ‘Receive ye the Holy Ghost’ (John 20:22).” Let me put it into your hearts, burn it into your soul, establish it into your nature. His victory over death had wrought the marvel.
But, beloved, that is not Christianity. Christianity is more than that. That is not the consciousness of Christianity. The consciousness of Christianity is greater than that. It was holier than that, more powerful than resurrection consciousness. When Jesus came forth from the dead, He was able to declare, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore…” (Matthew 28:18–19).
Oh, then there were some wonderful days—forty wonderful days in which Jesus took the disciples, who had been in His own school for three-and-a-half years, through a new course. In these days, we would call it postgraduate course. So, they went out into the mountains of Galilee, all by themselves, for a postgraduate course with the risen Lord. And He taught them of the power of God, and He taught them of power over death and the divine fact that the dominion of the risen Christ is for every soul.
David, describing it, said, “Thou hast led captivity captive” (Psalm 68:18). Not only that, but beyond it. “Thou hast received gifts for men” (Psalm 68:18).
So, one day, there came the ascension. He took them out on the Mount of Olives and, as He blessed them, He rose out of their sight to glory. Then, there is one of those wonderful divine flashes in the Word of God that just illuminates a whole life.
Peter was preaching on the day of Pentecost. The power of God had fallen upon the people. The people demanded an explanation. “What is it? What does it mean?” Peter replied, “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:16). Then, he went on and taught them concerning Christ, took them from His crucifixion through His resurrection and His ascension up to the throne of God. And when he got the people at the throne of God and their minds fixed there, he gave them the final explanation: when Jesus had arrived at the throne of God, an interview between God the Father and Jesus Christ took place. And God gave to Jesus the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the explanation was, “He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (verse 33).
Say, beloved, the Holy Ghost is born out of the heart of the Father God Himself, ministered through the soul of Jesus Christ, the High Priest of God, into your heart and mine. It is intended to lift our hearts and lift our lives out of Chicago mud and to keep us there forever.
So, the real Christian ought to be the kingliest man in the whole earth, the princeliest man in the whole earth—as kingly and princely and lovely and holy as the Son of God—as big as Jesus, with the power of Jesus and the love of Jesus. Bless God.
Rev. John G. Lake
July 16, 1920
There is a wonderful single word that expresses what God is trying to develop in us. That word is CONSCIOUSNESS. I love it. It is an amazing word. Consciousness means, THAT WHICH THE SOUL KNOWS. Not that which you believe, or that which you have an existent faith for, or that which you hope, but that which the soul has proven, which the soul knows, upon which the soul rests, the thing, bless God, which has become concrete in your life.
Consequently God’s purpose, and the purpose of real religion, is to create in the nature of man a consciousness of God. And that church which will succeed in creating the highest degree of consciousness of God in the soul of man, will live longest in the world. And the only mode of possibility of perpetuating a church in the world forever is to bring into the souls of the people the full measure of the consciousness of God that Jesus Christ enjoys.
It is a good thing, not only to be good, but to know WHY you are good. It is not only a good thing to be an American, but to know WHY you are an American. It is a good thing, not only to be a Christian, but to know WHY you are a CHRISTIAN and to know why CHRISTIAN CONSCIOUSNESS is superior to every other known consciousness.
And I want to declare that Christianity stands superior to every other form of religion under the heavens and in the whole earth; that no other religion under the heavens has the same consciousness of God or the same means of producing a consciousness of God, that Christianity possesses.
In 1893 in this city, was the great Chicago World’s Fair. Among the features of the fair was a Congress on Religions. All the religions of the world were invited to send their representatives, and present their peculiar religion for the good of all. Many regarded is as a great calamity that the varied forms of Eastern Philosophy should thus be introduced into this country. I never felt that way. I have always felt that if Christianity could not demonstrate her superiority over every other religion, then Christianity has not the Place and power that Jesus Christ said Christianity had in the world.
But the result of that Congress of Religions was that Christianity was so poorly presented that the Indian Philosophers ran away with the whole thing, and in the minds of thousands who listened, it left a belief that their knowledge of God, and God’s laws, and the laws of life, were greater than the Christian possessed.
And fellow Christians, there began in my soul a prayer that Almighty God would reveal in my soul what the real secret of real Christianity is, in order that in this world Christians might become kings and priests, and demonstrate the superiority of the religion of the Son of God beyond that of every other in the whole earth.
In later years I went to South Africa. It was at a time of peculiar interest in South African history, just following the Boer War. The great industry there is mining. One quarter of the gold of the world comes from Johannesburg and vicinity. The diamonds of the world come from South Africa, and the United States is the greatest diamond market of the world.
When the Boer War came on, the native people became so frightened over war between white men, that after the war was over and settled, they could not coax them back to open the mines. The result was that in order to get the industries established again, they had to send to China and got two hundred thousand (200,000) Chinese, and put them to work to open the shops and mines, and all the other industries. These Chinese came in real colonies. Come were Confucianists, some were Buddhists, some were Brahmans, some represented this form, and some that form of Philosophy. They brought their priests, and their priest ministered unto them.
At the same time there were in South Africa one and a half million East Indians. These represented all the cults of India. They made complaint that they were not being properly cared for, and the British government sent to India and imported a great company of Buddhist priests, and Brahman priests, and Yogi priests, and all the rest of them, and they came to South Africa to assist their own people.
I had a Jewish friend, Rabbi Hertz, who became famous as a great Rabbi, and because of his influence for the British during the war. There was also a Roman Catholic priest, Father Bryant, a wonderful man. I listened to Dr Hertz give a series of lectures on the Psalms of David, which I regard as the finest of that character I had ever heard.
One day he said, “Did it ever occur to you what an amazing Congress of Religions we have in this country? It would put the one in Chicago in 1893 in the shade.” I said, “I have thought of it, but do not have sufficient acquaintance among these other men to undertake it, but would gladly give a helping hand.” So it was eventually brought to pass.
We gathered once a week. They sat on the floor all night, Eastern fashion, a priest with his interpreter, and we gave the individual a whole night if he wanted it, or two nights if he wanted it, or as long as he wanted, to tell out the very secret of his soul, to show the very best he could, the very depth of his peculiar religion, and the consciousness of God it produced. It was not the details of his religion we sought, but the soul of it, and the consciousness it possessed. We listened to the Indian Buddhist priest one night, and the Chinese Buddhist priest the next night, the Indian Confucianist priest one night, and the Chinese Confucianist priest the next night; the Indian Brahman priest one night, and a Chinese Brahamn priest the next night, and it went on. Eventually it came to the night that Dr Hertz, the Jewish Rabbi, was to give the secret of the Jewish religion, and tell out the whole of God that the Jewish religion revealed, and the consciousness of God that was produced by the Mosaic and the prophetic teachings.
Did you ever stop to think that in all religious history, the Jewish prophets knew more of God than all the Philosophers of earth combined? They superseded all others of the ancients in knowledge of God, His ways and power. They gave to their day and generation such a revelation of God as the world had never known. Stop and think of the wonders of God that the Old Testament revealed. Think of the marvels that it seems would stagger the very soul of modern Christianity.
When the Israelites were travelling over the deserts, God arrested the processes of decay in their very shoes and clothing, and they wore them continually for forty years. Think of the marvel of it, the arrest of the process of decay! And then someone wonders if it is possible to arrest the process of decay in a man’s life. Yet, it is. Bless God! Jesus Christ arrested the process of death by the power of God, through the introduction of the life and the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ, giving man eternal life.
Think again of the old prophet, who when they had lost the axe in the water, and came to him in their distress, takes a stick and holds it in his hands. What for? Until that stick became magnetised by the Spirit and power of God. And when he threw it in the water the axe arose and came to the stick. Think again of the prophet, when he was called to the dying boy. He said to his servant, “take this staff,” the staff that he carried, “go ahead of me, lay it on the child.” What for? Because he carried that staff next to his God anointed hands until the staff itself became impregnated with the life and power of God. So the servant went ahead, and there was enough of God in that staff to keep the life there, and the spirit there, until he arrived and called the child to life by the power of God.
Later they were burying a man, and in their haste they opened the grave of Elisha, and when the dead man touched his old Go-filled bones, he became alive. There was enough of God in the old bones to quicken him into life again. Bless God.
You say, “Well, how can Christianity demonstrate anything further than that?” When I listened to Dr Hertz, my heart asked, “Dear God, when I get my turn to reveal what Christianity is, what am I going to say that is going to reveal Christianity as superior to the Jewish dispensation, and the consciousness of God that it produced in the souls of the prophets?”
From eight o’clock at night until four-thirty Dr. Hertz pours out his soul in a wondrous stream of God revelation, such as my soul had never heard. In the morning as I started for home I prayed, “God, in the Name of Jesus, when it comes next Thursday night, and it is my turn to show forth Jesus Christ, what am I going to say to surmount the revelation of God that he gave?”
I had searched Christian literature for it. I had searched the libraries of the world. I could not find it in the writings of the old Christian Fathers. I searched the Word of God for it. I saw flashes of it, but somehow it would not frame in my soul. I decided there was only one way. I gave myself to fasting and prayer and waiting on God. And one day in the quiet GOD TOLD ME THAT SECRET.
And from that day my heart rested in the new vision of Jesus Christ, and a new revelation of the real divinity of Christianity came to my heart.
So it came my turn and I sat sown and reviewed for hours with care, step by step, the consciousness that the Philosophers and priests had shown as belonging to their respective religions, and finally the wonderful consciousness that Dr Hertz had shown as belonging to the Mosaic dispensation.
Oh, bless God, there is a secret in Jesus Christ. CHRISTIANITY IS ALL SUPERNATURAL, every bit of it. The Philosophies are natural. The Mosaic dispensation and its revelation was supernatural, but its revelation did not have the high degree of overcoming consciousness that belongs to Christianity. Yet you can go around the world, and you will not find one in a hundred thousand that can tell what the real secret of Christianity is, which makes it superior to all other religions.
You say, “It is the Holy Ghost.” Well, the prophets had the Holy Ghost. There is no more marvellous record given than the Old Testament records. When Moses wanted mechanics and workmen for the new tabernacle, the Lord called a man by name and said, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in wood, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work all manner of workmanship.” That is the way they learned their trade.
Later they were making preparations for the building of Solomon’s temple. That temple is one of the seven wonders of the world. Did you ever stop to think of where the plans came from, or how they got them? Old David tells us that God gave him the plans of the temple in writing; “while the Spirit of God was upon me in writing,” and he wrote the details of it. He put these details down with such accuracy that they prepared the temple in the mountains, and when they came to put it together, there was no sound of a hammer. Every piece fit to piece. Wonderful movings of God! Wonderful presence of God! Talk about the glory of God. Why, when Moses came down from the mountain, his face shone or radiated with the glory of God so intensely the people were afraid of him, and he was compelled to wear a veil until the anointing had somewhat left his soul.
But, beloved, Christianity is more than that. Paul declares that the glory of Moses’ face was superseded. I said a moment ago, Christianity is not a natural religion. It has nothing natural in it. IT IS SUPERNATURAL from the top to the bottom, from the center to the circumference, within and without. It comes right from heaven, every bit of it. It is the divine outflow of the holy soul of the crucified, risen, glorified Son of God.
Why does God come down from heaven into the hearts of men, into the nature of men, into the bodies of men, into the souls of men, into the spirits of men? God’s purpose in man is to transform him into the nature of God. Jesus said, “I said, YE ARE GODS” (John 10:34).
The philosophers came to the grave and died. They had no further revelation to give. They had left their tenants, and they exist to this day. I have studied the great Eastern philosophies. I have searched them from cover to cover. I have read them for years as diligently as I have read my Bible. I have read them to see what their consciousness was. The secret of salvation is NOT in them.
But in my Bible is seen that the Son of God saves men from their sins and changes them by His power in their nature so that they become like Him. And that is the purpose of Jesus, to take a man and make a Christ out of him, to take a sinner and wash him pure and white and clean, and then come into his life and anoint him with His Spirit, speak through him, live in him, change the substance of his spirit, change the substance of his body, until his body and his blood and his bones and flesh and his soul and his spirit are the body and blood and bones and soul and spirit of the Son of God. (Ephesians 5:30 and 1 Corinthians 6:17).
Oh, Jesus was crucified. Jesus was crucified after there grew in the soul of Jesus the divine consciousness that He could go into the grave, and through faith in God accept the word of God, and believe that He would raise Him from the dead. Jesus went into the grave with a divine boldness, not simply as a martyr. He was God’s PRINCE, God’s KING, God’s SAVIOUR. He went into the grave God’s CONQUEROR. He was after something. He went after the power of DEATH, and He got it, and He took it captive, and He came forth from the grave proclaiming His victory over DEATH.
No more bowing before the accursed power that had been generated through sin. It was a captive. No more fear of hell! Do you hear it? No more fear of hell after Jesus Christ came out of the grave. He had death and hell by the throat, and the key in His hands. He was Conqueror!
When He came forth from the grave He came forth bringing that wonderful spirit of heavenly triumph that was begotten in the soul of Jesus because He had not failed. He had gone and done it. No longer a hope; no longer a faith; now a knowledge - God’s consciousness in His heart. It was done!
Oh yes, bless God, I am coming back to that word with which I started. Do you know the secret of religion is in its consciousness? The secret of Christianity is in the consciousness it produces in your soul. And Christianity produces a higher consciousness than any other religion in the world; no other religion in the world or other revelation of the true God equals it. It is the highest and holiest. It comes breathing and throbbing and burning right out of the heart of the glorified Son of God. It comes breathing and beating and burning and throbbing into your nature and mine, bless God.
So that is the reason I love the religion of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. That is the reason the cross of Calvary is a sacred place. That is the reason that the conquest of the Son of God in the Regions of Death makes a man’s heart throb. That is the reason He gathered His disciples together, and as if He could not wait, He said, “Let me breathe it into you. Go forth in its power. All power is given unto me, both in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore. These signs shall follow. Cast out devils, speak with new tongues, heal the sick. Amen.”
In those early centuries of Christianity, Christianity did not go into the world apologising. It went to slay the powers of darkness and undo the works of the devil, and it lived in holy triumph.
I am going into the history of the Old Testament. It is surprising how ignorant people are of the Word of God. God made a covenant of healing with the children of Israel after they crossed the Red Sea, and they lived under that covenant four hundred and fifty years, unbroken, and there never was an Israelite for four hundred and fifty years, so far as the record goes, except Asa, who ever took one dose of medicine. One backslider went back on God and called the physicians like the heathen did, but the people trusted God and God alone for four hundred and fifty years, or until Solomon got into polygamy. He went down into Egypt and married Egyptian wives, who brought their heathen physicians with them. And eventually the whole nation had fallen from grace, and gone back again and were taking pills and medicine and dope, just like some Pentecostal heathen do.
Do you want to get on God’s territory? Cut it out. It belongs to the devil and the heathen, and the great big unbelieving world.
When you see those holy flashes of heavenly flame once in a while in a person’s life, as we observe in our Sister Etter, when someone is healed, it is because her consciousness and Christ’s are one. She is fused into God. I saw a dying, strangling woman healed in thirty seconds as Mrs Etter cast out the demon. The flame of God, the fire of His Spirit, ten seconds of connection with the Almighty Christ at the Throne of God, that is the secret of it.
Oh, I would like to get you in touch with the Son of God for five minutes. I would like to see the streams of God’s lightning come down for ten minutes! I wonder what would take place.
A few months ago I was absent from the City of Spokane, and when I returned we discovered Mrs Lake was not at home. It was just time to leave for my afternoon service. Just then someone came in and said, “Your secretary, Mrs Graham, is in the throes of death, and your wife is with her.” So I hurried down to the place. When I got there the wife of one of my ministers met me at the door and said, “You are too late, she has gone.” And as I stepped in I met the minister coming out of the room. He said, “She has not breathed for a long time.” But as I looked down at that woman and thought of how God Almighty, three years before, had raised her out of death after her womb and ovaries and tubes had been removed in operations, and God Almighty had given them back to her, after which she had married and conceived, my heart flamed. I took that woman up off that pillow, and called on God for the lightnings of heaven to blast the power of death and deliver her, and I commanded her to come back and stay, and she came back, after not breathing for twenty-three minutes.
We have not yet learned to keep in touch with the powers of God. Once in a while our soul rises, and we see the flame of God accomplish this wonder and that, but beloved, Jesus Christ lived in the presence of God every hour of the day and night. Never a word proceeded from the mouth of Jesus Christ but what was God’s Word. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
When you and I are lost in the Son of God, and the fires of Jesus burn in our hearts like they did in Him, our words will be the words of life and of spirit, and there will be no death in them. But, beloved, we are on the way.
I have read church history because my heart was searching for the truth of God. I have witnessed with my own eyes the most amazing manifestations of psychological power. I know an East Indian Yogi who volunteered to be buried for three days, and he came up our of that grave well and whole. I saw them put a man in a cataleptic state and place a stone fifteen inches square on his body, put his feet on one chair and his head on another, and strike that stone with a twenty-five pound sledge seven times, until it broke in two.
I watched these things, and I said, “These are only on the psychological plane. Beyond that is the Spirit plane and the amazing wonder of the Holy Spirit of God, and if God got hold of my spirit for ten minutes He could do something ten thousand times greater than that.”
Why Jesus was the triumphant One. Did you ever stop to think of Jesus at the Throne of God? I like to think of the twentieth century Christ. Not the Jesus that lived in the world two thousand years ago. Not the humiliated Jesus. Not Jesus dying on the cross for my sin, but the glorified, exalted Son of God at the Throne of God, who stands declaring, “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Blessed be God.
And that is the Christ that breathes His power into your soul and mine, and that is the Consciousness that is breathed from heaven in the Holy Ghost when it comes to your heart. Amen.
Salvation: God's Big Word
(also titled Fellowship With God)
by John G. Lake
July 16, 1920
There is one word in the gospel that is the great inclusive word, comprehending all that God Almighty can accomplish in a human life. That word is salvation.
In our modern methods of subdividing the varied Christian experiences, we are in the habit of speaking of salvation in a very limited sense in comparison to the broad sense in which the word is used in Scripture.
I like to think of it as Jesus used it, the all-inclusive word. The one great big word of God that comprehends all that He can accomplish in a man’s life forever, from the time He finds him as a sinner until the day Jesus Christ presents him to the Father, “holy and unblameable and unreprovable” in the sight of God. Until that day when with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we shall be acknowledged at the throne of God as heirs and joint-heirs with Him, and be given our place and part in the government of God’s great kingdom.
There is much in a man’s life besides “being good,” if he is to fulfill his place in the world. God’s first purpose is to make man good by removing the consciousness of sin from his soul, in order that he may grow up into God, and fulfill the great plan that God has in store for him, becoming a Son of God in mind, nature, power, and capacity to bless.
Christianity is different from every other religion in the world. Every other religion except Christianity has no need of a body or resurrection. Existence after death is purely a spirit existence. But not so with Christianity. Christianity has necessity for a resurrection. The reason for the resurrection is that the kingdom of Christ is not to be in heaven entirely. It is to be in this world. And the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is to rule in this world. Consequently, while we live in this world we will need a body like our Lord’s—capable of existence here, and capable of existence over there.
The Word of God speaks of “the days of heaven upon the earth,” when the conditions now prevalent exclusively in heaven are transferred to earth, and earth and heaven become one. These are “the days of heaven upon the earth.” That is the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I imagine there will be railroads and cities in the kingdom, and there will be government in the kingdom. There will be a necessity for men grown up in God to take places of responsibility in the kingdom. If Jesus were to come into this audience tonight and ask for one hundred men who were capable of taking the affairs of Chicago in their hands tomorrow, perhaps not very many would qualify. Perhaps our capacity would be somewhat limited. Would He find us without capacity to operate its affairs successfully? Perhaps we would disappoint our Lord, and we would be very sad indeed.
The purpose of Jesus is not only to save men from their sins, but by the grace of God to begin in the souls of men that marvelous development in the nature and mind and understanding of God our Father, until by the grace of God we are able to take our place and our part in the kingdom of Jesus Christ and bear our share of responsibility.
I lived in South Africa as a missionary for some years, and among the craving passions of my soul that developed was a longing to get in contact with men of my own race and type of mind who understand the things that were moving my soul and who could comprehend the things I talked about.
When I returned to America I visited Brother Fockler in Milwaukee, and we talked nearly all night every night for a week. I just wanted to talk and listen. He could talk about the things my heart was longing to hear. Then I came to Chicago, and poor Brother Sinclair was nearly worn out, for I was so hungry for fellowship. There was a passion in my heart to hear his words and assimilate his thought, and to speak out understandingly. My soul longed to hear of the blessing of God and see another point of view. For almost a year we traveled from city to city as God led, contacting this soul and that soul, until that longing was satisfied, and I felt I could settle down in my own work again.
But you say, “There were lots of people in Africa that were good.” Surely. We saw many thousands of saved native people, a multitude of them baptized in the Holy Ghost; they were a wonderful people. Notwithstanding their goodness, they had not been educated in the lines of thought that interested me. They could talk about God, but there were wonderful interests in the world of which they knew nothing, and my heart longed to be able to talk of these things. They were spiritual babies; they were intellectual babies. My heart was longing for companionship on my own plane of life.
If God had to exist forever and forever without companionship, the passion in the soul of God would remain unsatisfied. Man came into being because of a necessity in the soul of God. Children are born because of a necessity in the soul of the parents. It is the cry of the real father and the real mother. It is planted there from the heart of God Himself. Every true man wants to be a father, and every true woman a mother. They want to see their own offspring develop to manhood and womanhood and see themselves reproduced and perpetuated in the world.
God is perpetuating Himself in the soul of the Christian. God’s heart is being satisfied in you and in me, because by the grace of God He expects us to grow up and out of our little environment and become sons of God and be able to have companionship with our Father. And He will tell us His purpose; He will reveal His wonderful plans of the future and we will be able to take part in the great enterprises of God forever.
The purpose of the Lord and Saviour was not only to redeem us out of filth and sin, but that we should grow up into manhood and womanhood in God, take our place in the world, and accomplish the thing God intended us to accomplish and fellowship with Him on His plane of understanding.
You are just as necessary to God in His plan for the salvation of mankind as God is necessary to you. This statement is so important I want to repeat it. Christians are just as necessary to Almighty God in order to accomplish His purpose in the world as God is necessary to the Christian. Without God we would not be saved. Without God we could not live. Without God we would never reach a maturity in Him. Without man God would have no medium through which He could express Himself to the world, by which He could minister the Spirit of the living God to the world.
That was the reason God had to send His own Son, Jesus Christ, there being no other competent to take His place. God “wondered that there was no man.” He “marvelled that there was no intercessor,” so His own right arm brought salvation, and His strength upheld Him.
Jesus was the first human body through which God revealed Himself to the world. After He returned to glory, He undertook to bring into being a new body. Not a lesser body, nor a weaker body, but a body greater than the body of Jesus, a power greater than the power of Jesus. That is the meaning of the words of Jesus: “Greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”
Unless Jesus Christ was the possessor of a divine secret, a secret that others did not understand, such words as these would be words of madness. But because Jesus understood the secret of returning to the Father, understood the secret of the Father’s promise, understood what the possession of the Father’s promise would mean to Him, and the world, He was able to say those marvelous words, “...Greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12).
We have treated the precious Spirit of God as though He is a method of providing a means of spiritual entertainment for our souls. God’s purpose is far mightier than that. God’s purpose is that our spirit be tuned to heaven, our heart capable of hearing and realizing the songs of glory, appreciating companionship with God and feeling flames of His divine love, expressing and revealing it to the hungry world that knows not God.
In the old days when I was in Africa I would walk into the native meetings where I did not understand the language, and listen to the preacher for an hour. I did not understand a word he said, but my soul was blessed by the presence of the Spirit of God.
As bishop of the church I went from place to place holding conferences among white and native people. In many of them people would speak either English or Dutch. But I was just as much blessed when a Dutchman spoke, even though I did not understand him, as when an Englishman spoke, because the thing that blessed my soul was the living Spirit of God. Perhaps I had heard better words than his, perhaps clearer explanation of the Scriptures than he could give, but I was blessed by the presence of God. The thing that the individual was ministering to my soul was the living Spirit of God.
The ministry of the Christian is a ministry of the Spirit. If the Christian cannot minister the Spirit of God in the true sense, he is not a Christian. If he has not the Spirit to minister in the real sense, he has nothing to minister. Other men have intellectuality, but the Christian is supposed to be the possessor of the Spirit. He possesses something that no other man in the whole world possesses; that is, the Spirit of the living God.
The Spirit of God at work in a man goes thousands of miles beyond psychological influence. If you want a clear distinction between psychological religions, as they are called, or mental science, you can see it in a minute. The real Christian ministers the real Spirit of God, the substance of His being. There should never be any misunderstanding along these lines.
A minister of Jesus Christ is as far removed from the realm of psychological influence as heaven is from the earth. He ministers God Himself into the very spirits and souls and bodies of men. That is the reason a Christian throws down the bars of his nature and invites God to come in and take possession of his being. The incoming of God into our body, into our soul, into our spirit accomplishes marvelous things in the nature of man.
A man came to me one day and said, “I am almost ashamed to call myself a man, because I have simply indulged the animal of my nature so that I am more a beast than a man. You say, ‘Why don’t you quit such a life?’ I have not the strength of will to do so. Unless something takes place that will deliver me from this condition, I do not know what I will do.”
I tried to show him what the gospel of Jesus Christ was. I tried to show him that through living in the animal state, surrounding himself with beastly suggestion, and contacting the spirit of bestiality everywhere that that element had taken possession of him so that it dominated his nature. I said, “My son, if the gospel means anything it means there shall be a transference of nature. Instead of this living hell that is present in your being, the living, holy God should flow into your life and cast the devil out, dispossess the beast, and reign in your members.”
We knelt to pray, and today he came back with tears in his eyes and said, “Mr. Lake, I feel I can shake hands with you now. I am a beast no more. I am a man.”
Recently a dear woman was present in our meeting with a tumor that her physicians had believed to be an unborn child until the tumor became larger than a normal unborn child. The physicians had been fooled by a movement which they considered similar to life movement. They believed the woman would become a mother, until the normal time of pregnancy had long passed. She came with her nurse to the healing rooms and told me her symptoms. She was the first one to be prayed for at the close of the service. The next day she returned and said, “Mr. Lake, I want you to see me. I have my corset on. I am perfectly normal. When I went to bed I was not aware that anything had taken place, except that the choking had ceased and I felt comfortable, but I was not aware of any decreasing in my size. When I awoke this morning I was perfectly normal.”
I said, “How did the tumor disappear? Was it in the form of a liquid?” She said, “No, nothing came from my person.”
Where did a great tumor like that go? What happened to it? The living Spirit of God absolutely dematerialized the tumor and the process was accomplished in one night while the woman slept. That is one of God’s methods of surgical operations, isn’t it?
The Spirit of God took possession of that dear soul’s body. That tumor became filled with the Spirit of God, and the effect of the Spirit of God in that tumor was so mighty, so powerful, that the Spirit of God dissolved it.
That is the secret of the ministry of Jesus Christ. That is the secret of the ministry of Christianity. The real Christian who lives in union with the living God and possesses His Spirit has a ministry that no other man in all the world possesses. The real Christian here has a revelation of Jesus Christ and His power to save that no other human in all the world possesses. Why? He is full and experiences in his own soul the dissolving power of the Spirit of God that takes sin out of his life and makes him a free man in Christ Jesus.
One day a woman called me over the telephone and said, “I have a young friend who is a drunkard, and the habit has such power over him that he will go to any excess to obtain it. Dry state or no dry state, he has to have it. He is an intelligent fellow. He wants to be free. We have invited him to my home for prayer, and he is here now. I want you to join me in prayer for him.”
I said, “All right, but first you call one of your neighbors to join you in prayer for this man; then when you are ready call me on the phone, and Mr. Westwood and Mrs. Petersen and I will join you in prayer.”
She called me in a little while and we united our hearts in prayer for the young man, who was on the other side of the city. About twenty minutes later he rose from his knees and with tears in his eyes he took the woman by the hand and said, “I know when something has taken place within me...” The appetite had disappeared. That is the ministry of the Spirit, the ministry of God to man.
Isn’t it a marvelous thing that God has ordained an arrangement whereby man becomes God’s own co-partner and co-laborer in the ministry of the Spirit? “The church which is His body.” Just as Jesus Christ was the human body through which the living Spirit was ministered to mankind, so God has arranged that the living church, not the dead member, alive with the Spirit of the living God, should minister that quickening life to another, and thereby become a copartner, a co-laborer together with God.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit (No. 3)
By John G. Lake
Chicago Pentecostal Convention
July 16, 1920.
There are as many degrees in God in the Baptism of the Holy Ghost as there are preachers who preach it. Some people are born away down weeping at the foot of the cross. They are still on the earth plane with Christ. They are still weeping over their sins., still trying to overcome sin and be pure of heart.
But there are other people who are born away up in the blessed dominion of God, like our Mother Etter. They have resurrection power. All power is given, and it is in our soul.
And beloved, one day there are going to be Christians, baptized in the Holy Ghost who are away up in the Throne of God, away up in the consciousness that is breathed out of His holy heart. Somebody is going to be born a son of God; and be baptized in the Holy Ghost where Jesus is today, in the Throne-consciousness of Christ. Where they can say, like Jesus said, where they can feel like Jesus feels: “I am He that liveth, and was dead, and behold. I am alive for evermore and have the keys of hell and of death.” Absolute overcoming consciousness!
You dear folks listen, who are trying to pump up a Pentecost that has worn out years ago. God let it die. God had only one way under heaven to get you to move up into God, and that way is to let you become dissatisfied with the thing you have. And if you have not the consciousness you once had, God Almighty understands the situation. He is trying to get you hungry so that you will commit your Body and your Soul and your Spirit to God forever, and by the grace of God you will be baptized in the Holy Ghost over again, at the Throne of God-consciousness, in the power of Jesus Christ., as Jesus is today. “As He is, so are we in this world”.
Why, with most of you, when you were baptized in the Holy Ghost the Lord had to baptize a whole dose of medicine., and pills, and everything that was in you. Well, God never had to baptize that kind of stuff in the Lord Jesus. Jesus came down to the River Jordan, and gave His BODY and His SOUL and His SPIRIT to God forever, and He never took a pill or a dose of medicine. He never went to the spirit of the world for assistance: or to the devil for help. His SPIRIT, His SOUL, and His BODY were God’s from that minute, forever.
Beloved., God is calling men and women to a holier consecration, to a higher place in God, and I am one of God’s candidates for that holy place in God. I want to get to the Throne of God. Oh, Yes., God baptized me in the Holy Ghost with a wondrous baptism, according to the understanding I possessed ten or fifteen years ago. But I am a candidate today for a new baptism in the Holy Ghost that comes out of the heart of the GLORIFIED Christ., in the lightnings of God; everlasting overcoming; on the throne with Jesus.
And that is the experience that is going to make the sons of God in the world. That is the reason they will take the world for Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom will be established, and they will put the crown on the Son of God and declare Him “King of kings and Lord of lords” forever. Amen.
Therefore, fear not, for God is able to perform in you even that which He performed in Jesus, and raise you likewise in union with Christ Jesus, and make you reign in dominion over sin, instead of being dominated by the powers of evil and darkness.
Tongues and interpretation
Battle Creek, Michigan
The Science of Divine Healing
by John G. Lake
July 19, 1920
Our eyes behold the triumph of Jesus Christ, the glorious and victorious Son of God, who triumphed over death and hell; who arose triumphant, salvation to obtain; that we might behold gladness and joy, and walk triumphant through Jesus Christ, through the blood that washes “whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7).
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). This Scripture reveals the difference between Christianity and philosophy. Some are inquiring why it is that there is always that keynote in my addresses.
God gave me the privilege of intimacy with the philosophic East, where multitudes are ministered to by Buddhist, Confucianist, and Brahman priests. Every cult imaginable has its representatives there. I was amazed to discover that many in the Western world were gradually assimilating the philosophies of the East.
When you take the modern philosophies—Christian Science, New Thought, Unity, Divine Science, etc.—today and examine them, you discover that they are the same old philosophies of India, Egypt, and China from time immemorial. They were constructed before the Redeemer came, so there is no redemption in them. They are an endeavor to redeem one’s self through self-effort.
As I said before, the difference between philosophy and religion, particularly the religion of Jesus Christ, is in the words I quoted from the Scriptures: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Philosophy is light; it is the best light the individual possessed who framed the philosophy, but it is not a life giver.
But from the soul of Jesus there breathed a holy life of God that comes into the nature of man, quickens him by its power, and by the grace of God, he has the life of Jesus in him, eternal light, eternal life. Bless God.
Many of the ancient philosophies have light. It is said by some writers that one of the Indian philosophies, the Bhagavad Gita, was written eight hundred years before Isaiah. It predicts the coming of Krishna, a son of God, not the Son of God. Listen to this philosophic jewel:
Never the spirit was born.
The spirit shall cease to be never.
Never was time it was not.
End and beginning are dreams.
Birthless and deathless and changeless
Remaineth the spirit forever;
Death hath not changed it at all,
Dead though the house of it seems.
Yet no knowledge of redemption and no knowledge of a redeemer is there.
Buddha presented his philosophy five hundred years before Jesus. The philosophies of Egypt tell the story of the flood and were written thousands of years before Jesus Christ. In the writings of each one of them, you will find many of the teachings of Jesus. The teachings of Jesus were not unique in that they were new; rather, they were new in that they contained something that none of the rest possessed. It was the divine content in the Word of Jesus Christ that gave His teachings their distinguishing feature from the other philosophies. That content is the life of God. “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
The philosophies were man’s best endeavor to find an explanation of life. Without knowledge of a redeemer, they were written before Christ was manifest in the world. Their authors denied the power of sin or nullified its influence as they failed to conceive of a redeeming grace, an in-working of God in man, through the Spirit of Christ, to save from sin’s power and change his nature. But there is given unto us “exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).
Beloved, the real Christian, and the real Christian church, undertakes to bring to mankind the life of the Lord Jesus, knowing that when the life of Jesus comes, the illumination of the soul, the light of civilization, and Christianity will follow, but the life is first.
As men wandered from God, and as the world neglected God, men naturally fell into their own consciousness and soul states and proceeded in the common way of the world to endeavor to bless the world through light—but light never saved a world. Light never will save a world. There must be a divine content from on high that comes to the soul to enrich it and to empower it, to illuminate it and to glorify it, and more, to deify it. For God’s purpose through Jesus Christ is to deify the nature of man and thus forever make him like unto Christ, not only in his outward appearance and habits of life, but in nature and substance and content, in spirit and soul and body, like the Son of God.
Jesus never intended Christians to be an imitation. They were to be bone of His bone and blood of His blood and flesh of His flesh and soul of His soul and spirit of His Spirit. And thus, He becomes to us Son of God, Savior and Redeemer forever, and we are made one with Him both in purpose and being.
Interpretation of a Message in Tongues:
Our Father God, to Thee we give the praise of our hearts, that by Thy grace we have been privileged to live in a world where not only the light of God was known, but where the life of God has come. We bless Thee that we have the privilege of living in a day when the life of God in a new flood of power and glory from heaven is coming upon a city and parched and barren world. And we thank Thee that this life of God has been in our hearts the holy water of life, blessing and enriching our nature, filling us with Thy divine grace and power through Jesus Christ the Lord.
Throughout my life, a spirit of investigation predominated. It has never been easy to accept truth readily, until my soul stepped out inch by inch and proved the ground. When approaching this matter of baptism of the Spirit it was with great care, but as a hungry soul. My heart was hungry for God. And one day the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, God flooded my life and baptized me in His Holy Spirit, and then a new and powerful working of God began in my heart which has gone on for fifteen years, until Christ has become in my world a divine reality.
Having formal acknowledgment as a student of science, it is my privilege to attend clinics, which I frequently do. I submitted myself at one time to a series of experiments. It was not sufficient to know that God healed; I had to know how God healed. I visited one of the great experimental institutions and submitted myself for a series of experiments.
First, they attached to my head an instrument to record the vibrations of the brain. This instrument had an indicator that would register the vibrations of the mind. So I began by repeating soothing things like the Twenty-third Psalm, calculated to soothe the mind and reduce its vibrations to the lowest point. Then I repeated the Thirty-seventh Psalm, then the thirty-fifth [chapter] of Isaiah, then the Ninety-first Psalm, then Paul’s address before Agrippa. After this, I went into secular literature and recited Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade” and last, Poe’s “The Raven,” with a prayer in my heart that at the psychological moment, God would anoint my soul in the Holy Ghost.
My difficulty was that while the reciting went on, I could not keep the Spirit from coming upon me, and when I got through with Poe’s “The Raven,” they said, “You are a phenomenon. You have a wider mental range than any human being we have ever seen.” In reality that was not so. It was because the Spirit of God kept coming upon me in degree, so I could feel the moving of the Spirit within me.
But I prayed in my heart, Lord God, if You will only let the Spirit of God come like the lightnings of God upon my soul for two seconds, I know something is going to happen that these men have never seen before.
So, as I closed the last lines, suddenly the Spirit of God struck me in a burst of praise and tongues, and the old indicator on the instrument bounced to its limit, and I haven’t the least idea how much further it would have gone if it were a possibility. The professors said, “We have never seen anything like it.”
I replied, “Gentlemen, it is the Holy Ghost.”
Now, in order to get the force of this lesson, it is necessary to give you the latest theory of the process of digestion. You will see the assimilating power of your nature, your capacity to assimilate God and take the life of God into your being and keep it in your being. I am not talking about what I believe; I am talking about what I know.
For many years God kept me so that sickness and death could not touch me, from the day that I saw in the ninety-first Psalm a man’s privilege of entering into God, not only for healing, but also for health and having God and the life of God in every fiber of his being.
Scientists tell us that in a single inch of a man’s skin there are one million, five hundred thousand cells, and they have almost doubled that statement now. But be that as it may, the whole structure of a man’s being is one wonderful cellular structure. Your blood, your body, your brain, your bone is just one great cellular structure.
According to the latest theory on the process of digestion, the food we eat is reduced to vegetable lymph and is then absorbed into the body cells. But no scientist in the world has ever been able to satisfactorily explain what it is that changes the lymph and makes it life. Something happens when it is in the cells that changes it to life. This is transmutation.
I want to tell you what grew up in my soul and how I proved the fact. I could feel sometimes while in the attitude of prayer, just as you have felt hundreds of times, the impulse of the Spirit moving through my brain and my person to the tips of my fingers, just little impulses of God’s presence in my life. And I said, “If there was an instrument powerful enough, I believe men could see the action of the brain cells and see what takes place.”
Here is the secret of digestion: from the spirit-mind of man and through the spirit of man, there is imparted to every cell of your body impulses of spirit, waves of life. It is the movement of the Spirit. Spirit impulses pass from the cortex cells of the brain to the very ends of your fingers and toes, to every cell of the body. And when they touch that vegetable lymph in the body cells, it is transformed into life. That is transmutation.
In the electrical world you can dissolve zinc, and the electrical current absorbs it and transmits it to the other end of the wire. In an experiment in California, they dissolved zinc in the battery at the one end, transmitted the zinc to the other end of the wire, and deposited and solidified it at the other end of the wire, a distance of twelve miles. How is it done? There is a process of transmutation. That is what it is called. It is a change from one form to another.
My brother, listen. If that is not true in the spiritual world, there is no such thing as divine life; there is no such thing as salvation through the Son of God, for that which is soulish or natural must be transformed by the Spirit of God in us until it becomes spiritual—until it is of God. “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7) is a truly scientific statement.
Jesus sat with His disciples and ate with them, both bread and fish. He went to the Mount and ascended before them to glory, while their eyes beheld. What happened to the fish and the bread that He had eaten? I tell you there is transmutation. That which is natural becomes spiritual. That which was natural was changed by the power of God into the life of God, into the nature of God, into the substance of God, into the glory of God.
In the second experiment, they attached to my head a powerful X-ray with microscopic attachments in order to see, if possible, what the action of the brain cells were. Then I proceeded, just as in the former experiment. First, I repeated Scriptures that were soothing and calculated to reduce the action of the cortex cells to their lowest possible register. Then, I went on into the Scriptures to the better and richer things, until I came to the first of John; and as I began to recite that and the fires of God began to burn in my heart, presently, once again the Spirit of God came upon me, and the man who was at my back touched me. It was a signal to keep the poise of soul until one after another could look through the instrument. And finally when I let go, the Spirit subsided. They said, “Why, man, we cannot understand this, but the cortex cells expanded amazingly.”
Oh, beloved, when you pray, something is happening in you. It is not a myth; it is the action of God. The almighty God, by the Spirit, comes into the soul, takes possession of the brain, manifests in the cortex cells, and when you will and wish (either consciously or unconsciously) the fire of God, the power of God, that life of God, that nature of God, is transmitted from the cortex cells of the brain, throbs through your nerves, down through your person, into every cell of your being, into every cell of your brain and blood and flesh and bone, into the million, five hunched thousand cells in every square inch of your skin, and they are alive with God. That is divine healing.
Men have treated the gospel of Jesus Christ as though it were a sentiment and foolishness. Men who posed as being wise have scorned the phenomenon taking place in the Christian every day. But beloved, no dear old mother ever knelt before the throne of God and raised her heart to heaven without demonstrating the finest process of divine wireless transmission.
In these days, they are now able to transmit by wireless from six to seven thousand miles and even twelve thousand miles recently. Once again, they have been able to demonstrate that in one-tenth of a second they can transmit the first section of thought twelve thousand miles. Think of it! There is practically no such thing as time; it is practically done instantaneously. This explains instantaneous salvation and instantaneous healing.
Beloved, the very instant your soul moves with your heart cry and your nature yearns after God, it registers in the soul of Jesus Christ, and the answer comes back. So Jesus said, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24), and “While [ye] are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).
I said to them, “Gentlemen, I want you to see one more thing. You go down in your hospital and bring the man who has inflammation in the shinbone. Take your instrument and attach it to his leg; leave space enough to get my hand on his leg. You can have it attached on both sides.” So when the instrument was all ready, I put my hand on that man’s shin, and I prayed just like Mother Etter prays, just as you all pray. No strange prayer, but the cry of my heart to God. I said, “God, kill the devilish disease by the power of God. Let the Spirit live in him; let it move in him.”
Then I said, “Gentlemen, what is taking place?”
They replied, “Every cell is responding.”
Beloved, all there is to healing is that the life of God comes back into the part that is afflicted, and right away the blood flows, the congested cells respond, and the work is done. That is again God’s divine science in healing.
My soul long ago grew tired of men treating the whole subject of Christianity as though it were child’s play. We have our physical sciences; we have our psychological sciences, the structure of the body and the action of the mind taught in the great schools of the land. But there is something greater. One of these days there is going to be a new chair in our universities. It will be the chair of pneumatology, the science of spirit, by which men will undertake to discover the laws of the spirit of man and the action of God through man. And by the grace of God, men shall know that God is alive and that the living Spirit of God is no dream; and its wondrous power in man and through man will be revealed.
In my healing rooms in Spokane, a dear woman came one day whose name is Lamphear. She was the wife of a merchant in the city. She had fallen down some stairs, causing a prolapse of the stomach, bowels, and uterus. She had been an invalid for eleven years. On top of this, she became tubercular unto death. On top of that, the poor woman developed inflammatory rheumatism, until she lived in a hell of torture. The physicians said there was nothing they could do for her, but advised that they take her to Soap Lake, Oregon, and perhaps the baths would do her some good.
So they put her in the hot baths there, and she suffered just as much as ever. Then they tried super-heated baths, and they put her in water hotter than any human being had ever been in before—so the superintendent testified. The result was that instead of having any healing effect, the left leg developed an abnormal growth, and it became three inches longer than the other leg, and a bone spur larger than an orange grew on the inside of the knee, destroying the action of the knee joint. The foot became an inch longer.
She came away from the institution worse than she went. She got as far as Portland. Her parents were living at The Dalles. She wanted to see her patents before she died, so her husband carried her in his arms to the boat. As he did so, a Pentecostal missionary stepped up and said, “Dear woman, we understand now why God told us to take this boat. He told us last night to take the eight o’clock boat for The Dalles.” He called up on the telephone and found that the fare was $1.80, and as that was all the money they had, they went without their breakfast so as to be able to take the boat.
As she lay crying with her suffering (they were timid folks), the man said, “When we get to The Dalles, we will pray for you.” Eventually, they reached The Dalles and went to a hotel. The two knelt to pray for her, and she says that as they prayed and put their hands on her knees, that their hands became illuminated until they looked like the hands of Jesus, their faces looked like the face of Jesus, and she was afraid. But something happened. The pain went out of her.
Strangely, she retained her tuberculosis, and the struggle for breath went on. The leg remained the same length. When she examined herself, she was surprised to discover that it was not shorter. She said, “Pray again that the Lord may make it the same length as the other,” but the poor missionary was staggered.
He said, “Dear Sister, the pain is gone, you should be satisfied and give praise to God.”
So she went on for three-and-a-half years, coughing her lungs out and her one leg three inches longer than the other. One day she came to the healing rooms and was ministered to. The healing action of God took place, and she felt wonderfully relieved. She said, “I can breathe clear down into my stomach.”
The minister said, “What makes you limp?”
She replied, “There is a big lump on the inside of my knee, and my leg is three inches longer than it should be.”
He said, “I’ll pray for that.”
But she said, “The missionary who prayed for me told me I should be satisfied if the pain was gone.”
The minister said, “He had not grown up in God yet.” And he put his hands on the lump and prayed, and God almighty dissolved that lump of bone and that leg shortened at the rate of one inch a week. The foot also shortened to its proper length, and she wears shoes like anyone else, the same on both feet. She was born without the outer rim and lobe on one ear, and it also grew and became like the other.
There is a difference between healing and miracle. Healing is the restoration of diseased tissue, but miracle is a creative action of the Spirit of God, creating that which is deficient in a man’s life. And the salvation of a soul is a divine miracle of God. Every time Christ speaks the word of life to a man’s heart, there is a divine, creative miracle of God wrought in him, and he is a new man in Christ Jesus.
One day I sat in Los Angeles, talking to old father Seymour. I told him an incident in the life of Elias Letwaba, one of our native preachers who lived in the country. I came to his home, and his wife said, “He is not home. A little baby is hurt, and he is praying for it.” So we went over, and I got down on my knees and crawled into the native hut. I saw he was kneeling in a corner by the child. I said, “Letwaba, it is me. What is the matter with the child?” He told me that the mother had it on her back in a blanket, as natives carry their children, and it had fallen out. He said, “I think it has hurt its neck.”
I examined it and saw that the baby’s neck was broken, and I said to Letwaba, “Why, Letwaba, the baby’s neck is broken.” It would turn like the neck of a doll from side to side. I did not have faith for a broken neck, but poor old Letwaba did not know the difference. I saw he did not understand, but he discerned the spirit of doubt in my soul, and I said to myself, “I am not going to interfere with his faith. He will just feel the doubt generated by the old traditional things I ever learned. So I will go out.”
And I did. I went and sat in another hut and kept on praying. I lay down at one am; at three Letwaba came in. I said, “Well, Letwaba, how about the baby?”
He looked at me so lovingly and sweetly and said, “Why brother, the baby is all well. Jesus did heal the baby.”
I said, “The baby is well! Letwaba, take me to the baby at once.”
So we went to the baby, and I took the little black infant on my arm, and I came out praying, “Lord take every cursed thing out of my soul that keeps me from believing the Lord Jesus Christ.” And Mr. Seymour, to whom I had related the incident, shouted, “Praise God, brother, that is not healing, it is life!”
In my meeting in Spokane is a dear man who came from Texas, Reverend Julias Allen. He told us he was dying of pellagra. He came to Sister Etter’s meeting at Dallas. On the train he apparently died, and they laid his body in the station house, covered him with gunnysacks, but discovered in the morning that he was still alive. So they carried him to Mother Etter’s meeting, and she came down off the platform and prayed for him, rebuking that devil of pellagra. That man is living and has been preaching the gospel for seven years at Spokane.
Why, there is more science in the mind of God in five minutes than the bloated scholarship of the world ever knew. “In Him is life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). The life of God is that which the mind of men and the keenest of them never knew and never understood. “The world by wisdom knew not God” (1 Corinthians 1:21). They could not discern the value in His death or understand the marvels of His life or why the Lord Jesus came and lived and died and entered into Hades and destroyed the power of darkness and death that held the souls of men; or how He liberated them from the chains of darkness, translated them to His own glory, and came forth to speak God’s Word and reveal God’s power and show God’s nature. And by the grace of God, man has been privileged to enter into the nature of Jesus, and the fires of God burn in his soul like they burned in the soul of the risen Lord. That explains resurrection faith and resurrection power.
The scientific world has been startled by one of the English scientists, who says he has a formula for transmutation of the grosser metals into gold. The old alchemists claimed to know this secret, but somehow it disappeared from the world. Now it is claimed it can be done again—that they can take lead and silver and iron and transmute, or change, them into gold.
Beloved, that is the thing that Jesus Christ has been doing all the time. It is as old as Christianity; it is as old as the Son of God. He has been coming to the hearts of men, taking the old base conditions of the nature, injecting His life into them, inducting His power into the man, and through the mighty action of the Holy Ghost, they have been changed into the pure gold of God. That is divine transmutation.
If there never was another blessing that came to the world through Pentecost but this one of which I am now going to speak, all the price that men paid would be as nothing. Listen! There has been more real divine research by the Holy Ghost into the nature of God and the nature of man in these last fifteen years than there ever was in any similar period in Christian history, and more intelligent discovery of God’s action and working in and through man than ever before. That is God’s divine laboratory of spiritual knowledge.
And when anyone comes to me with the statement that there is nothing in the baptism of the Holy Ghost but a psychological manifestation, I say, “Brother, sister, come with me and see the gems of God and the beautiful gold that has come out of the dross of dirty lives, and then you will know.” Saved from sin and healed from disease—that is divine demonstration.
In my Assembly at Spokane is a real little woman who was blind for nine years. She had little teaching along the line of faith of God. She sat one day with her group of six children to discover that her dirty brute of a husband had abandoned her and his children and left her to starve. A debased human being is capable of things that no beast will do, for a beast will care for its own.
You can imagine what her little heart was like. She was crushed, broken, bruised, and bleeding. She gathered her children around her and began to pray. They were sitting on their front porch. Presently, one of them got up and said, “Oh, Mama, there is a man coming up the path and He looks like Jesus! And, oh, Mama, there is blood on His hands and blood on His feet!” And the children were frightened and ran around the corner of the house. After a while, the biggest one looked around the corner and said, “Why, Mama, He is laying His hands on your eyes!” And just then her blind eyes opened. That is divine power.
And, beloved, if we could have seen the reason, we would have seen that there were some Christians, like those at the Brooks’ Home, Zion City, or some other place, who were praying the power of God on a hungry world, and Jesus Christ in His search for those who would receive, rushed to her and sent her forth to praise God and teach the gospel of Jesus.
I would not have missed my life in Africa for anything. It put me up against some of the real problems. I sat upon a mountain in Africa one afternoon and counted eleven hundred native villages within the range of my eyes. I could see the color of the grass on the mountains sixty miles away. I could see the mountains one hundred and fifty miles away, so clear was its rarefied atmosphere.
Then I began to figure, and I said, “Within the range of my eyes, there live ten million native people. They have never heard the name of Jesus. In the whole land, there are at least one hundred million people, perhaps two hundred million.” They are being born at a tremendous rate. Do you know there are more heathen born every day than are Christianized in fifty years? When are we going to catch up by our present method of building schools and teaching them to read? Never! I tell you, it will never come that way. It has got to come from heaven by the power of God, by an outpouring of the Holy Ghost. That is divine salvation.
That is the reason my heart rejoices in the blessed promise, “In the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh” (Acts 2:17). And every last one of the two hundred million unsaved people is going to hear and know of the Lord Jesus Christ. Beloved, I would rather have a place in the kingdom of God, praying that thing into existence and praying the power of God upon them, than anything else in the world.
Africa is said to be the first settled country in the world, and we believe the world is six thousand years old. Africa has been settled for five thousand years. Two hundred or four hundred million have died every century. Split the difference and say that three hundred million have died every [century] for five thousand years.
It caused me to pray and meditate. I said, “Has God no interest in these people? And if He has an interest, why is not something done for them? What is the matter with God? Is God unable to help, or does He not care?” My heart was breaking under the burden of it. I said, “God, there must be an explanation somewhere. What is it, Lord? Tell me about it.”
Then my heart grew calm, and the Spirit said, “The church, which is His body,” and I knew that was God’s answer.
I said, “Yes, the church should have sent missionaries and built schools and done this and that.”
But the Spirit kept on saying, “The church, which is His body. The church, which is His body.” I sat and listened to that voice repeat that sentence for a half hour.
I said, “My God, my soul begins to see. The church is the ministering presence of the Son of God in the world. The church is the generating agency of the power of God in the world. The church has been negligent in one great trust. She has not prayed the power of God out of heaven.”
Then I saw what has become a conviction in my soul from that day: that there never was a soul born to God in the whole earth at any time until some soul in the world got hold of the living Spirit of God and generated that Spirit in saving grace and creative virtue and ministered it until it took possession of a soul, no difference if it was a million miles away. Thus, the life of Christ is begotten in them.
When I try to induce men to forget their little squabbles and little differences and go to praying, it is because my soul feels the burden of it. Mother Etter has been like a marshal for fifty years. The sick have been healed; people have been converted and blessed. But beloved, when I heard of Brother Brook’s shutting himself up night and day to pray the power of God on a world, I said, “That is where she gets her fire; that is where it comes from to my soul; that is where it comes from to other souls—through those who pray.” That is divine intercession.
Notice how beautifully this armory is lighted. The world lived in darkness for five thousand years, and they had no way of lighting a place like this except by torches or candles. But there was just as much electricity five thousand years ago as there is today. Somebody found how to handle it, discovered the laws that govern it, and learned to apply it to our need. But to this day, there is no man who can tell us what electricity is or what its substance is. We know we can control it this way and guide it that way and make it do this and that, but what it is nobody can tell us. However, down somewhere on the river there is a machine that is called a dynamo, and it draws the electricity out of the air and transmits it over the wires. And these days, they are sending it in wireless waves.
Do you know what prayer is? It is not begging God for this and that. The first thing we have to do is to get you beggars to quit begging, until a little faith moves in your soul. Prayer is God’s divine generator. The spirit of man is God’s divine dynamo. When you go to pray, your spirit gets into motion. Not ten thousand revolutions per minute, but possibly one hundred thousand. The voltage of heaven comes to your heart, and it flows from your hands, it burns into the souls of men, and God almighty’s Spirit is applied through you to their need.
Over in Indiana some years ago was a farmer who used to be a friend of Brother Fockler and myself. His son had been in South America, had a dreadful case of typhoid fever and no proper nursing; the result was that he developed a great fever sore ten inches in diameter. The whole abdomen became grown up with proud flesh, one layer on top of another layer, until there were five layers. The nurse had to lift up those layers and wash it with an antiseptic to keep the maggots out of it.
When he exposed the body for me to pray for him, I was shocked. I never had seen anything like it before. As I went to pray for him, I spread my fingers out wide and put my hand right on that cursed growth of proud flesh. I prayed God in the name of Jesus Christ to blast the curse of hell and burn it up by the power of God. Then I took the train and came back to Chicago. The next day I received a telegram saying, “Lake, the most unusual thing has happened. An hour after you left, the whole print of your hand was burned into that growth a quarter of an inch deep.”
You talk about the voltage of heaven and the power of God! Why, there is lightning in the soul of Jesus. The lightning of Jesus heals men by its flash; sin dissolves, disease flees when the power of God approaches.
And yet we are quibbling and wondering if Jesus Christ is big enough for our needs. Let’s take the bars down. Let God come into your life. And in the name of Jesus your heart will not be satisfied with an empty Pentecost, but your soul will claim the light of God, and the lightning of Jesus will flood your life. Amen.
The Grace of Divine Healing
John G. Lake
An address given at a Convention in Chicago, Illinois, July 26, 1920
I want to use a familiar text, “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11. There never was a bigger word than the word of “Grace.” If we undertake to define and analyze its operations, that beautiful term brings the many-sided gospel of Jesus Christ to the heart with a wonderful clearness. The Grace of Jesus Christ is not His demeanor, neither His beautiful gratuitous giving. It is the DIVINE OUTFLOWING OF THE NATURE OF GOD, heavenly, healing loveliness, and holy balm, it comes to the needy world; not only as a sin-saving action of God, but as a healing virtue, pains, changing the very chemicalization of their being, healing and abiding rest in God. Divine healing is no mystery. It is the definite action of the Spirit of God in the souls and the bodies of men.
There is a Grace of God that rests on a community. There is a Grace of God that rests upon a church; the Grace of God that rests upon an individual. In South Africa, there used to be an old lady who visited our home once in a while. She was one of the sweetest, most blessed creatures I ever met. My, when she came into my office and sat down for five minutes, she brought the consciousness of God, a restfulness and a peace of mind. From her whole person there seemed to radiate that blessedness that can be described only as the grace of God, and the very atmosphere would become pregnant with it. I would make excuses to take her through the house. I wanted her to leave that beautiful communion all over the place. Because when she was gone, it seemed the house settled down, the noisy children ceased to influence, and all invisible unrest disappeared. It was the Grace of God.
Tuesday of this week, at Portland, we had an experience with a young woman who was on the way to the river to take her life. Somehow she felt impelled to come up to our healing rooms. She sat for a little while and we talked to her, soothed her heart, and tried to get her to God. I said to those present, “I wish someone could take her and love her for a little while.” Soon a lady of our church came in and I introduced her to the poor girl. I said, “Just take her home with you. Put your arms around her and let her feel your love. Let her know what the Grace of God is, not by preaching, but by contact.” She took her home and four days later the young woman came back, after having given her heart to God. In the meantime things worked out in her family; she w4ent back home to be a blessing to her brother, her sister and dear old parents and the kingdom of God. This is the same Grace of healing that flowed from the loving Hands and heavenly Spirit of Jesus.
I wonder when the Lord Jesus Christ passed down the highway as He walked from Bethany to Jerusalem, if the atmosphere was not alive, pregnant with the beautiful light of His Divine presence and blessing. And I haven’t a bit of doubt that when someone walked down that way after Jesus passed, and they breathed the air that Jesus breathed, that they felt the life of God that was shed from His person, and were healed by the virtue of the fact that Christ had been there. That same healing Grace permeated the atmosphere around dear old Peter, so that the sick were healed as far from him as his eventide shadow reached.
That is my ideal of a Christian heart, a Christian life, a Christian church or a Christian ministry.
My soul desires, by the Grace of God, that out through these old brick walls, there will flow that beautiful emanation of Christ throughout old Chicago, that will discover disease in every part of the city, and heal both soul and body. That this Grace may bring to the heart of man made free from sin’s power, a life joined to God, a consciousness of holy oneness with our Father God, through Jesus Christ. Atonement makes at-one-ment, in body, souls and spirit with Christ, both in salvation through Him and in ministry for Him.
How blessed it is when once in a while we walk suddenly into the presence of one rich with the light and life of God. As we emerge from the storms of life, as we come out of the turmoil, passing into the presence of the heart that balm and sweetness indicating the presence of God, and leaving upon our life a divine influence that gives us restfulness of mind, restfulness of heart, and sunlit soul, the God-lit life, instantly there comes to the quiet in God.
There is the Grace of God that goes underneath the soul of man, that by the blessed gift of the Spirit, lifts from the life forever the shadows and darkness that sin has brought, and takes away the corrosion that has come upon the soul of man, and by the Grace of God lets the heart of man understand the blessed touch of the Son of God that imparts eternal life. Blessed be His name.
“Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that Grace can restore.
Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more.”
O yes beloved, there is a Grace of God that goes underneath the life and lifts the nature of man into beautiful holiness and heavenly contact, into the consciousness of purity, the realization of power, blessed be His name forever.
One morning a distress call came from a woman on behalf of her husband. Some other ministers and I responded. We found the man in delirium tremens, begging his wife for just a little more whiskey, and making the usual promises an insane man will make. We knelt by his bed, laid hand upon him, lifted our hearts in love and faith to God. “The grace that bringeth salvation” appeared, stole into that man’s soul, and in five minutes his pains were gone, the curse had departed, and he never wanted whiskey again. Later he called on me in Portland, Oregon, took my hands and poured out his tears and love for God, told of his success in life, and all the rest of the beautiful story. The Lord was not in the cyclone, or in the fire, or in the earthquake. He is now as then in the still small voice and the healing touch of Divine gentleness.
Every soul should have its own contact with God. If that touch has not been real to your own heart yet, it may become real. Bless God! Mrs. Graham was dying of pneumonia. As I entered into her home I was met by Brother Fogwill, coming out. He said, “John, you are too late. She is gone.” The flames of God came over my heart and though she had not breathed for twenty-three minutes, the breath and the power of Christ came upon her and she is continuing her ministry for God and man.
Beloved, the Christian life is a glorious doorway into God, through Jesus Christ, into the divinest secrets that the soul of man ever desired to attain. And bless His Name, you and I tonight are privileged to enter that doorway, and to know Him “whom to know is life eternal.”
Some days past, Dr. McInturff and I were called to the bedside of a woman that was dying. She had gone out of her mind. Had Become unconscious, and was then in the coma of death. Her nurse told us that she had not been able to speak, hear, or see for a number of days. We knelt, prayed, and left, with a feeling that God was there, though we could detect no action in the woman’s body so far as we could tell. We went away with the consciousness that our prayer was heard, and the work was done.
Weeks passed and there was no report of the woman’s condition. Until finally one day the mother- in-law of the woman walked into the office to tell how wonderfully God had healed and delivered the woman. Later the lady herself, walked in, and for an half hour told of the wonderful inner action of the Spirit that went into her life even as we prayed. She said, “Brother, as you knelt by my bedside, I became conscious that someone was there. All I knew was that the sound of the voices was different from others. Then you proceeded to put your hands on my head, and something began to steal down through my brain; the awful torture gradually subsided. After awhile I became still and quiet in my soul. Then a voice began to speak to me about my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It bade me have faith in God, and said that I should come out of this condition, and be a blessing to my home and husband. I have now come to tell you that your prayer was heard.” We never spoke of the Grace of salvation, but the living presence of the Spirit came to her and made her to know of “the grace of God that bringeth salvation.”
The world is in need of a knowledge of Christ’s way of salvation and healing. The whole subject of its actuality has become greatly dimmed in the hearts of men. There is a dire need of a wondrous clarifying of the spiritual atmosphere, in order that His power may be made effective to those who turn their hearts thither-ward. This then is a part of the mission of Pentecost. Not only to declare Christ as a Savior and a Healer, but to manifest Him by God’s Grace in daily life, through God-anointed lives and hands to carry that blessed Grace of God, and transmit it to whosoever will. Put your hands on the sick, believer; Jesus Christ commanded it, and “they shall recover.” I am praying that upon your souls there will come the presence of God, through Christ, that will make you realize yourself as a minister of the Lord and Savior, with a mission from God, and that in His Name you too, my brother and sister, will go forth to carry this light and power to whosoever will.
A young man dying of consumption came to our healing rooms and said, “I am no Christian. I have not been interested in religion. I have heard that people are healed here. I am dying and have no hope. Tell me what you have to say in the shortest words you can.” I answered, “Young man, God is able to deliver you. He is able to heal you. He is ready to do it right now.” He replied, “I haven’t any faith.” I said, “But I am a child of God, I am a son of God, and I have faith.” And without more ado I proceeded to pray. That man was healed. His sister was converted and healed, and other members of the family were saved. I received word telling of a movement of God in the community, where a dozen people are now seeking God unto salvation.
“CHRIST LIVETH IN ME”
John G. Lake
That is the text, “Christ liveth in me.” That is the revelation of this Age. That is the discovery of the moment. That is the revolutionising power of God in the earth. It is the factor that is changing the spirit of religion in the world and the character of Christian faith. It is divine vitalisation.
The world is awakening to that marvellous truth, that Christ is not in the heavens only, nor in the atmosphere only, but Christ is IN YOU.
The world lived in darkness for thousands of years. There was just as much electricity in the world then as now. It is not that electricity has just come into being. It was always here. But men have discovered how to utilise it and bless themselves with it.
Christ’s indwelling in the human heart is the mystery of mysteries. Paul gave it to the Gentiles as the supreme mystery of all the revelation of God and the finality of all wonder he knew. “Christ in you.” “Christ in YOU.”
Christ has a purpose in you. Christ’s purpose in YOU is to reveal Himself to you, through you, in you. We repeat over and over that familiar phrase, “The Church which is His body,” but if we realised the truth of it and the power of it, this world would be a different place. When the Christian church realises that they are the tangible, living, pulsating body, flesh and bones and blood and brain of Jesus Christ, and that God is manifesting through each one every minute, and is endeavouring to accomplish His big will for the world through them, not through some other body, then Christian service and responsibility will be understood. Jesus Christ operates through you. He does not operate independently of you, He operates through you. Man and God become united. That is the divine secret of a real Christian life. It is the real union, the real conscious union of man and God. There is no substitute for that relationship. You can manufacture all the ordinances on earth, all the symbols there ever were until you become dazed and you lose yourself in the maze of them, and still you must find God.
There is only one reality. That reality is God. The soul of man must contact God, and unless the spirit of man is truly joined to God there is no such thing as real Christian manifestation. All the processes of preparation, by which a soul is prepared by God for such a manifestation, are only preliminary processes. The final end is that man may reveal God and that God may not only have a place of residence but a right action in the body and spirit of man. Every Spirit-taught man in the world is aware of how gradually his own nature has become subjected to God and His will.
I was visiting with a gentleman who had a grouch on me. He said, “I wrote you a twenty-four page letter, and you have not received it. If you had you would not be here.” I laughed. That man has been a Christian for thirty or forty years. Always a devout man, and I have spoken of him frequently to my wife and my friends as one of the most consistent Christian men I ever knew. Yet every once in a while we see how the big human just rises up above the spirit and spoils the beauty and delight and wonder of the life that is revealing God.
God’s effort and God’s purpose in us is to bring all the conditions of our being into harmony with His will and His mind. God’s purpose is not to make an automaton. We see a ventriloquist operating a little wooden dummy, and the wooden dummy’s lips move and it looks as though it was talking. It is just moving because another power is moving it.
Now God has a higher purpose than making man an automaton. God’s highest is to bring out all the qualities of God in your own soul, to bring out all the individuality that is in your life, not to submerge or destroy, but to change it, to energise it, to enlarge it, until all your individuality and personality and being are of the nature and substance and quality of God.
You notice among the most devout Christians how continuously their thought is limited to that place where they can be exercised or moved by God. But God’s best is more than that. Receive the Spirit, then use the Spirit for God’s glory.
While I was in Chicago I met a couple of old friends who invited me to dinner. While at dinner the lady, who is a very frank woman, said, “Mr Lake, I have known you so long and have had such close fellowship for so many years, I am able to speak very frankly.” I said, “Yes, absolutely.” “Well,” she said, “there is something I miss about you. For lack of words I am going to put it in Paul’s words, ‘I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.’ You do not seem to have the marks of Jesus.” I said, “That depends whether or not it is the marks of mannerisms. If you are expecting that the personality that God gave me is going to be changed so that I am going to be another fellow and not myself, then you will miss it. If that is the kind of marks you are looking for you will not find them. But if you are expecting to observe a man’s flesh and blood and bones and spirit and mind indwelt by God, then you will find them, not a machine, not an automaton, or an imitation, but a clear mind and a pure heart, a son of God in nature and essence.
What is all God’s effort with the world but to bring out the real man in the image of Christ, that real man with the knowledge of God, that real man reconstructed until his very substance is the substance of God. And when you stop to reason that to its proper conclusion, that is the only way that Jesus Christ Himself or God the eternal Father will have fellowship with man forever.
When one stops to analyse that fact, we see that God is trying to make us in all our nature and being and habits and thought, in all the structure of our life, just as beautiful and just as real and just as clear-minded and just as strong as Jesus Himself. Than we understand what Christ’s redemption means. It is the bringing out of Christ IN YOU, until Christ in you is the One manifest - manifest through your eyes just as God was manifest through the eyes of Jesus, manifest through your touch just as God was manifest through Jesus. It is not a power nor a life separate from yourself but two lives made one, two natures co-joined, two minds operating as one - Christ in YOU.
In the Chicago conference I sat with an old coloured lady one afternoon after the meeting, and she told me of her woes and sicknesses, and they were many. After a time when she had grown somewhat still, I said, “Dear Mother, how long have you been a Christian?” She replied, “Since I was a child.” Then I tried to show her that God expected a development of God and His nature and the working and action of God in her in transforming power through the agency of the Holy Spirit, and that there was a process of remaking and remoulding that should change her nature and life, and dissolve the rheumatism and Bright’s disease and all the other difficulties, just as truly as long ago sin dissolved out of her soul.
After the conversation had gone on to the proper point, I said, “Dear Sister, anybody can see that Christ dwells in your spirit.” Her eyes were lovely, delightful. “Let your mind extend just a little bit. Let your thought comprehend that just as Jesus dwells in your spirit and also possesses your soul, in just exactly the same way He is possessing your blood and your kidneys and your old rheumatic bones, and that the very same thing will happen in your bones when you realise that truth as happened in your spirit when you were converted at the altar.” (She told me how she had prayed twenty-two days and nights until Christ was revealed in her soul as Saviour. She seemed to want to wait twenty-two days and nights for God to manifest Himself in the rheumatic bones, and I was trying to get her away from it.) She said, “Brother, lay your hands on me and pray for me, and I will be healed.” I answered, “No, I want you to get well by realising that right now that same Christ that dwells in your spirit and your soul is in your bones and in your blood and in your brain.” Presently the old lady hopped to her feet and said, “My God, He is.” She had it. Christ had been imprisoned in her soul and spirit, now He was permitted to manifest in her body.
Brother Tom Hezmalhalch came into a Negro meeting in Los Angeles one day where they were talking about the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. He had picked up a paper and read of these peculiar meetings, and among other things that they spoke in tongues. That was new to him. He said, “If they do, and if it is real, that is an advance in the Spirit of God beyond what is common. I am going to get it.” He went, and listened as the old black boy taught. He was trying to develop the thought of conscious cleansing, and he used a beautiful text: “Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.” That became very real to Tom, and after a while they were invited to come and kneel at the altar to seek God for the baptism of the Spirit. Tom said unto me, “John, I got up and walked toward that old bench with the realisation in my soul of the truth of the Word, and that the real cleansing and Cleanser was in my heart. ‘Now are ye clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.’”
He knelt down and he prayed for a minute or two, his soul arose and his heart believed for the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Then he arose and took one of the front seats. One of the workers said, “Brother, don’t stop praying until you are baptized in the Holy Ghost.” Mr. Seymour said, “Just leave him alone. He has got it. You wait and see.” A few days passed, and one day Tom said the Spirit began to surge through him, and a song of praise in tongues, angelic voice, broke through his lips.
An old preacher came into my office in Africa and said, “Brother Lake, there is something I want to talk to you about. There used to be a very remarkable manifestation in my life. It was the manifestation of tongues and interpretation. But I have not spoken for a year. I wish you would pray for me.” I said, “No, go over and lie down, and get still and let God move in your life.” I went on writing a letter. Presently I observed that something wanted to speak in me, and I turned my head just a little to see that the old man was speaking in tongues and I was getting the interpretation of it as I wrote the letter.
Don’t you know Christians are stumbling every day over that fact. You are doubting and fearing and wondering if Christ is there. Beloved brother and sister, give Him a chance t o reveal Himself. He is there. Probably because of your lack of realisation your soul is closed and He is not able to reveal Himself. You know God is never able in many to reveal Himself outside of the spirit or soul. The real secret of the ministry of healing is in permitting the grace of God in your heart to flow. out through your hands and your nerves into the outer life. That is the real secret. And one of the greatest works God has to perform is to subject our flesh to God. Many Christians, the deepest Christians who really know God in their spirits and enjoy communion with God, are compelled to wait until there is a process of spiritualisation takes place in their bodies before God can reveal Himself through them. Do not imprison Christ in you. Let Him live, let Him manifest, let Him vent through you.
There is one great thing that the world is needing more than anything else, and I am convinced of it every day I live. Mankind has one supreme need, and that is the LOVE of God. The hearts of men are dying for lack of the love of God. I have a sister in Detroit. She came over to Milwaukee to visit us for two or three days at the convention there. As I watched her moving around, I said, “I would like to take her along and just have her love folks.” She would not need to preach. You do not need to preach to folks. It is not the words you say that are going to bless them. They need something greater. It is the thing in your soul. They have got to receive it, then their soul will open and there will be a divine response. Give it to them: it is the love of God.
You have seen people who loved someone who would not respond. If there is any hard situation in God’s earth, that is it, to really passionately love someone and find no response in them.
I had an English friend and was present at his marriage. Some years later he and his wife came to visit our home. He was the cold type of closed up Englishman, and his wife was the warm type. One day as they started out for a walk, I noticed the passionate yearning in her soul. If he would just say something that was tender, something that would gratify the craving of her nature for affection, but he seemed to go along absolutely unconscious of it. After a while they came back from their walk. I was sitting on the front steps. After the lady had gone into the house, I said, “Hibbs, you are a stiff. How is it possible that you can walk down the street with a woman like your wife and not realise that her heart is craving and crying for you to turn around and do something that shows you love her?” He said, “Do you think that is the difficulty? I will go and do it now.” And everything subsided while he proceeded to do it.
What is it men are seeking? What is it their hearts are asking for when they are seeking God? What is their soul crying for? Mankind is separated from God. It may not be mountains of sin between you and God at all. It may be that your nature is closed and unresponsive. My! When the real love touch of God is breathed into your soul, what a transformation takes place. There is probably no more delightful thing on earth than to watch a soul praying into God, when the light of God comes in and the life of God fills the nature and that holy affection that we seek from others finds expression in Him.
That is what the Lord is asking from you, and if you want to gratify the heart of Jesus Christ, that is the only way in all the world to do it. You know the invitation is not “Give Me thine head.” The invitation is, “My son, give Me thine HEART.” That is an affectionate relationship, a real love union in God, a real love union with God. Think of the fineness of God’s purpose. He expects that same marvellous spiritual union that is brought to pass between your soul and His own to be extended so that you embrace in that union every other soul around you.
Oh, that is what it means when it talks about being baptised in one spirit, submerged, buried, enveloped and enveloping in the one Spirit of God.
While I was in Milwaukee recently, I went out one morning with Rev. Fockler to make a call on a sick person. We stepped into one of the most distracted homes I have ever been in. A strange condition had developed in one of the daughters, and the household was distressed. They were the saddest group. They were German people. Fockler speaks German. Presently he began to talk to the household. I just sat back and watched. Presently I noticed the faces began to relax and the strain was gone. The girl was apparently insane. She came down the stairs, stood outside the door where she could not be seen except by me. He continued to converse with the family, and as their souls softened and their faith lifted, her eyes commenced to change. She was moved upon by the same Spirit until her nature responded, and in just a little while she stepped into the room. She had tormented that household. Nobody could get near her. She slipped up behind Fockler’s chair, stood with her hands on the back of the chair. He understood and disregarded. After a little while she put the other hand on the other shoulder. And in fifteen or twenty minutes we left that home, and there was just as much distinction between the attitude of those dear people when we came in and when we left as between heaven and hell. If hell has a characteristic, it is that of distraction. If heaven has a particular characteristic, it is the presence of God, the calm of God, the power of God, the love of God.
There were days when the church could club men into obedience by preaching hell to them, but that day has long passed. The world has outgrown it. And men are discovering there is only one way and that is the Jesus way. Jesus did not come with a club, but with the great loving heart of the Son of God. He was “moved with compassion”.
This morning I lay in bed and wrote a letter, an imaginary letter to a certain individual. I was getting ready so that when I came down I could dictate the sentences that would carve him right. One of the phrases was, “You great big calf, come out of it and be a man.” As I lay there I got to thinking, “If Jesus was writing this letter, I wonder what He would write?” But somehow it would not frame. My soul was not in an attitude to produce such a letter. So I came down this morning and called Edna and commenced to dictate, and I was trying to dictate a letter in the Spirit of Jesus. Presently I woke up to the fact that I was putting the crimp into it like a lawyer. After she had written it and laid it down for me to sign, I commenced to read it over. It was not what I wanted to write at all. The first two paragraphs had a touch of the right spirit but that was all. So I laid it aside. Then I went in and prayed a little while. After I had been praying for twenty minutes, the telephone rang. It was that fellow. He wanted me to come down to the Davenport Hotel. We had three of the best hours without being aware of the time.
We boast of our development in God; we speak glowingly of our spiritual experiences, but it is only once in a while that we find ourselves in the real love of God. The greater part of the time we are in ourselves rather than in Him. That evidences just one thing, that Christ has not yet secured that perfect control of our life, that subjection of our nature, that absorption of our individuality, so that He is able to impregnate it and maintain it in Himself. We recede, we draw back, we close up. We imprison our Lord..
The secret of a religious meeting is that it assists men’s hearts to open. They become receptive, and the love of God finds vent in their nature for a little while, and they go away saying, “Didn’t we have a good time? Wasn’t that a splendid meeting?”
I wonder if there is anything that could not be accomplished through that love of God. Paul says there is not. “Love never faileth.” That is one infallible state. Try it on your wife, try it on your children, try it on your neighbours.
Ah, sometimes we need to get things over on to the bigger love, the greater heart. It is a good thing to detach your soul. Do not hold people. Do not bind people. Just cut them loose and let God love them. Don’t you know we hold people with such a grip when we pray for them that they miss the blessing. Why, you have such a grip on your humanity that it is exercising itself and the spirit is being submerged. Let your soul relax and let the Spirit of God in you find vent. There is no substitute for the love of God. “Christ in you.” Oh, you have the capacity to love. All the action of the Spirit of God has its secret there.
I stood on one occasion by a dying woman who was suffering and writhing in awful agony. I had prayed again and again with no results. But this day something just happened inside of me. My soul broke clear down, and I saw that poor soul in a new light. Before I knew it I reached out and gathered her in my arms and hugged her up to my soul, not my bosom. In a minute I knew the real thing had taken place. I laid her back down on the pillow. In five minutes she was well. God was waiting on me until He could get to my soul the sense of that tenderness that was in the Son of God.
That is the reason that His Name is written in imperishable memory. And the Name of Jesus Christ is the most revered Name in earth or sea or sky. And I am eager to get in that category of folks who can manifest the real love of God all the time.
Is It Worth the Price?
by John G. Lake
After October 11, 1920
Our fellow citizen, O. G. Blake of Number 10, 9th Street, Portland, Oregon, was abandoned to die by his physicians of diabetic gangrene. The entire foot and lower limb were in a state of mortification. The stench of the rotting foot would almost drive one from the room. With tears, his physicians bade him goodbye and left him to die. Materia Medica had no remedy. The medical expert said, “I am stumped; there is nothing I can do for you further.” Amputations were useless, as the diabetic state permeated his whole person.
He called Reverend John G. Lake of The Church at Portland, a businessman’s church in the Gordon Building, 283 Stark Street, conducted by preachers who are businessmen. One of the ministering staff was sent to minister to this dying man. He is perfectly healed. What science could not do, God accomplished.
His big toe rotted off. He has it in a bottle of alcohol. You can see it. New flesh and bone grew on. He is walking around the city and has taken his place again as one of the heads of the Yeoman Society of the state of Oregon.
Fellow citizens, what is it worth to you? What is it worth to his home? What is it worth to his wife? What is it worth to Portland? What is it worth to Oregon? What is it worth to the United States? What is it worth to the world? What is it worth to the kingdom of heaven?
I, Mrs. D. C. Tappan of 874 Pardee Street, Portland, Oregon, being first duly sworn under oath, depose and say that I am 63 years of age, of a sound mind, and that I make the following statement fully realizing the sacredness of my oath: That two years ago a cancer formed on the end of my spine, and it grew and spread in the form of a horseshoe until it became three inches in diameter, causing me great pain constantly. Many physicians of Portland and Seattle treated me from time to time, but the cancer steadily grew worse and discharged more and more.
When all our funds were exhausted in this way, and complete hopelessness and despair settled down over my family, and I was facing a miserable death, a friend sent word to us that Dr. Lake was praying for the sick and was having wonderful cures through prayer. A new hope was born in our hearts, and we immediately sought him that his associates—Dr. Lake being absent from the city—would pray for us. His secretary, Reverend Harriet Graham, knelt with me and most earnestly prayed God to deliver me from this cancer. Immediately, all the terrible pain left my body and has never returned.
During the intervening three months, the cancer continued to dry up, and now there is nothing left but the scar to remind me of those awful days. No one can ever know how the sun shines on us after the hand of God has touched the body and scattered all our clouds.
My daughter was also a great sufferer from violent headaches. It was she who brought me to the healers, and without especially being prayed for, when the healing came to me, she was also touched by its power, and she, too, was immediately healed.
Mrs. D. C. Tappan
Subscribed and sworn to before me, a Notary Public for the State of Oregon, this 11th day of October, 1920. My commission expires Jan. 29, 1924.D. N. McInturff, Notary Public
H. H. Marble.
Mrs. Margaret Higgins
What is it worth to you to know that God answers prayer today? How much is it worth to you to know that even after the best physicians in the land have despaired, that God will heal all who come to Him? How much is it worth to you to know that when the church tells you that the days of miracles are past, that they lie?
We, Mr. and Mrs. Marble of 1004 E. 32nd Street, being first duly sworn under oath, depose and say that we both are of mature age and of sound mind and make the following statement fully realizing the sacredness of such an oath: Our daughter, Edith May Marble, seventeen years of age, contracted flu eight months ago, which caused pleurisy and developed into tuberculosis. She went down to death, and by September fifteenth she was in the very throes of death. We had six doctors, but she steadily grew worse. She was operated on and seemed some better for a few days, but again sank rapidly.
Mr. Wright, of Reverend Lake’s healing rooms, was called and prayer offered. A week later, she vomited quantities of digitalis, which had accumulated in her system during her sickness, which was given her in course of treatment. She began to recover, and the wound healed. She is now up and walking around, praising God, eating well, taking on flesh rapidly. We desire the public to know of this miracle of God’s power and give thanks for these godly people who brought the light of divine healing to us.
Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Marble
Subscribed and sworn to before me, a Notary Public for the State of Oregon, this 11th day of October, 1920. My Commission expires Jan. 29, 1924.D. N. McInturff, Notary Public
What is it worth to you to know that God is healing tuberculosis? What is it worth to you to know that God will save your dear ones from the grave? What is it worth to you to know that all sickness, sin, and disease do not come from God, but that they belong to the evil one?
Mr. Frank Roles of the Pacific Agency, Inc., in the Swetland Building, one of the leading real estate brokers of the Pacific Coast, was stricken with a violent attack of neuritis until his cries of agony resounded through the house. He says: “My suffering was so intense that I could not keep from crying out.”
Mr. E. S. Anderson of Royal Court, an ordained deacon of The Church at Portland, of which John G. Lake is overseer, with his wife, was called to his bedside. Moved by his terrible suffering, they fell upon their knees and laid their hands upon him. The power of God came upon him. He was instantly healed and in fifteen minutes was out of pain. He slept like a child and next day returned to his office.
Citizen, what is this fact worth to you? What is it worth to know that God is not far away? What is it worth to you to know that “Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever”? (Hebrews 13:8).
Harold Rooney, grandson of Mrs. Josephine Raymond of 2914 Fairmont Street, Vancouver, Washington, seven years old, was an epileptic, subject to fits from infancy. He became dumb. His mind became affected. The physicians said, “There is not a thing can be done for him.” He was brought to Reverend Lake’s healing rooms, 283 Stark Street Prayer was offered. The epileptic demon was cast out. The fits ceased. His speech returned. His mind became normal, and he put on flesh rapidly and is now a rosy, healthy, happy boy, attending school.
Fellow citizen, what is this cute by the power of God worth to you? It has saved the expense of an inmate for life in a state institution. It has restored to society a life that will add wealth to the nation, citizenship to the state, a home and family to the city of Portland—a man with faith in God, and a Christian to the kingdom of heaven.
Dr. D. N. Mclnturff, a man with a successful law practice, a Supreme Court lawyer of note, seeing these things, gave up his practice of law and became pastor of The Church at Portland. He himself ministers to the sick, and they are healed. Last week among the numerous healings under his ministry, there were three cases of blindness. What is it worth to hear the shout of joy when blind eyes open by the power of God sufficient to heal blindness?
Reverend Harriett Graham, a professional nurse, hospital matron, herself a miracle of healing by the Lord, is also one of Dr. Lake’s associates, and under her wonderful ministry people are healed every day.
Dr. Herman Wallace, noted divine businessman, author, and economist, is on our staff. He is a thinker of thinkers and a man of exceptional spiritual power. Realizing the wonderful possibilities of Dr. Lake’s undertaking for Portland and the world, he has become one of the ministering staff.
Reverend William O. Wright operated a stock ranch in the state of Wyoming. He was discharged from the United States Army at the close of the war and was pronounced incurable. More than a hundred X-ray pictures were taken of his person by the government experts in their effort to determine the nature of the disease. He was operated upon many times without success. His case is a matter of government record.
He says, “When suffering the agonies of the damned, I was ministered to by Reverend Lake, Reverend Harriet Graham, and others. The Lord healed me. He filled me with His Spirit, and I now minister to the sick throughout the city who are confined to their homes and are unable to be brought to the healing rooms.”
Mr. Blake, whose healing appears at the head of this pamphlet, was one of his patients. He will call at your home anywhere if you so desire.
What is this life worth to the United States? What is it worth to Portland? What is it worth to see hundreds of healed and saved people gather together in The Church at Portland, giving thanks to God? What is it worth to Portland to foster and sustain this work and thereby become the healthiest city on earth?
The Baptism in the Holy Ghost
And Some of the Things it has Produced in My Life
By John G. Lake
Probably written after February 23, 1921
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost was of such importance in the mind of the Lord Jesus Christ that He commanded His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem “until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Acts 1:8) And they steadfastly carried out what the Lord had commanded, waiting on God in a continuous prayer meeting in the upper room for ten days until the Promise of the Father was fulfilled (Luke 24:49), and that Baptism had fallen of which John the Baptist spoke in Matthew 3:11, saying, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.”
In order to obtain from Heaven the Spirit of Jesus (the Holy Ghost), it is first necessary that the individual shall know that his sins are blotted out, that the blood of Jesus Christ has sanctified his heart and cleansed him from the sinful nature, or the Adamic nature, the inherent nature of sin (Ephesians 2:1-3).
Personally I knew that my sins had been blotted out, but it was only two months prior to my Baptism in the Holy Ghost that I learned by the Word of God and experienced in my life the sanctifying power of God subduing the soul and cleansing the nature from sin. This inward life cleansing was to me the crowning work of God in my life at that period, and I shall never cease to praise God that He revealed to me the depth by the Holy Ghost the power of the blood of Jesus.
Many inquire what is the reason that when your heart is sanctified and the conscious knowledge of your cleansing has taken place that you are not instantly baptized with the Holy Ghost. From my own experience and the experiences of others it is readily seen that, notwithstanding that the heart is cleansed from sin, it is still necessary in many instances for the dear Lord to further spiritualise the personality until the individual has become sufficiently receptive to receive within his person the Holy Ghost. The forces of our personality must be subdued unto God. This we commonly speak of as spiritualising. In many instances even though the heart is really pure, yet the individual has not at once received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and in some instances has given up in despair and turned back to his first works, believing that there must still be sin in his heart, thus discrediting what God has already done within him through the blood of Jesus. No, it is not always that the heart is still impure. It is not because you are not thoroughly sanctified. It is only God waiting and working to bring you to the place and to sufficiently spiritualise your personality that you may receive into your being the Holy Ghost.
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is not an influence, nor yet a good feeling, nor sweet sensations, though it may include all of these. The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the incoming into the personality of Him, the Holy Ghost, which is the Spirit of Jesus taking real possession of your spirit (or inner man), of your soul (the mind and animal life), yea, of your flesh. He possesses the being. The flesh is caused to quake sometimes because of the presence of the Spirit of God in the flesh. Daniel quaked with great quaking when the Spirit of the Lord came upon him (Daniel 10:1-13).
Beloved reader, do you realise that it is the Spirit of Jesus that is seeking admittance into your heart and life? Do you realise that it is the Spirit of Jesus within the spirit, soul and body of the baptized believer that moves him in ways sometimes strange, but who accomplishes the wondrous work of God within the life that every baptized believer praises God has taken place in him.
While yet a justified man, even without an experience of sanctification, the Lord committed to me in a measure the ministry of healing inasmuch that many were healed, and, in some instances, real miracles of healing took place. Yet I did not know God as my sanctifier. Ten years later, after sanctification had become a fact in my life, a great and wonderful yearning to be baptized in the Holy Ghost and fire came into my heart. After seeking God persistently, almost night and day for two months, the Lord baptized me in the Holy Ghost causing me to speak in tongues and magnify God. I had looked for and prayed and coveted the real power of God for the ministry of healing and believed God that when I was baptized in the Holy Ghost that His presence in me through the Spirit would do for the sick the things my heart desired and which they needed. Instantly upon being baptized in the Spirit I expected to see the sick healed in a greater degree and in larger numbers than I had before known, and, for a times I seemed to be disappointed.
How little we know of our own relationship to God! How little I knew of my own relationship to Him; for, day by day, for six months following my Baptism in the Holy Ghost the Lord revealed to me many things in my life where repentance, confession and restitution were necessary, and yet I had repented unto God long ago. O, the deep cleansings, the deep revelations of one’s own heart by the Holy Ghost. It was indeed as John the Baptist said, “whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner: but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire.”
First, then, I will say the Baptism in the Holy Ghost meant to me a heart searching as I have never before known, with no rest, until in every instance the blood was consciously applied, and my life set free from the particular thing that God had revealed. As I say, this process continued for six months after my Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Second, a love for mankind such as I had never comprehended took possession of my life. Yea, a soul yearning to see men saved, so deep, at times heart rending, until in anguish of soul I was compelled to abandon my business and turn all my attention to bringing men to the feet of Jesus. While this process was going on in my heart, during a period of months, sometimes persons would come to my office to transact business and even instances where there were great profits to be had for a few minutes of persistent application to business, the Spirit of love in me so yearned over souls that I could not even see the profits to be had. Under its sway money lost its value to me and in many instances I found myself utterly unable to talk business to the individual until first I had poured out the love passion of my soul and endeavoured to show him Jesus as his then present Saviour. In not just a few instances these business engagements ended in the individual yielding himself to God.
That love passion for men’s souls has sometimes been overshadowed by the weight of care since then, but only for a moment. Again, when occasion demanded it, that mighty love flame absorbing one’s whole being and life would flame forth until, under the anointing of the Holy Ghost on many occasions sinners would fall in my arms and yield their hearts to God.
Others have sought for evidences of this Pentecostal experience being the real baptism of the Holy Ghost. Some have criticised and said, “Is it not a delusion?” In all the scale of evidences presented to my soul and taken from my experience, this experience of the divine love, the burning love and holy compassion of Jesus Christ filling one’s bosom until no sacrifice is too great to win a soul for Christ demonstrates to me more than any other one thing that this is indeed none other than the Spirit of Jesus. Such love is not human! Such love is only divine! Such love is only Jesus, Himself, who gave His life for others.
Again, the development of power. First, after the mighty love came the renewed, energised power for healing of the sick. O what blessed things God has given on this line! What glorious resurrections of the practically dead! Such restorations of the lame and the halt and the blind! Such shouts of joy! Such abundance of peace! Verily, “Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses”
Then came as never before the power to preach the Word of God in demonstration of the Spirit. O, the burning fiery messages; O, the tender, tender, loving messages! Oh, the deep revelations of wondrous truth by the Holy Ghost! Preaching once, twice, sometimes three times a day, practically continuously during these four years and four months. O, the thousands God has permitted us to lead to the feet of Jesus, and the tens of thousands to whom He has permitted us to preach the Word!
Then came the strong, forceful exercise of dominion over devils, to cast them out. Since that time many insane and demon possessed, spirits of insanity, all sorts of unclean demons, have been cast out in the mighty name of Jesus through the power of the precious blood. Saints have been led into deeper life in God. Many, many have been baptized in the Holy Ghost and fire. My own ministry was multiplied a hundredfold in the very lives of others to whom God committed this same ministry. Yea, verily the Baptism in the Holy Ghost is to be desired with the whole heart.
Brother, Sister, when we stand before the bar of God and are asked why we have not fulfilled in our life all the mind of Christ and all His desire in the salvation of the world, how will be our excuses if they are weighed against the salvation of imperishable souls. How terrible it will be for us to say we neglected, we put off, we failed to seek for the enduement that cometh from on high, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Again, are we close, may we say that it was only after the Lord had baptized us in the Holy Ghost that we really learned how to pray? When He prayed through us, when the soul cries born of the Holy Ghost rolled out of your being and up to the throne of God, the answer came back - His prayer, His heart yearning, His cry. May God put it in every heart that we may indeed see the answer to our Lord’s prayer, “Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven.”
But someone will say, “How about tongues?” We understood that you taught that tongues were the evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost?” So they are. “Tongues are a sign to them that believe not.” (1 Cor. 14:22) While I personally praise God for the wonderful and blessed truths of His Word by the Spirit, revelations in doctrine, in prophecy, in poems by the Holy Ghost in tongues with interpretation that He has given me, yet, above all the external evidences, that which God accomplishes in your own lives, demonstrating to your own consciousness the operations of God, no doubt is the great evidence to the believer himself, for that which is known in consciousness can not be denied. We stand firmly on scriptural grounds that every individual who is baptized in the Holy Ghost will and does speak in tongues.
Baptism means a degree of the Spirit upon the life sufficient to give the Spirit of God such absolute control of the person that He will be able to speak through him in tongues. Any lesser degree can not be called the Baptism or submersion, and we feel could properly be spoken of as an anointing. The life may be covered with deep anointings of the Holy Ghost yet not in sufficient degree to be properly called the Baptism.
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost
By John G. Lake
February 23, 1921
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the greatest event in Christian history, greater than the crucifixion, of greater import than the resurrection, greater than the ascension, greater than the glorification. It was the end and finality of crucifixion and resurrection, ascension and glorification.
If Jesus Christ had been crucified and there had been no resurrection, His death would have been without avail, in-so-far as the salvation of mankind is concerned. Or if He had risen from the grave in resurrection, and failed to reach the throne of God, and receive from the Father the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the purpose for which He died, and for which He arose, would have been missed.
It is because there was no failure, it is because Jesus went to the ultimate, to the very Throne and heart of God, and secured right out of the heavenly treasury of the Eternal Soul, the Almighty Spirit, and poured it forth upon the world in divine baptism that we are here tonight.
The Day of Pentecost was the birthday of Christianity. Christianity never existed until the Holy Ghost came from heaven. The ministry of Jesus in the world was His own divine preparation of the world for His ultimate and final ministry. His ultimate and final ministry was to be BY THE, SPIRIT.
The ministry of Jesus during His earth life was localised by His humanity, localised again in that His message was only given to Israel. But the descent of the Holy Ghost brought to the souls of men a UNIVERSAL ministry of Jesus to every man right from the heart of God. Heavenly contact with the eternal God in power set their nature all aflame for God and with God, exalted their natures into God, and made the recipient GODLIKE. Man became God-like!
There is no subject in all the Word of God that seems to me should be approached with so much holy reverence as the subject of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Beloved, my heart bleeds every day of my life when I hear the flippancy with which Christians discuss the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
When Moses entered into the presence of God at the Burning Bush, God said, “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” How much more so when the individual comes into the presence of God looking for the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, and remembers that in order to obtain this Gift, Jesus Christ lived in the world, bled on the cross, entered into the darkness of death and hell and the grave, grappled with and strangled that accursed power, came forth again, and finally ascended to heaven in order to secure it for you and me. If there is anything under heaven that ought to command our reverence, our Holy reverence, our reverence beyond anything else in the world, it surely is the subject of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
My! Sometimes my soul is jarred when I hear people flippantly say, “Have you got your baptism?” Supposing that Jesus was on the cross, and we were privileged tonight to look into His face at this hour, I wonder what the feeling of our soul would be? Supposing we were to follow tonight behind the weeping company that bore His dead body and laid it in the tomb, what would our feelings be? Supposing we were to meet Him in the garden, as Mary did, in the glory of His resurrection, or supposing that God in His goodness would let us look into that scene of scenes at the Throne of God, when the heavens lifted up their gates, and the Lord of Glory came in. Oh, if we could, beloved, we would have a better comprehension of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
I love that dear old word “Ghost.” The Anglo-Saxon is “Ghest” a spiritual guest, heavenly visitor, spiritual presence, the Angel One. And that Angel One that comes to you and me, comes right out of the heart of the Eternal God, breathed through the soul of Jesus Christ! When He came upon a man originally, as He did upon the hundred and twenty at Jerusalem, no one went around saying: “Brother, have you got your baptism?” They were walking with their shoes off, with uncovered heads and uncovered hearts before the Eternal God!
I believe that the first essential in a real Holy Ghost church and a real Holy Ghost work, is to begin to surround the Baptism of the Holy Ghost with that due reverence of God with which an experience so sacred, and that cost such an awful price, should be surrounded.
I sat one day on a kopje in South Africa, in company with a lady, Mrs Dockrell, a beautiful woman of God, baptized in the Holy Ghost. As we sat together on the rocks, meditating and praying, the rest of the company being a little distance away, I observed the Spirit falling upon her powerfully, until she was submerged in the Spirit. Then she began to deliver a message, first in tongues, later giving the interpretation in English, and I listened to the most wonderful lecture on the subject of “REVERENCE” I have ever heard in all my life.
Afterward I said to her: “Tell me what you can about the experience through which you have just passed.” She had never been in Europe. But she said, “I was carried by the Spirit somewhere in Europe. I approached a great cathedral.” And she went on to describe its architecture. She said: “As I approached the door, I was greeted by an English priest, who led me down the isle to the altar, and I knelt. A white cloud began to settle down, and presently out of the cloud came the face and form of Jesus Christ. The priest was standing in the rostrum and began to speak but I could see by the action of the Spirit that the words he spoke were simply words that were being spoken by the Lord.” It has always been one of the sorrows of my “life that I did not have a stenographer, who could have taken that wonderful message on reverence for the works of God.
I have been reading one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. It is written by an English lady, Mrs Parker, a missionary to India, and describes the life and teaching and mission of one Sadhu Sundar Singh, an Indian Sadhu. A Sadhu is a HOLY MAN, who renounces the world absolutely utterly, never marries, never takes part in any of the affairs of the world, separates himself to religious life, practices meditation on God and the spiritual life. Sundar Singh, when he found the Lord Jesus Christ, conceived the idea of becoming a Christian Sadhu. They walked from place to place. They wore no shoes, they slept on the ground, but their life is utterly abandoned to God.
One of the statements of Mrs Parker, who wrote of Sundar Singh, was to this effect: “As you approach his presence, an awe comes over the soul. It seems as if you are again in the presence of the original Nazarene.” Let us approach the Holy of Holies with a similar awe, Let us be reverential in the presence of the glorified One.
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is peculiar to the Lord Jesus Christ. “I indeed,” said John, “baptize you in water unto repentance, but HE shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire; whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Jesus Christ, the Glorified, must lay His hands on you and, on me and bestow upon us all His own nature, the outflow of God, the substance of His soul, the quality of His mind, the very being of God Himself. “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you?” A temple of God, a house of God in which God lives!
Sometimes I have tried to get it clear before my soul that God LIVES IN ME. I have tried to note the incoming influence and power of that pure, sweet, living Spirit of the Eternal God. I have tried to realise His presence in my spirit, in my soul, in my hands, in my feet, in my person and being - a habitation of God, a habitation of God! God equipping the soul to minister, Himself, God, to the world. God equipping the soul of man that he may live forever in harmony of mind with God. God furnishing to the soul of man the POWER of His personality, by which man is as made as God. For all the God-like qualities of your heart is due to the fact that God by the Spirit dwells in you. What is it that you look for in another? It is God! You look into the eyes of another to see God. If you fail to see God in the other life, your heart is troubled. You were looking for God.
I am not interested in the form or the figure or the name of an individual. I am interested in seeing God. Is God there? Is God in that man? Is God in that woman? Is it God that speaks? Is it God that moves? Are You seeing God?
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost was the incoming of God in personality, in order that the man, through this force, might be moved by God. God lives in him, God speaks through him, God is the impulse of his soul, God has His dwelling place in him.
YOU may have God. That is the wonder of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. It is not a work of grace, it is God possessing you. Oh, your heart may have been as sinful as the heart of man ever was sinful. But Christ comes to your soul, That spirit of darkness that possessed you goes, and in its stead, a new Spirit comes in, the Spirit of Christ. YOU have become a new creature, a saved man, a God-filled man.
Sin manifests itself in three ways, in thought in acts, in nature. Salvation is a complete transformation. God takes possession of man, changes his thoughts, in consequence his acts change, his nature is new. A Christian is not a reformed man. A Christian is a man renewed, remade by the Spirit of God. A Christian is a man indwelt by God - the house of God, the tabernacle of the Most High! Man, indwelt by God, becomes the hands, and the heart, and the feet, and the mind of Jesus Christ. God descends into man, man ascends into God! That is the purpose and power of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. A soul is saved. How does Jesus reach them? Through your hands, through your heart, through your faith. When God baptises you in the Holy Ghost, He gives you the biggest gift that heaven or earth ever possessed. He gives you Himself! He joins you by the one Spirit to Himself forever.
The requirement is a surrendered heart, a surrendered mind, a surrendered life. From the day that a man becomes a child of God, baptized in the Holy Ghost, it was Goats intention through Jesus Christ that that man should be a revelation or Jesus, not of himself any more. From that time on the Christian should be a revelation of Jesus.
If you were looking to know whether a man was baptized in the Holy Ghost or not, what would you look for? You would look for God in him. You would look for a revelation of the personality of God. God in him, God speaking in him, God speaking through him, God using his hands, God using his feet, a mind in harmony with God, a soul in touch with heaven, a spirit united and unified with and in Jesus Christ!
It is not in my heart to discourage any man, or to make you disbelieve for one minute in the trueness of your own baptism in the Holy Ghost. I believe that God by the Spirit has baptized many in the Holy Ghost. Hundreds and hundreds of people have been baptized in the Holy Ghost during the life of this Church in the last six years. But beloved, we have not comprehended the greatness of God’s intent, Not that we have not received the Spirit, but our lives have not been sufficiently surrendered to God.
We must keep on ascending right to the Throne, right into the heart of God, right into the soul of the Glorified.
The common teaching that my heart these days is endeavouring to combat is that God comes to present the individual with a gift of power, and the individual is then supposed to go out and manifest some certain characteristic of power. No! God comes to present you with HIMSELF. “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.”
Jesus went to heaven in order that the very treasury of the heart of the Eternal God might be unlocked for your benefit, and that out of the very soul of the Eternal God, the streams of His life and nature would possess you from the crown of your head to the sole of your feet, and that there would be just as much of the Eternal God in your toe nails and in your brain as each are capable of containing. In other words, from the very soles of your feet to the last hair on the top of your heard, every cell of your being, would be a residence of the Spirit of the living God. Man is made alive by God and with God. by the Spirit. And in the truest sense man is the dwelling place of God, the house of God, the tabernacle of the Most High.
Listen! “The words that I speak, I speak not of myself, but the Father that DWELLETH in Me.” “But the Father that dwelleth in Me.” Where did the Eternal Father dwell in Jesus Christ? Why in every part of His being, within and without, in the spirit of Him, in the soul of Him, in the brain of Him, in the body of Him, in the blood of Him, in the bones of Him! Every single, solitary cell of His structure was the dwelling place of God, of God, OF GOD.
When you look for God you do not look on the surface. You look within, When you discern a man to see whether God is in him, you look into the spirit of him, into the soul of him, into the depth of him, and there you see God.
How trifling are the controversies that surround the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Men are debating such trifling issues. For instance, does a man speak in tongues, or does he not? Do not think for a moment that I am discounting the value of tongues. I am not. But beloved, I will tell you what my heart is straining for. Down there at Jerusalem they not only spoke in tongues, but they spoke the languages of the NATIONS. If it was possible for old Peter and old Paul, or for the Jewish nation, then it is possible to every last one, Not to speak in tongues alone, as we ordinarily understand that phase, but to speak because God dwells in you and speaks to whomsoever and will in whatever language He desires. And if our present experience in tongues is not satisfying, God bless you, go on into languages, as God meant that you should. Dear ones, I feel the need of that, and I feel it away down in my heart to a depth that hurts. I lived in South Africa for a number of years, where it is commonly said that there are a hundred thousand tribes of native people. Every last one of the hundred thousand speaks a different dialect. These tribes number sometimes as low as ten thousand people and sometimes as high as hundreds of thousands, even millions, of people.
Supposing we were going to undertake to evangelize Africa rapidly. It would be necessary to have a hundred thousand different missionaries and have them all at one time, master one particular language, for there are a hundred thousand of them. No sir! I believe before High Heaven that when the Spirit of the Eternal God is poured out upon all flesh, that out of the real Christian body will arise a hundred thousand men and women in Africa that will speak in the language of every separate tribe by the power of God.
The unknown tongue of the Spirit was to teach you of God, to be a faith builder in your soul, to take you out into God’s big practical endeavour to save the world. And that is the reason, dear ones, that I bring this issue to your soul tonight. In the matter of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost we are in a state of the merest infancy of understanding, the merest infancy of divine control, the merest infancy in ability to assimilate our environment, including languages.
When we go to a school we see classes arranged for every grade. I was talking to a young school teacher, who teaches out in the country in a little public school. I said: “How many children have you in your school?” She replied; “fifteen.” I asked: “How many grades have you?” She said: “Eight grades.” Fifteen scholars divided into eight grades.
The Christian church is God’s big school. What student in the eighth grade would think of saying to the child learning its A, B, C’s, “You haven’t anything. Why don’t you have the eighth grade understanding?” Well in due time he will have it. That is the reason the student does not say it. It is because he knows the child will have it. One day that boy will understand just the same as he does. A weak Christianity always wants to drop to the imperfect, and adjust itself to the popular mind. But a real Christianity ever seeks to be made perfect in God, both in character and gifts.
Dear ones, I want to repeat to you tonight a little of my own personal history on the subject of the Baptism of the Spirit, for I know it will clarify your soul.
I knelt under a tree when about sixteen years of age, in repentance and prayer, and God came into my soul. I was saved from my sins, and from that day I knew Jesus Christ as a living Saviour. There never was a single moment of question about the reality of His incoming into my life as a Saviour, for He saved me from my sins. My friends said, “You are baptized in the Holy Ghost.”
Sometime later, I think when I was yet under twenty, or there-about, I met a Christian farmer, Nelvin Pratt, who sat down on his plough handles and taught me the subject of sanctification, and God let me enter into that experience. My friends said: “Now surely you are baptized in the Holy Ghost.” Later in my life I came under the ministry of George B. Watson, of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, who taught with more clearness and better distinction between the Baptism of tile Holy Ghost and sanctification, and I entered into a richer life and a better experience. A beautiful anointing of the Spirit was upon my life.
When the ministry of Healing was opened to me, and I ministered for ten years. in the power of God. Hundreds and hundreds of people were healed by the power of God during this ten years, and I could feel the conscious flow of the Holy Spirit through my soul and my hands.
But at the end of that ten years I believe I was the hungriest man for God that ever lived. There was such a hunger for God that as I left my offices in Chicago and walked down the street, my soul would break out, and I would cry, “Oh God!” I have had people stop and look at me in wonder. It was the yearning passion of my soul, asking for God in a greater measure than I then knew. But my friends would say: “Mr Lake, you have a beautiful baptism in the Holy Ghost.” Yes, it was nice as far as it went, but it was not answering the cry of my heart. I was growing up into a larger understanding of God and my own souls need. My soul was demanding a greater entrance into God, His love, presence and power.
And then one day an old man strolled into my office, sat down, and in the next half hour he revealed more of the knowledge of God to my soul than I had ever known before. And when he passed out I said: “God bless that old grey head. That man knows more of God than any man I ever met. By the grace of God, if that is what the Baptism of the Holy Ghost with tongues does, I am going to possess it.” Oh, the wonder of God that was then revealed to my heart!
I went into fasting and prayer and waiting on God for nine months. And one day the glory of God in a new manifestation and a new incoming came to my life. And when the phenomena had passed, and the glory of it remained in my soul, I found that my life began to manifest in the varied range of the gifts of the Spirit. And I spoke in tongues by the power of God, and God flowed through me with a new force. Healings were of a more powerful order. Oh, God lived in me, God manifested in me, God spoke through me. My spirit was deified, and I had a new comprehension of God’s will, new discernment of spirit, new revelation of God in me. For nine months everything that I looked at framed itself into poetic verse. I could not look at the trees. without it framing itself into a glory poem, of praise. I preached to audiences of thousands night after night and day after day. People came from all over the world to study me. They could not understand. Everything I said was a stream of poetry. It rolled from my soul in that form. My spirit had become a fountain of poetic truth.
Then a new wonder was manifested. My nature became so sensitised that I could lay my hands on any man or woman and tell what organ was diseased, and to what extent, and all about it. I tested it. I went to hospitals where physicians could not diagnose a case, touched a patient and instantly I knew the organ that was diseased, its extent and condition and location. And one day it passed away. A child gets to playing with a toy, and his joy is so wonderful he sometimes forgets to eat.
Oh say, don’t you remember when you were first baptized in the Holy Ghost, and you first spoke in tongues, how you bubbled and babbled, it was so wonderful, so amazing? We just wanted to be babies and go on bubbling and exhilarating. And now we are wondering what is the matter. The effervescence seems to have passed away. My! It is a good thing that it did. God is letting your soul down, beloved, into the bed-rock. Right down where your mind is not occupied any more with the manifestation of God. God is trying to get your mind occupied with HIMSELF. God has come into you, now He is drawing you into Himself.
Will you speak in tongues when you are baptized in the Holy Ghost? Yes, you will, but you will do an awful lot more than that, bless God. An awful lot more than that! You will speak with the soul of Jesus Christ. You will feel with the heart of the Son of God. Your heart will beat with a heavenly desire to bless the world, because it is the pulse of Jesus that is throbbing in your soul. And I do not believe there will be a bit of inclination in your heart to turn around another child of God and say: “You are not in my class. I am baptized with the Holy Ghost.” That is as foreign to the Spirit of the Son of God as night is from day. Beloved, if you are baptized in the Holy Ghost, there will be a tenderness in your soul so deep that you will never crush the aspiration of another by a single suggestion, but your soul will throb and beat and pulse in love, and your heart will be under that one to lift it up to God and push it out as far into the glory as your faith can send it.
I want to talk with the utmost frankness, and say to you, that tongues have been to me the making of my ministry. It is that peculiar communication with God when God reveals to my soul the truth I utter to you day by day in my ministry. But that time of communication with me is mostly in the night. Many a time I climb out of bed, take my pencil and pad and jot down the beautiful things of God, the wonderful things of God, that He talks cut in my spirit and reveals to my heart.
Many Christians do not understand the significance of tongues, any more than the other man understands the experience of your soul when you are saved from sin. It has taken place in you. It is in your heart, it is in your mind, it is in your being. The man who tries to make you doubt the reality of your touch with God when He saved you out of your sin is foolish. It is established IN you. The old Methodists could not explain the experience, but they said: “It is better felt that told.” They knew it by internal knowledge. So it is in a real baptism of the Holy Ghost. So it is in prophecy. So it is in healing. So it is in tongues. Do not throw away what you have. Go on to perfection.
THE SPIRIT OF MAN HAS A VOICE. Do you get that? The spirit of man has a
voice. The action of God in your spirit causes your spirit to speak by its voice. In order to make it intelligent to your understanding it has to be repeated in the language that your brain knows. Why? Because there is a language common to the spirit of man, and it is not English, and it is not German, and it is not French, and it is not Italian, or any other of the languages of earth. It is a language of the spirit of man. And , oh, what a joy it was when that pent-up, bursting, struggling spirit of yours found it’s voice and “spake in tongues.”
Many a time I have talked to others in the Spirit, by the Spirit, through the medium of tongues, and knew everything that was said to me, but I did not know it with this ear. It was not the sound of their words. It was that undefinable something that made it intelligent. Spirit speaks to spirit, just as mouth speaks to mouth, or as man speaks to man. Your spirit speaks to God. God is Spirit. He answers back. Bless God. And I believe with all my heart that is what Paul had in mind when he talked out the “unknown” tongue. The unknown tongue, that medium of internal revelation of God to you. The common language of the spirit of man, by which God communicates with your spirit.
But if you want to make that medium of internal revelation of God intelligent to other folks, then it must be translated into the language that they know. That is the reason the apostle says: “Let him that speaketh in tongues pray that he may interpret,” that the church may receive edifying. Paul says: “IN THE CHURCH I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.” Your revelation from God is given to you in tongues, but you give it forth in the language the people understand.
Beloved, settle it. It is one of the divine mediums and methods of communication between your spirit and God’s. And as long as you live, when you talk about TONGUES, speak with reverence, for it is God. When you talk about healing, speak with reverence, for it is God. When you talk about prophecy, remember it is God.
A German woman came to the healing rooms one day and a brother prayed for her. She had been a school teacher, but had to give up her profession because of her eye sight. She came back some weeks late after having been alone for three weeks. She had never been in a religious service in her life where they speak in tongues, and had not knowledge of the Scriptures on that line. She came back to me with a volume of written material that God had given her. For when she had been prayed for to receive healing, the Spirit of God came upon her -and she was baptized in the Holy Ghost. And now God had commenced to reveal Himself to her, teach her of His Word, and of His will, until she filled a volume with written material of her conversations with God. She communed with God in tongues, her spirit speaking to God, but when she came to me I received it in English.
The man that sits along side of you can not understand that. He never talked to God. He does not understand anything about getting up in the middle of the night to write down what God has said to him. Well, he needs something else to convince him that there is a God. Tongues are for a sign, NOT to them that believe, but to them that believe not. But prophecy, the outspeaking for God, is for all. Therefore, Paul does not want them to crush a man who is speaking in tongues, but to keep their hands off and stand back. Leave him alone with God. Let him travel away out in His love and power, and come back with messages in his soul.
But he must not monopolise the time of hundreds of people in the church with a private communication of God to his soul. But when he has completed his interview with God, he gives forth his knowledge as interpretation or prophecy.
There have been so many controversies over the various gifts of the Spirit as they appeared one after another. Twenty-five or thirty years ago when we began in the ministry of Healing, (this was preached in 1921) we had to fight to keep from being submerged by our opposing brethren in Jesus Christ, who thought you were insane because you suggested that the Lord Jesus Christ could still heal. In the State of Michigan I had to go into the courts to keep some of my friends out of the insane asylum because they believed God could heal without taking pills or some other material stuff. (To popularise healing, some have compromised on the use of medicines, but the REAL CHRISTIAN STILL trusts God alone.)
It was because they did not understand the eternal and invisible nature of God. They had no idea God could be ministered through a man’s hands and soul, fill a sick man’s body, take possession of and make him whole. The world has had to learn this. It is a science far in advance of so-called material or physical science.
Then that marvellous wave of God came over the country from 1900 to 1906, when hundreds of thousands of people were baptized in the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues. But listen! Old John Alexander Dowie, riding on the wave of that wonderful manifestation of healing power, wanted to build a church and stamp it with healing only, and his church practically did that, and died, Other churches branded theirs with Holiness only, and died. Others with an anointing of the Holy Ghost, called “baptism,” and they died in power also. Later on we wanted to build a great structure and stamp it with tongues. After a while the tongues got dry. Some how the glory and the glow had gone out of them. They became rattly and did not sound right. What was the matter? Nothing wrong with the experience. God had not departed from, the life, but was hidden from our view. We were absorbed in phenomena of God, and not in God Himself. Now we must go on. Now beloved, I can see as my spirit discerns the future and reaches out to touch the heart of mankind, and the desire of God, that there is coming from heaven a new manifestation of the Holy Ghost in power, and that new manifestation will be in sweetness, in love, in tenderness, in the power of the Spirit, beyond anything your heart or mine ever saw. The very lightning of God will flash through men’s soul. The sons of God will meet the sons of darkness and prevail. Jesus Christ will destroy anti-Christ.
In 1908, I preached at Pretoria, South Africa, when one night God came over my life in such power, in such streams of liquid glory and powers that it flowed consciously off my hands like streams of electricity, I would point my finger at a man, and that stream would strike him. When a man interrupted the meeting, I would point my finger at him and say: “Sit down!” He fell as if struck, and lay for three hours. When he became normal they asked him what happened, and he said, “Something struck me that went straight through me, I thought I was shot.”
At two o’clock in the morning I ministered to sixty-five sick who were present. And the streams of God that were pouring through my hands, were so powerful the people would fall as though they were hit. I was troubled because they fell with such violence. And the Spirit said: “You do not need to put your hands on them. Keep your hands a distance away.” And when I held my hands a foot from their heads they would crumple and fall in a heap on the floor. They were healed, almost every one.
That was the outward manifestation. That was what the people saw. But beloved, something transpired in my heart that made my soul like the soul of Jesus Christ. Oh, there was such a tenderness, a new-born tenderness of God, that was so wonderful that my heart reached out and cried and wept over men in sin. I could gather them in my arms and love them, and Jesus Christ flowed out of me and delivered them. Drunkards were saved and healed as they stood transfixed looking at me.
During that period men would walk down the isle, and when they came within ten feet of me, I have seen them fall prostrate, one on top of the other. A preacher who had sinned, as he looked at me fell prostrate, was saved, baptized in the Holy Ghost, and stirred the nation with his message of love.
In eighteen months God raised up one hundred white churches in the land. That hundred churches was born in my tabernacle at Johannesburg. The multitude of those
who composed that hundred churches were healed or baptized in the Holy Ghost under my own eyes, as I preached or prayed.
I continued in the ministry of healing until I saw hundreds of thousands healed. At last I became tired. I went on healing people day after day, as though I were a machine. And all the time my heart kept asking: “Oh God, let me know yourself better. I want you, my heart wants YOU, God.” Seeing men saved and healed and baptized in the Holy Most did not satisfy my growing soul. It was crying for a greater consciousness of God, the within-ness of me was yearning for Christ’s own life and love. After a while my soul reached the place where I said: “If I can not get God into my soul to satisfy the soul of me, all the rest of this is empty.” I had lost interest in it, but if I put my hands on the sick they continued to be healed by the power of God.
I will never forget Spokane, Wash, for during the first six months I was there, God satisfied the cry of my heart, and God came in and my mind opened and my spirit understood afresh, and I was able to tell of God and talk out the heart of me like I never had been able to before. God reached a new depth in my spirit, and revealed new possibilities in God. So beloved, you pray through. Pray through for this church, pray through for this work. Oh! God will come! God will come with more tongues than you have ever heard. God will come with more power than your eyes ever beheld. God will come with waves of heavenly love and sweetness, and blessed be God, your heart will be satisfied in Him.
Will a man speak in tongues when he is baptized in the Holy Ghost? Yes, he will, and he will heal the sick when he is baptized, and he will glorify God out of the spirit of him, with praises more delightful and heavenly than you ever heard. And he will have a majestic bearing. He will look like the Lord Jesus Christ, -and he will be like Him. Blessed be God.
The greatest manifestation of the Holy Ghost baptized life ever given to the world was not in the preaching of the apostles, it was not in the wonderful manifestations of God that took place at their hands. It was in the UNSELFISHNESS manifested by the church. Think of it! Three thousand Holy Ghost baptized Christians in Jerusalem from the Day of Pentecost onward, who loved their neighbour’s children as much as their own, who were so anxious for fear their brethren did not have enough to eat, that they sold their estates, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles feet, and said: “Distribute it. Carry the glow and the fire and the wonder of this divine salvation to the whole world.” That showed what God had wrought in their hearts. Oh, I wish we could arrive at that place, where this church was baptized in that degree of unselfishness.
That would be a greater manifestation than Healing, greater than conversion, greater than baptism in the Holy Ghost, greater than tongues. It would be a manifestation of the LOVE of 1 Corinthians 13, that so may preach about, and do not possess. When a man sells his all for God, and distributes it for the Kingdom’s good, it will speak louder of love than the evangelists who harp about love, and oppose tongues and the other gifts of the Spirit.
That was the same Holy Ghost that came upon them and caused them to speak in tongues. No more grabbing for themselves. No more bantering for the biggest possible salary, no more juggling to put themselves and their friends in the most influential positions. All the old characteristics were gone. They were truly saved. Why their heart was like the heart of Jesus, their soul was like the soul of God, they loved as God loved, they loved the world, they loved sinners so that they gave their all to save them.
Do you want Him? You can have Him. Oh! He will come and fill your soul. Oh, the Holy Ghost will take possession of your life. He will reveal the wonder of heaven and the glory of God, and the richness and purity of His holiness, and make you sweet and God-like forever.
Prayer in Tongues and Interpretation: Thou art not far away, Oh God, Our souls tonight are enveloped in the Eternal God. We feel thee round about us. We feel thy precious loving arm, and the beating of thy heart, and the pulsing of thy heavenly soul, and we are asking thee, my God, that the truth of the Eternal shall be breathed into us forever until all our nature is submerged in God, buried up in God, infilled with God, revealing God.
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost
by John G. Lake
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is a most difficult subject to discuss with any degree of intelligence, for though we may not care to admit it, the fact remains that the density of ignorance among the people, and the ministry, on this subject is appalling. To view this subject with any degree of intelligence we must view it from the standpoint of progressive revelation. Like Christian baptism, the operation of the Holy Ghost must be seen (comprehended) in its various stages of revelation. Otherwise we shall be unable to distinguish between the operations of the Spirit in the Old Testament dispensation and the Baptism of the Holy Ghost in the New Testament.
As we approach the threshold of this subject it seems as if the Spirit of God comes close to us. A certain awe of God comes over the soul. And it is my earnest wish that no levity, satire, or sarcasm be permitted to enter into this discussion. Such things would be grievous to the tender Spirit of God.
In the beginning of this revelation after the deluge, it seems as if God was approaching man from a great distance, so far had sin removed man from his original union with God at the time of his creation. God seems to reveal Himself to man as rapidly as man by progressive stages of development is prepared to receive the revelation. Consequently we see that the Baptism was a further revelation of God’s purpose in purifying the heart from sin than was the original ceremony of circumcision; so the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is a greater, more perfect revelation of God than were the manifestations of the Spirit in the Patriarchal or Mosaic dispensations.
Three distinct dispensations of God are clearly seen, each with an ever-deepening manifestation of God to man. A preceding dispensation of God never destroys a foregoing richer revelation of God. This is manifestly seen in looking at the Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian dispensations. In the Patriarchal dispensation we see God appearing to man at long intervals. Abraham furnishes the best example, for to him God appeared at long intervals of 20 and 40 years apart; so with the other patriarchs. Under the Mosaic dispensation there is a deeper and clearer manifestation of God. God was ever-present in the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire. He was present also in the tabernacle where the Shekinah Glory overshadowed the Mercy Seat. This is a continuous, abiding revelation of God. It was God with man not to man as was the Patriarchal dispensation. God was leading, guiding, directing, forgiving, sanctifying and abiding with man. But the revelation of God under the Christian Dispensation is a much deeper and truer revelation of God than this. It is God in man. It is the actual incoming of the Spirit of God to live in an. This brings us then to where we can see the purpose of God in revealing Himself to man in progressive steps of revelations.
Man by progressive stages through repentance and faith is purified, not alone forgiven his transgressions, but cleansed from the nature of sin within that causes him to transgress. This cleansing from inbred sin, the nature of sin, the carnal mind, the old Man, and so on, is the actual taking out of our breast the desire for sin, and all correspondence with sin in us is severed. The carnal life is laid a sacrifice on the altar of Christ in glad surrender by us. This inner heart cleansing that John and the disciples of Christ demanded is the work of the Holy Spirit by the blood and is necessary if maturity in Christ is to be achieved. A holy God must have a holy dwelling place. Oh wondrous salvation, wondrous Christ, wondrous atonement, man born in sin, shapen in iniquity, forgiven, cleansed, purified outside and inside by the blood of Jesus and made an habitation (dwelling place) of God. It was that man once created in the likeness of God should again become the dwelling place of God. That is what the atoning blood of Christ provided (Gal. 3:13-14). Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree,” that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ that they might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. This reveals to us God Is purpose by the blood of Jesus Christ for us now to become the habitation of God: Eph. 2:22, “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Again in 1 Corinthians 6:19, we see Paul in astonishment saying, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?” Let us now see where we are and we will better understand how to go on.
The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God, His purpose is to dwell in man after man’s perfect cleansing from sin through the blood of Jesus Christ. His coming was definite, just as definite as was the advent of Jesus. When Jesus was born his birth was proclaimed by an angel voice and chanted by a multitude of the heavenly host praising God (Luke 2:9,13-10.) Equally so was the Holy Spirit’s advent attested by His bodily form as a dove (Luke 3:22), and by His sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind and by cloven tongues of fire upon each of them (Acts 2:2-3). Heavenly dove, tempest roar, and tongues of fire crowning the hundred and twenty were as convincing as the guiding star and midnight shout of angel hosts. The coming of the Holy Ghost upon the hundred and twenty is found in Acts 2.
At the last supper when Jesus addressed the disciples, He said to them, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment,” (John 16:7-8). As the disciples were together at Jerusalem after the resurrection, when the two who had walked with him to Emmaus were conversing with the eleven disciples, Jesus, Himself, stood in their midst. He said unto them, “Peace be unto you.” They were affrighted believing they had seen a spirit. Jesus addressed them and said, “And, behold, I send the promise of the Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Then in Acts 1, we find that the one hundred and twenty tarried in prayer in the upper room ten days. Thus between the crucifixion of Jesus and Pentecost is 53 days.
There was a crucifixion day. It was necessary. And now, we the children of God, must be crucified with Christ and freed from sin, our old man nailed to the cross. We die to sin, a real act, a genuine experience; it is done. So we are made partakers of Christ’s death. But there was a resurrection day. He arose as a living Christ, not a dead one. He livest He lives! And by our resurrection with Him into our new life, we leave the old sin life and the old man buried in baptism (Romans 6), and are made partakers of His new resurrection life. The life of power, the exercise of the power of God, is made possible to us by Jesus having elevated us into His own resurrection life by actual spiritual experience.
Then comes His ascension, just as necessary as the crucifixion or the resurrection. Jesus ascends to heaven and sits triumphant at the right hand of the Father. And according to His promise, He sent upon us the Holy Ghost. This experience is personal and dispensational. The Holy Ghost descends upon us, entering into us, for the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the Holy God, the Spirit of Jesus, taking possession of our personality, living in us, moving us, controlling us. We become partakers of His glorified life, the life of Christ in glory. SO it was with the hundred and twenty (see Acts 2:2-4): “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind.” (Suppose we heard it now. What would the audience thing?) “And it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. It was the Spirit that spoke in other tongues. What spirit? The Holy Ghost who had come into them, who controlled them, who spoke through them. Listen! Speaking in tongues is the voice of God. Do you hear God’s voice? They spake as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Now we have advanced to where we can understand God’s manifestations. Not God witnessing to man. Not God with man, But God in man. They spake as the Spirit gave them utterance. Editor’s note: At this point the Spirit of God fell on Brother Lake causing him to speak in tongues in an unknown language. The audience was asked to bow their heads in silent prayer for the interpretation of the words spoken in tongues. As they prayed the interpretation was given as follows:
“Christ is at once the spotless descent of God into man and the sinless ascent of man into God. And the Holy Spirit is the agent by which it is accomplished.”
He is the Christ, the Son of God. His atonement is a real atonement. It changes from all sin. Man again becomes the dwelling place of God. Let us now see one of the most miraculous chapters in all the Word of God, Acts 10. A man, Cornelius, is praying. He is a Gentile centurion. An angel appears to him. The angel speaks. The angel says to send to Joppa for Peter. Peter is a Jew and he is not supposed to go into the home of a Gentile. He has not learned that salvation is for the Gentiles. God has to teach him. How does God do it? Peter goes up on the housetop to pray, and as he prays he is in a trance. Think of it! A trance. He falls into a trance. Suppose I was to fall on the floor in a trance: nine-tenths of this audience would be frightened to death. They would instantly declare that my opponent had hypnotised me. Why? Because of the ignorance among men of how the Spirit of God operates. But listen, listen! As he lays on the roof in a trance he sees a vision, a sheet let down from heaven caught by the four corners full of all manner of beasts and creeping things. And a voice - what voice? - the Lord’s voice said, “Rise, Peter, kill and eat.” But Peter said, “Not so, Lord. I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” But the Voice said, “What I have cleansed that call thou not common.” Peter obeyed. He went with the messengers. Now see the result. As he spake the Word “the Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the Holy Ghost. How did they know? “They heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.” Then answered Peter, “Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” And so it all ended in a glorious baptismal service in water of all who had been baptized in the Holy Ghost.
In Acts 22:12, Paul tells of Ananias coming to see him, but how did Ananias know Paul was there? See Acts 9:10-19. “And there was at Damascus a certain disciple named Ananias and to him the Lord said in a vision, go into the street called Straight and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus.” Now let us see that as we would see it today. The Lord said, “Ananias, go down into Straight Street to the house of Judas and ask for a man named Saul of Tarsus for behold he prayeth.” And now the Lord tells Ananias what Saul had seen (Acts 9:12): “and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hands on him that he might receive his sight.” Here Ananias talks with the Lord. Do you know anything of such communion or talks with God? If not, get the Baptism of the Holy Ghost like the early Christians, and their knowledge and experiences afterward can be yours, and you will see as we do the operation of the Lord upon saint and sinner by the Holy Ghost. Men say to us, “Where do you men get your insight into the Word?” We get it just where Paul and Peter got it - from God by the Holy Ghost. Galatians 1:11-12.
Beloved, read God’s Word on your knees. Ask God by His Spirit to open it to your understanding. Read the Word with an open heart. It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
Ananias went as the Lord had directed him and found Paul. And Paul was healed of his blindness and was baptized in the Holy Ghost and was also baptized in water and spoke in tongues “more than ye all,” (1 Cor. 14:18).
Now see again Acts 22:14. Ananias is speaking to Paul, and he said, “The God of our Fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldst know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldst hear the words of his mouth. For thou shall be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.” Say, what about the people who say, “Don’t tell these things to anyone.” “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins calling upon the name of the Lord.” You see, as with Peter at Cornelius’ house, all this work of the Spirit ended in salvation and baptism.
Now God through Ananias promised Paul that he should know “His will and see that Just One and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth,” (Acts 22:14). When did that come to pass? Three years after when Paul returned to Jerusalem. “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem,” (Gal. 1:18). “And it came to pass that when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance,” (Acts 22:17). Think of it, the intellectual, wonderful Paul, the master theologian of the ages, the orator of orators, the logician of logicians in a trance. Bless God for that trance. It was the fulfilment of what Ananias had said to him three years before. “And saw him (Jesus) saying unto me, Make haste and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.” Now what is a trance? A trance is the Spirit taking predominance over the mind and body, and for the time being, the control of the individual is by the Spirit; but our ignorance of the operations of God is such that even ministers of religion have been known to say it is the devil.
Let us see where Paul got his commission to preach and instructions about what he was to preach, and what his condition and attitude were when Jesus gave him his commission.
See Acts 26:16-18. He was lying on the road on his way to Damascus. Now if we were to see someone lying on the road talking to an invisible somebody, no doubt in our ignorance we would send for an ambulance or for the police. But this is where the glorified Christ spoke to Paul and gave him definite instructions about what he should preach; and the purpose of his preaching was to be the salvation, not the entertainment, of others. “But rise, stand upon thy feet: for I (Jesus) have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee.” Jesus promises to appear to Paul again, and that was fulfilled while he lay in a trance in the temple three years later (Acts 26:16).
Now the object of his preaching was to o”pen their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified (present experience) by faith that is in me (Jesus). Whereupon, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision,” (Acts 26:18-19).
From this we see and are able to understand the operations of God by His Spirit. And now, is the Holy Ghost in the church today? Verily, yes; but you say, “We do not see Him work in this way. Why is it?” Because you say all these things were for the Apostolic days. You can not take the Word of God and find one place where the gifts of the Holy Ghost were withdrawn.
The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost are found in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11: “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit (gift two), to another discerning of spirits (gift three), to another divers (different) kinds of tongues (languages) (not an acquirement but by the Spirit), to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit.” Oh, praise God for the discovery of the gifts of the Holy Ghost and especially for the gift of healing. May we all learn to know Christ not alone as our Saviour but as our sanctifier and healer, too.
Now I will go over these gifts on my fingers: lst, wisdom; 2nd, knowledge; 3rd, faith; 4th, healing; 5th, miracles; 6th, prophecy; 7th, discerning of spirits; 8th, divers kinds of tongues; and 9th, the interpretation of tongues. We have seen that the Holy Ghost came into the Church at Pentecost and the gifts are in the Holy Ghost; consequently, if the Holy Ghost is in the Church, the gifts are, too. Because of the lack of faith we do not see them exercised in the ordinary church. We stand for the obtaining of the gifts of the Holy Ghost through our personal baptism in the Holy Ghost and the enduement of the Holy Ghost power as promised by Jesus, yea, commanded by Him - Acts 1:8: “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you...”
People ask, “What is tongues?” Tongues is the voice (or operation) of the Spirit of God within. When the Holy Ghost came in He spoke, Again, in Acts 10:44-48, when the Holy Ghost fell on them, Peter demanded the right to baptize them in water, saying “Can any man forbid water, that these would be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost?” See verse 46, “for they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” Tongues is the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost by which Peter claimed the right to baptize them in water. Again in Acts 19:1-7, Paul at Ephesus met twelve men whom John had baptized unto repentance, but now Paul re-baptized them by Christian Baptism. In verse 5 we read that when they heard this, they were baptized (water baptism) in the Name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came on them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. “Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not,” (1 Corinthians 14:22).