The Spirit of God
I want to read to you one of the best incidents in the Word of God. It is the story of Elijah upon Mount Carmel. 1 Kings 18:17-40
In every land, among every people, throughout all history, there have been occasions when a demonstration of the power of God was just as necessary to the world as it was in the days Elijah. It is necessary now.
The people had turned away from God. They had forgotten that there was a God in Israel. They were trusting in other gods, just as the people are today. If I were to call you heathen, I suppose most people would be offended; but I want to say that there is no people with more gods than the average American. Men are bowing down to the god of medicine. Men are bowing down to the god of popularity. Men are bowing down to this god and that god. Men are as afraid of the opinion of their neighbours as any heathen ever was in any time in the world. There is practically no Christian, let alone an unchristian, who has the real stamina to stand forth and declare his absolute convictions concerning Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Much less have men the necessary stamina to declare their convictions as to Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind. That is the reason that the modern church has lost her touch with God and has gone into a sleep unto death, a sleep that can only end in spiritual death and the disintegration of the church as she stands. The only power that will revive the church in this land and the world is that which she will receive when she throws her heart open to God as the people of Israel did and says, “Lord God, we have sinned.” The sin she needs to repent of is not the committing a lot of little acts which men call sin and that are the out growth of what is in the heart, but the thing that mankind needs to repent of is this - that they have denied the power of God. They have denied to mankind that the Christ of Israel is the Son of God and that He is the Almighty Saviour. God’s call to the Christian churches today is to come forth from their hiding place, just as Elijah came forth, and meet the king. Declare the ground on which you meet the enemies of God, and meet them in the name of Jesus Christ.
The Christian church is absolutely, solely and entirely to blame for the whole existence of metaphysical associations which are covering the earth like a plague of lice. The Church is to blame for if the Church of Jesus Christ, for the last 50 or 100 years, had declared to mankind in the power of the Spirit the Christ of Nazareth, as He is, there never would have come into existence the whole tribe of metaphysical societies.
The world today is being taken by the metaphysical associations to such an extent that they are bowing before the metaphysical laws and calling them God. That is human nature and not God. The time has come when the Christian church has got to give a new demonstration to the world. If metaphysicians, through the operation of natural laws, can produce a certain character and degree of healing, then it is up to the Church of Jesus Christ and the minister of the Son of God to demonstrate that there is a power in the blood of Jesus Christ to save men and heal men unto the UTTERMOST, not half healed or half the people healed; but I pray and believe that God’s time has come for God’s challenge to mankind and the challenge of the Christian Church to the world is to come on, and if it is God, let the FIRE FALL.
There was no bluffing with the old Israelite prophets. When the people came, they laid their sacrifices on the altar, and they did not put artificial fire under it. But instead, the soul went down before God. He lifted his heart to heaven, and when the fire came down and consumed the sacrifice, that was the evidence that the sacrifice was accepted.
The time has come when God wants tho fire to fall; and if you, my beloved brother and sister, will pay God’s price and make Christ’s consecration of yourself to God, we will see God’s fire fall. And it will not be destructive either, except that sin and selfishness and sickness will wither under that fire, while purity and life and holiness and character will stand forth purified and refined by the glory and the power of the God-fire that comes from heaven. God’s fire is creative of righteousness as well as destructive of sin.
Some years ago, when I opened my work in South Africa and the Lord had moved marvellously for about six months, a movement was put on foot to congregate a crowd of Indian Yogi, (The Indian Yogi are a society of people who utterly give themselves up to a demonstration of metaphysical things), Brahman priests, Buddhist priests, Confucian priests, and all kinds of priests and hypnotists. After a time they said, “We would like to have a demonstration.” And I said, “Yes, I would like to have a demonstration also. Come on with your Yogi and your Buddhas and your Confucians and hypnotists. Let them show their God. Let them heal people if they can. Let it be in the public, and let it be done on the platform of my tabernacle or any other place large enough to accommodate the public. Then when you have finished, we will call on the Christian’s God and see what He will do.”
Well, they came to the tabernacle to make the demonstration. One man, Professor Henerson, a professional hypnotist, was put forward. He said he was there to demonstrate what he could do through hypnotism. He brought with him as his subject a woman from Germiston who had a locked hip, probably from rheumatics or hip disease. After he had tried and tried privately for months and publicly before the people, then I said, “Stand off.” Calling one of the brethren to pray with me, I said, “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I command this hip to become unlocked.” Instantly she was healed and walked. I want to tell you more of what God did. That was as far as my faith reached, but God met me at that point. As I stood looking at her, I said to myself, ‘That is the way Jesus did it when He was on the earth, and that is the way Jesus does it yet.” It was Jesus who did it.
Well, as I stood looking at her, suddenly something came upon my soul from heaven.
It was the anointing of the Spirit of God. I understood then what the blessed old Book talked about when it spoke of the Spirit of the Lord coming upon Elijah, and the Spirit of the Lord coming upon Sampson, and so on. Sampson, under the power of the Spirit, took the Gates of Gaza and carried them off. He took the jawbone of an ass and killed a thousand men with it. These were the things by which God endeavoured to teach the world what the Spirit of the Lord is. Well, as I stood there, the Spirit fell upon me, not like the gentle dew of heaven but in power until my spirit towered up in such strength I did not know how to control it. In my heart I cried out, “My God, what does it mean?” Then all at once I discovered the Spirit going out in operation to the spirit of that hypnotist. I said, “Are you the man who has been hypnotising this woman for two years and grafting her hard-earned money? In the Name of Jesus Christ you will never hypnotise anyone else.” Grasping him by the coat front, I struck him on the shoulder with my other hand, saying, ‘‘In the Name of the Son of God come out of him;” and it came out. That hypnotic demon was gone out of him. He never hypnotised again but earned an honest living.
God is not the God of the dead. He is the God of the living. And the desire in my soul is that in this city God Almighty may raise up an altar unto the living God, not unto a dead God. Mankind needs an altar to the LIVING God, to the God that hears prayer, to the God that answers prayer, and the God that answers by fire. The time has come when God’s challenge has gone forth. God is saying, “‘If there is a Christian, let him pray. If there is a God, let Him answer.” God will meet the soul every time you turn to Him and meet Him face to face.
In emphasising this, the Lord Jesus Christ says to the world, “When ye pray, believe that ye receive, and ye shall have.” That is what is the matter. Your blank check is not worth ten cents in your hands. Why? Because you do not believe God. Fill in your check, believe God and it will come to pass.
The call of Elijah is the call of the present hour. If the Christ is the Christ, get your answer from Him, If Jesus is the Son of God with power on the earth to forgive sins, then as Jesus put it, “Rise up and walk, that ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins.”
Jesus Christ was reasonable enough to meet man’s reasonings and inquiries. And the minister of God who is afraid to walk out and believe his God and trust his God for results is no Christian at all.
What does Christianity mean to the world? Is it a hope for the glory land away off in the future? Is that Christianity? Is it a hope that you are not going to fry in hell all the days of your life? No! Christianity is the demonstration of the righteousness of God to the world.
So, Brethren, God has given us something to do. He has given us a demonstration to make. If we do not make it, then we have no more right to the claims that we make of being sons of God than the other people. If God be God, serve Him; if Baal, then serve him.
Every student of the primitive church discerns at once a distinction between the soul of the primitive Christian and the soul of the modern Christian. It lies in the spirit of Christ Dominion.
The Holy Spirit came into the primitive Christian soul to elevate his consciousness in Christ, to make him a master. He smote sin and it disappeared. He cast out devils (demons); a divine flash from his nature overpowered and cast out the demon. He laid his hands on the sick, and the mighty Spirit of Jesus Christ flamed into the body and the disease was annihilated. He was commanded to rebuke the devil, and the devil would flee from him. He was a reigning sovereigns not shrinking in fear, but overcoming by faith.
It is this spirit of DOMINION when restored to the Church of Christ, that will bring again the glory-triumph to the Church of God throughout the world, and lift her into the place, where, instead of being the obedient servant of the world, and the flesh, and the devil, she will become the divine instrument of Salvation, in healing the sick, in the casting out of devils (demons), and in the carrying out of the whole program of Jesus’ ministry, as the early Church did.
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John G Lake - His Life, His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith (O1)