Artillery from Heaven (Adventures in Religion #4)
By John G. Lake
June 27, 1935
When the German army started their famous march on Belgium and France with an army of three million men, they came to the borders only to find that they were met with such a tremendous opposition that for ten full days they were compelled to stay back until they could bring up their heavy artillery. Statesmen of Germany declare that the ten days delay resulted in their losing the war. France and Belgium were prepared in the meantime to meet the assault.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, said to his disciples: “Behold I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves,” but He did not send them out without being prepared. They were commissioned and empowered by God, for that is what constitutes the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Jesus Christ gave his disciples a big program before He left them. He told them they were not only to preach the gospel to the whole world, but that they were to demonstrate its power.
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature… 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 16-18.
These signs shall follow them that believe - those who accented their work.
Dear friends, men who were going to put a program like that into effect needed heavy artillery from heaven. That is what Jesus undertook to give from heaven. So He said they were not to go out right away unprepared. Instead He said:
“Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:49
That enduement from on high is the equipment of every child of God who follows the Biblical pattern. We are trying to impress upon the minds of men that one of the greatest Adventures in Religion that this world ever has found was when men dared to step across the usual boundaries and dared receive from His hand the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, which equips them with the power of God to bring blessings to other lives.
Just for one moment I want to bring you this fact. That the first thing Jesus said would be manifested in the Christian life was: “In my name shall they cast out devils.” It was the first thing in Christian experience, and the exercise of Christian power that Jesus said would follow the Christian’s life. They had power to cast out devils.
Jesus first gave that power to the twelve; then He gave it to the seventy, then He gave it to the church at large on the day of Pentecost, when the Baptism of the Holy Ghost descended upon 120 at Jerusalem. Jesus gave the equipment from heaven.
In our day, within the past thirty years, we have seen such a manifestation of God from heaven as no other century in the world’s history ever saw with the exception of the first four centuries of the Christian era. Beginning with 1900 the Spirit of God began to be poured out in power upon the world so that every country in the world has received this amazing power of God. Men who were ordinary business men, men who were scholars and teachers, students, and men from every walk in life found this equipment from heaven by the grace of God, and stepped out into a great life and ministry for God. This preparation, friends, is not for preachers only, but for the people. Jesus said, “These signs shall follow them that BELIEVE.”
Friends, there is an adventure for your soul, the most amazing adventure in all the world. It takes a brave soul to step into the light of God and receive the equipment He provides. That is no place for a coward. A cowardly spirit, a spirit that is always hiding, always apologising for his faith, will never enter there. That is the Gate of God. That is the gate into His Spirit. That is the gate into a life of effectiveness for every one who wants to serve God aright. Friends, you need this equipment to meet the demands of this day.