Deeper Purposes of God (Adventures in Religion #9)
By John G. Lake
July 9, 1935
I want to talk to you concerning some of the purposes of God. Among them is God’s amazing purpose to baptize men in the Holy Spirit. I think that even among the deepest Christians in our day little is understood of the real purpose of God in this wonderful experience.
We say to one another that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is God coming into man; that it is God manifesting Himself in man, and other expressions of this type, but it fails to convey to the mind anything like the great purpose of God in His incoming in us.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit has among its wonderful purposes the dwelling of God in us, the perfecting of His life in us through His Word in our spirit, through His power in our life. Tongues is the peculiar manifestation of God accompanying the coming of God the Holy Spirit into the life. This was the evidence when the Holy Spirit of God descended on the Day of Pentecost at Jerusalem. The Scripture is given in these wonderful words:
“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 2:2-4
What is the real purpose? What is God doing? Is He giving to the individual certain powers to demonstrate and to convince the world? I do not think that is the real reason. There is a deeper one. God is taking possession of the inner spirit of man. From the day that Adam sinned the spirit of man was a prisoner. This prison condition continues until God releases the spirit of the individual in the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. The spirit remains dumb, unable to express itself to mankind, until God through the Holy Ghost releases the spirit, and the voice of the spirit is restored.
You understand man is a triune being - spirit, soul, and body, and these departments of our life are very different. God manifests Himself to the spirit of man; and the experience of real salvation is the coming of God into the spirit of man - the infusion of the spirit of man and God.
In the olden days the church used to discuss the subject of sanctification but were somewhat hazy in their explanation of what it was. Sanctification is God taking possession of our mental forces, just as He took possession of our spirit when He bestowed on us eternal life. Your mind is brought into harmony with God, even as your spirit was brought into harmony with God. Following the example of Jesus we dedicate not only our spirit and soul (or mind) to God, but also our body to God. That is the reason we left doctors and medicine behind.
I want to talk to you about speaking in tongues by relating this experience, and reciting a poem God gave me, when I was a missionary in South Africa and had my residence there. There was a dreadful epidemic of African Fever and within thirty days about one-fourth of the population of some sections of the country of both white and black died. I-was absent from my tabernacle on the field with a group of missionaries and we did the best we could to get them healed of 6odq and help bury the dead. I returned to my tabernacle after about three weeks, absence to discover that the same thing was taking place there. I was greatly distressed. My pianist was gone; my chief soloist was gone, the only daughter of an aged mother. I went to her home to console her and comfort her. As I sat by her table she reminded me that just four weeks before I had been present when the pianist and the soloist were practicing music in that home, My soul was very sorrowful. As I sat meditating I began to pray: “My God, I would like to know what sort of reception such a soul as that gets when they arrive on the other side.” Presently God spoke to my soul and said, “Take your pen and I will tell you about it.”
The first thing that came was the name of the poem in tongues. Then the Lord gave me the interpretation. It was called “The Reception.” Then the first verse came in tongues, then I received from the Lord the interpretation and then the next verses like-wise, and so on. In the mean time some thing transpired in my own spirit. I felt as if I was being elevated into the presence of God, and I could look down on the folks on earth, and it was described in these verses:
List! ‘Tis the morning hours in Glory.
A shadow through the mists doth now appear -
A troop of angels sweeping down in greeting.
A “Welcome Home” rings out with joyous cheer!
A traveller from the earth is now arriving;
A mighty welcome’s ringing in the skies!
The trumpets of a host are now resounding
A welcome to the life that never dies.
Who is the victor whom the angels welcome?
What mighty deeds of valour have been done?
What is the meaning of these shouts of triumph?
Why welcome this soul as a mighty one?
She’s but a woman, frail and slight and tender,
No special mark of dignity she bears:
Only the Christ light from her face doth glisten:
Only the white robe of a saint she wears.
She’s but a soul redeemed through the blood of Jesus.
Hers but a life of sacrifice and care;
Yet with her welcome all the Heaven’s ringing,
And on her brow a victor’s crown she bears.
How come she thus from sin’s benighting thraldom,
The grace and purity of heaven to obtain?
Only through Him Who gave His life a ransom;
Cleansing the soul from every spot and stain.
See! As you gaze upon her face so radiant,
‘Tis but the beauty of her Lord you see;
Only the image of His life resplendent;
Only the mirror of His life is she.
See with what signs of joy they bear her onward;
How that the Heavens ring with glad acclaim;
What is the shout they raise while soaring upward?
“Welcome! Thrice welcome, thou, in Jesus’ Name!”
Rest in the mansion by thy Lord prepared thee,
Out of the loving deeds which thou hast done,
Furnished through thoughts and acts which have portrayed Me,
Unto a lost world as their Christ alone.
Hear how thy heavenly harp is ringing!
Touched are its strings with hands by thee unseen.
Note that the music of thine own creating
Heaven’s melodies in hearts where sin has been.
See how the atmosphere with love is laden,
And that with brightness all the landscape gleams!
Know this the gladness and the joy of heaven
Shed now by rescued’ souls in radiant beams.
Oh, that here on earth we may learn the lesson
That Christ enthroned in our hearts while here,
Fits and prepares the soul for Heaven,
Making us like Him both there and here.
Doing the simple and homely duties
Just as our Christ on the earth has done,
Seeking alone that the Christ’s own beauties
In every heart should be caused to bloom.
Showing all men that the blood of Jesus
Cleanses our hearts from all sin below,
And that the life of the Christ within us
Transforms the soul till as pure as snow.
When we thus come to the dark cold river,
No night, no darkness, no death is there,
Only great joy that at last the Giver
Grants us anew of His life to share.