The Second Coming
Reading: Revelation 5
Oh, God, upon our souls we call the blessing of the Holy Spirit today to quicken every instinct of our being that by thy grace we may comprehend the power of Thy Word and the might of Thy Spirit. And we pray that the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ may be present in every heart that we may realise, oh God, not only the elevation and crowning of our Lord and Saviour, but our own elevation and crowning with Him as sons of God.
Somehow the minds of men the world over have ever been concentrated around the cross of Christ. One of the strangest things to me in all Christian life has been the manner in which the souls of men cling to the cross of Calvary. And I have sometimes felt that that is one of the great reasons why there has been so little progress made in the higher Christian life.
While we revere the cross of Calvary, while the soul of man will ever love to think of Him who gave His life for us, yet I believe the triumph of the Christ began at the cross and ends only WHEN THE RACE, LIKE HIMSELF, HAS RECEIVED FROM GOD THE FATHER, THROUGH HIM, THE GRACE, POWER AND GLORY OF GOD THAT MAKES THEM SONS OF GOD LIKE HIMSELF.
It is a long way between the cross of Calvary and the Throne of God, but that is the way that Jesus travelled, and that is the course for every other soul of man. Bless God. I am glad that God is never hurried. He has plenty of time. A few years makes much difference in this life, but God has plenty of time for the elevation of the soul, for the perfect tuition of every heart, until that heart comes into such complete and perfect unison that the nature of man is absolutely changed into the nature of Christ.
The triumph of Jesus, as we see it outlined in the Scriptures I have just read, has always been one of the splendid inspirations of my own soul. It seems to me if we had not been permitted to have that fore-view of that final triumph of the Son of God, there might have been the conception in the minds of many that after all the life and death of our Lord Jesus Christ was not the perfect triumph that it ought to have been. It seems, therefore, that no one can have the highest appreciation of the real Christian life, and the consciousness that real Christianity brings, unless they see the triumph of the Christ.
Yea, none. It is only as we become possessors of that consciousness ourselves, and as the knowledge of his triumph grows in our own souls and takes possession of our heart, that we are able to comprehend what Christianity really is.
If we stop to think that one-half of the great Christian world is still carrying a little crucifix representing a dead Christ, we will realise how the mind of man is yet chained to the cross of Calvary, to a dead Christ, to a tomb not empty; but the tomb that contains the One they love.
Beloved, that is not Christianity. Christianity, bless God, is the singing triumph that began on the morning of the Resurrection and ends when the race of man has come to the understanding, knowledge and consciousness of God Himself.
Christianity is not a dreary outlook. Christianity is the singing, splendid triumph of the mind of God. Christianity is the blessed victory that the individual feels in his own heart of the consciousness of the presence and power of God within the soul, which makes man the master now and gives him the consciousness of mastery over the powers of sickness and death. Yea, bless God, the greater consciousness by which the soul of man comprehends the life eternal because the forces of darkness and sin and death have been conquered in his own heart through the presence and power of the Lord Jesus Christ in him. Bless God.
I have always wondered how a Christian could be anything less than an optimist. It is a sad thing when you hear Christians with a groan in them. When I meet the grocer I say in my heart, “God, move the man on into the place where he comprehends what Christianity is.”
The Christian with a groan in him never moved this world except to groans. In a divine healing meeting some months ago, as I was teaching I tried to develop the thought that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he; and I was endeavouring to show the people that the spirit of victory in Christ Jesus in one’s heart not only affected the attitude of one’s mind, but likewise his soul. In fact, through the nervous system, man’s mental attitudes are transmitted clear through his body.
The attitude of our soul has much to do with, not only our mental states and spiritual life, but likewise our physical health. Indeed, it seems to me that as the spirit of man is tuned with God, all the outgrowth of his life will be in harmony with his spirit. The attitude of his mind will be in accordance and the condition of his body will be a revelation of the attitude of his mind. That is the reason I have always endeavoured in my preaching to bring before the mind of man the consciousness of triumph, the consciousness of victory, the power of mastery. It seems to me there is a great deal of superficial endeavour in the world to pump oneself up to a certain state of consciousness, which is similar to man taking himself by the bootstraps and trying to lift himself over the fence.
Beloved, the secret of Christianity is the secret of the Christ possessing the heart of man; man being yielded to Him so that His victory, His consciousness, and His power possess your spirit and mind. Then, bless God, we are kings - not because we say we are kings, but because we know we are kings, and because we feel we are kings by the grace of God and His inworking power.
We speak of mastery, not because we are endeavouring to lift our consciousness into the place where we can possibly conceive of mastery, but because the spirit of mastery is born within the heart. The real Christian is a royal fighter. He is the one who loves to enter into the contest with his whole soul and take the situation captive for the Lord Jesus Christ.
They tell a story of an old time English officer, He was a very important individual, and it would never do for him to speak out his command so they could be understood. He had a new Irishman whom he was endeavouring to break in. They were engaged in a sham battle. Presently the officer et a certain kind of roar, and the Irishman broke down from the ranks toward the supposed enemy, and grabbing a man by the neck, brought him with him. The officer said, “Hold on. What are you doing?” “Well,” he said, “I did not know what you said, but it felt as if you wanted me to go for him. And I did.”
When the Lord Jesus Christ is born indeed in the soul of man, when by the grace and power of the Son of God, you and I yield ourselves to God until our nature becomes the possession of that spirit that is in Christ, then, bless God, we begin to realise the spirit of mastery that Jesus possessed when He said,
“I am He that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore, and have the keys of hell and of death.”
That is the reason I do not spend much time in talking about the devil. The Lord took care of him, bless God! He has the keys of hell and of death, and He has mastered that individual and that condition one and for all. If you and I has as much faith to believe it as we have to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Saviour, we would have mighty little trouble with the devil or his power while we walk through this old world. It is not worthwhile talking about a man after he is whipped out.
It is a hard thing for the Christian mind to conceive that the power of evil is really a vanquished power. When I think of examples of Christian triumph, my mind very frequently reverts to a minister I have spoken to you about many times. He was a great soul. The consciousness of Christ’s dominion seemed to dwell in the man’s heart intensely.
I was with him on one occasion when he was called to a dying man down in the slums. It was late at night. It was always interesting to me to watch the sparkle of his eye and to note here and there the splendid flash of his spirit. We were walking through the streets, and I said to him, “Do you know anything about is man’s condition?” “Well,” he replies, “the message told me the man was in a state of great suffering and likely to die. But he is not going to die.” I said, Amen.”
You see, there was the ring of conscious mastery in his soul that made it possible for such a splendid burst of confidence to come forth from his spirit. I said to myself that night, “There is not going to be much difficultly tonight. The fellow has the victory in his soul in advance.” When we finally knelt by the man’s side, and he put his hands on him and called on the mighty God to deliver the man, I felt the flash if his spirit, and I knew before I arose from my knees that the man was healed, and he was.
Beloved, you and I have bowed our heads before a vanquishing enemy. We have failed through lack of faith to comprehend that the Christ is the Master. But he dares by the grace of God to look into the face of the Lord Jesus Christ known within his own souls the divine mastery that the Christ of God is exercising now.
The power of God through which men are blesses is not an individual after that belongs to you or to me. It is the conscious presence of the living, risen Son of God dwelling in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which causes you And I to know that the power of God is equal to every emergency and is great enough for the deliverance of every soul from every oppression.
There are times when it seems to me it is not fitting even to pray. There is a life of praise. Once while in conversation with Dr Myland, the pastor of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church at Columbus, Ohio, I happened to mention the fact that I had not prayed concerning a certain personal matter. Turning to me he said. “I have not prayed for myself for four years.” That sounded very strange to me at the time. I did not understand. He said, “No, I passed beyond the place of praying, brother, into the place where I am ready to accept what the Lord Jesus Christ has wrought and to receive the power of His Spirit in my life so that the thing that He has wrought for me should become evident through me.” And that man had walked for four years in the conscious victory.
And the Spirit of the Lord says within my soul that he who trusteth in the living God shall never be confounded. Yea, according to the Word of God, he shall mount up on wings as eagles. He shall run and not be weary, he shall walk and not faith.
Bless God, there is a place of strength, or security, of victory, a life of triumph.
An hour of consternation came to the prophet John as the might God unfolded to him that which was to occur in the future. A book appears, a marvellous book, sealed with seven seals. An angel with a trumpet voice proceeds to utter a proclamation, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof?” And mankind stood dumbfounded. No man in heaven nor on earth was able to loose the seals or to open the book. And it seemed to the prophet as if a great disappointment was at hand. He say, “I wept much.” But presently the angel guide said to him, “Weep not, behold, the LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH, the root of David, he hath prevailed to open the book.” John says, “I looked and behold as if were a Lamb.” Blessed be God. The real overcomer does not always evidence his overcoming power with much noise. In this case His overcoming was in the consciousness that was in his heart. He was as a lamb; gentle, sweet, loving, tender and true.
But the consciousness of power was all the Christ. When others stood dumbfounded, when others stood baffled, the Christ appears. He takes the book, opens the seals and discusses its contents. Beloved, the triumph of the Christ of God is not the triumph of the loud shouting. It is the triumph of what you know is your own soul. The victory of the Christ and the victory of the soul is in the knowledge of the relationship between your soul and the soul of the Christ.
He, into whose heart there comes the Spirit of the living God, has within himself the consciousness of the One who has overcome and who is et down at the right hand of God, triumphant over every power of sickness and death and hell. Beloved, the triumph of the Gospel is enough to make any man the wildest kind of an enthusiastic optimist.
It is said of Napolean Bonapart that when he was the first Counsel of France, he proceeded to proclaim himself Emperor of France. And one day one of the statesmen came and asked him, “By what authority do you have to proclaim yourself Emperor of France?” He replied, “By the divine right of ability to govern.” The consciousness of power was in the soul of the man. He knew in his own soul that he was qualified to govern.
The Christian has the consciousness if that character of soul. Within the soul of the real Christian there is born the consciousness of capacity to govern. And the first place to apply it is in his own life. For no man ever successfully governed another life until he was first able to govern himself. “Greater is he that ruleth his own spirit than he that taketh a city.” The poise of the father of the household will be revealed in the mind of every child of his family. The attitude of the mother’s mind will be evidence in everyone of the household.
A dear brother came to me recently and said, “I do not know what is the trouble. I have worked so hard, and I am not able to accomplish the thing I am trying to do.” I replied, “My friend, the difficultly is in your own soul. You have not attained the mastery of that condition in your own heart. The same condition of confusion that is in your soul is begin evidenced in the soul of others about you. It is transmitted from you to them.”
How often have you and I walked into the presence of a man whose calmness gave instant strength? How often in life when the minds of men were driven to confusion, we have seen a single soul maintain his poise in God and become a balancing power in society. History records that at the death of Lincoln, when the news of his assassination became known in New York, the city was almost on the point of breaking up into a mob. Three men lay dead on the streets when James A. Garfield appeared on the veranda of one of the hotels. Raising his hands, he spoke these simple words which brought a calm to the whole mob and the whole city and was transformed all over the nation. “God is our King, and the government at Washington still lives.” There flowed over the nation the calm of poise in God.
It is said at the time of the Great Chicago fire that the day following two hundred men committee suicide in the city. The old Chicago Tribune came out with a big, red letter headline, “Any coward can suicide, but it takes a man to live under these conditions.” And the whole things stopped. There were no more suicides. That wave of cowardice was broken up. The consciousness of one real soul who had the poise of God within his heart was able by the grace of God to transmit it to other lives.
The success of your life as a child of God will be in exact accordance with the consciousness of the Christ and the power of God that is in your heart. The old prophet arrested the great wave of human despair that was sweeping over the nation, on one occasion, with these magnetic words, “Underneath are the everlasting arms.” Bless God. The nation was not going to pieces. The world was not going to ruin, for underneath were the everlasting arms in which the souls of men could rest down with confidence, and God brought the victory.
When the souls of men learn to rest in confidence upon the living God, peace will possess this world that will be like unto the Kingdom of God - heaven on earth.
Most of our difficulties are the difficulties that we anticipate or fear are coming tomorrow. How many people are worrying about the things of today? But the orld is in consternation concerning tomorrow, or the next day, or the net day. Jesus said, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Do not worry about tomorrow. Rest down in God. The mighty arms of the living God will be underneath tomorrow. Just as they are today.
The Spirit of God says within my heart that the Kingdom of Christ, for which every child of God looks, is characterised by the peace of God possessing the souls of men, so that worry and care cease to be because we trust in His arms.
If I could bring to you today one blessing greater than another, it would be the consciousness of trust in God. “Fear not, nether be thou afraid, for I the Lord Thy God is with thee whither-so-ever thou goest.”
A little woman came into the healing rooms recently weeping so that I could hardly talk to her. She said, “I am the mother of three children. I am afraid I am going to die. The doctor said so-and-so; there is no hope for me. I must leave my husband and my children.”
I said, “The doctor is a liar.” And that woman is sitting in the audience today a well woman. Beloved, she might have been dead. We might have been celebrating another funeral. But confidence in the living God brought the confidence of power over the thing that was crushing the life out of that soul, and it went by the grace of God. No case is too hopeless.
Last evening in the Healing Rooms, just at six o’clock, I was visited by a woman who I met four or five months ago in the Deaconess Hospital. The dear lady had been given up to die. She had been examined by x-ray, and a large cancer in the stomach was discovered. They told he there was nothing to be done for her. So the dear husband sent for me to speak a kindly word to his supposedly dying wife. I did not understand what I had been sent for and when I got to the ear soul I supposed I had been called to pray the prayer of faith for healing.
I said, “dear Mother, you do not have to die.” “But,” she said, “the doctor says so. The x-ray shows such a sized cancer. I guess, brother, I will have to die.” And I said, “It is a lie. You do not have to die.” For two or three months we battled against the condition in the woman’s soul. The Spirit of God would come upon her every time we prayed. Her pains would disappear, she would go to sleep, and so on, but she was not really healed. That went on week after week and month after month until I was almost worn out before her soul raised to take the victory. But last night she walked into the Healing Rooms. She told me that she weighed only seventy-five pounds when I met her and that now she weighs one hundred and twenty pounds. She went to the hospital this week and had the same physician x-ray her. When they saw the pictures they said, “There must be some mistake.” And they got the original and examined it. They could not understand it.
She said, “Doctor, I found a new Physician, the Great Physician, the Christ of God, and I do not care about your plates. I know the cancer is gone.” But the plates showed it was gone. The woman has gone back home a happy woman. But, Beloved, the victory only came when the consciousness of the power of the living Christ took possession of that woman’s heart. Blessed be God.
Not a dead Jesus, but a living Christ! Not a sepulchre with a dead man in it, but the glorious, risen, present Christ in your heart and mine. The Christ lives, bless God, not only at the right hand of God, but the Christ lives in your soul and mine. The victory that He attained is evidenced not alone by the declaration, “I am He that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore;” but the victory of the Christ that gives the son of Go its gladness now is the consciousness that the Christ lives and the Christ reigns and that by the power of God, sin, darkness and death and hell become obedient to the Christian through the Christ that is in him.
TESTIMONY OF MRS PETERSON
“I was healed when dying. I was in a state of death forty minutes. My womb and ovaries had been removed in an operation, and at my healing God restores them, and I am a normal woman.”
I want to give some of you folks a conception of what a battle for a life means. This soul kept up the fight for her life until her forces weakened and she lapsed into unconsciousness. The last thing she said to Brother Westwood was, “I can fight no more. You have got to do it for me or I will die.”
And God Almighty healed her through and trough, and she stands before the world today a marvel of the power of God because he refused to be beaten. This is a miracle, not a healing only. The work of God in her was creative. To one is given by the Spirit the gifts of healing, to another the working of miracles.
The conception of the Lord Jesus Christ that we are battling against in these days is that which the poet has framed in these beautiful words, and I say this with all reverence:
“Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, look upon a little child.”
In that child-thought of Jesus there os no conception of the triumphant Son of God, who entered into death and took the victory, who established eternal life in the souls of men. Bless God for the Christ who dares to enter into the very jaws of death and to grapple with the enemy that no man had ever dared to tackle, and come forth the victor. He took him captive, and broke his power and bound him in chins, and declared liberty to a world that was crushed and bound by the consciousness of the power of death.
That is the reason that John saw in his vision of the Revelation, a day of triumph, when all that were in the earth and the sea and under the sae, when heaven, earth and hell united to send forth a shout of triumph that will ring through the eternities, because the Christ of God had become the acknowledged Master, Ruler, Prince and King of the race.
If the blessed Spirit of God keeps on revealing the mighty power of the living Christ in the souls of men, we will have to have a new hymn book. We will have to have a new class of poets in the world. It will come, too, as sure as you are born. They used to sing dreary old hymns in the little Scotch church when I was a boy, and I remember one particular hymn.
Hark! From the tomb a doleful sound,
Mine ear, attend the cry.
Ye living men come view the ground
Where You must shortly lie. Ah.
Afterward I learned that “ah” was Amen, but I did not know it then.
Oh, bless God for the revelation of the living Christ is in the souls of men that lifts the consciousness of men from the place of defeat into the place of power, the exultant, present, mighty power of the living God.
One Sunday afternoon a tall Englishman walked into my church in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was six feet, two and a half inches high and twenty-six inches across the shoulders. He had a top of the read hair that him as conspicuous as a lion. He walked up the aisle and took a seat quite near the front. My old preaching partner was endeavouring to explain the mighty power of the living Christ as best he could, and this man listening. Presently he arose, saying, “Old man, if the things you are talking about are all right, I am your candidate.”
He said, “I used to be a Christian. I came from Port St. Mary’s, Isle of Man, and I was a Christian boy. I came to Africa and lived the usual African life, and the results is that for three years I have been unable to do anything, and my physicians say I am incurable. If you mean what you are talking about, tell me what to do.”
My old partner said, “John, what shall we do?” I said, “call him up; we will pray for him right now.” We stepped off the platform, put our hands on William T. Dugan, and instantly, as a flash of lightning blasting a tree or rock, the power of God went through the man’s being, and the Lord Jesus Christ made him well.
A few days afterward he came down to my house in the middle of the day, and said, “Lake, I want you to show me how to get a clean heart.” I took the word of God and went through it with him to show him the mighty cleansing, sanctifying power of the living God in a man’s heart. Before he left he knelt by a chair and consecrated his life to God. Raising his hands to heaven he said, “Lord God, I receive into my life the sanctifying power of God to dissolve every condition in my nature that is adverse to the living God.” And bless God, he received it from heaven, just a he received his healing.
Three months passed. One day he called and said, “Lake, I have had a call from God.” I knew it was. There was no mistaking it. The wonder of it was in his soul. He went down into the country where a great epidemic of fever was on. Some weeks afterward I began to receive word that people were being healed. Hundreds of them. Bless God. So one day I concluded I would go down and join in the same work a couple of hundred miles from where he was. Somehow the news travelled that I was at Potgristersrust, and he came there. The next afternoon we were called to the home of a man who said his wife was sick with diabetes. We prayed for the wife and several other persons who were present. Then the man stepped out into the kitchen and said, “Would you pray for a woman like this?” When I looked at her I saw she had club feet. The right foot was on an angle at forty-five degrees, and the left one at right angles.
Dugan replied, “Yes, pray for anybody.” He said to her, “Sit down,” and taking the club foot in his hands he said, “In the name of Jesus Christ become natural.” And I want to tell you, that man I in the glory presence of God today. I am going to stand there some day with him. Before I had a chance to take a second breath that foot commenced to move, and the next instant that foot was straight.
The he took the other foot up, saying, “In the name of Jesus Christ become natural.” Beloved, it was not only the voice of the man, or the confidence of his soul, but the mighty divine life of Jesus Christ flashed through him, and it melted that foot into softness, and t instantly became normal by the power of God.
Beloved, we have not known to touch the fringes of the knowledge of the power of God. However, I want to encourage your hearts. I know you soul and my soul is hungering after the living God. I am glad we can say, what perhaps has never been said in the Christian world from the days of the apostles to the present time, that since opening of this work in Spokane, about sixteen months ago, ten thousand people have been healed by the power of God.
Is Jesus dead? No, bless God. Is He alive? Is He alive in glory? Is He alive in your heart? Bless God, that is the place to crown the Christ. That is the place, in your soul and in my soul.
We are just beginning to grow up. The old prophets were so big in their soul, so gigantic in their spirit life that when a poor soul sinned, or the whole nation sinned, the prophet removed his clothes, shaved his head, and put sackcloth on his body and ashes on his head, and went down before God. He said, “Lord God, I have sinned. We have sinned.” And he poured out his soul before God until the nation returned in repentance and love to the feet of the Holy God. I trust one day we will grow up big enough in God that we can do things like that.
Some three or four years ago, when one of the marvellous anointings of the Holy Ghost was on my life, a man came into my Healing Room one day to tell me how he was in a dying state, and hopeless. As I put my hands on him and prayed I was conscious of the Spirit of God going through him like a stream of light and presently he jumped up vibrating under the power of God until his teeth rattled.
When his surprises was over, I said to him, “Brother, how about your pain?” That was the first he had thought about it. He said, “my pain is gone.” I said, “Did you feel the power of God?” He said, “It went through me like buck shot.”
Beloved, one of the sorrows of my soul is this, that though we rejoice in the fact God is healing a multitude of people, even in this city, and now they are coming to this city from all quarters of the land, yet some of them have not been healed at all, and they should have been healed. Some have had to come to the Healing Rooms twenty times instead of once. But bless God, there is a day coming when the power of God will come upon your soul and mine mightily, so it will be like it was with Christ. They will not have to come back a second time. At the touch of Jesus the mighty power of God flashed through their life until the disease in them was gone forever. Blessed be His precious Name. I do no want to give you an idea that there are not people who are instantly healed. There are lots of them, but not all.
MR GREENFIELD COMES ON THE PLATFORM
Mr Greenfield was in the hands of physicians for tuberculosis of his kidneys. He was compelled to leave his work. He was just a poor man, and it meant that he should become dependant on his family instead of being the support of the house. When he came to the Healing Rooms he talked this over a little. He said, “The doctors say I must die.” I said, “Greenfield, don’t you believe it. There is a God in heaven.” After I laid my hands on him and prayed, I said, “Greenfield, go back to your work.” Bless God, he did and he does not look much like a man dying of tuberculosis now.
Oh, hallelujah; there is a living Christ. There is a triumphant Son of God. There is a living Spirit of the living God, which will flow through the soul of a man just as it flowed through the soul of Jesus. The trouble is with the soul of man. The trouble I am having is with the soul of this man. And the prayer of my life every day and hour is, “Mighty God, purify the soul of this man like the soul of Jesus was pure, and give my soul the consciousness of faith in God like the soul of Jesus possessed.” Then, Beloved, you and I can say in deed and in truth, we are Sons of God. Blessed be His name.