"Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the
dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached
in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of
these things. 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." --
Before Pentecost Jesus told His disciples, 'Do not start any revivals yet. Do
not begin to preach yet. Do not try to win souls yet. You are not ready. You
tarry in Jerusalem until you be endued with power from on high!'
Now the above Scripture is all the more remarkable when you consider that Jesus
had taught these men for three and a half years. No preacher ever got as good
seminary training as these apostles got under the personal teaching of Jesus.
Remember also that Jesus had already risen from the dead, and for forty days had
been teaching them concerning the kingdom of God.
Remember, too, that the day He rose from the dead, He breathed on them and said,
"Receive ye the Holy Ghost" (John 20:22), and they did receive the Holy Spirit
to dwell in their bodies. You recall that Jesus had promised them in John 14:17
that the Holy Ghost "dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." Then when Jesus
rose from the dead, He breathed on the disciples and said, "Receive ye the Holy
Ghost," and they did. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit began the day Jesus was
glorified, the day He was raised from the dead. Yet Jesus said to these people
who were saved, who were taught in the Scriptures, who were happy, whose faith
was restored, these people who had the Holy Spirit dwelling in their bodies,
'"tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on
high." He said, 'I have a job for you to do. I want repentance and remission of
sins preached in My Name in all the world. You are the ones to go to all
nations. You are My witnesses of these things. But tarry ye in the city of
Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.'
Filling With the Holy Spirit Often Mentioned in the Bible
Being filled with the Holy Spirit was a very important thing throughout the
New Testament; yet it is much minimized in the modern pulpit.
Let me call your attention to Luke, chapter 1. In verses 15 and 16 the Lord said
about John the Baptist, "He shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall
drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost,
even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to
the Lord their God." John the Baptist would be filled with the Holy Ghost, would
have great revivals, and many of the children of Israel would he turn to the
Lord their God.
In Luke 11:13 Jesus, teaching His disciples, had said, "If ye then, being evil,
know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your
heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" We find an emphasis
there on the Holy Spirit as a soul-winning power about which we do not hear very
much these days.
I have read to you Luke 24:49 where Jesus said, "Tarry ye in the city of
Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high."
Now turn with me, please, to the first chapter of Acts. Beginning with verse 1
we read, "The former treatise have I made, 0 Theophilus, of all that Jesus began
both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he
through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had
chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many
infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things
pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them,
commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem." 'Do not start out to
hold any revivals. Do not start out to take the gospel to all the world yet. You
are not ready yet,' Jesus said. "But wait for the promise of the Father, which,
saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall
be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."
Now I do not wish to make an issue of the word "baptized" here as if it had some
special meaning. If you will allow me, without any controversy, I will say Jesus
said, 'You are going to be overwhelmed, you are going to be covered, you are
going to be surrounded, you are going to be filled, you are going to be taken
charge of by the Holy Spirit not many days hence.' "When they therefore were
come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore
again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know
the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power." Now Jesus
is not talking here about the second coming of Christ and His reign on earth,
when He speaks of being "baptized with the Holy Ghost." 'It is not for you to
know when. That is not the thing I am talking about,' He said. And that is not
what they were waiting for then. No, He said in verse 8, "But ye shall receive
power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses
unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the
uttermost part of the earth." Jesus said, "Ye shall receive power, after that
the Holy Ghost is come upon you."
But I follow on. I want you to see how important in the Scripture is this term,
is this matter of the Holy Spirit on people who are already saved, on people who
are already converted, on people who already have the indwelling of the Spirit.
There is great emphasis on a special enduement of power, a baptism of the
Spirit, a filling of the Spirit, a gift of the Spirit, a pouring out .of the
Spirit. All these are Bible terms, and are emphasized throughout the New
In Acts, chapter 2, again we read, "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." Now the disciples were not told
to wait for a miraculous sound of a rushing cyclonic wind. That was an
incidental miracle, and not that for which they were told to wait. "And it
filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them
cloven tongues like as of fire, and sat upon each of them." That was an
incidental miracle, and not that for which they waited. That was not what God
promised. Listen: "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost." The fullness,
the baptism, the power, the gift, the enduement of power of the Holy Spirit, is
what was promised.
Now in this case they began to speak in several languages. In the Bible the
Greek word glossa is translated tongue, and it is translated language. It is
here "language" and ought to be so regarded. The next verse says that there were
Jews, devout men, out of every nation under Heaven in Jerusalem. There were
fifteen different nationalities, and every man in his own language wherein he
was born heard these men preaching the gospel. Now if you read further, you will
find that three thousand souls were saved.
Let us not be thinking about the incidentals. No one has any right to make
anything special of the fact that there was a cyclonic wind. That is not what
Jesus promised and it was not repeated again, as far as we know; certainly not
always, and certainly not promised. No one has any right to make anything
special of the cloven tongues of fire sitting on the people. I do not care if
people do have them. They are not promised, and were not repeated in Bible
times, as far as we know. Certainly they are not to be expected. No one has a
right to make an issue of the fact that in this case people talked in several
languages to those who understood the gospel in their own language. That is not
the point of the story. That is not what Jesus talked about. That is a special
miracle. Someone says, "Here is a Chinaman. He understands only his own
language. He cannot understand English." All right, as far as I am concerned, if
God gives you the power to speak to him in Chinese and if he hears it and is
converted, then that is Biblical; that is Scriptural; that is all right. That
would be a miracle. It would be of God. I am not against that. But I say that is
not the part God is talking about here. The important thing is that they were
filled with the Holy Spirit, that they preached the gospel to everybody they
saw, that they had multitudes saved. About three thousand were saved.
I am just going through some Scriptures, and showing you how important in Bible
language is this matter of being filled with the Holy Spirit.
In Acts, chapter 2, the people said, "What shall we do?" Peter answered them in
verses 38 and 39, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus
Christ for the remission of sins." Notice now that "repent" is for salvation,
and "be baptized" is pointing to, or with reference to that salvation. A study
of the Greek shows that the word "for" there is really a translation of the
little Greek word eis which means "with reference to." So it is not a matter of
being baptized to get remission of sins. It is being baptized because of, or
pointing to, or with reference to the remission of sins you got when you
repented. Baptism does not save anybody. It is a good testimony you have been
saved, if you have. Then read the rest of the verse. "And ye shall receive the
gift of the Holy Ghost." Notice, one repents and is saved. Then the baptism
means a laying of one's self on the altar, a heart obedience to the commands of
God, a setting out to live the surrendered and crucified life. And then, "ye
shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to
your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God
shall call" (Acts 2:38-39). Now every one who is ever called to be saved is
called to have the gift of the Holy Spirit, too, if he will, the Scripture says.
Read on further in the fourth chapter of Acts. Again the disciples met together.
Again they needed blessing and power. Again they prayed. Acts 4:31 says, "And
when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together;
and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God
with boldness." "Filled with the Holy Ghost." "Filled with the Holy Ghost." How
Tun to Acts, chapter 6. Now the apostles said, 'We cannot continue always
helping the widows with groceries and such matters. Look you out seven men, full
of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, that we may appoint over this matter.' And the
Scripture says, "And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose
Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost . . ." (Acts 6:5). Verse 8
reads, "And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles
among the people." Stephen was "full of the Holy Ghost."
In the seventh chapter of Acts, verse 55, we see Stephen just before he is
stoned: "But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into
heaven," gave his testimony, and Saul of Tarsus was convicted and later
Let us turn further in Acts to chapter 11. There is another man, Barnabas. Do
you know what kind of a man he is? Acts 11:24 says, "For he was a good man, and
full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord."
"Full of the Holy Ghost." Now you see the point. The Bible makes much of that
term "full of the Holy Ghost," or a synonym, "full of the Holy Spirit," which is
used again and again and again in the New Testament.
Now turn with me to the nineteenth chapter of 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 [notice, these people were disciples],
He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" Now these
had trusted in Christ. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life"
(John 3:36). These were converted people. These were saved people. These were
disciples who had trusted in Christ. "He said unto them, Have ye received the
Holy Ghost since ye believed ?" Now Christians ought to, along with, or
following conversion, have another experience. At conversion one receives an
indwelling of the Spirit, but a baptism or filling with the Holy Spirit for
soul-winning power and witnessing was needed. Paul referred to this filling.
I am not talking about sanctification now. I am not talking about sinless
perfection. I am not talking now about speaking in tongues. I am talking about
what God is talking about now. Listen carefully: "Have ye received the Holy
Ghost since ye believed?" Is not that a strange question? "And they said unto
him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost." They must
have been going to churches whose pastors were afraid to mention the matter, as
many of our pastors are afraid to mention it today! 'We have not so much as
heard about that,' they said. 'We do not know about it.' "And he said unto them,
Unto what then were ye baptized?" I think Paul means this, 'Do you not remember
that when Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit came on Him, and He started His
public ministry and went around filled with the Holy Ghost? Do you not remember
when John the Baptist baptized people, that he told them, "I baptize you with
water, but he that cometh after me shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost"? Do
you not remember at Pentecost that Peter told the people, "Repent! and then you
will be saved, but if you want to get the power of the Holy Ghost, then you must
be baptized, you must lay yourself on the altar, you must set out to live the
crucified life, to follow Jesus even unto death"? Why were you baptized if you
did not mean to lay everything on the altar and have the power of God to carry
out the Great Commission? You know the Great Commission is that you are to get
others converted, get them baptized, teach them to observe everything Jesus
taught the disciples, the apostles, to observe. What about that? When they heard
Paul say this, they were baptized again. You know, baptism is a picture of a
transaction that has taken place. It means the counting of serf dead, the
reckoning of self to be dead, and the starting out to live a new life. And if
that did not happen, if you did not mean that when you were baptized, you ought
to be baptized again and mean it.
Now this is the thing I lay on your heart. Here in the New Testament there is an
emphasis on a certain experience, if you can call it an experience; an emphasis
on a certain blessing, if you can call it a blessing; an emphasis on what the
Bible calls being filled with the Holy Ghost. Again and again the Scripture
says, "They were full of the Holy Ghost," or "They were filled with the Holy
There are other cases in the Bible which I did not mention. In Acts 4:8 Peter
was filled with the Holy Ghost. I did not mention Zacharias in the first chapter
of Luke where the Scripture says, "Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and
prophesied .... " and "Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she
spake..." I say, here is a term often used in the Bible. Why don't we preach on
it? Why don't we preachers, we Christians, seek this blessing that other
There has been much quarreling, lots of fanatical, and I think, unscriptural
teaching on this matter. Suppose someone went wrong on the blood of Christ. Does
that mean I can never again preach on the blood? Certainly not! Suppose someone
goes wrong on paying his honest debts. Does that mean I must never again preach
on paying your debts? Must I never preach "thou shalt not steal" if somebody
happens to misinterpret that Scripture? Does that mean I must leave it alone?
Don't you see how wicked it is to ignore a plain and repeated emphasis
throughout the New Testament just because there has been some fanaticism or some
misunderstanding on the subject? Don't you see how wicked it is to ignore the
plain teaching of the Bible that New Testament Christians again and again were
filled with the Holy Ghost when they set out to win souls?
The Power of the Holy Spirit Promised and Commanded Us
Now I am going to ask you the question in a moment, as Paul did, but first I
want to give you the promise and command. In Acts 2:39 remember this promise of
the gift of the Holy Ghost is to you and to your children: "For the promise is
unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as
the Lord our God shall call." Now that says the gift of the Holy Ghost is a
promise to everybody who will ever be saved. There is a promise for you. It is
the same thing that Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 24:49, "And, behold, I
send the promise of my Father upon you" -- 'the promise,' 'the promise'! And
Peter says at Pentecost, 'The promise is to you, too. It was promised to us
apostles. The same promise is to you.' "Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem,"
Jesus said, "until ye be endued with power from on high." That promise of power
from on high, the promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost, is to you, to your
children, and to everybody whom God ever calls.
In Ephesians 1:13, Paul says, "In whom also after that ye believed, ye were
sealed with that holy Spirit of promise"- the Holy Ghost that God promised you
might have, whose power you might have, whose fullness you might have for
And in Ephesians 5:18 is the plain command, "Be not drunk with wine." Now the
Bible ought to be taken at face value. Here the Word of God commands, "Be not
drunk with wine." Then getting drunk is a sin. Let us just take that part of the
verse alone. How many believe that getting drunk is a sin? To be drunk with wine
is a sin. How many believe that? Let me see your hands. All right. I wonder if
you are the kind of a modernist that takes half of a verse and throws the rest
of it away? Are you? Well, all of that verse reads, "Be not drunk with wine,
wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit". Now I ask you, if violating
the first half of that verse and getting drunk is a sin, then is not the failure
to be filled with the Spirit the same kind of a sin? Do you think you can say
you are a good Christian and take only one-half of that verse? No you cannot.
You are not a good Christian until you take all of it. I did not say you were
not converted. I did not say that a Christian never gets drunk. It would
certainly be wrong to get drunk. It was wrong for Lot. It was wrong for Noah.
And it is wrong for anybody else. But I am saying that just because you keep
half of that and do not get drunk, that does not make you a good Christian. You
are not a very good Christian until you keep all of the verse, including the
part that says, "Be filled with the Spirit." You are not given any latitude. You
are not left any choice in the matter. You are to be filled. There is the plain
command of Jesus Christ, written down by Paul the apostle in the book of
Ephesians. "Be filled with the Spirit."
Now let me ask you a question. What did Paul do? Wouldn't it be wonderful if
preachers, every time they went to a new crowd, would ask the question Paul
asked when he got back to Ephesus and found some converts there? He said to
these new converts, 'Wonderful, I am so glad you are saved! That is fine. You
believe in Jesus and that is fine. You have been baptized and that is fine. Now
tell me, did you receive the Holy Ghost when you believed? Or after you
believed, did you receive the Holy Ghost?'
'Well,' they said, 'we did not know there was any such thing as that. We do not
understand about being filled with the Spirit.'
Then Paul explained to them, 'If you are saved, if you have been baptized and
are saved, that old sinner that you were is dead, and you want to live a new
life, and carry out the Great Commission and win souls. Well,' Paul said, 'how
are you going to do that? How can you mean that? How can you live that? How can
you have that power to do what you are trying to do unless you receive the gift
of the Holy Ghost, or the filling of the Spirit, or the baptism of the Spirit,
or the pouring out of the Spirit?' (If you are sensitive about using those
terms, just use the term of Luke 24:49, "Endued with power from on high.")
I will tell you now, you had better hear me. God's people in this town of
Seattle need to be filled with the Holy Ghost. Now, do you want to have revival?
All right, I will tell you how we can have it just as they did at Pentecost,
just as they did in other Bible times. I say, we can have a revival when God's
people pay the price and are filled with the Holy Ghost. Now do not
misunderstand me, we can have a marvelous revival if God's people are filled
with the Holy Ghost. I want you to think about this a little bit.
What Pentecost Did Not Mean
I want you to first see what was the secret and principle of Pentecost. What
was the meaning of Pentecost? The meaning of Pentecost is simply this: it was an
old-fashioned, specimen revival when God's people got power to win souls and won
Many have misunderstood the meaning of Pentecost. When you talk about Pentecost,
there are many people who think, "Well, that is the time the Holy Spirit came
into the world." Oh, no! The Holy Spirit had come on Christians all down through
the ages. Every sinner that was ever convicted and saved was done so by the Holy
Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the One who regenerates. And people were filled with
the Spirit and witnessed for Jesus before Pentecost. No! No! The Holy Spirit did
not just come into the world at Pentecost. Sometimes people talk about the
descent of the Holy Spirit as if He had been in Heaven all the time. That is not
Somebody says, "Well, Brother Rice, the Holy Spirit began dwelling in the bodies
of Christians at Pentecost." I am sorry to tell you, my friend, but you are
mistaken. That is not the time at all. That dispensation began at the
resurrection of Christ, the day Jesus was glorified, the day Jesus was raised
from the dead. That is when that dispensation began. We read in John 7:37-39,
"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If
any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the
scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But
this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for
the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" At
the time of that feast Jesus was not glorified, was not raised up in His
glorified body. So the Holy Spirit had not been given to dwell in the bodies of
Now turn to John, chapter 20, and you will read in verses 19 and 20 that Jesus
came and showed them His hands and His side, then the disciples were glad when
they saw the Lord, and He said, "Peace be unto you." That is the peace of the
blood; that is the peace of the assurance of salvation. "Then said Jesus unto
them again, Peace be unto you... And when he had said this, he breathed on them,
and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost" (Vss. 21-22). Now the disciples,
from the day Jesus rose from the dead, from the day He was glorified, received
the Holy Spirit; and from that time on every Christian already has the Holy
Spirit living in his body.
Don't any of you pray tonight for the Holy Spirit to come into your body. If you
are converted, He is already there. Listen to I Corinthians 6:19-20: "What? know
ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye
have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore
glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." You see, every
Christian has the Holy Spirit in his body. And the disciples had that before
Pentecost. They had already had that for forty days. The Holy Spirit had been
dwelling in them since the day Jesus rose from the dead. And now the Holy Spirit
comes in when one is converted and lives in that body.
Now that had already happened to the disciples before Pentecost. Pentecost did
not mean the beginning of the indwelling of the Spirit. They already had that. I
am not trying to get anybody here to ask the Holy Spirit to come and dwell in
you. When you receive Christ by faith as your Saviour, then automatically the
Holy Spirit comes in and makes you a Christian, regenerates you, and you are put
into, baptized into, or buried into the body of Christ, and you drink in the
Holy Spirit. He lives in your body. You become a part of Christ's mystical body,
the church. I say, every saved person already has the Holy Spirit. That is not
what Pentecost means. That is not what Pentecost meant to the apostles.
Somebody else says, "Brother Rice, I think that Pentecost means the rounding,
the origin, the beginning of the church." Now I would not care to argue with you
about it. I think if I had time I could show you that it does not mean that at
all. I think if I had time I could show you that that is not when the church
began. But I will not argue; you cannot show me a verse in the Bible that says
anything about the church's beginning at Pentecost. All right; but suppose it
did begin at Pentecost, then let us say nothing about it because that is not
what God says, and God is not talking about that. I do not care especially when
the church began; I am just anxious that you do not miss the meaning for
Christians that God has in Pentecost.
The True Meaning of Pentecost
What is the meaning of Pentecost? I will show you very clearly. It is not the
conversion of souls. These people were already Christians. It is not the
indwelling of the Holy Spirit, for He already has taken up His abode in them.
The meaning of Pentecost is not the origin of the church. Even if the church
began then, the Bible says nothing about it, and the apostles say nothing about
it. That was not what Jesus promised. That was not what they were thinking
about. What was it? Go back to Luke, chapter 24. There the Lord Jesus said, 'You
are to preach the gospel to all nations. You are the witnesses to do it. But
wait in Jerusalem, tarry in Jerusalem. I am sending the promise of My Father
upon you. But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power
from on high.'
Now what does Pentecost mean? "Power from on high," an enduement of power to do
the work God tells you to do. That is what the disciples had. They were given
the power to win souls. They were filled with the Holy Ghost to win souls. They
had three thousand souls saved then, and they went on wonderfully winning souls
day after day. Now do you see the meaning of Pentecost? The meaning of Pentecost
is power for soul-winning testimony!
Now let us come to the first chapter of Acts. Here again we have a little
resume'. As you know, the book of Luke and the book of Acts were written by the
same man, Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, recorded
by Luke, "But ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." He
did not say that the Holy Spirit will put you into the body of Christ, which is
another matter, but that you will be overwhelmed, covered, surrounded, filled,
overflowed with the Spirit of God for power. That is what He meant. And they
said, 'What do you mean, Jesus? Jesus answered, 'I mean this: "But ye shall
receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be
witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto
the uttermost part of the earth."'
Again, what is the meaning of Pentecost? "Ye shall receive power." Power! I am
not talking about the cyclonic wind. That happened, but it was not what was
promised. It is not the proof that the Lord is talking about. It is not the
thing they are to get on their minds. And we ought not get our minds on it. It
was not the tongues of fire sitting on their heads. That happened, but it was an
incidental, outward miracle. I say, those outward signs may differ as they did
then, but that is not the point. The point is that they are to receive power, to
have witnessing power and to get people converted. That is the meaning of
Pentecost. It isn't that they were talking in other languages. It happens that
some of them did talk in known languages that people understood, and these
people heard the gospel in their own tongues in which they were born. That is
all right, but that is an incident. It was not promised that it would be
specially in these certain particular languages. That is not the point. The
point is that they got power to witness for Jesus and to get people saved. They
had power. The meaning of Pentecost is power on your witnessing, power on your
testimony, power on your soul-winning effort, power for the pulpit and the pew
to take the gospel to sinners; in other words, revival power. That is it.
D. L. Moody said, "Pentecost was simply a specimen day." Yes, Pentecost was
simply a specimen revival. If we want a revival, let us go back and have it as
they did then. How is that? Let us get the power of God on us. Let us get the
power of the Holy Ghost. Let us be filled with the Holy Spirit, or have the gift
of the Holy Spirit, or be endued with power from on high. As Joel prophesied,
and as Peter sajd, "This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it
shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit
upon all flesh" (Acts 2:16-17). Do you see the point of that? I do not care what
term you may use. I prefer the term more often used in the Bible which is
"filled with the Spirit," but I do not mind the term "baptized with the Holy
Spirit," which was used by R. A. Torrey, D. L. Moody, Charles G. Finney, and
some of the greatest evangelists who ever lived. The term "baptized with the
Holy Ghost" is in some disrepute, however, because it has sometimes been
misused. Nevertheless, I do not mind your using that just so you mean what the
Bible means, that Christians can have an enduement from Heaven, can have the
breath of God upon us, can have a miracle-working power upon us and in us, and
we can be filled with the Holy Spirit and can do what God said to do. The
meaning of Pentecost is simply the power of the Holy Ghost on Christians, the
power of God in and through us to do what He said to do, that is, to carry the
gospel to every creature. Remember Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after
that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in
Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the
earth." Oh God, give us that grace!
Revival and Soul Winning Only Through the Holy Spirit
The power of the Holy Spirit is the only way to have a revival and the only
way to win souls. Someone says, "Brother Rice, how am I going to know whether or
not I am filled with the Holy Spirit? How am I going to know whether or not I am
baptized with the Holy Spirit?" Well, I will tell you how. It is not going to be
very difficult to tell you. In the first place, what are you looking for? What
do you want ? You say, "Oh, I want to feel as light as a feather. I want to hear
angels' wings flapping. I want to see a great light shining around. I want to
feel electricity come in my head and run out my fingers and toes." Well, you are
talking about something entirely different from what the Bible is talking about.
I am not interested in that. If everybody here today were to hear angels' wings
flapping, were to see a great light shining, were to feel electric shocks
running through their bodies, I would not give the snap of my finger for all
that. If God wants to do that, all right. But that is not what He is talking
about here at all. If everybody here were to fall under a spell and fall down, I
would not be interested in that. That is not what the Bible is talking about.
Let God do whatever He wants to do; I will make no complaint. But that is not
what the Bible here is talking about. It is talking about being endued with
power from on high. Do you see? What do you want? Do you want to know what it
takes? Do you want to know what the sign is? What do you want?
You say, "Well, I want to be better than everybody else." That is not the point
here. I say this, whatever there is in sanctification -- and there is a Bible
doctrine of sanctification on which we might not agree as to all the
details--but whatever it is, that is not what happened to these people here at
Pentecost. Whatever it is, that is not what God is talking about. God is talking
about power to win souls. Now wouldn't you know if you had power to win souls?
You say, "What signs? What signs?" Well, listen to this: I tell you, my friend,
you can know as I knew last Saturday night when I preached in Portland and
sixteen people came to Christ. I knew Sunday night when I came in great
weariness after having missed two nights of sleep, after having slept what I
could with my clothes on on a bench and on the plane, and then on the straight
seats coming up on the train from Portland another night. I came with a good
deal of fear and trembling and burden, but God was here and we had a great
number of grown men and women saved Sunday night. I knew God's breath was on me.
I am not making any boast, for I am not worthy of anything. But I needed no
other sign but that.
If we have Seattle broken down and the power of God comes; if Sunday night, or
Sunday afternoon or Saturday night, or if tomorrow night, or if any other time
the power of God is on me to win souls, I will know. That is what I am talking
about. That is what I am praying for. That is its own sign. If you win souls,
that is what you want, isn't it? That is the sign itself. What is the sign of
the fullness of the Holy Spirit? Acts 1:8 gives it: "Ye shall receive power,
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." What is the sign? The power! Power
to do what? "And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all
Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." That is the
point. Do you see that? This is the only way to have revival.
I have sometimes thought, Wouldn't Paul the apostle feel good if he had the
chance I have to be on the radio so many times! (I have preached so many times
on the Christian Business Men's program in Chicago. I have preached, I suppose,
on a hundred or maybe more different radio stations. For years I carried on a
daily program. And in my revival campaigns I preach somewhere nearly every day
of the year on the radio.) My, wouldn't Paul the apostle envy my getting to
preach to all those people! Paul, you know, had to walk. And he did not have
even a church house in which to preach. He usually preached in the synagogue in
a city until he got kicked out of there. He preached on the temple porch. He
preached out on the street. He preached in a loft. My, I am so much ahead of
Paul! He just did not have opportunities to compare with what I have!
Then there is Peter. I am satisfied that if Simon Peter could have been editor
of a paper such as The Sword of the Lord and have 45,000 families read it very
week, and have the gospel go out that way with the principal preachers in
America as contributors, he would have felt proud. But in his time, he could not
do it. Wouldn't Peter have been glad if he could have printed one tract such as
my little booklet, "What Must I Do to Be Saved?" If he could have gotten out
three million copies of that booklet alone and heard from about 2,400 people who
had been saved through that little twenty-four page pamphlet alone, wouldn't
Peter have been proud? I am sure ahead of him in opportunity, am I not?
I came to preach here with all of these preachers backing me. Why, I am so much
ahead of Bible Christians! Yes, I am -- in the way I am talking about. We have
good church buildings, the apostles did not. We have organized Sunday Schools.
We have literature. We have degrees and seminary training and help. We are in
good standing in the community. Why, preacher brethren, we have everything,
don't we? We have so much more than the apostles had. Yes, we have everything
but the one thing that counts. We have everything these days except the power of
God. We have everything except the power of the Holy Ghost. We have everything
except the only thing that matters! Do you see what I am talking about? Our
trouble is not whether we have physical equipment. We have that, but it never
did bring revival, and it will not bring it now! I would like to have had a
larger neutral auditorium for this meeting, but if we had had it, that would not
have brought a revival. No! No! We lack the one essential, and that is the power
of the Holy Ghost on His people. I do not care what you call it, but you had
better have it. Are you filled with the Holy Ghost?
You say, "Brother Rice, I talked to some about coming to the meetings, but I
just could not get them here." How many of you have tried to get somebody to the
meetings, but they would not come? Let me see your hands. All right. Now what
was the matter? You must not have had the power of God on you. How many of you
have children, or a husband, or a brother, or a sister, or a mother, or a
father, or someone you love whom you have tried to get converted, but you could
not do it? Let me see your hands. Now, what is the matter? Is the gospel no
good? Is there anything wrong with the gospel? Is that it? Is God dead? Is the
gospel out of date? Is the Bible now passe' and not for this age? What is the
matter? Or is it simply that you do not have the power of God on you? Now what
do you say? Do you see where the trouble lies? Oh, I wish God would help us to
believe it and to understand it. D. L. Moody said, "How wicked and how foolish
it is to do the work of God without the power of God!"
Oh, in Bible times people had the power! I wish I could preach as John the
Baptist did! Do you know why John the Baptist won so many souls? Jesus said,
"Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the
Baptist." He preached in the spirit and power of Elias. Do you how why? He was
filled with the Holy Ghost, so that many of the people of Israel did he turn to
the Lord their God, the Scripture says (Luke 1:16). That is the only way anybody
could ever have a revival.
Do you know how the Lord Jesus won souls? I remind you that you cannot find a
word about Jesus' winning souls until He was thirty years of age. He lived a
perfect, sinless life. But from the time Jesus was baptized and prayed and the
Holy Ghost came upon Him, He went with the Spirit of God on Him, with the power
on Him. And oh, the marvel of His gracious words! He was endued with power from
God. Jesus is, of course, the Son of God; but He emptied Himself of His glory as
the Second Person of the Trinity, and then came in the power of the Holy Spirit
to preach. He loved to call Himself the Son of man. He made Himself a model for
us. Jesus did His miracles and His wonders in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Do you know how it was at Pentecost? They waited. They all continued with one
accord in prayer and supplication with the women and with Mary the mother of
Jesus, and with His brethren. They waited and prayed until they were all filled
with the Holy Ghost; then they won three thousand souls in one day. A ten days'
prayer meeting! We preach ten days and try to pray an hour; then we wonder why
we do not have a revival. If we would pray ten days and then have one good day
of preaching, we would have something happen here. Don't you see that?
What is the trouble these days? Listen to me. Lay aside your talk about
fanaticism. Lay aside your talk about signs and wonders. Let me ask you a solemn
question. Do you believe you are filled with the Holy Spirit? Listen to what the
Bible says: "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with
the Spirit." Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? If you are not what excuse do
you have? Jesus commanded that. The Bible commands that. Christians ought to be
filled with the Holy Spirit. It is a joke to you about coming to the choir; it
is a light matter to you about bringing somebody with you to church because you
are not filled with the Holy Ghost. You have not the burden and passion He would
give you. That is why your loved ones do not come. When you talk with them,
nothing happens. That is why your own children do not believe in your religion.
That is why you do not have boldness and fire and power in your witnessing. What
we need is for the Holy Spirit of God to have His way with us. Revivals, I say,
come through the power of the Holy Spirit and no other way.
In 1936 I drove, with my family, through New York City. We saw many of the
interesting sights. We went down to the Battery and saw the Statue of Liberty.
We saw the aquarium. We saw Fifth Avenue. We saw Brooklyn Bridge. We went over
the George Washington Bridge. We went through the Holland Tunnel. We saw
Riverside Drive, Riverside Church, Grant's Tomb, the Little Church Around the
Comer, the lower east side -- we saw all those things. Then we drove down Wall
Street. As I sat looking down that little narrow canyon of a street only two or
three blocks long, I choked up, and team filled my eyes. I said to my children,
"There is the financial center of the world." But that was not what I was
thinking about. There was the stock market. There were J. P. Morgan's
headquarters. The financial center of the world was down that little short block
and that little narrow street, but that was not what I was thinking about. I
remembered that D. L. Moody came once to seek some gifts for one of his schools.
As he visited from office to office, he said, "Oh, my heart was not in the
begging for money. I was thirsty for something else!" Down there in that little
narrow street the Spirit of God came on him in power, and he was overwhelmed.
Somebody with him said, "Are you sick, Mr. Moody? Shall I call a doctor?" "No!
No! Leave me alone! Leave me alone!" "Well, what shall I do?"
"Don't do anything. Leave me alone!" "Well, how can I help?"
"Get me in a room, and get everybody' out and leave me by myself!"
They put him in a room and he said there the waves of God's power seemed to
overwhelm him and overflow him and run over him. Finally Moody said, "Lord, You
will have to stop or I will die! I've got all I can hold! God, it is about to
kill me!" Later he said, "I would rather lose everything in the world than to
lose what I got then!" When he went to preach he said he used the same outlines,
he used the same Scripture; the preaching wasn't any different. But where there
had been seven or eight saved, now there were hundreds! The difference was in
the power! Do you know D. L. Moody's secret? It was not personality. It
certainly was not education. He said "ain't." He mispronounced many of his
words. He had gone to about the fifth grade in school. What was the secret of
his power? He was filled with the Holy Ghost. That was it! That is the Bible
term "filled with the Holy Ghost."
Oh, how God's power came on Charles G. Finney! Soon after he was converted, he
would go to meetings and take time off to pray all night, and the power of God
would come on him. One time he walked into a mill, and a girl there saw him. She
suddenly began to tremble and could not do her work. Then she began to sob and
fell down on her knees and began to cry. Other workers felt the power of God so
that they could not go on with their work. The unconverted mill owner said,
"Everybody stop the machinery. Better have the power of God on us than to have
the mill running. Mr. Finney, preach to us." He did, and many were saved. Why?
Because the power of God was on him. That is it; the miracle-working power of
the Holy Spirit. That is what we need.
That is what R. A. Torrey had. That is what made great soul winners. The power
of God is what we need. You cannot explain Billy Sunday with education. You
cannot explain Billy Sunday with brains. His sermons were good sermons. Most of
them he did not write himself but hired a man to work with him getting material.
Then this man helped write out the sermons and Billy Sunday memorized most of
them. But even at that, they were not profound. It was not Billy Sunday's
brains. It was not education. He had a good personality, but it was not
personality. The truth of the matter is, there came a time that when Billy
Sunday preached he did not have the crowds, he did not have the power, he did
not have people saved. I knew him in those days. What I am saying is that the
secret of the great revivals always has been one thing, a supernatural enduement
of the power of God on His people. God's people had the power of the Holy
Spirit. They were filled with the Holy Ghost. That is the point. I say, that is
God's secret for revival.
How to Be Filled With the Holy Spirit
Now I come to the last point, and that is this: how to be filled with the
Holy Spirit. I want to give two or three preliminary things before I tell you
how. In the first place, I want to remind you again that this is commanded. This
is not to be left up to your judgment. Anyone who is not filled with the Holy
Spirit just is not in the will of God. Anyone who is not filled with the Holy
Spirit is living a life of disobedience, a life more or less of fruitlesshess.
The reason you are not winning souls is that you are disobedient, is that you
are not seeking and not having upon you the fullness of the Spirit of God.
I remember back in World War I when I was acting corporal, we were out on the
parade ground. The squads broke up and I had my squad out there with the close
order drill. "Forward, march! One, two, three, four"; and, "Squad, right!
March!" We marched back and forth. I would drill my little squad. After awhile
the captain, the commanding officer, came up. I was embarrassed, and so I said,
"Halt!" My squad halted awkwardly, shifted around, tried to line up and come to
right attention. The captain looked them over and said to one fellow, "Button
that button on your blouse." To another he said, "Hold your chin up." Then he
told me a thing or two. When he got ready to go, he said, "Say, what was that
command you gave as I came up ?" I said, "Sir, I said 'Halt!'" "Was that
correct?" he asked. I replied, "No, Sir, it was not." "What should you have
said?" "I should have said it in two counts, 'Squad, halt!'" "Why didn't you?"
"Sir, I was scared." "Well," he said, "the next time do it right." As he started
to leave, I saluted and said, "Thank you, Sir!"
He turned to me sternly, looked me through, then said, "Don't thank me. I'm not
giving advice; I'm giving orders!" So in this matter I am not just giving you
good advice: "It would be nice to be filled with the Holy Spirit." I mean to say
the shame of God's people is that you are living in sinful disobedience as long
as you do not have the power of God on you. I mean the shame, the sin that is
damning your hundreds of thousands, your nearly 600,000 in the greater Seattle
area, is that you have churches that are filled with everything else but the
Holy Ghost. That is the trouble. Your children are going to Hell because you are
not filled with the Holy Ghost. You talk to people; it does not do any good.
Why? Because you are not filled with the Holy Spirit. Year in and year out
Sunday School teachers have unsaved children in their classes but never get them
saved. Why? Because they are not filled with the Holy Ghost. Your own children
grow up to the years of accountability, and year in and year out you never win
them. Why? Because you are not filled with the Holy Ghost. We preachers, God
forgive us preachers -- I am for the preachers; I do not mean to be critical of
them -- do you know what is wrong with us preachers? We have nearly everything
in the world; we have good training; we have degrees; we have good organization;
we have good literature; we have good equipment; we have everything except the
important thing, that is, the power of God, the power of God!
"Well," you say, "I wish I were filled--" Wait a minute. Do you really want to
be filled with the Spirit? I warn you now, it will cost you something. Do not
say that unless you mean you are willing to die. Do not say that unless you are
willing to be scorned, hated, thought a fanatic and a fool. Do not say that
unless you mean to pay a price for it.
Remember in Isaiah 44:3 the Lord says, "For I will pour water upon him that is
thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed,
and my blessing upon thine offspring." Once I was reading a book by D. L. Moody.
Moody didn't do what I do in my books: he didn't give the Scripture references.
In one of his books he said, "God says, 'I will pour water upon him that is
thirsty.' "I said, "Oh, my! That is sweet to my heart! I wonder where that is."
I got my concordance and looked until I found over in Isaiah 44:3, "For I will
pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour
my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring."
Are you really thirsty? Oh, unless you are thirsty, unless your heart cries out,
you are not going to be filled with the Holy Spirit. If you do not mean business
you will not pay the price. You will not pray long enough. You will not be
content to give up the favor of man to have the power of God. You do not mean it
unless your heart thirsts for God and thirsts for His power with a deep desire
Do you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit? If you really want to, two
conditions must be met. One of them is obedience. I do not mean just to set out
to go through a certain rigmarole. I mean obedience such as Jesus showed when He
came to die, when He was baptized, when He prayed in the garden. The two things
are in there. Peter said in Acts 5:32, "And we are his witnesses of these
things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey
him." Obey Him? "You mean as the apostles did?" you ask. Yes. They were slain
one way or another. Peter was crucified head downward, we are told. And another,
I think, was boiled in oil. And another was dragged behind a horse and killed.
John, an old, old man, past ninety, was exiled on the Isle of Patmos for his
faith. "Do you mean like that? Do you mean follow Jesus if it kills you? Do you
mean give up your own plans and dreams and count self dead, and live a new
life?" That is exactly what God means.
Are you ready to lay self on the altar, count self dead, crucified? And when
self is crucified, will you come and follow Jesus, do what He says about soul
winning? That is the kind of obedience the Bible is talking about. If you are
not setting out to win souls with a holy passion, you do not mean to be filled
with the Holy Spirit. You may want some ecstasy, but you do not want what God
wants to give you. You are not going to have it unless you are after what God is
after, and that is the conversion of sinners and the power of God to witness to
them. The thing that God said He wanted you to have He will give to you if you
will use it for what He wants you to do. He commanded you to go and preach the
gospel, to go carry the gospel to sinners, to get people saved. "Ye shall
receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be
witnesses unto me." If you do not plan to witness for Jesus with the power, if
that is not your point, if you do not mean it, if you are not obedient, then you
will not have it. You do not have the first requirement. Obedience even to
death; even a self-crucifixion. Are you ready for that?
That is why it takes so long sometimes. Why did it take ten days of waiting
before Pentecost? It is an over-simplification merely to say that the day of
Pentecost had not come. Jesus had not promised that the power would come on the
day of Pentecost. No, the real truth is that they needed plenty of time to
confess their sins and judge their hearts and make things right with one
another, and to wait on God.
And. what is the second requirement? To ask God, to keep on waiting on God. That
is what Jesus meant in Luke 11:13, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give
good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the
Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" If you will give yourself wholly to the Lord
and wait on Him, you may have His power. "Ye have not, because ye ask not." We
have not the power of God because we ask not. We have not a Pentecost because we
do not seek it, because we do not believe it, because we do not want it, because
we do not pay the price for it. We can have it. "Ask?" you say. Yes. "These all
continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary
the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." That is the way they got
Pentecostal power. That is the way they got the baptism or the fullness of the
Spirit. That is the way they had the enduement from Heaven. That is the way they
received the pouring out of the Holy Ghost, or the gift of the Holy Ghost. They
waited with pleading, burden, confession, begging God, prayer, supplication, and
in due time the power of God came.
Are you filled with the Holy Ghost? I wonder how many here are contented with
the life you are now living. Are you contented to go through life and never win
a soul? God have pity on these seat-warming church members, these good-paying
church members, these choir-singing church members, these official-board church
members, these Sunday-School-teaching church members! Is that all there is to
being a Christian? Why, no! What God wants is for you to be a Spirit-filled soul
winner with the power of God on you. What does it matter, all the "do," "do,"
"do," "do"? Why, that is an abomination to God; just machinery within machinery,
and wheels and wheels; just clanking, sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. What
does God care about that? God does not care how much machinery you have in your
church, how many ladies' meetings, how large a Sunday School, how much money you
raise. That is not of interest to Him. If it does not result in one main thing,
that you really have the power of God on you and get people converted, God is
not concerned about it. You say, "I gave some money to missions." Yes, I know.
But do you think God is broke? Do you really think that the God who made the
universe wants a little silver or some paper with the United States stamp on it?
Do you think that is what God wants from you? That ought to be given as a type,
as a token, as a picture, as a reminder of your love, certainly. You need to
give of your means. But God does not need to receive your money. That is not
what He wants. Primarily God wants your life, your hands, your feet. God wants
your heart. God wants self on the altar. He wants self made over and anointed
and endued so that you can be a soul winner.
Are You Filled With the Holy Spirit?
Let me ask you this question, again. Are you filled with the Holy Ghost in
the Bible sense? Do you really believe you have what Bible Christians had? Do
you have what John the Baptist had when he was filled with the Holy Ghost so
that much people of Israel turned to the Lord their God? Do you have what
Barnabas had? He was a good man, full of faith and the Holy Ghost, and people
were added to the Lord as a result of Barnabas' ministry. Do you have that? Do
you have what dying Stephen had? He was full of the Holy Ghost and faith.
Multitudes of men and women believed. Do you have, I ask, what these Bible
preachers and Bible laymen and Bible women had? Do you have the fullness of the
Holy Ghost? "Daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach
and preach Jesus Christ" (Acts 5:42). And the power; why, it spread like
wildfire. And Jerusalem was turned "upside down." That is what they said, "Ye
have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine" and that Paul "turned the world upside
down." I wonder, do you fill Jerusalem with your doctrine and turn the world
upside down as they did?
We would not need to do so much advertising if we had a little more to
advertise. We would not have to work so hard to get a crowd if we had anything
to give the crowd when they came. Do you believe that? Our trouble primarily is
with the people of God; our sinful carelessness, our powerlessness. "Ye are the
salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be
salted?" Jesus said (Matt. 5:13). Do you have saving power in you? Then what
good are you as salt? "Ye are the light of the world." But if your light does
not shine to sinners, what good is it? Do you see that? I wonder whether or not
you are satisfied to go on never filled with the Holy Ghost? Are you?
How many can say, "Brother Rice, in the month of October," -- that is just one
month past now -- "within the last thirty days I thank God I have won at least
one soul"? Let me see your hand. I want to help you now. We are not bragging.
All right. Now how many can say, "Brother Rice, sometime in the year 1945, I
have won a soul"? Let me see your hand. Some of you have. But some of you have
not had power to win one soul this year. How many can say, "I haven't won souls
this year, but sometime in my life I have won at least one soul"? How many here
have at least some time in your life taken the Bible and shown somebody how to
be saved, and gotten them saved? How many have walked with someone down the
aisle, have gotten them to trust the Saviour and confess Him? How many have led
someone to Jesus? How many in your life ever did that? Hold your hand high just
a minute. Thank you.
Now I want you to see several things. The first thing is that there are probably
more than half of this crowd who never were filled enough with the Holy Spirit
in the Bible sense to win even one soul by their own testimonies. And here is
another thing. Many of you who did win a soul one time have not won one in a
year's time. Now that means that you have lost some freshness, some power, some
blessing that you once had. You need to be filled with the Holy Spirit anew,
don't you? Some of you have won souls in the year, but you have not done it in
thirty days. God help you! What is wrong when a Christian cannot win one soul in
a month's time? It must be you are not filled with the Holy Ghost!
How many preachers are present? God bless you, you are my friends. I will not
make it embarrassing for you. Now let me ask you something: Preachers, haven't
you felt this -- I have some time or another -- haven't you sometimes felt a
holy breath of God on you? These are evangelical preachers. These are men who
believe the Bible. These are soul-winning preachers. You preachers know what it
is to have the breath of God upon you. You knew when you had it. You knew when
the power was there, when souls were converted, when there was fruit to your
ministry. You have known that, haven't you? How many of you can say, "Brother
Rice, bless God, I do know I have had that sometime or another"? I say humbly, I
know I have. Let me say this now for all of us. How many will say, "Brother
Rice, I want to confess that now I do not have the fullness of blessing I ought
to have. I am not filled with the Holy Ghost as Bible Christians were. I do not
have the power I ought to have, that God could give me if I paid the price"?
Will you say, "I want to confess that"? Most of us here ought to. Would you say,
"I want to confess that though I have had God's blessing and great power
sometimes, I feel I ought to confess I do not have now the fullness of God's
power on me as I ought to have, and I need to be filled anew with the Holy
Spirit"? Lot me see your hand. I am holding mine. God bless you.
Now how are you going to get it? I would go home and I would say, "Lord, I am
going to search my heart and have a house cleaning. First, I am going to set out
to do the will of God about soul winning." That is the main thing Jesus died
for. That is the main thing the Great Commission is for. After you are saved,
that is the thing God wants you to do more than He wants anything else in the
world. I would say, "I will give myself to do the will of God, I will get ready
for it, I will clean house, and I will be surrendered to it. I will!" I would do
that and set out to be what He wanted me to be in soul winning and I would say,
"By God's grace, I am going to wait on God until I am filled with the Holy
My people, if you do not listen to me now, we have two of the saddest weeks
before us we have ever spent. We have heartsickness and failure and shame to
face if we do not have the power of God on us. Now you hear me. Don't anybody
here believe that is a thing for one preacher to have and that everybody else
may be seat warmers and hangers-on. Don't believe the cup may overflow and you
may get a little splashed on you. At Pentecost "they were ALL filled with the
Holy Ghost." That is the Bible pattern. It is not just for one preacher, not
just for one man. "And they were ALL filled with the Holy Ghost" -- that is the
pattern in Acts 4:31. Do you see that? God has commanded that for you as much as
He commanded it for me. It took as much of the blood of Christ to keep you out
of Hell as it did for me. God commands you to be filled with the Holy Spirit
just as He does me. If we do not have the power of God, we are going into that
big auditorium Sunday with small crowds, with mediocre services, and with few
results. If we do not have the power of God, an anointment from Heaven, we will
come here with a crowd that dwindles and wanes, with boredom in the air, and
defeat upon us. Do you see what I mean? We ought to wait on God, then. Do you
want the power of God enough to wait on Him, to clean house, to surrender to His
perfect will, to get things out of the way, and then wait and plead with God
until His anointing comes upon you, until His breath comes upon you, until you
get power for soul winning?
Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could go to that boy of yours and talk to him
and he would be all broken and would come when you say come? If you could go to
your brother, or your business partner, or somebody you know, and they would be
broken up and the Spirit of God would cut them to the heart as it did in Bible
times when Spirit-filled Christians talked to sinners, wouldn't that be
wonderful? Do you want a Bible revival? You cannot have it without Bible power,
the power of the Holy Ghost? That is what we need. God forgive me that I have
not preached more about it. God forgive me that I have not sought more of His
power and fullness. God forgive me that I have not put the emphasis all the time
where the Bible puts it; that the people who had revivals were filled with the
Holy Ghost. People who won souls were filled with the Holy Ghost. We can have
this power too. But we will have to come the same way, with the same
wholehearted obedience, with the dying of self day by day, and then waiting on
God for His power as much as is necessary. "Tarry until . . ." "Tarry until"
what? Ten days ? No! No! "Tarry until ye be endued." That is it. "Tarry until ye
be endued with power."
D. L. Moody said he waited two years. I know I have had some anointing, but
again and again I need a new fresh breath of God on me. I want you to pray for