I believe I've a message that the devil doesn't want me to preach, and we're going to preach it - we pray - in the power of the Spirit. Hopefully it will be a message that will change your life, as a Christian and as a non-Christian - because we're looking tonight at the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We've looked at 'What Is Revival?', we need 'A Revival in Christ-Centred Gospel Preaching', we need 'A Revival in the Bible', we need 'A Revival in Prayer', we need 'A Revival in Holiness', we need a revival, last night we saw, in love - but tonight we're going to see that we need 'A Revival in the Holy Spirit'.
We're going to read from Ephesians chapter 5 please, well-known verses of Scripture - verse 14 through, please, to verse 19 of Ephesians chapter 5. Verse 14 then: "Wherefore God says, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light". Maybe you're here tonight, and you're sleeping, you could be sleeping in your sin, you could be dead in trespasses and in sins, as Ephesians chapter 2 speaks. Well, listen, you need to waken up, and you can waken up in the presence of God and realise that Christ has power to deliver you and give you life more abundant and free. Yet this verse, I think, is speaking to believers. Did you ever think of believers as being dead? Paul thought it so.
He says: "Awake from your sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise". Walking circumspectly, I remember a man once saying that it's like cat - if you're from East Belfast you would know this, maybe you cultured folk down here in civilisation wouldn't realise - in the wee streets down Templemore Avenue where our church was, they used to have the entries running up between the houses and the yard, and the toilet was often in the yard. On the walls around the yard there was broken glass, and that was to keep the bad boys out, and maybe to keep the children in - I don't know. But if you had seen a cat walking around the wall of the yard, that's what it is to walk circumspectly: walking carefully around the glass that was implanted there.
"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is". Isn't it good to know you can know what God's will is? "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord".
In John chapter 3 a religious man, under the cover of the darkness of night, came to have an interview with the Lord Jesus Christ - and I think some people have been experiencing that this week. It didn't matter that this man came seemingly ashamed of what his friends would think, all that mattered was that he came to Jesus. That's all that matters, friend, tonight: that you come to Christ. You don't have to put your hand up, you don't have to walk down an aisle, you don't even have to speak to the preacher - all you have to do is talk to the Lord, confess your sin, and ask Him to save you. But you know, the Lord Jesus spoke to this religious man about something that was foreign to him, He said: 'Ye must be born again'. You must be born of the Spirit of God.
You see, you can't be saved without knowing something of God's Spirit. We saw last night a little bit about what God's plan is in saving men: Jesus, the Son of God, came incarnate in human flesh to this earth, in order to die the death of every man, to take the sins of every man, to be buried, in three days rise again - and the plan of God has always been incarnation. You need to understand that: He incarnated His own Son in flesh, but what He wants to do is incarnate His own life in our flesh. That's God's endgame: manifesting the very life of Christ in our lives. Do you know anything of that, believer?
You know, to hear some people, you would think being saved was all that mattered. Now it matters a great deal whether you go to hell or go to heaven, sure that's a given, isn't it? But you know conversion, getting saved, being born again, is only the beginning - it is only the threshold experience with the Spirit that introduces us to a lifetime of adventure, of many spiritual experiences and encounters. F. W. Faber, the poet, put it like this:
'Tis not enough to save our souls,
To shun the eternal fires;
The thought of God will rouse the heart
To more sublime desires'.
Now if you're not saved tonight, you need to be saved, you need to be born again: except a man or a woman, boy or girl, is born again, they cannot see - cannot see and will not see - the kingdom of God. But you know, there is an experience taught in the Bible that can be simultaneous with conversion, or can be subsequent to conversion, and it is the fullness, the blessed fullness, of the Holy Spirit. It's mentioned 14 times in the New Testament, 4 times in Luke's gospel - of John the Baptist, of Elizabeth, Zachariah, and of the Lord Jesus Himself. Those are the only occasions that it's mentioned prior to Pentecost. But things changed after Pentecost in a remarkable way. You see the Lord Jesus, before He went to Calvary, before He rose again, before He ascended, said to the disciples in John 14:16-17: 'I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you', He dwelt with the disciples, but after Pentecost Jesus was prophesying and promising, 'He shall be in you'.
Now that was something different than the world had ever seen, and even God's people in history. God's Spirit, the prophet said, would be poured out on all flesh. Anyone who met God on His own terms could be filled by the Spirit. The same is the case with salvation: you've got to meet God on His terms. If you took a vox-pox of people on the street in any given city of our world, and asked them: 'How do you think people can get to heaven, if you believe in heaven?'; if you asked a hundred people, you could come back with a hundred different answers - and that would mean a hundred different religions. Sinatra sang: 'My way', and that's the way people live, isn't it?
An undertaker - I've been having a lot of conversations with them lately - one of them at a funeral was sharing with me about a burial he did recently. He saw an epitaph on a gravestone: 'I did it my way'. This undertaker was a believer, and he just was reminded of that verse: 'There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the ways thereof are the ways of death'. My friend, you've got to come to God on God's terms, you've got to come to God His way, you've got to put your good works behind you, you've got to forget about any righteousness or indeed any sin that you think might disqualify you. Indeed, your sin is the only thing that qualifies you to come to the Saviour of sinners, the Lord Jesus who died.
But it's the same for the Christian - you see, I don't know whether you've seen this trend going through everything I've been saying these nights: but the thing that gets you saved in the beginning is the thing that keeps you going to the end! You see there is nothing changes, or no new formulas or secrets: the cross of Christ that redeemed you is the very thing that will do everything for you right throughout your whole Christian experience. So God's terms are what have to be met, and they were met in the truest sense in Acts chapter 2 where - I would have to say - the disciples became complete Christians, on the birthday of the church when they became the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and God's Spirit came to dwell and reside in them. From Pentecost on in the New Testament, ten times you find the fullness of the Spirit mentioned, nine times in the book of the Acts, and once in this verse that we read together in Ephesians.
Now we're going to look tonight, and we're going to take time to do it, because I think this is a very important subject - and it's one that pulpits are afraid of these days. We're going to deal with, first of all, what the fullness of the Spirit is not; then secondly we're going to look at what the fullness of the Spirit is. First of all: the fullness of the Spirit is not only for Christian workers. Now, in Acts chapter 1 and verse 8 the Lord said to the disciples: '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'. We know from Acts 4 that when Peter began to preach, he preached full of the Holy Spirit and boldness, and it was something that did characterise the service of the apostles and the early Christian evangelists. But don't you think for one moment - whilst the fullness of the Holy Spirit entails an equipping, an unction, an enduement for service, it's not just for those who are involved publicly in ministry, it's for all! In chapter 5 of Ephesians where we were, Paul was exhorting all the believers in Ephesus to 'walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise...and be filled with the Holy Spirit'. So this is not for Christian workers only.
Secondly: this is not the gift of the Holy Spirit, as is spoken of in the New Testament. Romans 8 and chapter 9 tells us: 'Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his'. You see the Spirit of Christ is what births you, regenerates you - and when you see it, you get God's Holy Spirit, God comes to live within you. So don't think that until you're filled with the Spirit, even if you're saved, you don't have the Spirit - that is unbiblical. Don't think of the fullness of the Spirit as getting more of the Holy Spirit. Now, I know the illustration Paul uses in verse 18 of chapter 5 of Ephesians seems to illustrate that the Holy Spirit would be like a liquid. He uses this comparison to drink - but we must not think of the Holy Spirit like a liquid, or like a force - that's the way the cults believe He is, that He's not personal, He does not have a personhood. You can't have part of a person, that's obvious. What you can have is less of a person's trust, less of a person's influence in your life - so don't think of it so much as 'I need more of the Holy Spirit', yet I understand why people think that way and talk that way, but it's not so much how much of the Holy Spirit you have, as how much of you He has.
Do you see the difference? D. L. Moody was being considered for an evangelistic campaign in England, and one of the organisers asked somewhat sarcastically: 'Does D. L. Moody have a monopoly of the Holy Spirit that we're just thinking about him and nobody else?'. The answer came back very quickly: 'No, D. L. Moody does not have a monopoly of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit has a monopoly of D. L. Moody'. That's what we're talking about: the Holy Spirit controlling your whole person. Dr J. Wilber Chapman asked William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, 'Tell me the secret of your great life for God and man', and Booth humbly replied: 'Since the first day God put the poor of London on my heart, He has had all there was of William Booth'. That's what we're talking about: not so much having more of the Spirit, but the Spirit who has been implanted in you at conversion having more of you!
So this is not for Christian workers only, it's not the gift of the Holy Spirit as such, it's not more of the Holy Spirit, and it's not the baptism of the Holy Spirit - though there is contention over this, and I wouldn't fall out with folk too much about it - but 1 Corinthians 12:13 says: 'For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit'. Now that's clearly referring to our salvation experience, being placed into the body of Christ. Neither is the fullness of the Spirit total sanctification. First John chapter 1 and verse 8 teaches us clearly: 'If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us'. Paul teaches clearly in Galatians 5:17 the two natures: 'For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh', and it's only the child of God who has the Spirit, 'and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would'. We saw the importance on our Wednesday evening of feeding the divine nature in us, rather than the fallen nature.
So, when you're filled with the Spirit, that doesn't mean you'll never sin any more, it doesn't mean you're perfect. Neither is the fullness of the Spirit a once and for all filling. Literally the word used here in verse 18 is 'be being filled', 'be being filled', present continuous tense - 'be continually filled', if you like, 'with the Holy Spirit'. Now notice that it doesn't say that you have been filled with the Holy Spirit, but 'be full' - it's that perpetual thing. It may begin by a crisis experience in your life as a Christian, but it must become a consistent characteristic of your life. In Acts chapter 6 and verse 3 the apostles declared: 'Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom' - not 'who have been filled with the Holy Ghost and wisdom', but who were presently full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, 'whom we may appoint over this business'.
You see, you could be filled yesterday and empty today. You could be filled by the Holy Spirit of God tonight, and grieve the Spirit of the Living God tomorrow morning. It was Moody who said: 'We have buckets that leak. God fills us, but so often by our waywardness, and our carnality, and our blatant sinfulness the Holy Spirit is grieved in our lives'. You've got to understand: what we're talking about tonight is not a once and for all filling - though there may be crisis experiences - but this is something that must be going on every day. We've been here, haven't we, night after night: we've got to get to Calvary every day, every day, to be broken, to be cleansed, to be filled!
Dr Douglas Brown preached on the fullness of the Spirit in Wales, and God did a mighty thing. One young man followed him into his room, and cried: 'Sir, it's all right telling me to be filled, but I'm full of' - and he pointed over to a wastepaper basket in the corner of the room that was full of cracks. Dr Brown replied: 'What if you are full of cracks? If your basket was lowered into the sea, it will be filled, and it will remain full - if it abides in the ocean it cannot be emptied. The basket will only lose its contents if it's removed from the sea. Young man, cracks or no cracks, if you abide in Christ you will always be filled by the Spirit' - that's it! That's it.
What the fullness of the Spirit is not: not just for Christian workers, not the gift of the Holy Spirit, not more of the Holy Spirit, not necessarily the baptism of the Holy Spirit - though a baptism of the Holy Spirit would be good for all of us in the true sense of the word, being immersed. It's not total sanctification, it's not a once and for all filling - so what is it then? Well, we need to find out from Ephesians 5 and verse 18, here is a command, now, it's a command - that means, not to be filled by the Holy Spirit is to be disobedient!
Now, what Paul does here is something that I would never have done: he uses alcohol as an illustration, but he does it because it is so powerful. He's basically saying: 'Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess' - whatever drink does in the negative, he's saying the Spirit of God does in the positive. Now, what does drink do negatively? Well, it dominates a man or a woman's personality, and it also determines their behaviour. So it changes who they are and what they do. You know a man is drunk by many indications, but three are: the way he walks, the way he talks, and the way he smells - isn't that right? The evidences of being filled with the Holy Spirit are the same, but in the positive regard. When we are filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit the way an alcoholic is controlled with drink negatively, we are positively affected in our walk.
Galatians 5:16 tells us: 'This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh'. Ephesians 4 verse 1 tells us to walk worthy of the calling wherewith we are called. First John 1 verse 7 tells us to walk in the light, as He is in the light. What this is talking about in our walk is to hide nothing from God, to walk in the light. Are you hiding nothing from God tonight? Maybe you're hiding something from the nearest and dearest to you. Maybe you're hiding something from the taxman. Maybe you're hiding something from the boss. You can't be filled with the Holy Ghost if you're hiding anything.
The walk is affected, just like the drunkard. The talk is affected. Jesus said in Matthew 12:34 that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh. You know what it's like with drunkards: they are grumpy, grouchy men, and when they get a few pints into them they're all happy. The opposite happens the opposite characteristic, and the talk is affected, the personality is affected when you're filled with the Holy Spirit. How we talk to people changes, and how we talk about people changes! You see it in the Acts of the Apostles, when people were filled with the Spirit something happened to their mouth, something happened to their tongues - isn't that right? Peter said that the Apostles preached boldly, Paul says in verse 19 of our chapter: 'Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord'.
It affects what we say with our mouths, it affects our talk, it affects our walk, it affects our smell. Second Corinthians 2 and verses 14 to 16 says that we as believers are meant to be a savour of Christ to those that believe and those who do not believe. We're meant to smell of Jesus Christ. 'Howbeit', the Lord Jesus says, 'when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you'. The Holy Spirit wants to make you like Jesus so that others may smell Him off you.
Now we encounter a problem, the problem being that this is far from the present personal experience of most professing believing Christians today. Now John Owen was a puritan, and he lived a long time ago, and he said that his church was stuck somewhere between the cross and Pentecost. I doubt the church is no different tonight! It's as if the Comforter has never come, though we sing 'The Comforter has come'! Whether you go to the charismatic end of Christendom that's frying in emotionalism - don't misunderstand that as the Spirit of God - or whether you go into the tight conservative wing that is dying in intellectualism, there is a severe and distinct absence of the fullness of the Holy Spirit in lives and in churches.
I want to ask you tonight: this is something that has been bought for you, believer, by the precious blood of Christ - are you realising the blessings of the fullness of the Spirit? You see, we, particularly in the sort of churches we circulate in, we believe the Bible - praise God for that - but we can fall into the trap of believing that if the Bible says something, that we've got that thing. Do you see what I'm saying? We have the Bible for a thing, so we think we have the thing the Bible is talking about. We dwell on our positions according to what the Bible says, and yet we're not really living in the reality of possession - experientially knowing what the Bible teaches!
Now maybe I'm confusing some of you, but I think what I'm trying to say is that: we're like the bus conductor that has called out the destination so many times, that he thinks he has been there himself. We read, and we pray, and we sing, and we shout and preach about the Holy Spirit and His fullness, but have we experienced this in our lives? It's like someone dying, and the will being opened, and the son is left everything, and the son becomes satisfied with the written text of the will - but he doesn't want the inheritance! It would be ridiculous! God says we have the Spirit, and can know the Spirit, and can be filled with the Spirit - but because God says that that is our possession doesn't mean it's our experience.
Watchman Nee illustrated it very well like this: if you think of what the blood of Christ purchased for you as a man walking into a book store and purchasing two books. The bookstore owner wraps them both in brown paper, leaves them on the counter - they have been paid for, they've been purchased, but the man walks out with only one book. Now you need the book of forgiveness, you need to be forgiven, friend tonight, you need to be cleansed, you need to be born again - but believer, Christ has bought, with His precious blood, the fullness of the Holy Spirit for you, and many of us are leaving it on the counter!
Now there are two commands in verse 18: the first is don't get drunk - and that's a command Christians need to hear today. Social drinking is excelling among Christians, particularly middle-class Christians I have to say, that have never grown up in working class homes and seen what drink actually does - but there's going to be a rude awakening one of these days, if it's not already happening: a reaping of the consequences of this. You know, what is drunkenness? Some will tell you that you only need to take a glass of wine to realise that your perception is decreasing. I'm not going into that tonight, that's not my subject - but Paul says here: 'Don't get drunk', and the best thing you can do is stay away from drink. 'But be filled with the Spirit', now that is in the imperative mood - that's meaning this is not an option, to ignore it is at your peril. It's in the plural, it applies to all the Christians, not a select few. The verb is in the present tense, that means it's to be a constant experience - not on special occasions. The verb is also in the passive voice - do you know what that means? You do not fill yourself, you need to get to a place where the Spirit fills you.
Now let me put all those things and make sense of them in a translation that bears all that out: 'Let the Spirit constantly fill you' - is He? 'How do you let the Spirit fill you?', you say. Oh:
'The old, old story, it is ever new;
The old, old story, it is ever true:
That Jesus died for me as well as you'.
Get beneath the cross of Jesus - broken beneath the cross of the Lamb of God, that's the only way to get saved my friend! Not by works of righteousness that we have done, not by your church affiliation, not by religion, not by ritual - it's the cross. But dear Christian, you've got to realise that being broken before the cross is where you'll be filled, and realising by faith that it's what Christ purchased for you by His precious blood. Some of you might remember the late Rex Mathie. I had the privilege of entertaining him one Sunday when he was preaching in our church. I asked him: 'There are so many views on what the fullness of the Holy Spirit is, what are your thoughts on the fullness of the Spirit?'. He had thought much, he said, and considered it in his lifetime - all the views he surveyed. He said this: 'David, I think I've come to the conclusion it's the opposite side of the coin to the Lordship of Christ. When you and Jesus aren't arguing about anything, you'll be filled with the Spirit'. I thought that was profound - because you see chapter 4 of Ephesians and verse 30 says we can grieve the Holy Spirit. The Bible says we can quench the Holy Spirit. You see when we hurt Him, when we cause Him pain, He is dovelike in His personality - He is easily grieved and flies away. But the desire of God is that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith - when Jesus and you aren't arguing about anything - are you arguing about something with the Lord tonight? There is something in your life that you won't let go of, there's something you won't confess, there's something you won't put beneath the blood - you'll never be filled, my friend.
Does Jesus feel at home in your heart? Oh, all our hearts are filthy and wretched, the heart is deceitful above all things, our minds are defiled - that's why we need to continually come to the cross of Calvary to get that cleansing. That's what we need: the fullness of the Spirit. E. M. Bounds said: 'No erudition, nor purity of diction, nor width of mental outlook, no flowers of elegance, no grace of person can atone for lack of fire. Prayer ascends by fire, flame gives prayer access as well as wings, acceptance as well as energy. There is no incense without fire, no prayer without flame'. Believer, if you're having a Christian experience like the grand old Duke of York - when you're up, you're up; and when you're down, you're down; and half times you're only halfway, neither up nor down - you're like a roller coaster, you need the fullness of the Spirit! It doesn't mean you'll never have any problems, your problems might only start - but my dear friend, you can never have a victorious Christian life if you're arguing in your mind and heart with Christ about some issue! That's what we're talking about.
Now, historically the church in its most blessed times, particularly in revival, has always emphasised this truth. Many well-known and mightily used servants of God have testified to being filled or anointed with the Spirit in a very dramatic way, it has to be said. D. L. Moody said, I quote him: 'The blessing came upon me suddenly like a flash of lightning. For months I had been hungering and thirsting for power in service, I had come to that point where I think I would have died if I had not got it. I remember I was walking the streets of New York, and I had no more heart in the business I was about than if I had not been in this world at all. Well, one day, O what a day, I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it, it is almost too sacred an experience to name. Right there in the streets the power of God seemed to come upon me so wonderfully that I had to ask God to stay His hand. I was filled with a sense of God's goodness, and I felt as though I could take the whole world to my heart. I took the old sermons I had preached before without any power, and it was the same old truth, but there was a new power. Many were impressed and converted, and this happened years after I was converted myself. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you should give me all the world. It would be as small dust in the balance'.
Other mighty men of God, and they weren't charismatic now, they weren't even Pentecostals, they had this experience - and sometimes it was very dramatic. However, other men, equally used of God, had no such great manifestation - nothing dramatic at all, and yet were equally as filled with the Spirit. Some people just testify to have, having surrendered all to the Lord, experienced such an overwhelming sense of God. Have you ever experienced an overwhelming sense of God? Some others have said that they felt they were going to burst with joy in the Lord - we could all do with a dose of that!
Brainerd said: 'My soul was so captivated and delighted with the excellency, loveliness, greatness, and other perfections of God that I was even swallowed up in Him'. It mightn't have been so dramatic, it was just something in his mind and heart where he got a capacity to appreciate God! It's mighty, isn't it? R. A. Torrey was Moody's helper, his predecessor, and he didn't experience anything dramatic at all. He just said he asked God for it, because it was promised in the word, and he just believed God that he had got it by faith, and that was it - that was it. Spurgeon was the same, Billy Sunday the same - they testified to this great power, but didn't have the same experiences.
So I want to say to you carefully tonight: we should not gain our understanding of the fullness of the Spirit, this biblical truth, by the experiences that are told in biographies of men and women of bygone eras - because there is a great variety, God moves differently in all our lives. So we must beware of hankering after experiences, this is the great danger, this is where the devil can come in with a man, or a woman, or a young person, who is really following hard after God. They realise there is something more of spiritual experience, and the devil takes them on a detour to look for an experience rather than seeking God! 'My goal is God Himself' - you see, sometimes we can be seeking feelings. You know, feelings are a great obstacle in comprehending spiritual things. If you're not saved tonight, you might be one of those people I often hear saying: 'I don't feel the time is right to get saved' - that's a lot of nonsense! 'Now is the accepted time', the Bible says, 'Now is the day of salvation'. There's no other time to get saved but now. Then some say: 'Oh, I don't feel I'm saved. I asked the Lord to save me, but I don't feel it' - you've got to understand: salvation, from start to finish, is not about feelings, it's about faith! It's faith based on fact, the fact of God's word, taking it up and accepting it.
I often explain it like a train: the engine is fact, God's word, what Christ has done, what He has promised. The first carriage, it is faith, we are meant to be connected with the fact of God's word. The second carriage is feelings, and the feelings will come after the faith and the facts - they will, eventually. But we must not have our carriages linked to feelings, because feelings is only a carriage and it will not pull one carriage and an engine behind it - no way.
'Feelings come, and feelings go, and feelings are deceiving.
My warrant is the word of God, none else is worth believing'.
To be saved is to be saved by faith alone, not feelings - and to live by faith is by faith alone, you can't rely on your feelings now. There was a dear lady in the congregation we were in previously, and I've heard that she had to have her leg amputated. She expressed the torment of feeling that her foot was still there, and yet when she looked down it wasn't. Her nervous system was telling her that she was still having a pain in her foot that had been taken off - surely that tells us by nature that you can't rely on feelings!
Old W.P. Nicholson was sick on one occasion, and he went privately to an expert on his conditions. This expert put electrodes on his chest, and then the doctor, he went off and sat down and read the paper with a cup of coffee. If you know anything about Nicholson, you'll realise he started to get worked up - this man sitting reading his paper and drinking coffee, and he was sitting there with the electrodes on. He burst out, and he said: 'I'm a busy man, I haven't come over here to watch you while you're going to drink coffee and read the paper - when are you going to start my treatment?'. The doctor said: 'Mr Nicholson, there's enough electricity running through your body now to push a train up a hill'. Nicholson said: 'Well, something must be wrong, because I don't feel a thing, I don't feel a thing'. The doctor had a wee adapter that he attached somehow - don't ask me how it was done - to the electrodes, to put a lightbulb on it; and when he did it the lightbulb lit up! Nicholson said that he realised how the Spirit might be flowing through you, and you not even realise it until a need arose - until a need arose.
Now listen, we have touched on a whole lot of areas here that can confuse people, and my desire is not to confuse you further. My desire is for you to just come to the cross in brokenness and faith, and repent of sin, and ask the Lord for this blessing. Ask, and believe, and you will have - the Bible promises it: 'What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them'. Have you prayed for the fullness of the Holy Spirit? Jesus said: 'If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?'. I agree with Billy Graham on this much anyway, he says: 'I don't care what you call it, just get it!' - just get it.
Do you have it? Do you have Him completely pervading the whole of your life, all that you are? Unsaved friend, the only thing that will break the shackles of your sin is the power of God's Spirit - nothing else! You need Him tonight, you need to come humbly to the cross. But believer: do you not need the fullness of the Holy Spirit? Paul Rader, with this I finish, wrote some beautiful hymns - one of which was 'Fear not little flock, whatever your lot', I don't know whether you know it or not. He preached a powerful sermon on one occasion on the theme: 'Out of a man's innermost being shall flow rivers of living water'. Later on that evening two men who had heard the sermon asked Mr Rader to meet with them for a meal, and for a discussion. One man began by saying - we've all heard this - 'Mr Rader, you preached a good sermon, but you are wrong dispensationally'. Then the other said: 'Mr Rader, you're a good preacher and a good brother, the problem is that you have the wrong interpretation'. Gracious man that he was, Mr Rader did not answer, and then he bowed his head with the rest of them to pray before eating their meal. When Mr Rader finally looked across the table at the first brother, he saw that something had happened: tears were streaming down the man's face, and his shoulders shook with emotion. Finally he was able to say these words: 'Brother Rader, we have the interpretation, but you have the rivers of blessing'.
Do we have the mighty fullness of the blessed Holy Ghost? Let us pray. Now, as our heads are bowed, I know that you might not agree with everything I've said - but I'm not really worried about that too much. I'll agree to disagree with you, but what you have to agree with me is that all of us need more, and a deeper experience of, our Christian lives - and the only way we can have it is through God, and it's His Spirit; He is His Vicar, the Vicar of Christ on the earth today. He is the one who administers His will, and you need Him in your life. He is to be your constant companion, He is the Paraclete, He is the strengthener, He is the one who will not leave you an orphan. He will bring the presence of Christ to you and in you - do you know Him?
Why not say tonight, if you're not saved: 'Lord, cleanse me at Calvary, and fill me with the Holy Spirit. Save me from my sins now and forever'. Dear Christian, you can do no better than repeat those words - even though you are saved for time and eternity. Oh, we might have the right interpretations, but oh for the rivers of living water. Amen.
Preach The Word.
This sermon was delivered at The Lifeboat Mission in Moy, Northern Ireland, by David Legge. It was transcribed from the seventh recording in his 'The Revival We Need' series, entitled "A Revival In The Holy Spirit" - Transcribed by Preach The Word.
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