IN ST. MATTHEW 3:11-42, WE FIND JOHN THE BAPTIST, THE FORERUNNER OF THE FIRST ADVENT OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, UTTERING THESE WORDS: “I INDEED BAPTIZE YOU WITH WATER UNTO REPENTANCE: BUT HE THAT COMETH AFTER ME IS MIGHTIER THAN I, WHOSE SHOES I AM NOT WORTHY TO BEAR: HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY GHOST, AND WITH FIRE: WHOSE FAN IS IN HIS HAND AND HE WILL THOROUGHLY PURGE HIS FLOOR, AND GATHER HIS WHEAT INTO THE GARNER: BUT HE WILL BURN UP THE CHAFF WITH UNQUENCHABLE FIRE.” THOSE TWO VERSES ALONE HAVE RAISED MANY QUESTIONS IN THE CHURCH WORLD THROUGH THE YEARS, BUT WHEN YOU ADD TO THEM SOME WORDS THAT JESUS UTTERED, (JOHN 14:15-18) THERE ARE EVEN MORE QUESTIONS. THEREFORE I FEEL THAT IT WILL BE BETTER TO DEAL WITH THE SUBJECT IN A MESSAGE, THAN TRY TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS INDIVIDUALLY. BY APPROACHING IT THIS WAY: ALL OUR READERS OF THE CONTENDER WILL BE ABLE TO SHARE IN THE ANSWERS WHICH WE WILL GET FROM THE SCRIPTURES THEMSELVES AS WE ANSWER SUCH QUESTIONS AS, WHAT IS THE HOLY GHOST? WHAT WILL HE DO FOR THE BELIEVER? HOW CAN HE DWELL IN A BELIEVER? DO YOU HAVE TO SPEAK IN TONGUES TO RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE, AND DOZENS OF OTHERS. READ THE MESSAGE PRAYERFULLY, AND ALLOW THE COMFORTER, WHICH IS ALSO THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, TO COMFORT YOU WITH THE TRUTH WHICH WE SHALL PRESENT FROM GOD’S HOLY WORD.
STANDING BETWEEN TWO AGES
John stood between the Old and the New Testament ages. When he came on the scene, he was actually introducing another age. That is why he said, REPENT YE: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. The age he was introducing had been projected through types and shadows for centuries, and now John is announcing that the time is at hand for this kingdom of heaven age to begin. From the time God gave the Israelites a law of precepts and ordinances until the day John walked out of the wilderness preaching repentance, Jews and proselytes were justified by the observance of all that was set forth in that law. Their sin debt was not paid by their obedience to the law, but it was pushed ahead, waiting for the day when the one great sacrifice would be offered for the sins of all mankind. That one great sin offering was made by the Lord Jesus Christ (the only begotten Son of God) when He offered His own blood upon the sacrificial altar of God, and He is the one John was referring to in St. Matthew 3:11-12, the verses we read already. We want to present the scriptures that will enable you to see that it is His Spirit we receive in the experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. John could not baptize anyone with the Holy Ghost; his job was to get some people ready to receive the one who could. How was he preparing them? By getting them into an attitude of repentance and humility. He said, I indeed baptize you with water UNTO repentance. In other words, he was baptizing them with water (a ritual of cleansing familiar to the Jews) until the one came who could baptize them INTO something, namely the body of Christ as Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27, etc. John did not know that this one he was preparing the way for, would actually lay down His own life as a sacrifice for the sins of all people; and that those who followed this one, (Christ) for the next two thousand years, would have to follow Him by faith, without ever seeing Him physically. John only knew that the one who sent him to baptize with water had given him a sign to watch for, and that sign revealed to him the identity of the one he was preparing the way for. He did not know that a short time later his own head would be cut off, but he did know what he was called to do, and he was faithful in doing it. His ministry opened up another era of time for believers.
REVEALED THROUGH CONDITIONS
A few short years after John began calling upon people to repent, many of them came to know exactly what it was like to have the very Spirit of God dwelling within their lives, making His abode within their own body of clay. That is why Jesus said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation; (you cannot see a spirit) the kingdom of God is WITHIN YOU. He was not in them because someone had jiggled their chin and taught them to speak in tongues. Neither was He in them because they were good enough to merit it; He came in because they believed and obeyed His word. We are living two thousand years beyond that time when the Holy Ghost filled the first group of believers, and, especially in our present day, it seems that almost every one professes to have the Holy Ghost. I have never felt that it was my business to try and pick out the ones who do not have the genuine experience, but I have said over and over again, just wait; time itself will prove who has a genuine experience with God. God will allow conditions that will bring everything out into the open. If you know in your heart that you have the baptism of the Holy Ghost, hold on to what you have. Do not let the devil take anything away from you. But I say to every one of you, Brothers and sisters, it is time we bring our faith, our whole experience in line with the Bible. That is the only way any of us will ever make the rapture of the bride of Christ. Dare think any of you that He will settle for less than your best? There may be some who will read this message, that have your confidence in sensations. Sensations may make you feel good at the time, but they do very little in the way of lining your life up with the word of God. Far too many times a person’s sensations seem to have a tendency to pull them away from the word, rather than to it. Just remember this, please! God will only accept those who bring their lives in line with His word, regardless of how many sensational experiences they may have had. Your sensations could very well be the fan that will fan you away with the chaff to be burned. But, Bro. Jackson: I thought the Holy Ghost was supposed to bring sensations. It is true, manifestations of the Holy Ghost belong in the life of every believer, (in no certain way) but we are not to major on the Spirit, above the Word. The Word is to have pre-eminence at all times. God knows how to make a proper opening for manifestations, if we will not become over zealous.
WHAT IS A GHOST?
I have noticed many times that when someone uses the term, Holy Spirit, instead of Holy Ghost, certain people would snicker. They think you are trying to be a doctor of divinity or something, when you talk like that. I usually say Holy Ghost myself, but only because the English language has presented the Bible to me like that. Actually, the English language is the only one that uses the term Holy Ghost. All the rest refer to Him as the Holy Spirit which is more proper, for that is what God is, a spirit that is holy. In the English, we speak of a spirit as being a ghost, but in any other language or dialect they do not speak of a spirit as a ghost. To them a spirit is a spirit, and they keep it as a spirit. When I was a small child I would hear some of the older folks talk about certain people that had seen a ghost in a certain house. They would refer to certain houses as haunted houses. Why? Because someone claimed that there were ghosts in those places. What are ghosts? They are spirits. Spirits cannot be seen unless they choose to allow it. Some have said, I saw a ball of fire in there. That could very well be an indication of a spirit’s presence, but I will tell you this for sure, when you go into a haunted house and claim to see spirits in there, you may very well have encountered a spirit, but you can believe me, It was not the Holy Spirit. The reason the Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit as the Holy Ghost, is because it is the Ghost (Spirit) of the Lord Jesus Christ. People refer to the ghost of certain people, that have returned from the dead to haunt various ones, but let me tell you this; The Spirit of Jesus Christ did not come back from the dead to haunt me; He came back to dwell inside of me, to let me know that He is no longer dead, that He is alive forevermore, and to lead me into all truth. He will do the same thing for anyone else that will allow Him to have his way with them. Let me ask you now, Do you know why I took the space to explain this? I want every one of you to know that there is no difference between the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost except in the word itself, and the reason I want you to know it now is because, in a message like this one you will find me using both words dealing with the scripture such explanations should not be necessary, but I have learned that there are always a few people around that enjoy sneering and jeering, as if they had the inside track on every subject. I am just taking this time to lay them to rest, before going on with the message.
HOLY GHOST AND FIRE
John was the first to mention anything about future believers being baptized with the Holy Ghost, and with fire, meaning, to be immersed with the Holy Ghost and fire, and some have thought, and taught that this is two separate experiences. They will say, You may have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but have you received the baptism of fire? Brothers and sisters, do not be misled; this is not two separate experiences. If you have received the Holy Ghost baptism: you have also received the baptism of fire. When you find a person making a doctrine out of something like that, just be assured that they have already left the scriptures. They will strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. I want to show you from the scriptures that He is the Spirit of truth, He is the Comforter, He is a consuming fire, the promise of the Father, the power to come, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, and also that He is the Father, the very Spirit that spoke, in the beginning, and created all things. If a person wanted to get technical he would have to expect 4 or 5 experiences in the realm of the Holy Ghost in order to have the full benefit available to him. How foolish! Let us read those four verses from the 14th chapter of St. John, now. Verse 15, (Jesus speaking) “If ye love me. keep my commandments. And I will pray the father and He shall give you another COMFORTER, that He may abide with you forever; 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, and SHALL BE IN YOU. I will not leave you COMFORTLESS: I WILL COME TO YOU.” Saints! We must get this terminology allocated to its proper place and realize that the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, is everything to us. As our Comforter, He is ever present to comfort and stabilize us in times of distress and trouble. When you lose a loved one in death, He is right there to comfort you. When your finances fail and it looks like there is no hope; He is right there to make a way. It sometimes will come to the place where it seems that everything we have become attached to in the natural is being taken from us in one way or another, and that is very disturbing, but our Comforter is always there. Just remember, Jesus said, “I will not leave you comfortless.” That is why we can say, a child of God does not need human flesh to lean upon, for our Comforter will not leave us, nor forsake us at any time. If we had to depend upon some other human to comfort us, there would be times when we would need comforting that our comforter could not be found, but this one who dwells inside of us is always present. If we do not receive the benefits, it is because we do not look to Him.
EFFECTS OF FIRE
Let us now consider the fire side of the Holy Ghost. What does fire do, and what would be the effect of this fire in the life of a believer? We are speaking of the fire of the Holy Ghost of course. The first thing we would think of is that fire burns, consumes. Then we know also that fire gives light, do we not? Can you make the application as to what part the fire plays in a believer’s life, now’? When God reaches down His hand of mercy to save us, our lives are full of dross (impurities) that must be burned out. This is not what atones for our sin; the blood of Jesus does that. But when this fire of the Holy Ghost gets inside of us, the end result is that He burns out all the impurities, making us presentable as the bride of Christ. At the same time, He is a light unto our souls. Did not Jesus say that He (speaking of Himself) would send the Comforter, which is also the Spirit of truth, and that when He came: He would guide believers into ALL TRUTH? Jesus said, “I am the light of the world,” and He shined that light for 31-2 years, but when He left His physical walk on earth and ascended into the heavens, He sent His Spirit back, on the day of Pentecost, to dwell in the lives of believers, and to continue shining that light which lights men’s souls. Furthermore, He is power, the enabling power in our lives that allows us to be overcomers, even when our adversary (the devil) strikes the hardest. Whatever we need: that is what the Holy Ghost is in us to provide. Hallelujah! God ,who is Spirit, and who was Spirit when He did all the mighty acts of creation in the first chapters of the Bible, manifested Himself to a certain generation of people through a body of physical flesh; (the Lord Jesus Christ) then after a short period of time the flesh was taken from the earth with the promise that He would return in Spirit form to indwell believers, and His indwelling presence is to enable believers to do the very same works that He did while among them in physical form. We believe that, of course; We just need to understand it a little better. John said this one that would baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire, would also have a fan in His hand, and would thoroughly purge (perfectly cleanse) His floor. Did he do any of this while He was on earth in physical flesh? No. He had already ascended to glory before anyone was baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire. I believe these two verses of our text cover a great span of time all the way from the day of Pentecost when the Holy Ghost was poured out, right down to the very end when every offending thing will be burned up. The fan in His hand speaks of authority, authority to fan out and destroy everything that does not glorify God. Shortly after John uttered the words we read from Matt, 3:11-12, Jesus came on the scene to be baptized by John. Then, later, John was standing with two of his disciples when Jesus passed by and John said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” Upon hearing this, those two disciples left John and followed Jesus, for they had already heard John say at another time before that, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” This was the first thing Jesus accomplished of what John said He would do. Through His death, burial and resurrection, He paid the sin debt of all mankind, but before that, He preached for 3 1/2 years and did many miracles that served to vindicate who He was. To pay our sin debt He allowed His blood to be spilled by evil men, His body to be abused with torture, then placed in a tomb and sealed. He took our sins right into that grave with Him, but on the third day He came forth from that grave victorious, alive from the dead, never to die more than 500 brethren over a period of 40 days, which lived to bear witness of the fact that He had risen from the dead. At the end of 40 days He led them out upon the mount of Olives. After having instructed them to wait for the promise of the Father, He lifted up His hands, and blessed them, and then ascended into heaven. Ten days later is when Matt. 3:11, actually went into effect. That is when He began to baptize with the Holy Ghost, and with fire; but He will not burn the chaff with unquenchable fire until after the gospel has gone back to the Jews, and the 70th week of Daniel has run its course.
POWER FROM ON HIGH
Let us open our Bibles to St. Luke 24:49. Jesus had just given the great commission to His disciples, the same commission we find recorded in Matthew 28:19-20, but here in Luke’s account we find these words also, verse 49, “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.” I want you to notice two or three things here in this verse. First of all, He said, “I send the promise of my Father upon you.” That would fulfill Joel 2, and Isaiah 28, of the Old Testament, where it speaks of Him pouring out of His Spirit, and of a miraculous sign. Then we notice that He instructed them to tarry (wait) in a certain place, (Jerusalem) until they were endued with power from on high. You see, He not only referred to this forthcoming experience as the promise of the Father, which would fulfill Old Testament prophecy: He went ahead to break it down somewhat, as to what it would be to the believer. Both here and in Acts 1:9, we find that Jesus referred to this exper-ience as receiving POWER, not physical, muscular power, but spiritual power, power to live an overcoming life as a child of God. According to Acts 1:8, they needed this power before they could even be a witness of the things they had seen and heard. Jesus called it power, and John called it fire, but please be assured, it is all the same experience. You get it all with the genuine baptism of the Holy Ghost. When we need fire to burn out impurities; that is what the Holy Ghost is to us. When we need light upon the word of God; he is that. Then when it comes time to reflect that light to others; He does that, and He enables us to bear witness with power and authority. In the Holy Ghost is everything the believer has need of, for He is God indwelling His people. You will notice in verse 3, of Acts, chapter 1, that Jesus showed Himself alive after His resurrection by many infallible proofs, as He moved among His disciples for 40 days, and spoke of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Therefore I want to take this time to clarify something for you who may not know it. In the New Testament we have two terms used that some people take to be the same thing, the kingdom of God, and the kingdom of heaven. Jesus spoke to His disciples concerning the kingdom of God; that is His spiritual kingdom in the hearts of His redeemed people. On the other hand John spoke of the kingdom of heaven being at hand. That pertained to a period of time when the grace of God would be made accessible to believers. Therefore we will say, The kingdom of God is His spiritual kingdom set up in the individual lives of believers, and that is taking place within the period of time delegated to the kingdom of heaven. The Jews looked only for a natural kingdom, a materialistic kingdom. They expected a deliverer to come charging in, leading a great army that would overthrow the Romans, and set up a great natural kingdom as in days of old. Even after Jesus had spoken so many things to them of the kingdom of God, (His spiritual kingdom) when they gathered together again (Acts 1:6) some of them asked, “Lord, Wilt thou at I this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” He answered them by saying, “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. 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.” They did not need to know when He would set up His earthly kingdom; they just needed to wait a few days for Him to set up His spiritual kingdom in their hearts. I want you to notice something else; He did not have to instruct them on how to receive the Holy Ghost. Neither did any of the apostles ever give instructions on how to receive the Holy Ghost. That is something that modern day Gentiles have added, and there is no scripture for it. I maintain that God does not need our help, and I have to stand on that, even if I have to stand alone. If you want to disagree with me, that is your privilege, but you will have to do it without any scripture to stand upon. God did not need any help when He parted the Red Sea and held those waters apart until all those Israelites were safely on the other side. Neither did He need any help when He fed that great host in the wilderness for 40 years. All He needs is some people to believe Him. Every time men try to help God, they just stir up a big mess. That is why the Gentile church world is in such a pitiful shape today, around this world, men have tried to help God run His business. God is sovereign and needful of nothing. That is why we need to learn that to believe God is simply to walk with Him. Obey His word without becoming so puffed up and proud, and without feeling that God will fail unless you help Him. Jesus was speaking to believers in Acts 1:5, when He said, “John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” They believed His word. At least 120 of them did, for they waited in Jerusalem just like He told them to do, until the Holy Ghost fell on them. After that, they fulfilled the rest of His commission to them; they became witnesses of what they had seen and heard. In one experience, (without anyone instructing them on how to receive it) they received power, fire, and the promise of the Father, a teacher and Comforter. From that moment on they would be taught, protected and comforted by a constant companion that would never leave them. In other words, when He comes into your heart, He comes in to stay. That is why we can speak of eternal security.
BELIEVING AND OBEYING
Brothers and sisters, I want to help each and every one of you to understand that without the baptism of the Holy Ghost a person is not yet born of the Spirit, or born again, which is the terminology I used by Jesus in His communication with Nicodemus. The Holy Ghost IS that eternal life which we speak of. He is our seal. He is our stamp of approval. Without Him, a person can only believe and obey with the mind. Let me quickly add this though, Every scriptural truth that a person I received carries a measure of the Spirit of God with it. First we hear the gospel. Then we believe it, and we know that to believe is to obey. Obedience is the natural reaction to believing. That is why the apostle Peter, testifying about Jesus, (Acts 5:31-36) said this, “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the HOLY GHOST, WHOM GOD HATH GIVEN TO THEM THAT OBEY HIM.” God is sovereign, and well able to fill anyone with His Spirit at any time, without some other e person there to give instructions on how to receive it. If a person t has the right motive for wanting to receive the Holy Ghost, they will be hungering after truth, believing it when they hear it, walking with God in their daily activities, and as a result God will give them their heart’s desire. Some people want to receive the Holy Ghost just to keep them out of hell, and they have no desire for their lives to be changed, and some of them just want to be able to speak in tongues; that is their greatest desire. Folks like that are prime candidates for Satan’s counterfeit experience. The world is filled with them today. Some of these large charismatic organizations refer to this experience as though all they have to do is open a spigot somewhere and whoever is standing there with their mouth open will receive the Holy Ghost if they have been properly instructed. Saints, That is a lot of nonsense. Those people claim to be filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spend most of their time witnessing about the Holy Ghost, and what he will enable them to do. They use Him for new luxury automobiles, mansions to live in, huge business successes, and all those material things, but they never allow Him to do what Jesus said he would do WHEN He came, lead them into all truth. Let me read you a few verses from the 16th chapter of John, beginning with verse 12. Jesus speaking to His disciples, said this, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit 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 show you things to come. He shall glorify me: (Jesus) for He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” Now let me ask you, Who is the Holy Ghost to glorify? Jesus, of course. In Acts 1:8, Jesus did not tell His disciples that they would receive power to witness about the power they received; He told them that they would receive power to witness for Him. But those disciples that had become so dependent upon Jesus during the time they walked together on earth were going to need a comforter first of all, after He was taken from them; just like folks that become so used to having their pastor make every decision for them, when he is suddenly taken from them. Jesus had been their pastor for 3 1/2 years; that is what the word, shepherd means, one that looks after. In John 10:11, He had said, “I am the good shepherd,” but when it came near the time for Him to leave them, He began to prepare them to receive a comforter. They would need to be comforted and strengthened before they could be effective witnesses. So He prepares them to receive their comforter, and tells them what else they can expect from the Comforter that He will send. Notice John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” By calling to their remembrance the things that Jesus has told them before, they would be comforted. Then in the 17th chapter of John, when He was praying, Jesus included all believers everywhere, from then on, in the benefits that were to be bestowed upon His disciples. He is asking the Father to sanctify them through the truth, and to keep them from the evil that is in the world, then in verse 20, He says, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” Brothers and sisters: Jesus was not nearsighted; He was looking on out through time, and seeing all those who would ever believe on Him; even you and me. We have believed on Him through the word of others, for we never had an opportunity to see and hear Him personally like some of those Christians of that first age, but we can love Him just as much for we know that He gave His life for us also. In John 14:21, He said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, (not another person, but that sovereign, eternal Spirit which created all things.) and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” He does that through the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and that promise is to all believers, just like Peter said in Acts 2:38-39; let us read it. On the day of Pentecost when Peter had preached a short little message that cut many of those Jews to the heart and they cried out, men and brethren, What shall we do? Peter answered, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name I of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and 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 I LORD OUR GOD SHALL CALL.” Did God call you? If so, you obey Him, and you will receive the Holy Ghost.
COMFORTER — REVELATOR—REPROVER
Because of that revelatory Spirit (THE HOLY GHOST) which he had just received along with about 119 others, Peter knew exactly what Jesus had meant in Matt. 28:19, when He told them to make disciples, or to teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. That is why I say, If all these people that are claiming to have the Holy Ghost, really did have a genuine experience, they would not raise so much fuss about Acts 2:38, nor when someone mentions the serpent seed, or eternal security and the many other things that the Holy Ghost gives revelation on when He is present. The truth of the matter is this, People who reject truth and raise so much fuss simply do not have the Holy Ghost, nor do they know anything about Him. Turn to John 16:7, and I will show you what I mean. Jesus is speaking, and says, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” We want to look at these three things the Holy Ghost was to reprove the world of Verse 9, “Of SIN, because they believe not on me.” Brothers and sisters: When I was still in the Methodist church, I thought that meant the Holy Ghost would tell you, it is wrong to smoke; it is wrong to drink, curse, lie, cheat and steal, and all those things. That is not what Jesus had in mind at all. But, Bro. Jackson, Isn’t it wrong to do those things? Yes. But the reason people do those things is because they do not believe. Therefore when the Holy Ghost reproves the world of sin, He is reproving the world for its unbelief. Then when people come to know for sure who Jesus Christ is, that He, and He alone is the Savior of the world, they jump right out of that unbelief and start believing. When that happens the Spirit of truth just automatically starts cutting off those bad habits. Many people have gone to church, quit their bad habits and tried to reform themselves into being a Christian, but unless the nature that caused you to have those bad habits is dealt with, pressures of life will eventually cause you to pick them back up again. That inherited nature that causes us to do wrong things must be changed first, so He reproves us for our unbelief to get to the heart of the problem. Now the next thing Jesus said the Holy Ghost would reprove the world of is righteousness. What could He have meant by that? Simply this, He stood before a self righteous bunch of Pharisees and Sadducees that were so pious and holy in their man-made rituals and creeds, they could not even recognize truth when truth stood before them. They condemned Jesus and held to their man-made righteousness. That is the righteousness they must be reproved for. That kind of external righteousness is a cloak to hide behind. On the other hand, when the righteousness of God is accepted and gets down inside a person, it will produce external righteousness also, but it will not be a cloak to hide behind, for you will have nothing to hide. That is why the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans as he did, (12:1) “I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” When true righteousness gets inside a person, it is just like a peach tree. The nature of a peach tree causes it to bear fruit of its own nature. So also will the nature of God inside a person who has accepted the righteousness of God, cause that person to bear the fruits of righteousness. When you find people who are always looking around to see what they can get by with, and maybe they will not come to your church because they know you do not allow a lot of things they still want to do, you can be sure they are people who do not have the Spirit of God inside of them, to lead them. I never could give up the filthy habit of smoking cigarettes until I finally received the righteousness of God inside me, after that, there was no struggle; the desire left me. Hallelujah! He did the work from inside of me. How did Paul express it in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians? “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” We do not suddenly learn everything there is to know the very moment we are born into the family of God, but the important thing is, our nature is changed; our desires are different, and now God can teach us, just like we teach our children, not all at once, but a little every day.
REPROVE FOR JUDGMENT
Now we will look at the third thing Jesus said the Holy Ghost would reprove the world for. This one is judgment. He will reprove the world, not the church, and here is why; Jesus ministered for 3 1/2 years among a religious society of people who were everyone claiming to be children of Abraham, and followers of Moses. He was the very righteousness of God standing among them, but all they could see was His background. They judged Him to be nothing more than an illegitimate child that had grown up with a devil in him. They called Him a false prophet, and accused Him of doing His works by the power of the devil, yet it was the very fountain of life they were judging. Do we not see the very same thing going on in our day? Everywhere you go, you find a religious society judging righteousness, and their own righteousness is man-made, something to hide behind. We had a prophet in our age who demonstrated God but what did the denominational doctors of divinity do? They raised their eyebrows, twitched their ears, foamed at the mouth, and warned their congregations not to have anything to do with him. They judged that his teaching on the serpent seed, the name of Jesus in water baptism, eternal security of the believer, and a holy life of separation was right from hell. Why? Because their revelation was wrong and their own deeds were evil. They would rather condemn God’s prophet than to change their own ways. They condemn anyone who mentions a serpent seed, yet their very attitude proves beyond any shadow of doubt that there is something to the serpent seed teaching after all, if you know what I mean? It takes the Holy Ghost to make true judgments; without Him, most of us would judge wrong 9 times out of 10. He is the one that keeps us from living in the unrighteousness of self righteousness. Without the Holy Ghost to guide their judgments, it is no wonder that these great denominations condemn anything that crosses the grain of their beautiful ecumenical religious programs. They are trying to get all their denominational differences patched up so they can all co-exist together, and heretics like us are always upsetting their programs. Brothers and sisters, do not feel bad because they call you a heretic; that simply means that you have departed from what they have established as true doctrine. Anyone who has ever followed a true revelation from God has been looked upon as a heretic by those who held to their religious creeds. Just be thankful to Almighty God that people like that have a reason to call you a heretic. That proves you are not one of them; praise God. The Spirit you have in you is revealing the truth of God’s word to your heart, while the spirit they have in them is smiting them blind, so they can not even recognize truth when it comes along. I do not mean to say that every person who is still in a denominational organization is going to hell; that is not for me to know, but, Saints: I do know this, God is not in those organizations, and time is short therefore those who are yet to come out of them have very little time left to do it. That is all in the hands of God though; for He is the one that must draw them to Himself. He does that by allowing them to get a little taste of something that makes their soul hunger for more of the same. When they cannot find it in their organizations, God allows them to find out where the true spiritual food is; then they must decide whether they are willing to pay the price of separation from their old familiar friends or not. That is called counting the cost. God’s gift of eternal life is free to every soul that will receive it, but there is still a price that our flesh has to pay in order to follow truth. God does not let us see all of that at first though; He just gives us grace to overcome as each thing confronts us in life. That is what Jesus had in mind in John 16 : 12, when He said to His disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” He knew good and well that without the Holy Ghost they could not even understand all that He could tell them, much less be able to handle it in their lives. He was talking to people who were already His disciples, but they did not have the comforting power of the Spirit of truth in them yet; therefore He could only give them what their natural minds could handle at that time, but made them a promise, verse 13, “Howbeit (however) when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.” While we were out there in the world of sin running with a wild crowd, drinking, smoking, and carousing around, God got hold of us and convicted us of our unbelief. Many of us never did have the bad habits that we speak of, but we were still guilty of unbelief until the Holy Ghost reproved us for that. After getting our attention He begins to move us into a place where He begins to be the Spirit of truth to our individual lives. It is only then that He can begin to lead us into all truth, and teach us all things. He even shows us things to come; Hallelujah! That is why we will be able to recognize the Antichrist while the rest of the world is idolizing him as a great man of peace, a wonderful universal religious leader that loves everyone. Thank God for His Spirit of truth that has already showed us these things to come. We will know this son of perdition, just like Jesus knew Judas, and what he was destined to do. When the world is saying, Holy Father (to the pope of Rome) we are looking to you for all the answers, the little bride of Christ will be looking up, knowing that her departure is close at hand. In the meanwhile the true Spirit of God in us will be glorifying Jesus Christ, the one who took all our sins upon Himself and paid the supreme price in order that we might go free from condemnation. Jesus said this Spirit of truth would not speak of Himself, but the charismatics have Him speaking of Himself as the third person of a triune Godhead. They even see visions and dream dreams, where they see the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost all three as separate distinct individual persons. That just goes to show how powerful Satan really is; he can give dreams and visions also, and unless you have the Holy Ghost revealing truth to you, you will be deceived. Furthermore, in the ranks of this trinity circle of people who profess to have the Holy Ghost, you can even find some who go to great extremes instructing people on how to receive. Jimmy Swaggart even went so far as to produce a record of instructions. How foolish can people actually be?
A SOVEREIGN GOD NEEDS NOTHING
Saints: Some of you may wonder why I would take the time for a message like this, and some of you may not agree with me calling names like Jimmy Swaggart and others which I may mention later on, but you do not realize what is at stake. I get all kinds of questions from people; some of whom have family members that are all wrapped up in all this religious folly. They need to know how to handle some of these questions and arguments that they are faced with; that is why we are printing this message. We want to give every person who reads this paper an opportunity to learn from the scriptures just exactly what the Holy Ghost is to be to the true believer. Furthermore we want you to see that God is sovereign, and that He does not need mortal man to help Him. God works through human instruments to accomplish many things, but He has never needed a mortal man to teach believers how to receive the Holy Ghost. Jesus did not even give His disciples the least bit of a hint on what kind of an experience to expect. He just told them to wait at Jerusalem until they received it. That in itself ought to be enough to convince any right thinking person that God does not need any help in order to baptize believers with the Holy Ghost. He did not mention one word about anyone having to pray through to the experience as so many are teaching in our day. It is true the disciples laid hands on some folks, but the laying on of the apostles hands was just a means of contact and recognition of the believer on the part of the ministry. No one had to lay hands on the household of Cornelius for them to receive the Holy Ghost. Did they? No. While Peter was still preaching to them, the Holy Ghost fell on them, just like it did on the 120 disciples that waited in the upper room. They received the Spirit of Jesus Christ, simply because their ears were open when God’s man stood there preaching to them. What was he telling them? Read the 10th chapter of Acts, and you will discover that Peter was giving a testimony of the works, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. and what the prophets had said about it, even before Jesus was born. Much of what we see going on in religious circles in our day is a result of man’s misinterpretation of what took place right after World War II came to an end. That war had stripped many American homes of all the adult men. Husbands, fathers and teenage sons were called to the battlefields, never to return home again. That drove many American families to their knees seeking help from God. As a result of people’s hearts being made tender, it seemed like just any little preacher could go out somewhere and set up a tent, and take the simplest little text from the scripture, and before too long the power of God would fall. People would come running to the altar confessing their sins, and God would meet their faith and baptize them with the Holy Ghost. In those meetings people were healed from cancer, tuberculosis, heart trouble, and just about everything else that you could mention, but it was because people had been brought to an attitude of humbleness. Religiously, up until then, everything was still in a Babylonian state. The trinity was preached, believers were baptized in the titles of Matthew 28:19. instead of in the only name that those titles pointed to. but God is sovereign; He reached right past all of that, looked at the attitude of the people and gave them what their souls were crying out for. That kind of humbleness did not last though. Thirty years of easy living has turned many of those same people to thoughts of money and worldly gain. They have adopted their religious creeds, built their fine church buildings, fussed and scrapped about various Bible doctrines until many of them have lost sight completely of God’s true purpose in redeeming lost souls. The world of religion has backslid so far, that many of them just use God for a social advantage. They preach a worldly gospel and sell the Holy Ghost cheap. (That is my terminology for what I see going on.) To hear them tell it, God is baptizing dope addicts, sex perverts, and just about every other kind of degenerate creature of the human race, but upon close observation, one can see very little difference in the way they live their lives after their so called experience. I do not mean to be critical just for the sake of being critical, but this Bible does not leave any room for that kind of loose living in the ranks of true Christianity. If people would just get their hands out of God’s business, and quit trying to instruct others on how to receive the Holy Ghost, then God would fill with the Holy Ghost, those who are ready to receive, and there would not be so many people receiving counterfeit experiences. Naturally we all like to help other folks when we can, but Saints: If we do not help them with truth, we do them an injustice, for that is the only stream God moves in. I have seen preachers, and others, grab hold of people and shake them so hard you could almost hear their teeth rattle, trying to make it look like they had the great power of God in their hands. They would shake them like that, and at the same time be yelling, “You have got it brother; you have got it sister; just speak the first thing that comes to your mind. Just say hallelujah, and keep saying it faster and faster until the Holy Ghost takes charge of your vocal cords. Repeat the words I say, until the Holy Ghost gives you a language of your own. Get down on the floor and stick your head under the church pew; God loves humility; He will meet you there.” Brothers and sisters that is the kind of instructions you hear in many religious gatherings, and I am here to tell you that every bit of it is just plain foolishness. Bro. Jackson: Are you making fun of them? No. I am not saying these things just to make fun; I am endeavoring to help some of you see that all such as this is man made foolishness, and God does not need it. I have had the Holy Ghost lift me up and move me 3 seats away from where I was, and I heard that whirlwind sound like those disciples heard on the day of Pentecost when they were waiting in the upper room, but I have never tried to get the Holy Ghost to duplicate that experience for myself, nor for anyone else. I realize God is sovereign, and He gave me that experience for a particular reason, but there is no reason to make a doctrine out of it. If we will just bring our believing in line with the word of God, we will not be trying to coax the Holy Ghost into any certain channel of our choosing. Neither will we be ordering any of Jimmy Swaggart’s recordings on how to speak in tongues. All the instruction we need is right here in the Bible. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. If you want to help someone receive something from God, just tell them what is written right here in the Bible; if their faith takes hold of that, they will not need any instructions on how to hold their Is mouth, nor what to say in order to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
LOOKING TOWARD THE END
I feel like, in the face of all that I have said, I need to clarify one point. There have been people from time to time that have received a genuine experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost under conditions such as these we have described, but it was because of their sincere hunger for God, and certainly not because I someone maneuvered them into it. God can work in the midst of all such confusion, but He is not obligated to do so. God will meet a hungry soul wherever they are, but He does it on His conditions; remember that. If there was ever a time when Holy Ghost Christians needed to be abreast of what is going on in the world, it is right now. We are standing at a crossroads in time; great decisions are being weighed in the balances, two of which stand out above all the others. No. 1, What is the world at large going to do with Israel? No. 2, Is the present pope of the Roman Catholic church destined to fulfill the man of sin, and son of perdition scriptures for this last age? We all know that Israel is very much in the spotlight in these days. We all know also that she is the pendulum of practically all world affairs, on the trouble side of the picture. World conditions, either directly or indirectly point to Israel, for the Bible teaches us that all world conflict will have its climax right there on that little spot of land. Right there in that beautiful Jezreel valley, men will beautify Jezreel valley, men will be slaughtered by the thousands, but there are a few things prophetically to be fulfilled before that final battle that the whole world talks about. I see the stage being set for a nuclear war; not total destruction, but of a world shaking velocity, and when that happens; What one man do you suppose world leaders will look to for guidance? It will not be President Carter the world will rush to. Neither will it be Billy Graham; it will be the pope. The present pope has already made his world debut. Now he is marching across the stage of time and great masses of humanity fall at his feet everywhere he goes; they love him; he is the kind of leader they have been looking for. He loves everyone; he humbles himself and kisses the ground everywhere he goes; why wouldn’t he be a great world leader? The stage is set already; all it will take (if he is the one) to put him in control of a great world peace pact is an international emergency. Knowing these things must shortly come to pass, causes me to believe that God has some people somewhere that are going to experience some special blessings, something that no charismatic evangelist can duplicate nor manipulate to his own advantage. Right now God is withholding Himself, but in the near future He is going to do something, sovereignly, for those individuals who are believing His word and walking with Him in truth.
Through the years we have heard much about initial evidence, what it is, or what it is not; therefore I want to take enough time in this message to thoroughly deal with what so many refer to as the initial evidence in the experience of receiving the Holy Ghost. Most people who refer to, or make use of this term, are applying it to speaking in unknown tongues, but very few of them have ever taken the time to examine closely, what really happened on the day of Pentecost. For too many people I grab hold of the emotional, or we will say the sensational side of the Holy Ghost experience, or what man calls the Holy Ghost experience, and the fact that what they receive never leads them into the truth, proves that they did not receive the experience John and Jesus spoke of at all; what they received was a counterfeit. Do not be so foolish as to think people cannot create a spirit; they can. If you do not believe me: just hang around one of these disco dance joints for a while and you will learn differently. You may not even believe in what they are doing in those places, (I pray that you do not) but if you hang around there long enough, you will be shaking your bones to pieces just like they do. Why? Because that spirit gets off on you, that is why. You will pick up the spirit of whatever, and whoever you hang around with nine times out of ten. That is why it pays to stay close to folks who are genuinely filled with the Holy Ghost: they cultivate an atmosphere for the Spirit of God to move in. It is just like Jesus said in John 15:26, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, He shall testify of me.” When you spend enough time around people who genuinely testify of Jesus, if there is anything in you that can respond to God, it will have an effect on your life. The Holy Ghost convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, and leads hungry souls into all truth. But what about the evidence that you have received this Spirit? Is it necessary to have evidence? If so, then what is it? First let me say, Jesus never did teach His disciples to look for any kind of evidence. He just told them what the Holy Ghost would do for them, and enable them to do. Then He breathed upon them while He was assembled with them after His resurrection, and commanded them to receive the Holy Ghost. That was just a preparatory command; they did not actually receive the Holy Ghost until ten days after He ascended to heaven leaving them standing out there on the Mount of Olives. Well, Bro. Jackson, Did they receive any evidence with the experience? Let us just turn to the 2nd chapter of Acts and examine what they received, and then you tell me if you believe we should set that up as a gauge, or requirement, and if so: How many of you have had such an experience? Acts 2, verse 1, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they (the 120 disciples) were all with one accord in one place, (an upper room in Jerusalem). And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a RUSHING MIGHTY WIND, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them CLOVEN TONGUES like as of FIRE and it SAT UPON EACH OF THEM. And they were all FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, and began to SPEAK WITH OTHER TONGUES, as the SPIRIT gave them utterance.” Let me make sure you caught the main points in these four verses before going on. They heard a sound like a rushing mighty wind; cloven tongues of fire sat upon each of them, and they spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Let us read some more now, and see what this evidence amounted to as they went out into the streets of Jerusalem with it. Verse 5, “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, (that word, devout, means they were religious adherents to the law of Moses, very strict, not just of the general run of the Jews) out of every nation under heaven, (speaking of the known world at that time). Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because EVERY MAN (every man of these devout Jews from other countries) heard them (the 120 Galilean Jews, who only knew the Galilean language) speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” Verses 9 and 10, name the places where these devout Jews came from, and verse 11 concludes the list and says, “We do hear them (these Galilean Jews) speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” Brothers and sisters, be sure you get the picture here. These devout Jews and proselytes had gathered in Jerusalem from at least 16 other areas of the world, and they each had their native language. Those that came from Rome probably spoke Latin as their native tongue, and all the others whatever their native tongue was, and they had come to Jerusalem to be there for the celebration of Pentecost, but this was the very time that God had chosen for them to witness something else that He was going to do. Not only would they witness it, but they would reap the benefits of what was going to take place there. God used these signs as an attention getter, a drawing factor, and it caused the multitude to come together, and they were confounded at what they heard. Regardless of where they had come from, and what language they spoke at home, here stood some Galilaean Jews witnessing about Jesus in their hometown language. These 120 Galilean Jews that had just received the Holy Ghost were not speaking in unknown tongues, for there was someone there that could understand whatever language they were speaking in, some one dialect, and some another, so that every one of these devout Jews heard at least someone speaking in the language of his native country. The languages were unknown to those who were speaking them, and they were unknown to the other local residents of the area around Jerusalem, but someone was understanding every language that was being spoken by the 120 disciples of Jesus. Furthermore, they were all amazed at what was taking place. They knew these Galilean Jews had not gone to school to learn these international languages, so they began saying to each other, “What meaneth this?” That is when the local bunch of critics chimed in and gave their opinion. Verse 13, “Others (these local Jews that had condemned Jesus) mocking said, These men are full of new wine.” Why should they say such a thing as that? In our day they might have said, These men are full of moonshine. (illegal whiskey) The reason for such a statement was because these disciples, speaking in these strange languages, seemed to them like people that had been drinking a little too much and gotten drunk, and it was yet too early for the legal drinking establishments to be open. In other words, they are accusing them of being drunk on wine that they have made in their own basements: you know what I mean. That is why Peter answered them as he did, verse 14. “But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem. be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as YE SUPPOSE, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But 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: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams,” and so forth: you can read the rest of what Peter said from your Bible. To those who could not understand what was being said, I am sure they sounded like a bunch of drunk people. You have heard drunks try to talk when their speech would be so slurred it would just sound like a lot of jabbering. They just cannot get their mind and their tongue coordinated, so they stammer, trying to talk. Traveling in other countries and hearing the native people talk to each other, has helped me to better understand the scene in Jerusalem that day, especially in these international airports where you may be hearing a half a dozen languages all at the same time, and the only one you can understand is the one in English. All the rest could just be drunk people stammering, as far as the way it sounds to you. That is what it was like in Jerusalem that day. The local Jews could not make out anything that was being said. It just sounded like a bunch of drunk people stammering, trying to get their speech coordinated with their brain, to them, but the devout Jews from other countries were understanding all the various ones that were speaking in their native tongue. This is the very thing that Isaiah wrote about in the 28th chapter. Paul referred to Isaiah’s prophecy in 1 Cor. 14:21, when he was dealing with the subject of tongues. Isaiah had been rebuking the backslidden priests and prophets for their backslidden ways, their erring through strong drink, and unjust judgments. Then in verse 8, he said, “For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.” They had gotten to the place where they would turn the Jewish feast days into drunken, gluttonous parties, instead of the religious ceremonies that God had intended them to be, and Isaiah is speaking against it all. Then he said, “Whom shall He (God) teach knowledge? and whom shall He make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with STAMMERING LIPS AND ANOTHER TONGUE will He speak to this people.” Paul picked that up in his letter to the Corinthians and says, “Yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.”
TONGUES — A SIGN
Those legalistic, backslidden Jews of the same caliber as those Isaiah prophesied to, did not receive anything from the Lord when Peter and all those other Galilaean Jews were glorifying God in other languages, but there were three thousand devout Jews and proselytes from out of town that heard the wonderful works of the Lord spoken that day, and they repented of their sins, believed the gospel when Peter preached to them, and were added to the church. Paul said tongues were for a sign to unbelievers; he also said that if anyone spoke in an unknown tongue in the assembly of believers, there should be an interpretation of the tongues. But this thing that happened on the day of Pentecost was a different situation altogether. God acted sovereignly to get the attention of a great host of people, and certain people have based their doctrine on what happened there, and teach that no one has the Holy Ghost unless they receive it with what they call the INITIAL EVIDENCE. Brothers and sisters, you have to depart from the scriptures in order to teach such a thing as that. If we are going to require the initial evidence for all those who receive the Holy Ghost, then let us keep it at that; speaking a series of rehearsed words and phrases will not be sufficient to meet the requirement. When you go to the dictionary for a definition of the two words, INITIAL, and EVIDENCE, you find that the word INITIAL, pertains to the beginning of something, that which was first. Then the word EVIDENCE, pertains to an outward sign of some kind, something that furnishes proof. So when you put the two words together, and use them as the charismatics do. look what you have; you are actually saying that no one has the Holy Ghost unless they received it with the same signs that were present on the day of Pentecost, among the 120 disciples who first received the experience of the Holy Ghost baptism. Yet those who harp on initial evidence are not even coming close to what the initial evidence was; If you are going to have the initial evidence; you must have licks of fire sitting upon you, and you must hear a sound like a rushing mighty wind, and you must speak in other tongues that someone, somewhere, could understand without divine interpretation. Now be honest; how many people do you know who have received such an experience? Any true believer that will examine this closely, will never be bothered with this thing about initial evidence again. God does not need a lot of inspectors to examine the experiences He gives to those who love Him and keep His commandments. He has never commissioned anyone to examine believers to find out if they received the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The truth is, God does not dwell in technicality; He dwells in truth, and in the praises of His people.
WHAT ABOUT FAITH?
Faith is another thing that people argue and fuss about. Some say, I never accept any-thing until I first understand it; then another will say, Brother, you have got to accept it by faith first, then God will let you understand it. Saints: Listen to me! Do not pick at one another like that! God is sovereign; He can do it either way. It is true, some things we must accept by faith, before we understand them, or there would be no need for faith, but there are other things that God will enable us to understand perfectly, and that is why we accept them. You just cannot measure each other’s spirituality by any of these measurements men have a tendency to use. God has His own way of dealing with every individual person, and no one else has any right, nor authority to pick that person’s experience apart. I will say this to everyone of you. If you will just be sensitive to the Spirit of God and accept His word whether you understand it perfectly or not, then sooner or later, the Holy Ghost will paint a picture in your heart that will clear it all up there are other things that God will enable us to understand perfectly, and that is why we accept them. You just cannot measure each other’s spirituality by any of these measurements men have a tendency to use, God has His own way of dealing with every individual person, and no one else has any right, nor authority to pick that person’s experience apart. I will say this to everyone of you. If you will just be sensitive to the Spirit of God and accept His word whether you understand it perfectly or not, then sooner or later, the Holy Ghost will paint a picture in your heart that will clear it all up. Look what happened when Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Early in the morning on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, took sweet spices to the tomb where Jesus had been lain, with the idea that they would anoint Him properly for burial. But when they arrived the stone had already been rolled away from the doorway, and upon looking inside, all they saw in there was an angel, a young man dressed in a long white garment. He said unto them, “Be not affrightend: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: He is risen; He is not here: behold the place where they laid Him. But go your way, tell His disciples and Peter that He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as He saith unto you.” Those women ran to tell the disciples; Peter jumped up and himself, but even after finding the tomb empty, they still did not know what to think about what was going on. Later that day Jesus appeared to them in a room where they were gathered, and said unto them, “Peace be unto you.” Then He showed them His hands and His side, and His feet, and invited them to handle Him, in other words, touch Him and make sure that it was not a vision they were having, and that he was real and not a spirit. After that, He ate some food in their presence, all to convince them that it was really He that had been crucified two days before and placed in a tomb, that now stood before them. That is when He breathed on them, and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost,” a preparatory command to get their mind in a proper frame of thinking for what they were to receive later. Thomas was not present when all this took place; therefore when they told him what had happened, he said, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Whether you agree with the terminology or not, that is why this disciple has been called by many, doubting Thomas. Eight days later Jesus came right back, looked at Thomas, and said unto him, “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.” That caused Thomas to respond, “My Lord and my God.” Jesus then said to him, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Jesus continued showing Himself to various ones over a 40 day span of time, then He led His disciples out to the Mt. of Olives and ascended into heaven, leaving them to wait for the promise of the Father, which they received ten days later, as they waited in an upper room. The promise of the Father was that gift of eternal life from God. This became a belief to them, after it became an experience. Now listen to me; with the experience they received some sensations, but their faith was not to rest upon the sensations they received; it was to rest upon the word of the Lord. Do you catch the point? We are not to believe we received the Holy Ghost just because we spoke in tongues, or because we fell to the floor and laid under a church pew for two hours, and neither because of chill bumps up and down your spine; (I am not finding fault with any of these things) but we are to believe we have the Holy Ghost when we obey the word of God, because it is the promise of the Father. In other words, it is not the sensations that guarantee the experience; it is the word of God. God’s word will stand without the sensations, but the sensations cannot stand apart from the word. Maybe I could say that another way. If we believe the gospel and obey from the heart, God is obligated to give us the Holy Ghost, for it is a clear promise from His inspired word, but He is not obligated to give us any certain outward sign that others can measure our experience by. There are many gifts of the Holy Ghost; Paul explained that in the 12th chapter of 1 Corinthians. He said there are diversities of gifts, but it is the same Spirit that gives them. There are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. There are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will. How the Spirit of God manifests Himself in each of us is His sovereign choice; we do not control that.
ALL FLESH TO BENEFIT
I am thankful that God has bestowed the same gifts and signs upon the Gentiles, that He did upon the Jews who believed, in the beginning, but please remember, these references from Isaiah and Joel, which we used, were written to the Israelites. There is one thing in Joel’s prophecy that applies even to Gentiles. (when He said. I will pour out my Spirit upon ALL FLESH) but the prophecy itself was to the Jews. When he said, Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy: it was pointing to the descendants of Israel. In the preceding verses, God was not talking about restoring Gentiles; He was saying to Israel, I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the cater-pillar, and the palmerworm, and you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and my people will never be ashamed. That brings you to Joel 2:28, which all the charismatics harp on constantly, but please notice how that verse begins. 28 “And it shall come to pass AFTERWARD (AFTER WHAT? This restoration pertaining to Israel.) that I will pour out my Spirit upon ALL FLESH; (that includes Gentiles) and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, (speaking to Israel only) your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit.” Like I said, this scripture belongs to the Jews, even though Gentiles have been privileged to partake of the benefits of it. One thing I would have you notice in particular from these verses: when the Spirit would fall, it would not be falling only upon the ecclesiastical element of the society. It was to fall upon sons, daughters, old men, young men, handmaids and servants. That encompasses the society at large without respect to age or position in life. Let me say also, When these scriptures are used, please do not limit God by saying only old men are to dream dreams, and only young men are to see visions. It could be just the opposite of that, since God only used this language to show that the Holy Ghost is not going to fall only on a certain age bracket of people. That is the trouble with religion today: Gentiles have taken everything God ever did and ripped it to pieces, using only the framework of the genuine tc build their own interpretation and establish their dogmas. It is pitiful to think that the ancestors of every one of us was in the boat with Noah. They all had the same knowledge of God, and all started out from the same place after the flood, but look where we are today. Out of the descendants of Shem, God produced a certain race of people to keep a certain revelation alive; the Jews are God’s chosen people for that purpose. All the rest of the human race has been divided into hundreds of different religious denominations, all claiming to have the truth; and most of them are nowhere close to the truth. Brothers and sisters: Just think, all of this religious mess in the world today has sprung from one family; we are all descendants of Noah. It just goes to show how that old self willed nature of Cain came right on across the flood and out on this side in the attributal makeup of Noah’s sons. When the sons of God began to marry those women from Cain’s descendants. It produced generations of people with mixed genes that has passed that old nature of Cain right on down to the whole human race, so that today, none of us are completely free from it. We have explained in other massages, how the woman furnishes half of the chromosomes, and the man the other half, that actually makes up the nature of the child that is born from their union. In each of us lay the attributes of all our ancestors, that does not mean that any certain trait of our forefathers will necessarily manifest in us, but there is always the possibility, and every generation passes those hereditary possibilities right on down to their children through the genes, and Satan is doing everything he can to fill the church houses with make-believers in our present generation. He is inspiring that old Cain nature to want to be religious, but that self-willed nature will not follow truth and holiness. There has never been a time in history when so many people went to church as there is in our day and age, but if you will check their revelation, you will find most of them bringing Cain’s fruit and vegetables to the altar of God. “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” (2 Timothy 3:5) God truly has been pouring out His Spirit upon all flesh, and we Gentiles who were once afar off, have now been included in the promise of Acts 2:38-39, but not all who profess to have received this promised blessing, have actually received it. The fruit they bear will vindicate my words. Whether we want to believe it or not, the Spirit of God is leaving the Gentiles. That lets me know that somewhere God has two Jewish prophets ready to step on the scene to fulfill Revelation 11:3-12. Those two men may not know yet what they are destined to do, but I am persuaded that we are too close to the end, for them not to be born yet. I have never been a date setter, and I do not intend to set any dates now, but I do feel that it is safe to say that all of this unrest, all this political disturbance, and all this vying for power in the Middle East will never let up until it leads to the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 and 39. Naturally when that takes place it will be time for those two Jewish prophets to get ready to prophesy.
Talking about the Spirit of God leaving Gentiles reminds me of something I read in the Jerusalem Post recently. Right at a time when the whole world is being pushed into a corner by the pressures of the oil and energy situation, a Jewish physicist has invented a device that can be used to locate oil beneath the ground. They have proved that they can locate oil with that thing, and one American oil company has already offered one hundred thousand dollars for the first workable device of this kind that they can get. The article said this device is guaranteed to save oil companies millions of dollars on drilling expenses. It is ironic that the very race of people that the whole world seems to be down on, is the people that God is giving the technique and know-how to make this Gentile world look silly. America has had her hour of pride in modern technology and modern unique military equipment, but our day of pride in such, has come and gone. I say, From now on, if there is anything new and unique to be invented, you will see the Jews taking the forefront. God has gathered them from the four corners of the earth and restored them to the land of their forefathers, and now He is slowly turning His attention back to blessing those people. They may be few in number, compared to many other nations of people but they will accomplish things in this end time that will astound the great world powers.
RESULTS OF PETER’S VISION
Let me get back to my subject now. I was talking about how Gentiles were included as recipients of the promise of the Father, when Peter, speaking to Jews in Acts 2:39, said, “For the promise is unto you, (you Jews) and to your children, (more Jews) and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Brothers and sisters, right there is where we Gentiles were included in the promise. The apostle Peter did not know when he uttered those words that the Spirit of God would, one day, lead him to a house full of Gentiles, to use the keys of the kingdom of heaven that Jesus had entrusted him with. But about 7 years later when he was on a missionary journey, preaching the gospel throughout a certain area, Peter came to a place called Lydda, where he healed a man that had been bedfast with the palsy for eight years. (He did not pray for that man; he just simply said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed.”) From there, he was called to Joppa because a certain disciple named Dorcas had died, and when he arrived and found all the widows weeping and showing all the coats and garments that Dorcas had made while she was with them, he put them all out of the upper chamber where Dorcas was lying, kneeled down and prayed, then turned to the dead body and said, “Tabitha, arise.” She opened her eyes and sat up, and Peter called the others in and presented her alive to them. Naturally a thing like that became known throughout all Joppa and the reaction of the people caused Peter to stay there for many days after that, preaching the gospel, for many of those people believed in the Lord after that resurrection got their attention. Peter was staying in the home of another man named Simon, a tanner by trade, and one evening while he was waiting for supper to be prepared, he just took that time to go up on the flat roofed house top to pray, not knowing what God was getting ready to do. He had always been a very staunch type of Jew, having no dealings with the Gentiles, neither partaking of anything that the Jews considered unclean. But while he kneeled there in prayer God showed him a vision. In a trance, he saw heaven I opened, and something coming down that looked like a great sheet tied together by the four corners, and in it were all kinds of four footed beasts and creeping things, and fowls of the air, and a voice said unto him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” This was done three times, and it left Peter wondering what such a vision could have been given for, but he did not have long to think about it, for God had been working on the other end of something that was about to take place, also. A Roman centurion, a Gentile, had seen a vision also. In his vision, an angel of God came to him, saying, “Cornelius, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.” Saints: I am calling your attention to this instance in the scriptures, because I want you to see how sovereignly God works circumstances to accomplish His will. Some people try to make God so helpless in their appeals, especially some of these preachers that are forever begging for money to carry out their little man made programs. They try to make it sound like God is helpless, unless you send them so much money, 1,000.00. 500.00, 100.00 or whatever you have; we have got to do so and so, this and that, or certain people will be lost forever, they will say. That is not so; God has never called a preacher to be a beggar for Him, nor to do any scheming to get someone into the kingdom of God. It just isn’t done that way. God did not even tell Peter ahead of time that he was to preach the gospel to a group of Gentiles. He just worked circumstances to get Peter where they were, and gave him a vision that opened up his closed mind toward Gentile people. You all know the story from the 10th chapter of Acts; Cornelius sent three men to get Peter, according to the angel’s instructions, and when they arrived at Simon’s gate, the Spirit bade Peter to go down and go with them, doubting nothing. Peter went down to the men; they told him their story, and the next morning Peter and certain other brethren went with them to the house of Cornelius in Caesarea, a Roman city possibly about 60 . miles from Joppa. (Very few Jews lived in that area because of the Romans.) This man Cornelius, even though he was a Roman army officer, was probably a Greek. I say that because his was primarily a Greek name. The reason he is referred to as a Roman, is because he was definitely a Gentile, and carried Roman citizenship. That is no great mystery though, for they have even found certain things that indicate the Roman army that besieged Jerusalem in 70 A.D. had German soldiers in it also. Now this Cornelius had evidently become sort of a proselyte to the extent that he believed in the God of the Jews enough to pray to Him, and give alms to help Jewish people, so God sent an angel to him in a vision, and this angel told him that his prayers and his alms had come up for a memorial before God. He is described as being a just man, and one that feareth God, and has a good report among all the Jews, but he still needed the new birth. Peter did not know that he was going to preach Jesus Christ to these Gentiles, he only knew that they were to hear words from him, and when he came into the home of Cornelius; the first thing he saw was Cornelius kneeling down at his feet to worship him. That is a Gentile for you; they had been taught that by the Roman emperors. You can still see that the same old spirit manifested itself in Rome today. Someone is forever kneeling or bending down to kiss the feet or the ring of those Roman Catholic popes, and they love and expect it, but not Peter; he reached down and took hold of Cornelius saying, “Stand up: I myself also am a man.” (If those popes were really successors of the apostle Peter, they would do the same thing Peter did. They would not allow men to worship them, for only God Himself is to be worshipped like that.) As Peter stepped inside the house and saw all those other people there, he began to say, “Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath chewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore I came unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me?” Cornelius relates to Peter what he had seen and heard in a vision, and commends him for coming immediately, then says, “Now we are all gathered here to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.” Peter had no commandment as far as what to say or do when he arrived there; he had only been dealt with about his attitude toward Gentiles, and it was circumstances that had brought him this far, but he did know that those circumstances were planned by God, only that the Spirit of God has told him to go with those men, doubting nothing.
GENTILES RECEIVE HOLY GHOST
Brothers and sisters, try to think for just a moment how old Peter must have felt as he stood there in the midst of a house full of Gentiles, knowing they were expecting him to tell them something, and he had not been told what to tell them. He knew he was a preacher of the gospel though; and everywhere else, he had preached about Jesus Christ, so if God had sent him here it must be for the same purpose, even though, up until this time he had preached to no one but Jews only. Peter opened his mouth and said, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” He went right on preaching and testifying about Jesus, and in verse 43, he said, (still talking about Jesus) “To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision (Jews) which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded him to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.” First, let me say this, Peter did not have to be the one to do that; it could have been someone else, for it was every bit a sovereign act of God, but God chose him to preach the message of Jesus Christ to them, then He (God) did the rest. Peter was one who could put his approval on this thing that was done among these Gentiles, when he had to make a report to the church at Jerusalem. Some of the Jewish brethren contended with him for going into the home of a Gentile, but he rehearsed the whole matter to them, and said, “Forasmuch then God gave them the like gift as He did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was that I could withstand God? Now Peter was not establishing an evidence in his report to the church at Jerusalem, but just suppose he had gone to the house of Cornelius, preached the gospel and nothing at all happened. Would you please tell me what he could have come back and told those Jewish brethren at Jerusalem; Most of them still had that old traditional idea that all Gentiles were dogs, anyhow, and that no Jew should even get close to them. Therefore God wanted Peter to bring back a report that none of them could find fault with. If God gave a group of Gentiles the exact experience that He had given the first 120 disciples in the upper room, then surely they must have recognized that God is no respecter of persons between Jews and Gentiles. They also knew that God did not need anyone to teach them to speak in tongues, and we do not need anyone in our day to teach any such either. The apostle Paul came across twelve men in Ephesus that had been baptized unto repentance according to John’s baptism, but when he found out that was all they had, he told them about Jesus Christ, and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the promised gift of the Holy Ghost to them that obey from the heart, and when they heard that, they were baptized according to Acts 2:38. Then Paul laid hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost, spake with tongues and prophesied. Their prophesying fulfilled some more of Joel’s prophecy, but never did learn anything about the initial evidence. Please believe me, Saints, if there had been any such thing that believers should expect upon receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost, Paul would have written about it in the many epistles he wrote to the churches. I will agree that in almost every account we have in the scriptures, when people received the Holy Ghost there was some kind of manifestation, but that does not give anyone the authority to teach the necessity for the initial evidence; we have already covered that. I have heard folks speak of various instances where there would be a stranger in the congregation, or maybe I should say, a person from another country, and someone would give a message in tongues, someone else would interpret, then the stranger would ask, Why did that person stand up and speak in, say, German, and then another stand up and speak in English, the same thing? These were not situations where someone was receiving the Holy Ghost, they were situations where God acted sovereignly to bear witness to the person who could understand both languages that were spoken. It happened like that in the Branham Tabernacle years ago when we were going there. One Sunday morning, right at the end of the service, a message in tongues was spoken and the interpretation given; a few minutes later the congregation was dismissed. Out in the parking lot one brother was stopped by a man who wanted to know if he might ask the brother a question. He said, I came in late and did not hear all of the sermon, but I was there when that person stood up and spoke in German, then spoke the same thing in English; What was that done like that for of course the brother had to take some time to explain it to the man, but my point is this, There was no one receiving the Holy Ghost and doing this; it was just a message in tongues and the interpretation. The fact that someone speaks in tongues does not necessarily mean that it is the same thing that happened to the 120 disciples on the day of Pentecost, but I will say this, If it is exactly the same, then God is using it to speak to someone else who is hearing what is said.
PHILIP AND THE EUNUCH
God did truly give the same measure of the Holy Ghost to we Gentiles that He gave to the Jews at the beginning, but there is no certain order of evidence given to watch for. Think about Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. What kind of instructions did Philip give him? Did they build an altar out there in the desert so the old eunuch could get down on his knees and pray through? Absolutely not. Philip climbed up into the chariot and preached the gospel to him while they rode along. The next thing we read is that they came to a certain place where there was water, and the eunuch said to Philip, “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” Philip did not say one word to that man about praying through, speaking in tongues, joining the church, nor anything like that; he just said, If you believe with all your heart, you may, so they stopped the s you believe with all your heart, you may, so they stopped the chariot, went down into the water, Philip baptized him, the eunuch climbed back up into the chariot, and went on his way rejoicing, and the Spirit of the Lord picked t Philip up and carried him all the way out of the desert. He got the only PLAIN AIR RIDE that we know about in that first church age. Yes, Bro. Jackson, but the Bible does not say that the eunuch received the Holy Ghost. I realize that, but do not be so foolish as to think God would take Philip away from a great revival down in Samaria just to waste his time on one lone man out in the desert that would not go on for God after his baptism in water. You may see such playing around with God in those modern day churches, but you will never find God playing around; when He moves sovereignly to do a certain thing, you will see fruit come from that thing that He does. But, Bro. Jackson, Doesn’t the Bible teach us that we should tarry for the Holy Ghost? No. That was just for those first disciples; they had to wait until certain things were accomplished, ten days to be exact, but after that, the tarrying operation was over with. Ever since that day, it has just been a matter of people getting their hearts right. I grant you, a lot of people do tarry and pray, sometimes even for weeks, or even years, but not because God requires it; they just have to get themselves in a right frame of believing. When people want something from God, if they would go after it as sincerely, and as positive as they go shopping for a new car, or new living room furniture, they would get the Holy Ghost, and also, other things from God just as quick. Do you know why I said that? Usually when people go out shopping like that, they already have their minds made up, they are going to get what they want, no matter what they have to do, yet when they come to God for something they are just hoping God will hear them. You can hear such things as, “I don’t know whether it is the will of God (or me to have this or not; I know I am not worthy.” Brother! Sister! Do not allow yourself to talk like that! If we only got what we are worthy of; every one of us would be in hell. We are not worthy of anything that God does for us. That is the reason Paul wrote, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God: (a gift is not a gift if you have earned, or merited it.) Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9) No. The Bible does not say that God saves us and seals us with the Holy Ghost because we are worthy; it says He does all this because He loves us. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have I everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Do I not ever allow yourself to worry about whether you are worthy or 2 not; that has nothing whatsoever to do with what we get from God. 2 We should only think about our 2 unworthiness when we are giving God thanks and praise for what He has already done for us. What a God is looking for in each of us is faith to believe His word. You have heard me say that God is not obligated to do anything for us, and that is true in the sense that I meant it, but there is one way that God does become obligated to do something for us. When we genuinely repent and we are baptized in water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we come up out of that water with a new attitude toward God, somewhere in your life God is obligated to give you the Holy Ghost. Meeting the conditions that the word of God stipulates must proceed a promised blessing, is the only way we can obligate God to do something for us, and even then it is still by His sovereign grace and mercy, for without Him we can do nothing. Saints, any way you look at it, and regardless of what manifestations of the Spirit you may witness, it is still God working out His predetermined plan for the ages.
RESTORATION OF CERTAIN GIFTS
I am reminded of some of the testimonies I have read from the days when God began to pour out His Spirit upon some people in the early part of this twentieth century. At Topeka, Kansas. January 1, 1900, there were no devout Jews present when God began to manifest something; it was a group of Methodists that had been fasting and praying for several days wanting God to do something. They were hungry for a move of the Spirit of God, and all of a sudden one sister began speaking in an unknown language. This was strange to them, and they did not want to have anything to do with it if it was not scriptural, so they went to the Bible to search the scriptures. When they read the 2nd chapter of Acts, they said, This is the same thing that took place on the day of Pentecost. In a figurative sense it was, but like I pointed out already, it was not the exact thing that took place on the day of Pentecost or there would have been some foreigner present that would have understood every word the woman spoke. Can you see that: What I want to get established is the fact that what God did around the turn of the century was not to give a particular sign to a race of people, but He was restoring back n to the church something she had last through the past centuries of time, the outward manifestations of the Spirit of God in the lives of believers. Through the reformers FAITH had been restored; (The just shall live by faith.) ETERNAL SECURITY had also been restored along with PREDESTINATION and SANCTIFICATION, but up until this period around the turn of the century, we do not find history recording anything about any man having a definite call of God to pray for the sick, nor do we find where they spoke of receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but these gifts belong in the body of Christ, therefore God moved upon certain people to desire to be more like Him. That is what the Topeka, Kansas group was praying for, and later, when old Seymour went to California he was convinced that what the Kansas group received was something God wanted to spread throughout all Christianity. He did not know what to do, but he went believing, and that was what God I wanted him to do. The early experiences at Azusa Street, therefore, were not the result of someone laying hands on folks: people were inspired to believe God’s word, and the presence of God brought about many healings as well as folks receiving the Holy Ghost. That is what happens when a channel of faith is opened up, and people are hungry for God; He just moves on the scene and people get what they need without any man’s flesh being exalted in it. From this great outpouring of the Spirit at Azusa Street, certain men did, later, feel the call of God on their lives to go pray for the sick. They knew that God had placed in their lives a gift of one particular man (I will not even mention his name) who said he could tell when someone was going to be healed by a certain feeling that he would get in his hands. Of course that brings us back around to sensations again, but let me say this, Even though we should not live by sensations, if you know the truth, and you are willing to walk with God in that truth, you may have various sensations. Therefore I would urge you not to become hardened against sensations to the point where you would cast them aside as nothing; if you do you throw God out the door with them. Even a lot of those Old Testament prophets were slain under the power of the Spirit. Daniel was found in one place, down on his hands and knees with all of his strength departed from him, while the Lord was speaking to him; then an angel came and strengthened him. That just lets us know what the power of God can do to this human flesh. He can lay us out somewhere and leave us lay for hours, or He can pick us up like He did Philip, and transport us to a location many miles away. He can give us the Holy Ghost with, or without the manifestation of speaking in tongues, and He can do that without anyone laying hands on us and I praying for us, but regardless of how you receive your experience of the baptism of His Spirit, please remember, you were not given the Spirit of God to play with like a toy of some kind; you have been given the Spirit of truth and revelation, which is also the Spirit of certain manifestations. Therefore when He comes into your life, it is for the purpose of leading you into all truth and making you just like Jesus, and that means He will lead you to take on the name of Jesus in water baptism if you have not already done so by then. He will also teach you to keep a proper balance between His word and the manifestations that come by His Spirit. If we will learn to let Him lead us, there is no end to where God will take us. He will never stop His work in us until He has perfected the whole church and taken it to glory with Him. People in denominational churches have missed God because they drew up their articles of faith, then closed the door to the Spirit of God. By doing that, they left no room for God to reveal anything to them that their founder did not have, and we all know that God is revealing things here at the end time to the living element of His grace age bride, that those who lived in ages past did not need to know. We are living in the age when the bride is being washed and made ready for the wedding supper. She is being cleansed from all her former Babylonian teachings, and there is only one way for that to be done, by the washing of water by the word (Eph. 5:26) When Paul referred to the church, he was talking about overcomers; John is the one who (in the Spirit) saw the foolish virgins that had washed their salvational robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb in the great tribulation. (Rev. 7:13-14) In other words, those who fail to be washed by the word of God and made ready for the rapture, will have to give their lives in martyrdom during the last half of the seventieth week of Daniel. Who will this great multitude be made up of? All of those believers who had such a good time running to their charismatic meetings that they never would allow the Spirit of God to lead them into all truth and wash them by the water of His word. I believe what is written in Mark 16:16-18, myself, but I realize also, that those three verses alone will not wash you sufficiently to go with Jesus when He comes for His bride.
FOOLISH VIRGINS — TARES — ORTHODOX JEWS
Brothers and sisters: Listen to me! We all have relatives and close friends and acquaintances out here in these denominational churches, and naturally we would like to see every one of them taken up, in the catching away of the bride of Christ, but let us not be foolish: the Bible does not teach it like that. Some of those people out there in denominational churches will fall into the category of foolish virgins: they will have eternal life and live in the millennium in immortal bodies, but they will have to die for their faith in Christ at the hands of the beast, during the great tribulation. They will not go in the rapture when those who have been washed by the revelated word of God are taken up. On the other hand, the religious church world is filled with make believers. God will burn them along with all the rest of the ungodly. Do not bother to tell me I ought not talk like that; Jesus is the one who said it first; you can read it in the 13th chapter of Matthew, verses 24-43. I am aware of the fact that we cannot separate the make-believers from the genuine, but I am also aware of the fact that we are not supposed to: Jesus said, Let them all grow together until harvest time. Those make-believers will be allowed to go right on with their religious programs, offering their fruit and vegetable baskets (the works of their hands) to God until that last trump of God sounds. When that trumpet sounds, and the dead in Christ are raised to immortality, all those living ones that have been washed clean by the word will be changed to take on immortality also, then, together they will all be caught up to be with Christ while the Spirit of God goes back to deal with the Jews for 7 more years, which is the last prophetic week of Daniel’s seventy weeks. During the last half of that week all these foolish virgins will have an opportunity to seal their testimony of their faith in Christ when they are faced with one of two choices; either renounce faith in Christ, or hold that faith and be killed for it. Their martyrdom will wash their salvational experience; their robes will be clean when they are resurrected for the millennium; every trinitarian idea will have been washed away. Of course every make-believer will renounce Christ, accept the mark of the beast and be damned. They will lay in the ground for one thousand years while the foolish virgins are reigning with Christ and His bride in the millennium age. Brother Jackson: Where in the Bible does it say that the foolish virgins will be resurrected before the one thousand year reign of Christ? The two main scriptures are Revelation 7:14, and Revelation 20:4. These coupled with scriptures like 1 Cor. 15:51-52. and 1 Thes. 4;13-17, will help you to understand that those who are washed by the word according to Eph. 5:26, are taken up to be with the Lord before the tribulation, and others who are still holding on to their Babylonian trinity doctrine are seen by John coming up out of great tribulation, after having been beheaded for their witness of Jesus, and for the word of God. One thing is very clear though; both groups are seen reigning with Christ for one thousand years, and that can not be possible unless the 2nd group is resurrected before the thousand year reign begins. Now some will say, What makes you think those saints that come up out of great tribulation are Gentile foolish virgins; Why could they not be Jews? Actually there will be both
Jews and Gentiles in that great multitude that John saw in Rev. chapter 20, but you must remem-ber, the Jews that are killed by the beast during that time do not have the testimony of Jesus Christ, nor the blood of the Lamb (both terms are used.) Those terms apply only to Gentile believers, or we should say, grace age believers which are made up of people from all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues. Jews are to be martyred for their testimony of the word of God that they hold on to. The 144,000 Jewish men that are to be sealed with the Holy Ghost through the prophetic ministry of the two witnesses of Rev. 11:3, will not be killed. Neither will those other Jews who receive their testimony of Jesus Christ; God hides them in a prepared place until the tribulation is past, (Rev. 12:6.) But that still leaves a great host of Jews that the Antichrist and his henchmen will kill because of their faith in God.
THE FIFTH SEAL
Most of you who have been receiving our paper for a while are familiar with the revelated understanding of the 5th seal of Rev. 6:9-11. Remember now, in this vision John was projected into the future, all the way out to the end of the age, so that he was looking back down through times past and seeing all these things as they took place. Therefore, concerning the 5th seal, he says. “I saw under the altar (at the foot of the altar) THE SOULS OF THEM THAT WERE SLAIN FOR THE WORD OF GOD, and for the testimony which they held: (the testimony of their faith in Jehovah) And they cried with a loud voice (as they stood there looking up to Him that sat on the throne) saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” This is the souls of those Orthodox Jews which were killed in Hitler’s purge during WWII. Now notice verse 11. “And white robes were given unto every one of them: and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, not for hundreds of years, but for a LITTLE SEASON) until their fellow servants also and their brethren, THAT SHOULD BE KILLED AS THEY WERE, should be fulfilled.” This scripture does not pertain to every Jew that Hitler’s men killed; it only applies to those who believed in Jehovah : and held their testimony right to the end. Therefore, strictly on the merits that they had died for the word of God and their testimony of that faith in God, before anything was ever said to them, they were given white robes. That means they were given a measure of the Spirit of God. Then they were instructed to wait, or rest yet for a LITTLE SEASON until such time as some more of their brethren would be killed for the same reason. This time it will be the Antichrist instead of Hitler, but it will be by the same evil spirit. Satan would like to kill every Jew upon the face of the earth, for he knows the promise that God made to Abraham concerning his seed, and that promise was to go through Isaac, not Ishmael. But my main point is, God gave those souls under the altar a measure of the Holy Ghost, and He will do the same thing for another group later on, but they will not have the Holy Ghost in its fullness like the grace age bride has. Nevertheless, God is the only source of life there is, and to be given a measure of His Spirit is to be given life, eternal life. The terms, white robes and fine linen clean and white, do not apply to a particular cloth garment; this is God’s way of distinguishing between the bride of Christ with her pure clean revelation, and others who have eternal life also, but by a different measure of the Spirit of God. YOU CANNOT CHOOSE THIS In this Gentile church world some have been heard to say, Well, maybe if I don’t make it in the bride I can still make it as a foolish virgin. Do not allow yourself to think like that; that is d not a choice that God has put before you. If God has called you to salvation, you should be like Paul said in his Philippian letter. He said, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” If God calls you to a revelation of e truth and you receive a genuine experience of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, you are not given a choice as to whether you want to be perfected for the bride of Christ or just wait back and be a foolish virgin. Romans 8:29 reads s like this, “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He (Jesus) might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Hallelujah! Brothers and sisters: That is what my soul is hungry for: to be made like Jesus. I delight in the word of God; it feeds my hungry soul, and s my greatest joy in preaching God’s word is when I see others who are hungry for truth, people who have determined to move when God says move. It grieves me to hear people say, “You must say everything just like the prophet said it.” These same people claim that there is no further revelation to be given to the bride of Christ, and they do their level best to try to destroy my image and my character. There are some who travel around the world preaching against Raymond Jackson, instead of preaching the gospel. I spend very little time worrying about them though, for God has called me to preach His word; I leave it up to Him to defend me, if I need any defense. There is one thing sure: Such characters as this can never destroy truth that is already hidden in the hearts of true believers. Revelation in your spirit is what anchors you on that Solid Rock; then it doesn’t matter what kind of ill winds blow for you are on a foundation that will hold you.
GOD LEADS BY DREAMS
Last year (1978) when I came from Norway, I told about a man that came to the services and taped every message. He was just coming into this teaching out of a Baptist background, I believe, and did not know much about the teaching, nor about all the division that is among people who are supposed to be restored to Bible truth; therefore he just duplicated the tapes and made them available to whoever wanted them. The months passed and time came for the convention of 1979; the other element of this message had theirs a couple of weeks before the one I was scheduled to speak in, and this brother and his wife (not knowing about all the division between the two groups) happened to be on vacation and camping close to their meeting place, determined to attend the services. He said they had hardly gotten themselves seated, when here comes two of the brothers, and says to him, Bro. So and So: (I’ll not call his name) you must stop distributing Raymond Jackson’s message tapes: Don’t you know that he is not really teaching this message in truth? He doesn’t believe it like the prophet (Bro. Branham) said it. This brother replied, “Where does he disbelieve? I have studied the scriptures along with what he has taught us, and cannot find any fault with his teaching. Everything he teaches us lines right up with the scriptures.” Naturally they gave him all their familiar excuses, and it really made him feel bad. He said he went to bed that night and God gave him a dream. I will try to repeat it like he told it to me. In the dream I saw you, Bro. Jackson, preaching to a great audience of people. I saw myself come into the meeting, so depressed, and feeling so bad. As I stood there, you looked back and motioned for me to come up where you were. When I came close enough, you reached out and gave me a flip up in the air (This man is 6 feet tall and weighs over 200 pounds) while you were still preaching. At that, I started rising from the earth and began feeling wonderful. When I looked back, Bro. Jackson, you were coming up right behind me, but then I awakened. Not knowing what such a dream meant, I went and told it to the men that had told me to stay away from you. (I know those men; they are very much against me.) They interpreted the dream to mean that I should stay away from you, or I would become very confused. I told them that I was not the least bit confused, that I had studied everything you had preached and could find no fault with it. I will say this though, Bro. Jackson, there was still a lot that I did not understand, so I decided to go back to their services again. We knew those people and loved them, but Bro. Jackson, I never heard such confusion in all my life. One brother would be arguing with another one about certain statements, and everywhere I turned, I heard nothing but arguing and fussing. I thought to myself, What is going on here? Why can they not love each other and fellowship together without all this confusion? It just made me feel terrible. I went to bed that night feeling so burdened, but I went to sleep and had another dream. In this dream I saw myself sleeping in a basement underneath the place where these folks were having their meetings. I could hear them fussing and arguing, and in the dream I thought, Oh why don’t they stop that! Then he thought, I will just go up and see what they are doing. Bro. Jackson: When I walked into their midst I could hear nothing but fussing and arguing. I saw myself standing there looking at them and thinking, Why can’t they just love each other, without all this confusion. Then I looked off at a distance and saw a particular, beautiful woman looking straight at me. He said, Bro. Jackson: It was not the I kind of look that would make you feel that she was admiring you physically. She was beautifully dressed, and kept looking straight at me while I stood there looking at the group over. Finally I said to myself, I have got to get out of here. Then I saw myself turn and start walking out the door. As I walked off into the night, I was feeling so let down, wanting to see the love of God manifested among those people so badly. Then I heard a voice call out from behind me, Wait! When I looked back it was this beautiful woman stepping out the door. I waited and she walked up beside me, saying, I will walk with you; I cannot stand that either; I must leave also. (I knew by this time that this was God’s way of leading this man.) He said, Bro. Jackson: I knew most of the people there, this woman was not one of the group so what do you believe the woman represented? I said to him, She represented the true church that needs to get out of that mess of confusion.
KEEPING UP TO DATE
Brothers and sisters: What God wants is some clean minds that know how to respect truth. If people will just respect God, and let Him lead their lives, I am sure we are close to a time when God is going to give His true people some experiences that will make anything that has happened in past years look old fashioned. What God has done in the past was for them, but He is still a living God and what His people have need of in this day is what He is going to be doing for them. What He gives me to preach is what people living in our day need to hear. It does not matter whether Bro. Branham ever preached it or not, and even if he did, I still do not believe I am required by God to quote word for word just like he preached it. If that is all we are going to do, we do not need the Holy Ghost in our lives; we can read sermon books without the Holy Ghost. That is being proved all around this old world by the vicious attitudes of many of the preachers who use nothing but quotes. May God help me to continue doing my preaching from the Bible until He is finished with me. In respect to what God can do, let me relate a little something that a brother in Tongaat, South Africa wrote me after we returned from there. He said, Bro. Jackson: I will just brief this and not take up too much of your time. There is much confusion here in South Africa; then he briefly told me some of what was going on there. He said, Bro. Jackson: we are receiving your papers, and they have helped some of us to get many things straightened out, but I found myself praying to God about two years ago, and asking Him, Will you send Bro. Jackson to South Africa? One night after that, I saw myself in a dream, and I was watching you coming across the ocean, walking on the water, coming to South Africa. Bro. Jackson, when you did come, you cannot imagine how thrilled my soul was, because you answered the many questions that had been uppermost in our minds. Brothers and sisters: Please do not feel that I tell this kind of thing to exalt my flesh. My flesh is no better than anyone elec.’s, but I love to exalt the God I serve, and I tell these things for your edification, things that will let you see a living God still working in and through the lives of His people. Praise His name! Hallelujah! I love Him, and I love to walk with Him. I will respect the experience of any person who will walk with God in truth. It does not matter what we have been mixed up in, in times past, or what we have been delivered from; it is what we do with whatever we have of the genuine, that God is looking at. You respect truth, and God will respect you. Therefore, Saints, I leave you with this, Open up your hearts and let the Son shine in. He is truth, He is life, and He is the very God of all creation; not the flesh of Jesus, but the omnipresent, eternal Spirit that indwells that flesh. Amen.