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Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 18 (1903) - Contents
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    Ms 157, 1903

    The Reception of the Holy Spirit


    October 27, 1903 [typed]

    This manuscript is published in entirety in AUCR 06/01/1904.

    Week of Prayer Reading for December, 1903.

    Christ’s commission, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” is spoken to every one of His followers. [Mark 16:15.] All who are ordained unto the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow men. Their hearts will throb in unison with the heart of Christ. The same longing of soul that He felt will be manifest in them. Not all can fill the same place in the work, but there is a place and a work for all. All upon whom God’s blessing has been bestowed are to respond by actual service; every gift is to be employed for the advancement of His kingdom and the glory of His name.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 1

    In every part of the world a message is to be proclaimed in the power of the Spirit. Not with tame, lifeless utterance is it to be given, but with clear, decided, stirring tones. Hundreds are waiting for the warning to escape for their lives and lay hold on the hope set before them in the gospel. The world needs to see in Christians an evidence of the power of Christianity. There should be many more at work in the Lord’s service, clothed with holy zeal, filled with a power proportionate to the importance of the message they proclaim. Not merely in a few places, but throughout the world, messengers of mercy are needed. From every country is heard the cry, “Come over and help us.” [Acts 16:9.] Rich and poor are calling for light. Thousands of men and women are standing on the brink of perdition. Do you see them, many of them lost, eternally lost, while professing Christians sleep the sleep of indifference?18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 2

    God does not ask us to do in our own strength the work before us. He has provided divine assistance for all the emergencies to which our human resources are unequal. He gives the Holy Spirit to help in every strait, to strengthen our hope and assurance, to illuminate our minds and purify our hearts.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 3

    Just before His crucifixion, the Saviour said to His disciples, “I will not leave you comfortless. ... I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.” [John 14:18, 16.] “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.” [John 16:13.] “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” [John 14:26.]18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 4

    Christ has promised to guide, comfort, and sustain His people. He declares, “I will be with you in your work of persuading men and women to be My disciples.” The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have pledged themselves to aid you in your unselfish efforts to turn men from unrighteousness to righteousness, from darkness to the light of truth.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 5

    It is the privilege of every soul to be a living channel through which God can communicate to the world the treasures of His grace, the unsearchable riches of Christ. There is nothing that Christ desires so much as agents who will represent to the world His Spirit and character. There is nothing that the world needs so much as the manifestation through humanity of the Saviour’s love. All heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the holy oil to be a joy and blessing to human hearts.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 6

    Christ has made provision that his church shall be a transformed body, illumined with the Light of the world, possessing the glory of Immanuel. It is His purpose that every Christian shall be surrounded with a spiritual atmosphere of light and peace. There is no limit to the usefulness of the one who, putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart and lives a life wholly consecrated to God.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 7

    The indwelling of the Spirit will be shown by the outflowing of heavenly love. The divine fulness will flow through the consecrated human agent, to be given forth to others.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 8

    What was the result of the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost? The glad tidings of a risen Saviour were carried to the uttermost parts of the inhabited world. The hearts of the disciples were surcharged with a benevolence so full, so deep, so far-reaching, that it impelled them to go to the ends of the earth, testifying: God forbid that we should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. As they proclaimed the truth as it is in Jesus, hearts yielded to the power of the message. The church beheld converts flocking to her from all directions. Believers were reconverted. Sinners united with Christians in seeking the pearl of great price. Those who had been the bitterest opponents of the gospel became its champions. The prophecy was fulfilled, The weak shall be “as David,” and the house of David “as the angel of the Lord.” [Zechariah 12:8.] Every Christian saw in his brother the divine similitude of love and benevolence. One interest prevailed. One subject of emulation swallowed up all others. The only ambition of the believers was to reveal the likeness of Christ’s character and to labor for the enlargement of His kingdom.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 9

    “With great power gave the apostles witness of [the resurrection of] the Lord Jesus; and great grace was upon them.” [Acts 4:33.] Under their labors there were added to the church chosen men who, receiving the word of life, consecrated their lives to the work of giving to others the hope that had filled their hearts with peace and joy. Hundreds proclaimed the message, “The kingdom of God is at hand.” [Mark 1:15.] They could not be restrained or intimidated by threatenings. The Lord spoke through them, and wherever they went, the sick were healed, and the poor had the gospel preached unto them.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 10

    So mightily can God work when men give themselves up to the control of His Spirit.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 11

    To us today, as verily as to the first disciples, the promise of the Spirit belongs. God will today endow men and women with power from above, as He endowed those who on the day of Pentecost heard the message of salvation. At this very hour His Spirit and His grace are for all who need them and who will take Him at His word.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 12

    Notice that it was after the disciples had come into perfect unity, when they were no longer striving for the highest place, that the Spirit was poured out. They were of one accord. All differences had been put away. And the testimony borne of them after the Spirit had been given is the same. Mark the word: “The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.” [Acts 4:32.] The Spirit of Him who died that sinners might live animated the entire company of believers.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 13

    The disciples did not ask for a blessing for themselves. They were weighted with the burden of souls. The gospel was to be carried to the ends of the earth, and they claimed the endowment of the power that Christ had promised. Then it was that the Holy Spirit was poured out, and thousands were converted in a day.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 14

    So it may be now. Let Christians put away all dissension and give themselves to God for the saving of the lost. Let them ask in faith for the promised blessing, and it will come. The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the “former rain,” and glorious was the result. [Hosea 6:3.] But the latter rain will be more abundant. What is the promise to those living in these last days?—“Turn ye to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope; even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee. ... Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so shall the Lord make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.” [Zechariah 9:12; 10:1.]18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 15

    Christ declared that the divine influence of the Spirit was to be with His followers unto the end. But the promise is not appreciated as it should be; and therefore its fulfilment is not seen as it might be. The promise of the Spirit is a matter little thought of; and the result is what might be expected—spiritual drought, spiritual darkness, spiritual declension and death. Minor matters occupy the attention, and the divine power that is necessary for the growth and prosperity of the church, and which would bring all other blessings in its train, is lacking, though offered in its infinite plenitude.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 16

    It is the absence of the Spirit that makes the gospel ministry so powerless. Learning, talents, eloquence, every natural or acquired endowment may be possessed; but without the presence of the Spirit of God, no heart will be touched, no sinner won to Christ. On the other hand, if they are connected with Christ, if the gifts of the Spirit are theirs, the poorest and most ignorant of His disciples will have a power that will tell upon hearts. God makes them a channel for the outworking of the highest influence in the universe.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 17

    Why do we not hunger and thirst for the gifts of the Spirit, since this is the means by which we are to receive power. Why do we not talk of it, pray for it, preach concerning it? The Lord is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to us than parents are to give good gifts to their children. For the baptism of the Spirit, every worker should be offering his prayer to God. Companies should be gathered together to ask for special help, for heavenly wisdom, that they may know how to plan and execute wisely. Especially should men pray that God will baptize His missionaries with His Spirit.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 18

    The Angel of the covenant is empowering His servants to be His witnesses to carry the truth to all parts of the world. He has sent forth His angels with their message. But as if these angels did not speed on their way fast enough to satisfy His heart of yearning love, He gives to John personally a message to be given to all. “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” [Revelation 22:17.] He has opened a fountain for Judah and Jerusalem, and every member of His church is to show his loyalty by inviting the thirsty to drink of the water of life. A chain of living witnesses is to carry the invitation to the world.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 19

    Are we fulfilling the commission given us? Have we placed ourselves where God can give us the power that He gave the disciples—power that enabled them to preach the gospel so mightily that thousands were converted in a day? How can we expect the approval of heaven while we leave our fellow beings unwarned? We need to humble ourselves before God because our efforts fall so far short of the efforts He desires us to put forth. The privileges that He has given us, the advantages that He has bestowed, the promises that He has made should inspire us with far greater zeal and devotion.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 20

    Our people in the home field have not felt as they should the responsibility of working for their neighbors. They have not prayerfully taken up the work lying before them. Earnest, sanctified efforts have not been put forth for those in America who are unenlightened. In this field there are many unworked cities, many places that should be made centers of truth.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 21

    Zeal for God moved the disciples to bear witness to the truth with mighty power. Should not this zeal fire our hearts with a determination to tell the story of redeeming love, of Christ and Him crucified? Is not the Spirit of God to come today in answer to earnest, persevering prayer, and fill men with power for service. Why, then, is the church so weak, so spiritless?18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 22

    Ye people of the living God, study the promises of His Word, and think how your lack of faith, of spirituality, of divine power is hindering the coming of the kingdom of God. If you were to go forth to do Christ’s work, angels of heaven would go before you, preparing hearts to receive the gospel. Were every one of you a living missionary, the message for this time would speedily be proclaimed in all countries, to every people and nation and tongue. This is the work that must be done before Christ shall come in power and great glory. Are you individually workers together with God? If not, why not?18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 23

    It is the privilege of every Christian, not only to look for, but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Were all who profess His name bearing fruit to His glory, how quickly the world would be sown with the seed of the gospel. Quickly the last great harvest would be ripened, and Christ would come to gather the precious grain.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 24

    My brethren and sisters, plead for the Holy Spirit. God stands back of every promise He has made. With your Bibles in your hands, say, I have done as Thou hast said. I present Thy promise, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” [Matthew 7:7.] Christ declares, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” [Mark 11:24.] “Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” [John 14:13.]18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 25

    The rainbow about the throne is an assurance that God is true, that in Him is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. We have sinned against Him and are undeserving of His favor; He Himself has put into our lips that most wonderful of pleas, “Do not abhor us, for Thy name’s sake; do not disgrace the throne of Thy glory; remember, break not Thy covenant with us.” [Jeremiah 14:21.] He has pledged Himself to give heed to our cry, when we come to Him confessing our unworthiness and sin. The honor of His throne is staked for the fulfilment of His Word to us.18LtMs, Ms 157, 1903, par. 26

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