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Chapter 20 - Holy Spirit
After the fall and ruin, the Holy Spirit still moves as the life principle of God. He now groans throughout all creation, as well as in the heart of the believer, and waits for the day of triumph and consummation. He brooded over the earth in the beginning to bring it to its creation. Now He groans through us to bring it to its redemption.
The Holy Spirit will live in anybody who will let Him. We talk of the humiliation of Jesus in taking upon Himself the form of man. That’s fine, but I think it’s also tremendous to know that the Holy Spirit has never assumed a body of His own. He says, “I will dwell in you. You will be My temple.”
Jesus says in John 16:13, “1 have many things I would like to talk to you about; but you cannot now take them, but afterward the Holy Spirit will lead (guide) you into all Truth.” It’s a leading —that means utter dependence.
These songs (see JWF’s book of Hymns) came to me in the Spirit. I remember standing with my guitar singing songs in the Spirit I had never heard sung; pouring out in the Spirit were the music and the song, the Whole thing born right out of that instrument, more than once. Have you ever been in a meeting where the Spirit would fall, and we would sing in the Spirit that way? It was a real manifestation of the Holy Spirit. But We don’t have any of those early, lovely manifestations any more—any Pentecost that I know of. That was all very real. I am glad I came in in the early days, because that lovely thing had not been touched, nor tampered, nor meddled with by people, and there was no one to spoil or channel it. You see, it is in man’s power to always channel it, label it, and have it arranged. God doesn’t like that.
Now the two characteristic marks of the early Pentecost that I remember were originality in the moving the Spirit, and spontaneity. Those two marks, I think are all blurred now. I have been in Pentecostal meetings a lot, but even in this outpouring that we have now, those two marks are not evident. There was an originality of the Spirit, but no one today wants to find room for it. They encourage the Spirit and tell Him what to do! That is wrong! When the Holy Spirit wants to work, we don’t need to encourage or instruct Him in a thing, but it has come to that method where He has no original design or pattern, because He is so coached by all the rest: “Get them in the Spirit . . . let . . .”
I always want to say, “Sit down; this is holy stuff; don’t touch it.” But you dare not do that. When the Holy Spirit had His way in those early days, He did unusual things which would be original and spontaneous—not studied, and no one planned for it. I have gone to meetings just dozens and dozens of times when not one would know who was going to have any part in the meeting at all most informal. The Holy Spirit might use this person or another as a channel through whom he would provide the theme for that meeting. It would be the key for that gathering, and the meeting would center around that one theme.
Maybe the next night that person wouldn’t have the Spirit on him at all, but another one would have a leading of the Spirit, and God would bring forth. It was spontaneous; it was not studied; we never had any programs made; in fact, we didn’t know what they were. That can be maintained for a while—not too long. Religious flesh—not bad, vulgar, cussing, swearing, flesh, but religious flesh can spoil a thing as much as getting drunk. You don’t have to get drunk to spoil it; just be religious. How many know you can be religious, and not spiritual? I have seen that.
I would like to see the spontaneity of the Spirit rather than the efforts of man encouraging and handling it. The things in God don’t need that; they don’t need that. They need flesh to be quiet in His Presence. I have been in meetings where we didn’t have one moving at all —not a hymn—not a prayer—not a scripture lesson, and sat in the Presence of the Lord two hours without one single manifestation of any description; then get up and go home so refreshed one would think he had a spiritual bath! I don’t see that any more.
What would our meetings today be like if anyone would dare to be quiet? It’s like the two people who sat in a meeting; one sat so serenely, and so quietly, and then there was the extrovert: explosive, and demonstrative.
He was saying, “Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory!” He said to the other man, “Haven’t you any glory, brother?” The other man said, “Yes, mine is glory unspeakable!” I thought that was good. “Yes, mine is unspeakable, and full of glory.” We don’t need to arrange anything; just move with God. We can’t regulate it. He would sometimes do the most surprising things, but we never knew how it would be. It can’t last too long; man will always be there trying to manipulate the things of the Spirit.
Now concerning the word ‘power’ as used in the New Testament, we find our English translators have combined two Greek words into one. There needs to be a distinction made here:
2. Exousia: Authority: that is always mine. (John 10:18) You will notice that He says, “When He, (the Holy Ghost) is come upon you, then things will happen.” Why? Because the ability, the power to execute, the power to make good, the power to bring the thing through (dunamis) that is always His. He only lends the power to us, when the occasion demands; the dunamis; to make that thing do. Then the Holy Spirit comes upon us, the ability is ours, and then He lifts it. Why? To keep us dependent and humble, where we belong.
Now the other meaning of the word ‘power’ is seen where Jesus said, “I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it up again: The word ‘power’ (exousia) in this verse means authority. He went into the grave, and He did not come forth of His own power! He had authority, but God had to exercise the power (dunamis)! God, through the eternal Spirit raised Him from the dead.
The power of authority, and the power to execute, are two different things.
Every little while, as occasion demands, He drops the Holy Spirit—the dunamis—over me, and I have the ability to do that which His will calls for. Immediately after, I couldn’t do that thing to save my life.
We receive power to do the thing which He permits. He will give us only enough power as the occasion demands, and after that, we might as well sit down. God retains the right to dispense the power. God is yet sovereign. He only gives the measure when the occasion arises. That is why none of us can take the initiative to do things.
The naked Word hasn’t any power at all, but when He speaks that Word to my heart, the Spirit quickens it, and it becomes creative. Faith and power come with the creative Word.
What is the attitude I am to take? —Lord, speak to my heart the things for which You want me to believe. Indicate to me what You want me to do in this situation. Then when He speaks the Word to my heart it is like dynamite—that thing will hold me through anything, and the devil can’t hold anything against me when God gives me the Word.
“And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written . . .” (Luke 4:17) He had definite instruction: it was Holy Ghost dictation. It does not say He hunted through the Scriptures until He found a passage which He always enjoyed. So many times the reading is what we like; not what He directs us to read. Oh, that He could only direct—direct in the choice of a hymn; a testimony; a verse, or what He desires! So many times the whole force and power of a meeting may hinge on a hymn suggested by the Holy Spirit.
Everything in Spirit moves in rhythm. Rhythm is all the way through Scripture—ascending and descending, moving in a rhythmic movement. We may be sharing, ministering, teaching out them, but not for long; we have to come back. This is His divine process:
Ascent = Glory, revelation, illumination, visitation.
Decent = Execution, demonstration.
Ascent = Jesus went up to Jerusalem —revelation.
Descent = He went down to Nazareth —“and was subject unto them.”
Ascent = He went up Mt. of Transfiguration—glory, revelation.
Descent = He went down to the foot of the mountain to the demoniac (you and I)—execution and demonstration.
Ascent = He went up to Calvary.
Descent = He went down to the tomb.
Ascent = He arose and ascended.
Descent = He has to come back again; it isn’t finished.
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