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Lowell Brueckner

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The Baptism in the Holy Spirit II


“He who believes in Me (who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me) as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow (continuously) springs and rivers of living water. But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the (Holy) Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor).  

John 7:38-39, Amplified

“As the Scripture has said”

I cannot find any single verse or portion of Scripture that Jesus is citing here. It seems to me that Jesus is not referring to one certain promise or prophecy, but to a spiritual principle of which the Old Testament Scriptures taught in many parts and many ways. The symbol of water meant much to the Jew. Israel is “a land of hills and valleys which drinks water by the rain from heaven, a land that the Lord your God care for. The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year” (Dt.11:11,12). Waters symbolize the abundant blessing of God upon His people. They are waters in the desert: “I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants” (Is.44:8). They are “deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through” (Ez.47:5).

There are two stories in the Old Testament that prefigure the Baptism in the Spirit. One has to do with the Israelites crossing the Jordan River. In Egypt, the blood of a lamb, sprinkled over the doorposts of a house, saved each Israelite from the death angel; they were able to escape Egypt and the slavery of the tyrant, Pharaoh, who symbolizes Satan. Their salvation was not complete until they miraculously crossed the Red Sea on dry land; when the sea closed, their old life was left behind. Israel’s liberation from the slavery of Egypt symbolized salvation from sin, brought to pass by the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Every Jew could testify that he had been saved by the blood. Paul called the crossing of the Red Sea “a baptism” (1 Co.10:2), because it signified a death and a resurrection into a new life. Only the miraculous hand of God saved the Israelites from death that day; however, afterwards there was another baptism.

The plan of God was not completed, when Israel arrived on the other side of the sea. Before them was a great desert, which they had to cross, living in tents. It was impossible that hundreds of thousands of Israelites could rest there, building houses, planting and harvesting. God had promised a land that flowed with milk and honey, and wanted them to enter there quickly.

From the beginning, when God chose Moses to be their liberator, He gave him the plan: “Say therefore to the people of Israel… ‘I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them… I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession’” (Ex.6:6,8). It was never God’s intention that they should pass their lives in a terrible desert. He took them to the Promised Land. After they heard the spies tell of the threatening situations that they found in that land, they were full of fear. Because of their sin of unbelief, they had to wander 40 years in the desert, and only the following generation was allowed to enter.

At last, they arrived at the border of the Promised Land, but there they encountered another great obstacle: “The Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest” (Jos.3:15). In order to pass over the river, as they crossed the Red Sea, Israel had to experience a second miracle, that is, a second baptism. It was necessary to see again the powerful hand of God working, in order to take possession of the land. Once again, God opened the waters and they were “baptized” in the Jordan River, before entering the Promised Land. Then they erected a monument on the other side of the river, “so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever” (Jos.4:24).

Forty years and a desert were between the “two crossings”. There was a difference in time, place and purpose. The first helped them escape slavery and death; the second gave them possession of the Promised Land: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,” Jesus assured His disciples, “and you will be my witnesses… to the end of the earth.” Now, the plan of God will unfold. They will become involved with impossibilities: killing giants, tumbling walled cities, disposing of nations that were stronger than they, and taking possession of their lands… ALL by the power of God!

A second example in the Old Testament of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is that of Elisha, when he crossed the Jordan River. When Elijah found Elisha he threw his mantle over him. Elisha was never the same (1 K.19:19). As the Israelites left slavery behind, putting the Red Sea between them and the Egyptians, so Elisha abandoned his field, burnt his plow and killed his oxen. From that day, he followed Elijah, much as Israel followed Moses in the desert. However, he asked for a double portion of the Spirit (2 K.2:9). Elisha was there, when Elijah ascended into heaven and he witnessed it. He took the mantle of Elijah, which fell on him the second time, and with it he smote the waters. They opened, just as they had for Elijah, and Elisha crossed on dry land (2 K.2:14).

Elisha was clothed with power from on high. He experienced a ministry that surpassed that of Elijah. Jesus, referring to any of His disciples said: Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works that these will he do, because I am going to the Father” (Jn.14:12), however, “stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (Lc.24:49). They were there, when He ascended into heaven and His mantle, the Holy Spirit, fell on them.

There are many Christians that can only testify of a new birth and, of course, I will take nothing away from the greatness of that experience. However, they assume too much, if they believe that for that reason, they have been baptized in the Spirit. They have not yet entered into the complete plan of God, since they cannot testify of a second baptism. They are not yet able to testify to “the peoples of the earth… that the hand of the Lord is mighty” (Jos.4:24). They still have not crossed the flooding banks of Jordan and died to their human possibilities, in order to demonstrate through their lives, the miraculous power of God. They have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

The waters of Jordan are not only for the benefit of Israel; the Dead Sea, on the east side of their land, is a geographical lesson that teaches what happens to a body of water that has only an inflow, but no outflow; the water becomes stagnant and nothing can live in it. Concerning the waters in Ezequiel 47, verse 9, the Hebrew indicates a plurality… rivers that are filled with fish and on their shores, there are fishermen and trees. The waters that come in contact with the salt water, purifies it. The promise of the Spirit, given by Jesus, assured the believer that “from his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water”. The waters spring up and out, for the benefit of many other people!

Have you crossed the Jordan? Do you know the day and the hour, in which the mantle fell on you? Are you prepared to be a supernatural witness in the land of impossibilities? If you are not, then focus on this second great necessity. Do not continue wandering in the desert!

Acts 2:8 is not the same as Ephesians 5:18

No one questions that the baptism in the Holy Spirit, of which John the Baptist spoke, is that which finds its fulfillment in Acts 2. Nevertheless, chapter two does not use the term baptism, but rather filled with the Spirit. Commonly that is the term most used in the entire book of Acts. These people did nothing, but pray, and Jesus filled them, pouring the Holy Spirit over them, as He had promised. However, we should not confuse these experiences with the command of Paul, concerning what the born-again believer must do: “Be filled with the Spirit.”

Over this point, I would like to cite the words of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones from his book, “Joy Unspeakable,” which I believe to be the best that exists, concerning the theme of the Baptism of the Spirit: “Many people are utterly confused by what we read in Ephesians 5:18, ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the spirit.’ ‘Now there it is,’ they say, ‘be filled with the Spirit'. And the disciples were filled with the Spirit on the day of Pentecost.’ So these people tend to fall into the error and confusion of imagining that these two things are identical.”

“In Ephesians 5:18, as I want to show you, he is dealing with sanctification… it has really nothing to do directly with this whole matter of being able to define what is meant by the baptism with the Spirit. The baptism with the Spirit belongs to the category of the exceptional and direct… the great term is ‘poured out’. This, of course, suggests at once a great profusion – and this is what we must emphasize. The Spirit came upon them as he came upon our Lord. He came upon those people who were assembled together in the upper room.”

“People seem to think that this is some strange new doctrine. It is very old indeed, as old as the New Testament, and it has received prominence in the church throughout the centuries. There is an illustration which may help to bring out this point…”

You may be walking along a country road and there may be a slight drizzle, but because you haven’t got an overcoat you go on walking through this drizzle and eventually you get thoroughly wet; but it has taken some time because it was only a slight drizzle.”

“But then you may be walking along the same road at another time and suddenly there is a cloudburst and you are soaking wet in a matter of seconds. It is raining in both cases, but there is a great difference between a gentle drizzle, which you scarcely observe, and a sudden cloudburst which comes down upon you. Dr. John Owen (the great Puritan of 300 years ago) says, referring to Romans 5:2…”

‘That rejoicing in hope of the glory of God… which carries the soul through any tribulation, even with glorying, hath its rise in the Spirit’s shedding abroad the love of God in our hearts. He doth it immediately by Himself without the consideration of any other acts or works of his or the interposition of any reasonings or deductions and conclusions. He is a well of water springing up in the soul immediately exerting His efficacy and refreshment. He immediately works the soul and the minds of men to a joyful rejoicing and spiritual frame, filling them with exultation and gladness (as He caused John the Baptist to leap for joy in the womb upon the approach of the mother of Jesus).’

“That is the point I am making: this is not the ordinary, this is the extraordinary, the unusual, to be at the very gateway of heaven, as it were. There is only one thing beyond it, and that is the glory everlasting itself. Our greatest danger, I feel today, is to quench the Spirit. This is no age to advocate restraint; the church today does not need to be restrained, but to be aroused, to be awakened, to be filled with a spirit of glory, for she is failing in the modern world.”

“The baptism with the Spirit is always associated primarily and specifically with witness and testimony and service. Go through Acts and in every instance when we are told either that the Spirit came upon these men or that they were filled with the Spirit, you will find that it was in order to bear a witness and a testimony. This is not primarily concerned with moral qualities or character, this is primarily concerned with witness, testimony, and efficiency in operation.”

“The whole essential difference is this: in Ephesians there is an exhortation to us to do something, whereas in every single instance of the baptism with the Spirit it is something that happens to us, which we do not control… You can live a good life, surrender yourself, do all you are told to do, but still you are not baptized with the Spirit… As far as Ephesians 5:18 is concerned I could show you that there is a grave danger that we may misunderstand even what the apostle is saying there, and reduce it to our old level of church life at the present time.”

“What does Paul mean by ‘Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs?’ It you want the answer to that, you go to 1 Corinthians 14 and there you find the type of meeting they had in the early church – ‘One hath a psalm, one hath a testimony, one hath an experience, one hath a tongue, etc.’ The whole thing was alive with a pneumatic spiritual power… It is a type of singing about which the majority of us know nothing at all. So be careful lest you reduce even what was the normal regular life of the early Christian church down to the level of what has become customary in our churches.”

To bring Lloyd-Jones’ argument to a close, he is saying, basically, that “be filled with the Spirit” is a commandment towards the process of sanctification. The counsel to not be drunken with wine is a similar order to those, which Paul gives in other parts; not to lie, but speak the truth one to another; to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, to cleanse ourselves from all the filthiness of the flesh, etc…

A weak doctrine that stems from unbelief and pride

I mentioned in the first part of these articles about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, a position of the church that worries me more than anything else. It is what Paul described to Timothy, which would occur in the last days. He spoke of those who loved themselves, those “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power” (2 T.3:5). I need to confront the principal doctrine, which advances that state of being. Those who teach this doctrine look for a portion in the Bible to support them; they offer the one, to which I will now refer.

The Apostle Paul placed his majestic “love song” in 1 Corinthians 13, between his teaching about the miraculous gifts of the Spirit and his correction of the Corinthians for their misuse of the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 12-14). Chapter 14 concerns, principally, the gifts of prophecy and tongues. It is important, where the chapter about love is placed. At the end of chapter 12, the apostle says that he will show “a still more excellent way”.

What follows is not a replacement of the supernatural gifts with love, because then, he would place this discourse at the end of the subject of gifts. He would say, “All right, because the use of gifts and miracles is going to end, I am now going to demonstrate that, which will take their place… love.”

Besides, notice carefully that Paul does not speak of love as a gift, but as a way. When the Bible teaches about the ways of God, it is referring to the manner, in which God acts. Paul describes the love of God, so that the Corinthians will follow this way, in making use of the gifts. He teaches us that without love, the gifts are useless. Then, he follows with correction in chapter 14. Paul himself destroys the argument that love replaces gifts in the first verse: “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy”.
We now consider this: What is the part of chapter 13, on which the “cessationists” lean? We begin with verse 9: “For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Co.13:9-13).

I suppose that there are different opinions among the cessationists, but I think that basically and in short, they hold to the following: They believe that Paul is writing to the Corinthians during a period of transition in the early church. The apostles are coming to the end of the writings of the New Testament. These churchmen assume that the apostles’ personal time and ministry, and the entire account of the book of Acts, pertains to that time of transition. Until John finishes the Revelation and dies, the canon is not complete. At the time of the writing to the Corinthians, there were still other inspired epistles to be written, as well as the Gospel of John. However, they tell us that, when the canon is entirely finished, the gifts of prophecy, tongues and knowledge, as we find them in the New Testament, will lose their usefulness.

According to their theory, the supernatural gifts were necessary during the time of the apostles, in order to back the church and its messengers in its infancy. Also, they were needed to convince the Jews, who depended especially upon signs and wonders. Once that the New Testament would be completed, it would be the only authority, and gifts and miracles would disappear. They believe that Paul considered the gifts to be “toys” for children, imperfect and temporal, and that the only perfect gift is love. The Christian should mature in love, and only by means of love, can he correctly see his position before God… “I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”  

I hope, in general, that I have correctly presented the doctrine of the cessationists, but they also hold to other particulars, along with those already mentioned. They believe that tongues were not unknown, but known languages, spoken mainly, in order to miraculously preach the gospel. They do believe that prophecy exists today, not as a supernatural word to the hearers (as, for example in 1 Co.14:24-25), but that it is little more than the preaching of the word, spoken with inspiration. A close study of chapter 12-14 of Corinthians will show discrepancies in these arguments, but it is not the purpose of this article to refute them one by one.

I have four things to say about this matter. 1) It appears to me that there is an excuse in this argument for the lack of power in the ministry of those who hold to it, 2) I see a pride of spiritual superiority in it, doubting that anyone could experience anything beyond what they are experiencing. 3) I think, that it is the fruit of unbelief. 4) I think it is weak, even insulting the intelligence of those, who propose it.   

I do not want to be overly harsh and I am not judging these people, concerning the entire spectrum of their evangelical doctrine. I am only wondering why they are so intolerant and so adamantly against something, against which the Bible says nothing. Could it possibly be that this doctrine could be born among people, who are hungry for truth on this subject, motivated by a zeal to bring glory to Christ? I find it hard to believe that that is the motivation. Rather, I imagine them as theologians, reaching for a reason to excuse and justify the lack of the manifestation of the power of God in their circles. They need to find something in the Bible to back their position. I imagine that some believe that the best presentation of Christianity and the best doctrine occurs in their churches and movements. They are God’s superior children, and since they do not experience gifts, then the only reasonable answer is that they have ceased altogether.

Jesus marveled that in His own hometown, Nazareth, there existed a terrible unbelief. Because of it, Matthew relates: “He did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief” (Mt.13:58). The reason that I say that this is a weak doctrinal position, is because there is no indication in any other part of the Bible to confirm their conclusions in 1 Corinthians 13. John Wesley, in a letter written in June of 1746 declared: “I can recall no Scripture where it teaches us that miracles should be confined to the apostolic age or any other period of time.”

I will once again resort to Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who saw that this is “an argument that is being put forward at the present time, and which has been put forward very largely during this present (20th) century. Let me begin to answer it by giving you just one thought at this point. It is this: the Scriptures never anywhere say that these things were only temporary – never! There is no such statement anywhere.”

“‘Ah but,’ says somebody, ‘what about that passage from 1 Corinthians 13?’ You see what we are asked to believe by that kind of exposition? We are told that the coming of the New Testament Scriptures puts us into a place of perfection; whereas if you look at verse 12, it actually says: ‘For now we see,’- that is the apostle and others. The apostle is included with all other Christian believers before the New Testament canon, much of which was written by Paul himself, had been completed. We read: ‘Now we see though a glass, darkly; but then’ – when the Scriptures have come and are complete – ‘face to face:’ Now I know in part; but then’ – which they say means the completion of the Scriptures – ‘shall I know even as also I am known.’ You see what that involves? It means that you and I, who have the Scriptures open before us, know much more than the apostle Paul of God’s truth. That is what it means and nothing less, if that argument is correct. It means that we are altogether superior to the early church and even to the apostles themselves, including the apostle Paul! It means that we are now in a position in which we know ‘face to face’ that ‘we know, even as also we are
known’ by God because we have the Scriptures. It is surely unnecessary to say more.”

“What the apostle is, of course, dealing with in 1 Corinthians 13 is the contrast between the highest and the best that the Christian can ever know in this world and in this life and what he will know in the glory everlasting. The ‘now’ and the ‘then’ are not the time before and after the Scriptures were given. That position is inconsistent, and contradictory – indeed, there is only one word to describe such a view, it is nonsense. The ‘then’ is the glory everlasting. It is only then we shall see him as he is. It will be direct and ‘face to face’. So you see the difficulties men land themselves in when they dislike something and cannot fully understand it and try to explain it away.”

“My friends, this is to me one of the most urgent matters at this hour. With the church as she is and the world as it is, the greatest need today is the power of God through his Spirit in the church that we may testify not only to the power of the Spirit, but to the glory and the praise of the one and only Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord, Son of God and Son of Man.”

The saints of past centuries never arrived at developing a theory as ridiculous as the one that we just examined. Just as Lloyd-Jones, they always interpreted the phrase face to face as the perfect state of the Christian in heaven. Fanny Crosby, the blind hymn writer, titled one of her most well-known works, Face to Face, seeing Christ her Savior, far beyond the starry sky. Then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known, obviously applies to the same occurrence, of which John wrote: “We know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn.3:2), and of which Paul declared, “When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Col.3:4).

If the Body of Christ does not function today by spiritual, supernatural gifts, how is it expected to function? Can you believe that the church, which is the manifestation of the heavenly Jerusalem on earth and the bride of the King of Kings, can be led forward by means of human wisdom and capabilities?

There is another question, which I will not attempt to answer in this article, although I want to put it before you, so that you can meditate upon it. How are we supposed to wrestle against a supernatural enemy, with only a human spear and sword? We certainly would be defeated. It is said that, before any of the great revivals of the church began, there were first clear manifestations of demon powers. The reality of the spiritual world drove desperate and humble people to seek the power of God… and God poured His power upon them

Some, who oppose the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, think that it is a doctrine invented during the Pentecostal movement at the beginning of the 20th Century; some Pentecostals may agree with them. That, in fact, is an outright lie. Beware of limiting this experience in time or quality. What follows are a few testimonies of people, who had a second experience after salvation. I have chosen only these, who existed before the Pentecostal movement, which took place in California at the beginning of the 20th Century. I do this, so you can plainly see that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is not a new doctrine, but something that God has poured over his people during the entire history of the church.

Testimonies as old as the 17th Century

The Puritan, John Flavel

His thoughts began to swell and rise higher and higher like the waters of Ezekiel’s vision, until at last they became an overwhelming flood. Such was the intention of his mind, such the ravishing tastes of heavenly joys, and such the full assurance of his interest therein, that he utterly lost all sight and sense of the world and all the concerns thereof, and for some hours he knew no more of where he was, than if he had been in a deep sleep… On reaching his inn, the influence still continued, banishing sleep, still the joy of the Lord overflowed him and he seemed to be an inhabitant of another world. He many years after called that day, as far as he was concerned, one of the days of heaven on earth.

The great theologian, Jonathan Edwards

In Edwards’ own words: “As I rode out into the woods, having alighted from my horse in a retired place to walk for divine contemplation and prayer. I had a view that was for me extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God, which continued, as near as I can judge, about an hour; such as to keep me a greater part of the time in a flood of tears, and weeping aloud. I felt an ardency of soul to be emptied and annihilated; to lie in the dust, and to be full of Christ alone; to love Him with a holy and pure love…”

John Wesley

He was an ordained minister of the Anglican Church, even before he experienced new birth in 1738. About six months later, he had a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit. In his own words: “Mr. Hall, Hinching, Ingham, Whitefield, Hutching and my brother Charles were present at our love feast in Fetter Lane with about sixty of our brethren. About three in the morning as we were continuing instant in prayer the power of God came mightily upon us, insomuch that many cried out for exulting joy and many fell to the ground. As soon as we were recovered a little from the awe and amazement at the presence of His Majesty, we broke out with one voice, ‘We praise Thee O God, we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.’”

Here is something about the kind of people, who will make an impact in the Kingdom… On one occasion, another minister asked Wesley, how he could get many to come to listen to him. Wesley answered: “If the preacher is on fire, many will come to see the flames. Give me 100 preachers, who do not fear anything, except sin, and who desire nothing, except God. I care not if they are ministers ordained by a church, or if they are common men, because they will shake the gates of hell.”

Dwight L Moody

This man, whose formal education reached to five years of grade school, founded three well-known schools. Without theological education, he reconstructed the Christianity of the Victorian Age, and without radio or television, reached 100 million people. It all began, when this shoe salesman initiated a Sunday School, which became the biggest in Chicago.

He had a tremendous zeal for God and ambition to serve Him. He had already seen a lot of success, when he came to know two old ladies, who told him: “We are praying for you… you need power! You need power!” “My immediate reaction,” said Moody, “was… Why don’t you pray for the lost? I thought I had power! I had the largest congregation in Chicago and saw many conversions. I was in a sense satisfied. But right along those two godly women kept praying for me, and their earnest talk about anointing for special service set me to thinking.”

When Moody asked specifically to what they were referring, when they said that he needed power, they answered that he needed the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. “I asked them to come and talk with me, and they poured out their hearts in prayer that I might receive the filling of the Holy Spirit. There came a great hunger into my soul. I did not know what it was. I began to cry out as I never did before. I really felt that I did not want to live if I could not have this power for service.”

D. L. Moody’s good friend R. A. Torrey wrote a small book about Moody and his experience. Torrey gives his own testimony, as well, of being baptized in the Spirit. He knew the old ladies, who confronted Moody about his need for power. He wrote, “There were two humble Free Methodist women who used to come over to his meetings in the Y.M.C.A. ‘Auntie Cook’ once told me of the intense fervor with which Mr. Moody prayed on that occasion. She told me in words that I scarcely dare repeat, though I have never forgotten them.”

“Not long after, one day on his way to England, he was walking along Wall Street, in New York, and in the midst of the bustle and hurry of that city, his prayer was answered. The power of God fell upon him as he walked up the street and he had to hurry off to the house of a friend and ask if he might have a room by himself, and in that room he stayed for hours.”

Moody, himself, commented on that experience: “One day, in the city of New York – oh, what a day! – I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name… I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand.

From there he went out to hold great evangelistic meetings. As he explains: “The sermons were no different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience, if you should give me all the world – it would be as the small dust of balance.”

From that point on, he insisted on the necessity that every Christian should be baptized in the Holy Spirit. R. A. Torrey relates: “Time and time again, Mr. Moody would come to me and say: ‘Torrey, I want you to speak on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.’ On one occasion, he arranged for me to speak in a prestigious church in New York. He said, ‘This is a big church, and I want to ask you to speak your message on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.’ Whenever he learned that I was preaching some place, he would call and say to me, ‘Torrey, be sure that you preach on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.’

Charles Finney
“As I went in and shut the door after me, it seemed as if I met the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. It seemed to me that I saw Him as I would see any other man. He said nothing, but looked at me in such a manner as to break me right down at his feet. I have always since regarded this as a most remarkable state of mind; for it seemed to me a reality, that He stood before me, and I fell down at his feet and poured out my soul to Him.”

“I wept aloud like a child, and made such confessions as I could with my choked utterance. It seemed to me that I bathed His feet with my tears; and yet I had no distinct impression that I touched Him, that I recollect. I must have continued in this state for a good while; but my mind was too much absorbed with the interview to recollect anything that I said.”

“But I know, as soon as my mind became calm enough to break off from the interview, I returned to the front office, and found that the fire that I had made of large wood was nearly burned out. But as I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in my mind that there was any such thing for me, without any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned by any person in the world, the Holy Spirit descended upon me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and soul. I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come in waves and waves of liquid love, for I could not express it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of God. I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me, like immense wings.”

“No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart. These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, ‘I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me.’ I said, ‘Lord, I cannot bear any more;’ yet I had no fear of death.”

“How long I continued in this state, with this baptism continuing to roll over me and go through me, I do not know. But I know it was late in the evening when a member of my choir – for I was leader of the choir – came into the office to see me. He was a member of the church. He found me in this state of loud weeping, and said to me, ‘Mr. Finney, what ails you?’ I could make him no answer for some time. He then said, ‘Are you in pain?’ I gathered myself up as best I could, and replied, ‘No, but so happy that I cannot live.’

He turned and left the office, and in a few minutes returned with one of the elders of the church, whose shop was nearly across the way from our office. This elder was a very serious man; and in my presence had been very watchful, and I had scarcely ever seen him laugh. When he came in, I was very much in the state in which I was when the young man went out to call him. He asked me how I felt, and I began to tell him. Instead of saying anything, he fell into a most spasmodic laughter. It seemed as if it was impossible for him to keep from laughing from the very bottom of his heart.

In conclusion: I am just scratching the surface… there are many, many others. However, I think you can see already that I am recounting the experience of some of the greatest men of God over the last centuries. May I emphasize that George Whitefield was with John Wesley, when the Spirit was poured out upon those early Methodists? J. I. Packer writes one of the recommendations on Lloyd-Jones’ book, from which I quoted, on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Weigh their experience and ministries against those, who are teaching another doctrine during these last decades. Let me add some men from the last generation. I have already quoted D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, highly respected by almost all the most well-known pastors and theologians of our day. He was pastor of Westminster Chapel (not to be confused with Westminster Abbey) a short distance from Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth used to visit the Chapel to listen to him.

Another man, widely read by the most prominent evangelicals of our day, A. W. Tozer, tells how the Holy Spirit fell upon him in his mother-in-law’s living room. I could relate the experience of Duncan Campbell, who saw revival on the Hebrides Islands, off the coast of Scotland, in 1949-50. I will only mention two current preachers, who also advocate the Baptism in the Holy Spirit… Paul Washer and John Piper.


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