| BE YE FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST
The Gift of the Holy Spirit Foretold
As we read the Old Testament prophets, we find many prophecies that deal with the time in which we live today. And there are many promises in their precious word that are for us today. And we can claim all these good promises as ours, for in Jesus Christ they are not yea and nay, but they are all yea in him to the Glory of GOD (2nd Corinthians 1:19-20).
And the promise that I want to speak on today is the promise of the holy Spirit, which God has promised to all those who love him. And I pray that the words that I preach will stir each of you up, and cause you to draw nigher to God. Knowing that if we draw nigh to him, he will most definitely draw nigh to us.
Ezekiel wrote about the grace that would come into the world through the means of the New Testament; through and by the death of Jesus Christ, his burial, resurrection and glorification. And this is what is promised to those who believe the word, and who lay hold on to the gift of eternal life.
Ezekiel 36:25-27 ¶ Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Here in the midst fo Ezekiel 36, we find the promises of the New Covenant, these are promises of God to all who believe upon Jesus Christ. God promises you that he will cleanse you, he not only will remove the record of sin, but he will cleanse your soul of the stain of sin, and break the chains of sin upon your life. And not only that, but he promises that he will give you a new heart, as the new testament tells us, he will make us a new creature, one who delights in the commandments of God because we have the nature of God abiding in our hearts.
And how is this change wrought in side of us? “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”
God promises to put his Spirit within us to accomplish his will in our lives. Now turn with me to the Prophet Joel 2:28.
Joel 2:28 ¶ And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
This passage tells us of a time when God will pour out his Spirit upon his people, and he will empower them greatly for the ministry. I have been told by some that this prophecy isn’t for us today, that it is referring to some future blessing; but I tell you friends I don’t accept private interpretations of the word of GOD. I believe the word of God will interpret its self, and it has done so with this passage.
POINTING TO PENTECOST
Peter under the anointing of God told us that what happened on the day of Pentecost, when the holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples about 2000 years ago was the very thing that Joel prophesied of (see Acts 2:16-18).
And he also let us know that the generation who experienced the out pouring then, was not the last generation that would experience it.
Who is the gift for?
Acts 2:38-39 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name 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 Lord our God shall call.
The out pouring was not just for that generation, but for every generation, for everyone who God calls. That means that this promise was for our grandparents, our parents, for us, and for our children. As I have said earlier, all the promises of GOD are YES in Christ Jesus.
How do we receive the gift of the holy Spirit?
The bible tells us here to repent and we shall receive the gift of the holy Spirit, in other places we are told that when we believe we were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13-14). Jesus told Nicodemus that he had to be born again, born of the water and the Spirit, and he told him how to be born again, by believing upon the only begotten Son of GOD (John 3:5-7,16).
And everyone who has trusted in Christ and is now a child of God has the holy Spirit dwelling inside of them. Turn with me to Romans 8:9
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
All who have believed/trusted in the Lord and been born again, have been made partakers of the holy Spirit. If you have not the Spirit inside of you, then you are not a Christian. You must be born of the Spirit to be saved. I have heard preachers tell born again children of GOD that they didn’t have the Spirit of GOD because they had not spoke in tongues. They consider them saved, but without the Spirit. What a terrible doctrine! You cannot be saved apart from the indwelling of the Spirit. I have known of some who have taught that you are still lost until you have spoke in tongues, as if the gift of tongues is the true fruit of the Spirit. They confuse the diversity of gifts, with the fruits! All born again Christian will bear the fruit, but not all will have the same gift.
Again if you are saved then you have the indwelling of the Spirit, there is no other way to be saved. Paul told Titus that God has saved them by the “Renewing of the Holy Ghost” Titus 3:5
THE SPIRIT IS THE WATER OF LIFE
What did Jesus compare the holy Spirit to? John 7:37-39 ¶ In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
The holy Spirit is compared often to the Water of Life. All true believers have come to the fountain and have drunk down into their soul’s belly this living water. All Christians are like cups, that hold an amount of the Spirit of GOD.
Now just because I have said all cups or Christians have this living water in them; that does not mean that all cups are filled with the water of life. By no means, 90% and I think I am safe to say 90% of all Christians have just enough, so that they are able to say, I have a little in my vessel. But God doesn’t want us to have just a little of his Spirit, but he commands us to be filled with his Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Do we believe this verse is the word of GOD? Do we believe all the verse or just half of it? Can we take the first half of this verse and show men that it is a sin to get drunk? Yes, of course we can. That is a commandment, be not drunk. But the other half of the verse is a commandment also, and it commands us to be filled with the Spirit. And since it is a commandment, then we cannot please God like we should until we see that the word is fulfilled in our life.
In most churches today, you would think that the verse read, “Be filled with the world”! But I tell you friends you cannot be filled with the world, and with the Spirit. The world and Spirit are contrary to one another, they are enmity with one another and they wrestle over the space that is in your heart. The more of the world that is poured out, the more the Spirit that can be poured in. Or may I say this, the more of the Spirit that is poured in, the more of the world that will be pushed out. Look at this cup, what is the best way to get the air out of this cup? The easiest way is to pour water in it, and fill it to the brim, fill it until it over flows. The best way to get the world out of your heart, is to get more of God’s Spirit in your heart.
BE FILLED TO BE A LIGHT!
Now some think that the only reason the Good Father gives us his Spirit is to cleanse us, and to sanctify us for his Kingdom. To give us power over sin and vice. But this is not the main reason God gives us his Spirit. Yes the Spirit will cleanse you, and give you power to overcome, to make you a new creature in Christ Jesus. To enable you to follow after the foot steps of Christ, but the reason he does all of this, is to make you a vessel that God can use to win others to his kingdom.
2nd Timothy 2:19-21 ¶ Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
My friends when you are filled with the Spirit, you are prepared for the good work of GOD, and he will use you mightily. And the greatest work he can use you in is witnessing to this lost and dying world, and leading people to Jesus Christ. The bible said, that his Spirit would be poured out on all flesh and his Sons and daughters would prophesy. When you are filled with the holy Spirit of GOD, you will share the bread of life with the hungry souls that are in the world today.
FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST AND THE WORD OF GOD.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus was explaining to the disciples that the holy Spirit would be given to Comfort them, to lead them into all truth, and to bring all the Words of Christ to their remembrance. Now I want us to turn to John chapter 15 and see what testimony the holy Spirit will bear in the lives of those who are filled with it.
John 15:26-27 ¶ But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
The holy Spirit will testify of Jesus Christ, it will cause the disciples of Christ to witness of him. A Spirit filled person will have the testimony of Jesus Christ on their hearts and in their mouths.
What example do we find in the scriptures about those who are filled with the Spirit? Look at Luke 1:15 first.
Luke 1:15-17 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
John the Baptist was filled with the holy Spirit in his mother’s womb, and what would this anointing on his life lead to? He became a great prophet for the Lord, and his preaching turned the hearts of many to the Lord God! Did John live a sanctified life? Yes, but that sanctified life would of been wasted if he was not used to win souls to the Kingdom. The same with knowledge, I would rather have a little knowledge with great zeal, than much knowledge and no zeal. For those with no zeal do not go out and lead people to Christ, they use their knowledge to critique the pastor or debate. But those with great zeal, will take their limited knowledge and use it to bring people to Christ.
John’s mother was also filled with the holy Spirit: Luke 1:41-43 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
She was filled with the holy Spirit of promise and she began to speak the word of GOD, to prophesy unto Mary.
John’s father was filled with the holy Spirit and he began to preach. Luke 1:67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
In Acts Chapter 4, Peter was filled, and preached to the rulers and elders of Israel.
Acts 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
As I have said earlier, when you are filled with the Spirit of GOD, you will have the words of God on your lips, you will share the good news of the gospel with a lost and dying world, “Your sons and daughters shall prophesy”.
Four Depths to that river of life!
Now we have seen how Jesus compared the holy Spirit to rivers of water, and it is compared to water many times in the bible. And I want us to use an illustration found in Ezekiel, to show that we can have a deeper experience with God.
Ezekiel 47:2-5 Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.
My friend, it is up to us to determine how deep we want to wade into that water of life, how much of that fountain that we want to drink.
We can wade out just to our ankles, or drink but a small cup, and be like Nicodemus, who was secretly a disciple of Christ, who came to him by night.
Or we can drink a little more, or wade out to our knees, and be like so many who profess Christ openly, but they don’t have a burden for the souls of the lost. They spend their time trying to “Keep themselves” right in the sight of GOD and have no power to save others.
Or we can drink down a water pot of that water from the living fountain, and wade out up to our waste and be like that little lady at that well, who told the Lord to give her that living water, that she might drink and not thirst again, and who when she drunk, she ran to her countrymen and told them about the Messiah, and many believed upon the Lord because of her word (John 4:39).
Or still, and I hope we are willing, we can drink till our cup runs over and wade until we get to those swimming waters, like the Apostles did, Like Elijah and Elias did, Like Stephen and John did when they turned the world upside don. Like some of the Evangelists of the 19th century, who lead thousands to Christ, who turned their cities and states upside down.
It is up to you how far you want to wade out, it is up to you how much you want to drink.
IF YOU WANT YOUR LOVED ONES SAVED, THEN YOU NEED TO DRINK!
Now I wish to impress upon your hearts and your minds the importance of being filled with the Spirit of GOD. The Apostles of Christ walked with the Son of GOD for 3 ½ years, they were fed from the Master’s mouth. No other group of students had such an teacher, or such a classroom. They spent 3 ½ years studying this bible with the author of the bible. They learned the path to salvation, from the way of salvation. They learned the meaning of life from the giver of life.
He told them that their mission, for which he had prepared them, was to witness for him to all the world. “GO AND PREACH TO EVERY CREATURE”.
Now you would think after that period of time, of being taught personally by Jesus Christ, that these men would be ready to witness to the world; but not so. So many are deceived in to thinking to day that after a few years of seminary that they are ready to go forth and to be pastors and evangelists. But its not so.
Jesus told his apostles that they were not ready, and that they had to wait for something before they started their ministry. What was it?
Luke 24:49 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.
What was this power, that they had to wait for before they could go out and preach to the world? Acts 1:8 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.
Jesus told his Apostles, your going to preach my name to the whole world, but not just yet, your not ready; there is something lacking in your ministry. You go and wait in Jerusalem, and until you are filled with power from on high. My friends, they had to have the power of the holy Ghost, and we have to have the power of the holy Spirit before our ministry can be effective. And I tell you every man, woman, and child that is saved, has a ministry. You all have a work to do, and you can only do it right, through the power of God. We can do nothing in and of ourselves, we must wait upon GOD.
So the disciples went, and tarried in Jerusalem, and they prayed in one accord for the promised gift and on the Day of Pentecost it finally came.
Let’s read about that in Acts 2:2-4
Acts 2:2-4 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.
Now friends the rushing wind that filled that place was an independent miracle, it wasn’t what Jesus promised. The tongues of fire that appeared above those men, was an independent miracle, and was not what Jesus promised. Their ability to speak in other languages was an independent miracle, and not what Jesus promised. But what he promised was that he would give them power to be his witnesses and they received that power when they were filled with the holy Spirit of GOD. And right then and there they began to preach the gospel to the world.
Acts 2:11-12 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
And from verse 14 to 36 Peter preached a message of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that lead to 3000 men saved and baptized. Now I know over the past 2000 years there have been sermons that were longer and more eloquent, that quoted more verses,, etc. But I tell you that the vast majority of them failed to do the work that this sermon did. Do you know why? Because Peter was filled with the holy Spirit and the convicting power of the holy Spirit attended his words, and the hearts of all that heard it was convicted.
Acts 2:37 ¶ Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Jesus said “Without me you can do nothing”, but with him we can do all things. You can preach to a person until you’re blue in the face, but if the holy Spirit does not attend your words, and convict the person’s heart then your words will not accomplish the work. But I tell you if you are filled with the Spirit of GOD, and you speak as the holy Spirit gives you words to speak, your words will prick the hearts of the lost, and they will be forced to make a decision today.
My friends if the holy Spirit does not open the eyes of the lost, and cause them to realize where they are at, then they will not turn to a Saviour. Satan has the hearts of the lost blinded, and only the holy Spirit can open them.
I want us to notice how Paul said he preached look at: 1st Thessalonians 1:5
1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
Paul said he preached with Words, Power, and assurance through the holy Ghost. You see the Apostles could of preached the gospel with words only before Pentecost, but that would of been unprofitable, Christ wanted their preaching to profit, so he gave them power.
Paul here explains that he did not simply preach the gospel with words only, which would of been to no avail, but he preached it with power in the holy Spirit. Have there ever lived a greater evangelist than Paul?
We have more tools, they had more power.
Now look at us today, how technically advanced we are, at all the wonderful tools we have; yet the greatest soul winners ever lived long before our time. Oh how Paul would of loved to had a printing press, where he could print out thousands of his sermons and share them with the world! Oh how he would like to had a telephone, where he could push a few buttons and he would of had a lost person to share the gospel with. Or the television and radio, where he could be in the homes of millions at once sharing the gospel of Christ! Oh how he would of made use of the internet, sending the gospel to the whole world with just a few clicks of a mouse. I tell you friends, we have tools that these men couldn’t imagine, but they had the power of GOD that some of us cannot imagine. And they could when more souls to Christ in a day, then we can the whole life of our ministry. Oh the things we could accomplish if had the power, the fulness of the Spirit like they had.
All of us need the power to witness
We have here mothers who have lost children, fathers who have lost children. People who have lost spouses, lost grandchildren, lost brothers and sisters and dear loved ones; and we want them saved, we want them to come into the Kingdom of God. But like the Apostles, we need the power to attend our words. I tell you we will not win them while we have more of the world in our hearts than GOD. You need the power of the Spirit in your life, if ever there has been a time that we need the power, it is today. God knows I want more of it, I need more of it! I know that I waste my breath, except I preach and teach with the breath of GOD. Do you have a burden for souls? You should have! Do you weep for these souls? You should. And we can, when we have more of GOD in our heart, for I know it hurts him to see so many go into eternity without him.
Some here may have had the anointing of GOD upon you in your past, you may know in your heart that you were closer to GOD at another point in your Christian walk; but you have grown cold on the Lord, and the power you once had is now missing. I know personally that there has been times in my Christian walk that I had the anointing, and other times I am dry. I tell you friends, you can be filled with the Spirit a fresh.
The Apostles were: Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
Most of these that were gathered together had at some time pass received the fulness of the Spirit, and here they are filled again, and given more boldness. It seems as we grow in Christ we can hold more of the blessing. Our cup grows, as we grow in Christ; and as we grow, we must seek to continue to be filled. My friends man is a leaky vessel also, and we should seek to be renewed day by day.
HOW DO WE RECEIVE THE FULNESS?
The question really is: Do you truly want to be filled with the Spirit? Do you truly want to wade out into deeper waters? Do you want to be used by GOD to lead souls to the kingdom?
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
If you want it my friends, that is the first step to receiving it. “I want the fulness of your Spirit of GOD”. Do you thirst for it? Do you hunger for it? Then you can receive it.
Next you must realize that the Father wishes for you to have it.
Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
We can be filled with the Spirit of GOD, the same way we received salvation from Christ. We realize that God offers it to us as a free gift, we must only be willing to receive it. Ask in faith believing and you will receive it. Pray earnestly, and knock until your prayer is answered.
Now, I am not telling you Christians to ask that God give you the Spirit, for if you are a true Christian he gave you the indwelling of the Spirit the moment you believed. What I want you to do is ask to be filled with the holy Spirit. For God to remove all hindrances from your life, and to bend you and break you, and make you a vessel that can over flow with the blessings of his Spirit.
And I am not wanting anyone to speak in tongues; if there was a Chinaman here, or somebody else who did not understand English, then God might give one of us the gift of tongues so we can witness to him. I do not want wild fanaticism, but I want a solemn searching of your heart, confession of your sins to GOD, and a seeking of his face until you are filled with the Spirit of GOD.
God says to humble yourself and pray, and to turn from your wicked way and he will hear from heaven. He says to try him, and he will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that you cannot contain..
Christ promised that he was able to cause rivers of living waters to flow from our bellies. Do you want it? Then seek it, ask for it, and it will be given you.
God commands you to be filled! Want you be filled? You can pray here at church for it, if you can wait, you can go to a solemn place, where you can be alone with God, and you can get on your knees, and talk to him personally, until all that hinders is out of the way. What separates you from having it? Your will! The same thing that keeps the sinner from salvation, his wicked will keeps him from saying YES. If you will have it, you shall. God is offering it to you, you must only accept it. “Will you take it?”
"Come out of her My people" - Jesus Christ