BY VERBAL BEAN
(Student) In a revival about five years ago, a man came in, and received the Holy Ghost. The next service, there were three teenage girls that received the Holy Ghost. That young man had prayed with two of them when they received the Holy Ghost. He actually received something from God a unique ability of praying people through to the Holy Ghost.
(Bean) A preacher must have effectiveness in the altar, with power to lay hands on people. You need to build your faith in that more than anything I know of, because you’re going to be laying hands on a lot of people. It can become a ritual if you don’t have faith in it, yourself.
God established my faith in the laying on of hands when I was just a lad, and I believe something is going to happen when I lay hands on someone. I don’t do it quickly. I do it as I feel led, and often, while praying around the altar, I’ll wait on a seeker for a while before I’ll lay hands on them. There’s no need for me to destroy his faith or mine, by quickly laying hands on him when he hasn’t repented, or he lacks faith. I let them attain a certain height in prayer, and then by the laying on of hands, he’ll go on through. You need faith built in your heart, and some don’t seem to desire that, but it’s been a blessing to me.
If you want a fruitful ministry, learn to pray in the altar, and don’t be lazy about it! I mean love it, enjoy it, believe in it! Also, not only the altar, but laying on of hands on saints. It’s been taught against everywhere. I’ve been fought many times for the laying on of hands on saints, until they get a blessing.
How are you going to get the gift of God stirred up in people without, on occasion, renewing it the same way they received it the first time? Paul said,
“Stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands” (II Timothy 1:6).
If you got it by the laying on of hands, why couldn’t you get it stirred up by the laying on of hands again?
When burden grips a man’s heart he’s going to pray. He won’t have to be told, and watch his clock to see how long he prays. He will do it out of a burdened heart. When you get to that level of prayer, you’re becoming healthy, but until you obtain that momentum, you are in a very dangerous condition.
I make it clear that we all walk through dry places, and have to make ourselves pray, and it seems like God’s a million miles away. But, if you’ll be consistent through that place, the momentum of prayer will build up. There’s a habit of praying, and there’s no better habit in the world, than getting the habit of prayer. Not habitually praying, and saying words, but the habit to go pray. Then when you get there you will find Him in some measure.
It’s a strain. There’s nothing about it that’s easy. It takes every fiber of your being, but because I know what I’m fixing to get, I thoroughly enjoy it. I have been left for days with a nervous stomach, or a stomachache. It would mess up my eating habits for a number of days, until I’d straighten back out after travail. But, it’s such a thrill to know that God would trust me, and to know I’m fixing to get an answer!
“Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God ” (Hebrews 12:2).
I believe He knew what the joy would be after it was over with. He had no joy here, and of course there was earthly happiness available. He set all that aside knowing what the end of the thing would be. This is what I see in travail. It’s a burden, but it’s kind of like the little girl the missionary walked up to, and she had a sister on her back. Her sister was almost as big as she was. The missionary said, “Honey, she’s quite a burden to you isn’t she?”
“No, she’s my sister!”
It’s according to how you look at the burden. When you realize what it’s going to do, it ceases to be the burden it would have normally been. When a woman delivers a child, all the travail is forgotten, when she hears the faint cry of that baby. Travail is a definite, specific prayer for a specific time.
I appreciate what my father-in-law said the other night. Intercession is definitely for others, and most of the time I’ve gone into travail, it has been for others. I can’t remember a time that I’ve ever travailed for myself. Maybe you have, but I don’t remember a time.
Supplication is for one’s self. Travail, or intercession is to intercede for another. I’ve found that to be true. Wouldn’t you like to know that God would trust you as a specialist in prayer? Study Jacob’s life, and understand what God meant when he said Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated. This is certainly needed in everyone of us. We need to know the difference.
Esau was the kind of person that was content to sit around the house. He didn’t have any ambition to get any more out of life than what he already had, but Jacob cheated, lied, to get the blessing. He tricked his brother to get his birthright. He worked seven years thinking he’d get Rachel, instead he got Leah for his wife. So he worked another seven years that showed he was determine to have what he wanted, and then when the Lord wrestled with Him, he wouldn’t let Him go until the Lord would bless him.
All through his life, he showed a determination to have something better, than what he started out with. He was constantly trying to improve himself, and fighting for greater blessings.
God didn’t love Jacob’s cheating. Jacob went about it in the wrong manner, but still, he had a determination that the Lord admired. God wrestled with Jacob to get the human ingenuity of Jacob out of him!
God didn’t disturb the persistence God loved about him. He left that in Jacob. Brethren, you’ll never see a better example of what you need, than you’ll find in the life of Jacob. It transformed my thinking when God made me understand why He said, “Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated.” God literally hates unconcern, lackadaisical, status quo, don’t care, satisfied with this little few in Sunday school, and no more. One reclaimed and three blessed kind of revivals, and write a big report about it to the constituency. He despises it!
But give Him a man that says I’m going to have it at any cost. He doesn’t enjoy your wrong methods, and He’ll correct you for it, but I’ve never seen God yet disturb the desire in a man for higher things. He enjoys it too much, because it brings glory to Him.
We have so many bench warmers in Pentecost. They are satisfied being a passenger, looking out a little peep hole every now and then, rather than walking into the cockpit and understand the operation of this thing.
“I set my face” (Daniel 9:3).
Men that God uses are going to be men with determination. They’re going to have a desire for higher things.
I’ve seen services where God wanted to bless far greater than what was present, and people couldn’t see enough to reach for it. Here’s a good thought on persistence and determinate desire for higher things. Do you remember when the prophet told the king to take some arrows and hit the ground? He hit the ground three times and stayed. That’s typical.
In the first place, he didn’t have much faith in hitting the ground with the arrows. You’re supposed to shoot them, not hit the ground with them! What good is hitting the ground with them? “Ka-thump, leathump, lea-thump!” and quit. That old prophet got stirred, “Why didn’t you hit it six or seven times? Why isn’t there, in you, something that desires greater victories than a shallow experience?”
God enjoys persistence. He enjoys the attitude to want greater things. Refusing to compare yourselves with yourselves, as Paul said, you do wrong! “I’m having as good a revival as that other young fellow over there.” That’s the most dangerous thing you can do. Always keep the original pattern before you. Three thousand in one day. That will help you.
Brother Free teaches some marvelous lessons on personal development. If you desire greater things, you’ll see to it that you get it some way or another. The same thing will happen to you in the work of the Lord. You’ll make a way for revival. You’ll fix it. You’ll reason with God in such a manner that He’s almost obligated to give it.
Two examples in the Scripture, where the widow woman went to the unjust judge, and the man went to the neighbor at night. God enjoys it, that’s why all the way through the Bible, men that persistently held onto God. They would not turn Him loose.
Jacob’s desire for better things proved to be the greatest asset that he had. It would be a wonderful thing if God could stop in this room tonight and say, “I call you by name and say as a prince thou hast prevailed with both God and man.” If you want to prevail with man, get in touch with God first, and prevail with Him. Then you’ll have very little trouble with prevailing with man.
Some have asked me, “How much do you pray in a revival?” This is determined by the individual, and the need. It was always hard for me to get results with less than three to four hours a day of prayer during a revival. I need to get the stink of the world off of me, if you’ll pardon the expression.
“Moab…hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel …therefore…his scent is not changed” (Jeremiah 48:11).
When you fool around with the world all day long, even though you didn’t participate, your thinking has been affected, and it’ll absorb the anointing away from you. That’s why I never could understand how an evangelist could spend the whole day downtown, and come in at church time and preach. My mind, all day long, seeing and hearing all that stuff would have sapped the anointing out of me. I usually found somewhere I could relax, so I could get my mind off of it for a few hours, and I had more results by doing that, than trying to carry it all day long.
I also have gone into a tailspin trying to pray over something I had already prayed through over. When God gives you an assurance, you’ll grieve God if you go back and ask for it again. If you get the assurance, hold to it, and thank Him for it. Believe and wait on it.
Sometimes in my desire to have victory, I’d get an assurance, but I wanted a double one, and by the time I asked Him the third time, I lost my first unction. When you get an assurance, hang on to it, no matter what anyone says or does, it’ll work.
God enjoys giving assurance, but He doesn’t want you to give it away after He gave it to you. It’s a valuable lesson to learn in prayer, and I had to learn it the hard way.
I was a perfectionist. I wanted to be positively assured, and I found out that when God gives an assurance, forget it. Don’t try to pucker up and cry again. Don’t try to worry about it, and pick the load up again. Believe God. I hindered services by trying to take the load that I had already given to God in faith. That may not make sense, but maybe someday it will.
(Student) Do you think it’s fine to fleece God?
(Bean) I am not sold on fleeces. If you are, don’t let me disturb your faith, because they do work. They work for me, but I’m not as sold on them as some.
We’re living in the day when we’re supposed to be led by the Spirit. Fleeces were used when they didn’t have the Holy Ghost. I don’t believe that it’s safe to fleece God about souls. That’s a dangerous thing.
Let’s say, for an example, you’re preaching a revival right here tonight. You say, “God do You want me to close tonight or go to another place? If You want me to stay here give me five souls, if You want me to leave, don’t give me any.” What if God wants to save five here tonight, and five at Brother Brinks tomorrow night? You have tied God’s hands, and souls are involved. Only fleece like Gideon did, but don’t involve souls.
When my mother first came to Greens Bayou, she fleeced the Lord, and it failed completely, because she was fleecing God about souls. You’ll have difficulty fleecing God about a man, because God can’t make a man live for Him. He can lead, and deal with him, but He can’t make him do it. There was so much opposition to my mother building a church until she said, “God if there’s a certain number there this morning I will accept it as Your will to start a church here, if there’s not I’ll close it down,” and they weren’t there. It’s very possible, God may have dealt with just that many, but they were too hard-headed, and He couldn’t make them. That’s one thing God can’t do with a man and that’s force him to live for Him.
So she dismissed that little fleece and went to being led by the Spirit.
I fleeced God, I don’t deny it. I’ve fleeced the Lord, when I am so thoroughly confused, that I can’t trust myself to be led by the Spirit. I have to get there before I can trust a fleece, because I’ll ask Him to do it one way, and it won’t work, and I’ll pick at that. After He answered the fleece I’ll pick at it.
One day I nearly missed church. I was trying to find the will of God to where to go, and I wrestled with it until I was wore out. I couldn’t hear from God. I said, “Okay, I’m going to write a bunch of names of cities that want me for revivals, put the names in a hat and shake it up. I put a blank one in there, in case it was one that I hadn’t written down there. I drew out a name. Fine, that’s okay, but I wanted to be like Gideon, I wanted to confirm it. So I put it back in there, and shuffled it up again, and I drew a blank that time. Now what do you do? I guess you’d still say I fleeced him, but it was a little different.
I said, “Okay God, I can’t find Your will that way. I’ll tell You what I’ll do. The first one that calls me this evening. Far, near, big, or small, doesn’t make any difference who it is, where it is, or what it is. Whoever calls me today, I’m going to preach for them.”
I had no assurance that somebody was going to call me, but I just felt that way, and a fellow by the name of Brother Lawrence that I had never heard of before called me and said, “Come preach for me.” I told them many times after we got over there in Lorrel, and got in that big battle. I said, “Lord, I’ll never pray a prayer like that again!” I never got into such a mess in my life, but I’m sure it was the will of God. That was the only way God could get me there.
Gentlemen, it is a real value for you to learn to pray until you can find the will of God about revivals and about services. You won’t do that with a little good night Jesus prayer, and it be casual. Be willing to seek God until you find Him.
(Student) I’ve heard of preachers putting God on the spot, who were desperate for something. They lay everything down unless he gives you what you want.
(Bean) No sir, I wouldn’t do that. I would not at all deal with God that way. You can get desperate. It’s like I told you about Sister Bohannon. She said, “God, I couldn’t honestly say you never fail me, but I will say I’ll serve you no matter what.”
I would never put my soul on the line because it’s too dangerous. I know of one case, and it proved out to be a failure. I’m going to serve the Lord by his help and grace no matter what, but there are so many other ways of persuading God without putting your soul at stake.
Fleecing God works only in desperation. I found others could get them just like that, and it worked, but I’m not going to wholly depend on it because we are in a day when we are led by the Spirit of God. I can only remember one time in my life fleecing God over a soul, and that was right here in Greens Bayou. It worked, but it was in a time when nobody was praying through.
What’s dangerous is, you’re in a revival, and you’re feeling like closing. There are people praying through, and still God wants you to leave. You’d shut that blessing off just for Him to get you to know that you need to go down the road. I do not believe you have to wait until God quits filling people with the Holy Ghost, to stop a revival. There could be a dozen pray through tonight, and God still wants you down yonder tomorrow night. I believe you’ll find that in the Bible. Fleeces are crutches for inadequacies in us. The first fleece that was ever offered was because of a lack of faith at that moment. He questioned the voice of God, and had to have an assurance. This shows you its origin is an inadequacy. It’s an imperfect way of finding God.
It’s not easy to know if it’s the will of God to leave if the Lord’s blessing a revival with souls. That’s one reason why I wound up almost a nervous wreck. I’ve had them squalling and crying, “How can you do it, with people right here praying through?” But the voice of God spoke.
I tried to go on, knowing I was supposed to close, while it was still going good. I remember one revival in particular, and I never had anything happen to me any worse. God spoke to me on a Wednesday night to close a revival when it was going good, and they persuaded me to stay on until the weekend, and by Friday night I couldn’t even pray. The service died so dead. I got up there and choked! I finally said, “I’m going to the altar, I don’t care what you all are going to do,” and I still couldn’t touch God! I was supposed to preach that Saturday night, I said to the pastor, “I’m gone! I’m sorry, but I’ve missed God.”
There was a definite reason for that, and I found out later what it was. There were some people that came Friday night that brought a bad spirit into the revival. If I’d had closed on Wednesday night that revival would have never known a decrease. It would have left on a high note with everybody happy.
Old time pastors used to close a revival as sadly as they knew how. Pastors would stand the evangelist up, and sing “Shall we gather at the river.” “If we never meet again this side of heaven,” and have everybody pass by. I’ve had one or two do me that way. Shake their hand, tell them good bye, and make it as sad and juicy as they could. That’s damaging to a church.
I believe God would like for a revival to close on the highest note because then it can go on. If you wait until you’ve gotten all of the juice out of it before you quit, then that pastor is going to have a difficulty picking it back up again.
There’s a number of reasons why God would want you to close, with people still praying through. Here’s what could happen. If you have a church so thoroughly broke through that they’re praying them through, they can go on if they’ve got that much faith, power, and momentum. While that other church has not even broke through yet, so they may need you more down the road than they would here. That’s the reason why you don’t always wait until they quit praying through to close your revival. You must follow the Holy Ghost, and when He says go, then go!
Pastors throughout the country got mad because I wouldn’t stay, because sometimes I’d go to the pulpit, and I still wouldn’t know if I was going to close that night or not.
The pastor and the evangelist usually feel the same thing. Sometimes I’ve been reluctant to tell the pastor I felt like closing because I knew he hadn’t gotten all he wanted. I felt badly to close, but I’d go ahead because I knew I had to, and I’d tell him.
Of course, he wouldn’t have told me that for anything until I mentioned it. I’d usually ask him, “How do you feel about it, don’t you feel like we’re about through?” Usually, he’d say, “Well, Brother Bean, I kind of felt like the Lord was through, but I wouldn’t have mentioned it to you.” A lot of times the assurance will come to both the pastor and the evangelist. If the evangelist and pastor are working together like they ought, there won’t be bad feelings, and there won’t be any reason why you can’t get a double assurance.
Not everyone will feel that way. I’ve had them scream bloody murder, and even put the curse of God on me!
“You’re going to wreck on the highway if you leave out of here out of the will of God like you’re doing tonight!” Here come the saints, saying, “Oh, Brother Bean, you’re going to fall into the hands of God! ” Now that’s not easy, Mister! I don’t want to get in a car wreck! But, I must obey the Lord.
I’ve left them out of the will of God. Oh, that’s a grievous thing. I left one revival out of the will of God. It was this one I was just telling you about that God spoke to me to close it down on Wednesday night. He showed me in a dream I was going to pick it back up and reap more than I had reaped before.
In the greatest revival of my life, the power of God was made visible by a cloud! The glory of God was stronger than I’ve ever seen it! I went back through there on my way to another place, and that’s where I learned better than to schedule.
The man had handed out brochures and had advertised it in the paper. He had spent two or three hundred dollars with my picture announcing the day the revival would start. I was on my way up there, but I stopped by this place that I had left, and God began to move so that they were shouting out in the vestibule! The glory of God was falling. It was the greatest potential the church had ever had. That was, again, on Wednesday night. When the Holy Ghost told me to stop on Wednesday, He knew I was going to come back through there and pick it up on Wednesday. I tried to go on through Sunday, and brother, what a flop!
So again, on Wednesday night I’m in this church, and the glory is falling, so I call the pastor in that far away city that I was supposed to be at on the weekend. I said I was going to be late.
He said, “Man, you can’t do it! I’ve spent two hundred dollars advertising this revival!”
I said, “I’ll be late that’s all there is to it, I need to stay here.” I was young. That was some of the first revivals, and preachers would pressure me. They’ll pressure a young man until he knows better.
We went on a night or two, and boy it got better. I’ve never seen such glory and possibilities, but that man would call me “Man, don’t make me waste those two hundred dollars!”
He had me scared. I could see my ministry ruined. “That preacher that told me he’d come in on a certain date, and I spent two hundred dollars and wasted it, and he didn’t come.”
I found out, Gentlemen, not to offend them unless you have to. I listened to him and took off and left that revival with everything in the seventh clouds.
I got up in a certain part of the country and got snowed in. They said you can’t go any further. I heard you could go around another pass, so I went around, and wound up in an awful dust storm that ruined my car. I stopped to get gas, and before I could gas up I got snowed in I spent the night in that little town with every light in the city off. I wasn’t sleepy, so there I sat in a motel room, with no lights. Dreary, lonesome, wind a howling outside, snow falling; the car’s windshield was pitted. The paint was like you turned a sandblaster on it!
I went on next morning, and finally arrived at my destination, then I took sick. I never had worse sinus trouble in my life! It felt like spike nails going up in my nose!
I had no more than sat down, and the pastor’s wife informed me “People that come here, work!” She meant what she said! I’d get up in the morning, and they had a big thirty-five thousand dollar home,’ and the living room must have been at least thirty-five feet long.
“Brother Bean’ would you help me polish this floor in here?” I’m so sick I can hardly see, and she’s fed me two meals in three weeks! You know I just sat there, and grinned and took it, because I knew what was happening to me! God was a beating the fire out of me for missing it! That’s exactly what was happening! I didn’t pray a human being through to the Holy Ghost! I was in an awful mess.
I was sitting in the church there one day, and the secretary and her husband came in, and he said, “I hope you won’t be unhappy with my wife today.” They came to clean the church that day, and she had on blue jeans!
There I sat out of the will of God, sick. I was sick the whole three weeks. I believe God used every member of the family to whip me.
I always had a love for children, but those youngsters would gather around me, and one of them with a baseball bat! I nearly got knocked out several times with it. We’d ride to church and invariably all the kids would want to ride with me!
I sat for three weeks, with sinus trouble, nearly dying, starving half to death, and the pastor would take my car off, and I couldn’t even get out to get something to eat, and she wouldn’t fix anything, and grumbled every day I was there, and me a polishing floors! If you want to miss the will of God because a man said he’d lose two hundred dollars. I’d rather send him the two hundred dollars! I learned my little lesson.
God did not call us to polish floors, but I generally tried to do what they asked me to do. Of course, she knew she could take advantage of me, I was young, but after awhile, you obtain a little experience. In the first place, you won’t generally go to a place like that. It finally got to where my ministry weeded out that type of people. They didn’t want me to begin with. So I had no more trouble, but I generally tried to help as much as I could, and I certainly believe that an evangelist and his wife should be mindful of helping the pastor and his wife as much as possible.
That situation was overboard, there’s no question about it. I tried not to complain, and I think the Lord honored it, because I knew what I was getting. How could I complain? He was doing the whipping, and I couldn’t complain.
If you go in there with the attitude, “I’m a preacher, and you’re going to look up to me, and I’m not going to have to do anything,” they’ll sense that, and it will cause you trouble. If I felt that it was the will of God for me to stay there, and I felt I was being a little mistreated, I’d be patient. I’d let God work it out, instead of making demands. You’re in another man’s church, and you can’t start saying “I won’t.”
I know a good evangelist that started doing that. He’d demand a certain amount of money, or he’d hint that his bills were due. In fact, he came to this church one time and wasn’t supposed to preach, but mother let him preach, and after it was over with, she didn’t have much money, but she gave him what she had. He got her in front of a whole bunch of people here in the church, and said, “Look, give it back to her, if you can’t give any more than that, I don’t want any of it.” I know that’s extreme, but you can’t go to that extent as an evangelist.
If you’ll take a few rebuffs, there will be so few of them, that in turn, you will be paid for it. I’m not saying that a man ought to go in and seek out jobs. If you can help the pastor, fine, but I never got involved with the pastor. I wouldn’t ride around town with him. He’d invite me, and I’d say “No I don’t believe so, thank you.” Because I can’t spend my day floating around with him. I’m not going to do him any good in the first place. We’re going to get too common with one another, and he’s going to unload on you something that you don’t need to know about that church, or you’ll get together and get to laughing and talking so much, and he will actually lose respect for you. Even though he’s involved in it himself. You see, a pastor wants an evangelist to be more serious than he is! That’s the truth.
If you go with an attitude, “Bless God, you’ve got me here, and I can leave anytime,” you’re going to hurt yourself. Even though they mistreat you, men have a way of telling other pastors, until the time it spreads around. It’s not like it was. Remember this, I’m sorry Fellows, the evangelist is the one to be blamed if there’s any blame. It’s just that way, Gentlemen!
I’ve seen times that I could have ruined the man in the church. Saints would come to me, and gather around me, and I could have ruined him, but I refuse to be that little because I can get up and leave. There were times there would be a temptation to get out of there; let him have it, but If I’d have done it, the saint would have known why. I stayed on so they wouldn’t recognize what was even going on.
If you’re staying in the pastor’s house, spend your time in your room, or go to the church and pray, that’s what I did. I don’t mean I never had any friendship with them. Sometimes, after church, I’d go sit and talk a while, but it was according to where I was in revival. I don’t mean you should act so unkind that they think you’re mad at them, but you need to learn to be alone during a revival and yet not being misjudged as being too conceited, pouting, or mad. You’re walking a tightrope, I guarantee you, but you’ve got to learn it.
I learned that I can’t visit all night long, and all day, and still have the anointing. You can talk the anointing away from you. Actually, in the long run, if that man knows why you’re not going around with him all the time, he doesn’t mind it. He knows you’re interested in his church, and you don’t want to be bothered, and generally, they’ll respect you.
I overheard a couple talking on the telephone, and they didn’t know I was listening. That’s about the only time they’ll compliment you! I wondered if they were even accepting it. Man, they were eating it up! Show an interest in their church, and his burden, they’ll appreciate it.
On one occasion a man was pressing me to come to his church. He told me, “I’ll take you and show you our mountains.”
I said, “I’m not interested in your mountains! If I come, I want a revival.” I didn’t mean to be harsh.
He said later, “You insulted me. I thought I’d get to show you my mountains.”
In the long run, he understood what I meant by that. Maybe I didn’t answer him as kindly as I ought to have, but he understood what I meant. When I come, I’m not coming to see your country.
One of the great complaints is, “They picked this place so they could take a vacation.” They don’t want you there on vacation, or sightseeing. Even though they’re begging you every day to go with them, they don’t want you going. Learn to balance.
Stay alone with God. Be friendly, and if it’s rest day or rest night, then it’s up to the individual whether to go with them. They have a way of reducing you, and completely taking away from you your identity, and you become helpless.
I didn’t try to act strangely, but I didn’t try to explain if they thought I was strange because I wanted the immunity so when I got up there, they weren’t saying “Yeah, you’re telling me to consecrate, but I heard you a giggling all day long. You and I giggled all day, and you know we did!”
(Student) You were talking about sightseeing, and I don’t know if Sister Bean is any different than my wife, but she’d be fed up if we didn’t go, yet she would get mad if we did go. If we both stayed, I still wouldn’t get any blessing.
(Bean) She needs to be trained! She’s a good girl, she just needs some training!
(Student) Have you ever had a pastor to ask you to leave?
(Bean) No. I was kidding a pastor, I said, “You’re the only man that ever told me to leave.”
He said, “I didn’t tell you to leave!” He was sick, and he didn’t realize how he was saying it, and he had so thoroughly believed that I was going to close, anyhow, that he took the liberty to say, “Sunday night will be the last night.” If he’d have thought I was going on, I don’t believe he’d have said that, but he thought that I was going to close, anyway. At the moment, I only thought he was fooling.
If you’ll build confidence in that pastor, that you’re trying to obey the Lord, then he’ll respect you. You may stay a few days over, but it’ll either dry up on you, or God will show you.
There are certain ways of determining if you will go on with a revival. We’re getting into my next lesson, on the Works of the Holy Ghost. 2 First of all, how do I feel? Not physically, I’m tired, and would rather rest, but how do I feel?
“Let the peace of God rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15).
If there’s a burning urgency to go on, you’ll feel it. When I’m through with a place, I’m so through, I don’t even want to stay there overnight.
There’s a way God has of working with men, and I don’t know if it would happen to you, but let me tell you mine, and if it works, fine. When I go somewhere, it may be the gloomiest place in the country, and I’ve been to some of them, but they look like a mansion to me, because I had a burden for it. God gave me the burden. A burden will turn a little place into a mansion. It’s amazing what can happen to your attitude. The trees don’t even look bad. The house that doesn’t look nice, looks real clean when you have a burden.
When that burden lifts, even if it’s a palace, it seems like a dungeon! I want out of there! There’s such a release from it.
Here are things that I would look at to determine whether to go on. How do I feel about it? But, sometimes, you can know that there is a certain situation hanging in the balance, and God will let you know that’s something that needs to be done before you leave if there is somebody really interested. You have not felt a direct check to leave, and you know these people are interested. It would be unfair to them to leave.
I’ve seen God give several days of grace even though it may have been His perfect will to close because someone got interested the last night of service. He would give several days of grace until they pray through.
The major thing is how do I feel? When you search for the will of God, you can’t hear voices. You can’t see the power of God falling, and souls praying through; you can’t see anything. It’s like Brother Joe Duke when he finishes. Brother, you’d just better take him home. A pastor was telling me about having him, and the last night there were brand new people there, the altar was full and he said, “Brother Duke, please stay with me, there’s brand new people in the altar.”
“Bless God, they ought to have been here last night! I’m a going on! ” He lost his burden. I wouldn’t be that harsh, but when you lose your burden it’s dangerous to stay on. It is, because, you can tear up what you built up, by staying beyond the will of God.
It’s an inner feeling to go on, or not to go on, and then I weigh that feeling by things I see to try to match it, and sometimes it’ll match. Often, I’ll check with the pastor, to be sure. If he has a desperate feeling that it shouldn’t close, I’m going to honor it, for he’s a man of God, too, because there could be things affecting me. I could become tired, or it may not be the easiest place to stay, and that would be physical reasons for why I would want to leave. So I check that out, making sure it’s not personal reasons causing me to want to leave.
I’ve had such little of that because they knew what they were going to get before they got me, and they weighed it out before they got me. I don’t want to teach you Gentlemen wrong, and pastors don’t much like for this to be taught, but it was to my advantage to have a certain independence. I didn’t make them beg me; that wasn’t the point. I wasn’t trying to be hard to get. I believe that’s wrong, but because I was busy, and didn’t have to go to their place, it served to my advantage. By the time they got through asking several times, and I’d say, “You mean you want all of it?” And they knew what I was talking about. BY the time they asked you three or four times, you were pretty sure they wanted you.
I never did go for a man that just came around, “Sometimes, I want you to come preach me a revival.” I didn’t pay that any attention. That’s not a serious invitation. I’m not wanting them to beg me, but I want them to show me they want me. When they show me they want me, they won’t give me any trouble after I get there, even though it looks like I’m about ready to tear up the church. They’ll remember, “I asked you to come, so I’ll ride it out with you.”
It’s almost impossible to evangelize part-time with much success. With the Lord’s help, when I first came here I did quite a bit of that. But, after you have a church up to a certain size, you’ll almost do that church more damage to leave, to go do over yonder. As scarce as evangelists are, we’ve almost got to do it anymore.
(Student) Let’s say you were called to preach a revival at a place, and when you got there you saw that the church was really hard. Would you go in there pulling punches or would you just slap them in the face?
(Bean) It’s according to the place. The Spirit will lead you, but if you fix it in your mind that the only way to serve beef steak is to throw it at them, then you’re not going to succeed. Some people must be jarred to stir them. Your main goal is to win souls. How am I going to do that? If the Spirit knows that they need a genuine rebuking, they’ll get it, but be sure it’s not what you want or you’ll destroy the purpose of why you preached that sermon.
I remember I was at a place, and the pastor’s wife and the whole shebang had on rings of all sorts. Even some of them had bracelets. It was worldly.
I preached several weeks there, and I waited on the Holy Ghost. If you’re not careful, you’ll plow into it before God’s ready for you to do it. In the first place, He wants to build you up, and let you find favor there, so you can lead them.
I waited until the Holy Ghost got a hold of me, and one evening I wallowed on the floor if you’ll pardon that expression, for three hours. God gave me a message to me to preach, and I knew it was going to contradict everything there, so I prayed for three hours until I got that message in me. God told Ezekiel,
“Eat this roll and go speak unto the house of Israel ” (Ezekiel 3:1).
Some think that since they’ve got a message, they ought to tell it right then. Let that message digest first, and become a part of you. I’ve seen young men preach hard because they heard somebody else preach hard. If that’s not you, and you don’t thoroughly believe it, leave it alone!
There was a time when I didn’t believe that wedding bands were wrong. Do you think that because my friends preached against them that I jumped up and said, “You’d better get them off of there!” You’d better believe I didn’t. I didn’t say a word against them because I didn’t see it. Until I got that in my gizzard and digested it, then he caught me by the lock of the hair, and said, “Now prophecy.” Look, if God gets you by the lock of the hair of the head, you’ll prophecy! Search for acceptable words. Wait on the Lord, and follow His Spirit.
The devil will sometimes tempt you to hit at somebody out there. I went to a church one time, and they were so mad. They hated the pastor. One of them told me, he said, “You see that Judas up there on that platform? You’re not going to have revival around here as long as that Judas is up there.” He even got so mad he went to the pastor, shook his fist in his face and said, “Yes I’m in the flesh, and I can get some more in the flesh!” It was rough!
They’d come to church almost on stretchers, rather than miss. The pastor hoped they’d miss, and they wouldn’t! The reason they were coming was they believed they could stare him down, so he couldn’t preach!
The devil will tempt you to just slap them if you’re not careful. Get a sermon that will fit them. You know what the Holy Ghost made me do? Ignore them. I preached to the sinner, and we shouted like there wasn’t anybody there in trouble. We talked in tongues, we just had a fit! They were wanting us to fight them from the pulpit so bad they could hardly stand it, and we’d have such a victorious service you could literally see defeat on them when they walked out. “They wouldn’t pick on us tonight, and we wanted to fight! ” They knew if we got to picking at them and fighting, others would sympathize with them. So, God, had us ignore them.
Even the pastor wanted us to rise up. Man, I heard him praying one day! You talk about reckless praying! He said “My God, tear every brick down around here. Don’t leave one on another! Oh God, send a whirlwind!” He prayed for tornadoes! After he finished, I said, “I hope he doesn’t answer that prayer! ”
He said, “I felt the leading tonight to disfellowship the whole bunch.”
I said, “Would you please hold on, and let’s see what God will do?” We went on shouting and talking in tongues.
One of the dissenters came up to me, and said: “I hope you have revival, but you’re sure, not wise being up there with that hypocrite.”
I said, “We just prayed thirty-five through, and we are going to have a chance to pray some more through!” They couldn’t stand it. Every victory was a defeat to them.
If you’re not careful, you’ll be like Haman. He was promoted next to the king, riding the king’s horse. Everybody in the kingdom bowed to Haman, but one man. Haman forgot his position, honor, blessings and went home, a having a fit!
“Honey, there’s a little Jew standing over there that won’t bow, and we’re going to get him if it’s the last thing we do!”
He spent the rest of his life trying to destroy one man that wouldn’t bow. If the poor thing would have had a lick of sense he would have just rode his horse around there. But while all those thousands were bowing, he lost all sight of who he was, where he was, and how many blessings he had, trying to get rid of one man!
The devil will tempt preachers, to tear up their church up trying to kill one saint! You can do it. You’ll starve them to death. Every time you get up there, there’s one against you, and so you’re going to clobber him. If you’d see that good bunch, the Spirit will automatically weed that fellow out, but you’ll starve them, and beat them over the head trying to get to one. The devil will tempt you with that.
One preacher said, “If I can’t get an unction from above, then I’ll get one out of the audience.” But that’s dangerous. The minute he saw a trinitarian in the church, he wouldn’t have to get any leading from the Spirit, he knew what to preach. I tell you that’s dangerous. When I was going to preach holiness, I would clear the deck with the pastor. One man kept asking me to come, and he had a ring, and he’s a friend of mine. So I sat down with him, and I said: “Look, what are you going to do when I come and preach against that little thing on your finger?”
I felt beholding to him because if the Holy Ghost would move me to do that, he’d be embarrassed. I would rather he would pull off the ring off before I got there, or have him say, “I can’t have you.” I said, “I wouldn’t feel bad if you’d say, ‘I can’t use you.’ I want you to know that I can’t come to your church and fit your mold. I’ve got to mold those saints, not have them mold me, or else what good am I to them? How am I going to draw them closer to God, if I come there cutting out what I know they don’t like? When I come, I’m coming with all I’ve got. Prophecy, tongues, and interpretation, against rings, the whole shebang.”
He said, “If that’s the case, we’d better wait awhile.”
I said, “Fine.” We were on good speaking terms, and immediately we had a discussion about the rings.
He said, “This is a symbol to me, it reminds me of my vows.”
I said, “What reminds you of your vows to preach? What reminds you of your vows to live for God?”
He said he was against any other type of ring except a wedding band.
I said, “Here’s a student that went to school, and studied hard, and got his graduation ring, and when people see that, that’s a symbol of hard study.
He said, “He has a diploma.”
I said, “Dear God, don’t you have a marriage license? If you don’t you’d better get one!”
He said, “Well, we’d better wait awhile.”
It wasn’t long until we went to a place not far from him, and prayed eighty-three through to the Holy Ghost! It wasn’t long until he was wanting that kind of a revival. He still had his ring on, and I saw him later, and he said: “Come on!”
I said, “What you’re going to do when I hit that little thing on your finger?”
He said, “My wife and I have decided we’re not going to let a little thing like that stand between us and a move of God! ”
If you’ll handle it right, after all, we’re trying to win souls. That’s my purpose, and I’m going to do my best to convert him, with kindness. Didn’t it say,
“Exhort with all longsuffering, and doctrine” (II Timothy 4:2)?
Don’t go in there with a mean spirit, and act like you don’t care for anybody. I’ve preached hard but, Brethren, the majority of the time somewhere in that message there were tears in my eyes, and they were not hypocritical tears. I meant it when I wept.
The sermon I was telling you about that took me three hours to get digested? When I got up that night, I was so covered with the anointing it wouldn’t have mattered who was there, but tears were rolling down my cheeks every moment I was up there. Before it was over with, everybody but the pastor’s wife had their ring off. Saints are easier to win sometimes than preachers and their wives. Wait for the right time. There’s a time and season for everything. In one revival, there were rings everywhere. The pastor’s wife, again, had one. One woman had a thousand dollar set on her finger. I picked her out as my prayer target. I said, “God, if You can get that thousand dollar ring off her finger, You can get the rest of them off,” and she was the hardest case. I started praying every morning about it, and nobody knew a thing about it. I hadn’t preached on rings, but I was praying, “God, you see that woman? Make her pull that ring off, as a testimony, and then I can use her to help get the rest of them off.” I kept praying and praying.
One morning she came to me, and she didn’t have the ring on. She said, “Let me tell you what happened. First of all, when you came here, you never preached against rings, but I felt condemned over these things, yet I kept wearing it. You know what happened yesterday? I lost those things! I pulled them off and handed them to my little boy, and he lost them. We hunted and hunted, but I felt so condemned about them already, that I promised God, ‘If I find them, I’m not going to put them back on because I believe this is you.”‘
“I’m not putting those things back on!” Thank you, Jesus! I still didn’t preach against rings, I just waited. She was now available as a witness, and I knew she was ready anytime I needed her.
One night the Holy Ghost got a hold of me, and tears came as I was preaching, and I began to show the history of the wedding band. How it stemmed from barbaric days. How that Pope Innocent III instituted them into the Catholic church. He borrowed it from the barbaric tribes, and brought it into the church and enforced that every man had to wear a ring. And I preached.
One of our friends was there that night. He said it was comical. While I was preaching she saw a woman look around on either side and eased that ring off and put it in her purse. They came to me by the dozens showing the little white streaks on their fingers. The pastor’s wife was the last one to pull it off, and she’d like to have had a mad fit. I just stayed sweet, and kind around there.
The Saints had pulled them off, but I knew this church had done this before with another evangelist and had put them back on! When I preached that night, I said, “If you’re going to pull them off, you’re going to make yourself a transgressor to put them back on, and a hypocrite.” I had them so tied up, that if they pulled them off they had to leave them off!
Many of them wanted them off and had already felt condemned, but there was the pastor’s wife. They were going by her pattern, but so many of them had pulled theirs off that she felt embarrassed not to pull hers off. She took hers off, and that was the last of it.
All that woman could get for that thousand dollar set was fifty dollars! That shows you how valuable the things are! She said, “I want to give that to the missionaries.” That’s wonderful!
One woman said, “I’m not a pulling mine off!”
I said, “Okay I’m going to ask God to get it off! If God will get it off, would you believe then? You won’t believe me, but I’m going to ask him to get it off.”
She said, “It’d take Him!”
“Okay, I’m going to ask Him to do it.”
It wasn’t two or three nights, she came back and that thing was off! She said, “I don’t know what in the world happened, but that one finger broke out with sores so heavy around that ring, I couldn’t wear it! ”
I said, “Now leave it off ”
God will work with you concerning His word, do you know that? Praise God! I have some copies of an Associated Press International article, covering the history of the ring, and it’s helpful in teaching why the Bible said, “Not the wearing of gold ” (I Peter 3:3).
Its entire history is wrong. It started out wrong. The first diamond ever worn was in honor to the goddess Venus, the goddess of love. Brother Williams showed pictures of the temples that they had over there, to worship the goddess Venus, and the method they used to worship her. The priests would get drunk in one temple, and go to the virgins (they called them virgins), to commit fornication as a form of worship to the goddess Venus. The diamond was placed on the ring to honor her. It started with a barbaric people. A man would capture his wife. He wouldn’t court her, he’d capture her. He’d pick one, and he’d say to his tribesmen, “That’s the one,” and they’d trap, and catch her. Then they’d tie a weed around her finger to subdue her spirit. Later, it became rawhide, and then it became bone, ivory, and iron. Every name involved with that wedding band is what we’re supposed to be against.
Egypt introduced the silver and gold part, then the diamond was added in honor to the goddess, Venus, and then Pope Innocent III reached out and said, “We’re going to make this a law,” and he instituted the wedding band into the Catholic church with God saying all the time, “Not the wearing of gold.”
It’s ridiculous to say it’s protection because it’s not. We need not the gods of gold for our protection. The protection God gave and prescribed was that a woman be with shamefacedness and sobriety. If she has the kind of spirit God wants her to have, she doesn’t need any protection. I’ve often said if one feels like they’re about to be kidnapped, or somebody starts flirting with them, to
say “Thank you, Jesus, praise the Lord!” That’ll stop ’em!
The error is that gold is the symbol of deity, and you shouldn’t be wearing it. The common mistake of mankind is attempting to make the invisible, visible, and then worship it. This is an invisible covenant between a man, his wife, and his God. When you say “I do,” it’s not the “I do” or, the signing of that license, there is an invisible covenant you enter into, with your wife, your God, and you want to make it into a visible form. That’s the common sin of mankind. To make the invisible, visible. Since gold is a symbol of deity, it is an error to wear it, and there’s no place for argument.
One woman called me and fussed about three hours on an article I wrote on rings. She said, “I’ll have to admit most of them wear it for the show, and I realize rings are not a protection to you because if a man wants to commit adultery he wants that woman to have a ring on her before he goes into that motel room, to begin with. If she hasn’t got one, he’ll give her one. That’s no protection.”
That’s common knowledge. If men are going to live that way, they want that woman to have a ring, whether married or not.
But she said, “You don’t know what it means to me.” All three statements she made condemned her. “You just don’t know what it means to me.” Praise the Lord!
I had another woman say she wasn’t going to take hers off. She was ironing one day, and all of a sudden she burned that one finger. The only one she burned, and it was burned so badly she had to pull that ring off. I prayed for it! You can say what you want, but I’ve had God work with me!
I’ll tell you another experience I’ll never forget. In Brother Williams’ church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, there was a woman that came from up North to be there in the Bible college, and she was stubborn. She said, “Nobody will get my ring off! I guarantee C.P. Williams, or nobody else will! ”
Brother Williams had been fighting rings for so long until he was weary. Nobody knew what he was thinking, but this is his testimony. He went to that morning worship planning to get up and tell his congregation, “I’m tired, do what you want to about the ring subject, I’m tired of fighting.” He thoroughly had made up his mind to say that.
Here sat this woman from the North. Nobody knew what Brother Williams was thinking, but several knew what the woman thought because she had made her brags, “Nobody can get it off.”
Just before it was time for Brother Williams to get up there, having planned to make this statement, and release them from the message of rings, that woman screamed to the top of her voice! When she finally got control of herself, she stood up and told her story.
She said, “I came here determined nobody would get these rings off of me, but while I was sitting here, it was as though a knife cut my rings on both sides! They popped off of her finger and fell on the floor! It looked like they had been cut on both sides! I know who got these rings off!”
Brother Williams got up there, weeping, and said, “Folks forgive me, but I had planned to let down on the message this morning, but God came and rescued me! I want you to know, from here on, I’m preaching against rings!” Praise God! God will defend His message if you’ll let Him!
Our women are so different if they are dressed like they ought to be. If our holiness women act, and dress like they ought, men will know they’re religious women, with shamefacedness and sobriety.
“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning,…but let it be I the hidden man of the heart” (I Peter 3:3-4).
If a woman has a quiet and meek spirit, she’s not going to expose herself to temptations or need to fight flirtation.
Stay with the message, and don’t weaken it. Brother Wilhoite used wisdom, not jumping in there and taking those rings off. He probably couldn’t have got them off. It would have driven them away, but he waited until that season when God wanted it done.
An evangelist can be a blessing to a pastor, if he’s prayed-up, and won’t just go to slamming, but go in with love and compassion. He can help that pastor because he can bring up the subject, and get them to thinking about it, and then they’ll come to the pastor. The pastor will tell them what he thinks. Sometimes in private, it makes a lot more difference, if he’d have just got up there, and knocked them around.
I believe in preaching hard, and I preached at one place, “You rebels come on up here!” On the other hand, the anointing was there. It wasn’t Verbal Bean saying that it was the attitude of God towards that service. If you have God with you, you can say almost anything and get by with it, but if it’s just you, you’re going to destroy souls.
An evangelist can be such a blessing to a preacher. He can preach on things, that would almost destroy a church if the pastor would happen to touch on it because the pastor knows. They know he knows it, and it’s hard to believe that he got an unction from God to preach on it when they know he already knows it. If they know that evangelist doesn’t know it, and yet he preaches on it, they have to believe that’s God. That’s one reason I never wanted the pastor telling me about the troubles of the church because if God wanted to use me I didn’t want that hanging over me that he had already told me. It’s a tremendous advantage, so don’t let a pastor ever tell you. Just say, “Brother, let’s just wait on the Lord.” It will a lot better that way.
(Student) Do you think a person should get rid of their rings when they take them off?
(Bean) I do. You want to kill a snake, don’t leave him laying on the front porch. That’s like unplugging the television and turning it around. I think they should.
I know Brother Sharon, and Brother Goldman one time went to that Lake Texarkana and had a dedication service. They were telling it on that Jew, that he was collecting those rings and selling them, making money! So he said, “I’ll fix that.” So, they announced a big service down at the lake, and he had a box of that jewelry, and they went to that lake where it’s about forty feet deep, and poured it in there to the glory of God! All of those rings went to the bottom.
If you want to be popular, don’t preach against rings. You can preach about dress and not get the opposition, but when you start talking about rings; you’re narrowing it down, Friend!
(Student) We were told that we should always have a discussion with the pastor on what he likes, and what he won’t preach against.
(Bean) Brethren, I can’t see that to save my life!
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints” (Ephesians 4:11-12).
Some even think that the evangelist isn’t even supposed to preach to the saints. I can’t see that. If you’re just going to go picking, you’ll get in more trouble than you can get out of, but if you go there to help him, then preach the will of God. You’re not going to hurt them, you’re going to do them good.
It’s the watering down of the ministry to where the people aren’t hearing the message. Then, when they pick a man for the big gathering, they’re sure to pick one that won’t preach on it, and as a result, nobody hears it. The famine of the hearing of the Word of the Lord is now in the land to a great degree, but you and I are supposed to be able to feed it to them.
Please remember to use wisdom, and yield to the leading of the Holy Ghost. Some think that the best way to do it is to always be harsh, and hard. I don’t believe that. I need to show them I love them, and I care for their souls. I’m interested in them.
Oh God, deliver me from this weakness. I could have gone to a lot more places. Not that I needed to, but I could have if I’d have reduced that one message on rings; isn’t that something? But, first of all, get it in your heart. Believe in it yourself, because you’ll get into it.
One pastor told me, “What hurts us so badly, I had an evangelist come preach against them, and about a year later he had one on!” Be convinced before you go speak. Don’t try it, just because you heard somebody else preach it. Get it in your own system, eat it, and digest it.
How many of you have ever heard the debate between Brother McGee and the Church of Christ preacher? I’d like for you Boys to hear it, and take notes. That’s one of the best I’ve ever heard of our “One God” message. The most well-handled one God defense I’ve ever heard in my life! Brother McGee is terribly off on other points. He doesn’t even believe smoking is wrong, but “One God,” he’s got that down.
If ever there was a Camelite got a flogging, he got it! There are nine hours of it! Gentlemen, it will be worth your while. I’ve got it in print, but it’s not as effective as hearing that Irishman talk.
Can you think of a scripture to support the idea that the best way to get God’s attention is for him to get our attention?
(Student) Elijah was shown by God the whirlwind, thunder, and everything, but it was the still, small voice that was God.
(Bean) Did God use the thundering and lightening to get his attention? It’s very possible that He did. Then he heard God’s voice, but he couldn’t hear Him in all of this.
(Student) When Peter was on the water, as long as he kept his eyes on the Lord he walked on the water, but when he took his eyes off the Lord he began to sink.
(Bean) That’s a very good example. A distracted mind does the same thing in your prayer life, as it did to Peter when he started sinking. When your mind gets off of Him, it has the same effect on you, and your prayer life, as it physically had on the Apostle Peter, walking on the waves. The support that God gave him, came from his faith and attention being turned to Jesus.
“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6)
You’re going to have difficulty, there’s going to be static on the line, and a lot of times you’re simply not going to get God’s attention, period. If you think your brother has ought against you, leave your offering, and be reconciled to him. Then, you can come back and offer your prayers to God. Otherwise, God is not obligated to hear you, and He will not hear you.
There are other things that will hinder, along the line of guilt. The Bible tells us, (and we started into this last night before you boys got me completely off on demons,) you receive not because you ask not. And then he said you receive not because you ask amiss. We know that God would be grieved if all you ever prayed for was a million dollars and a Cadillac. God wants you to be blessed, but He doesn’t want you to spend your lifetime pleading with Him over riches, and so we can ask amiss, and it will hinder our prayers.
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us; And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him ” (I John 5:14-15).
That’s one of the most powerful scriptures settings for faith that I know anything about. It’s so simple we stumble over it, but look at it just like it is. If what you’re asking for is His will, He hears you, and if you know that He hears you, you’ve got it! Brother, that’s a powerful scripture! If it’s His will you have an assurance that you can have it!
Here’s another thing that would hinder our prayers. Paul talks about family life. Some of you don’t have a family, but you will someday. The Bible teaches that domestic problems will cause you to not get your prayers through. It talks about family relation; husband and wife relationships. If it is adverse, if there’s something going on wrong, it will cause the prayers of those people to be hindered.
It would be well for you to study this topic because we don’t want to waste our time in prayer. We want to be effective. You can’t go to God, after having a fuss with your wife, and say, “Oh God, I want great things from You,” and expect results. I believe a man has got to keep his heart clean, or God won’t to hear him.
The second step to successful praying is a matter of keeping your heart clean, whatever it takes! Keep your heart clean, and I believe that it’s well for you, even though you don’t know a thing you’ve done wrong, that’s a good moment to find out. “Oh, God, search my heart. Show me if I’ve done anything.” God’s fair enough that He will quicken your attention to a mistake that you’ve made.
Wait on God. Anybody that wants to get all these things from God, and do it in ten minutes of hurried praying might as well forget it. We need to learn to wait on God. On every step, we need to learn to wait on God, and especially this one. That He might show us if there are any hidden sins, that we might not have recognized as mistakes.
God doesn’t just overlook it; he’s not a modern parent. Modern parents say, “Johnny if you do that I’m going to whip you.” Johnny does it, and nobody ever does anything. God’s not that way. If He says it’s wrong, it’s wrong, and it’ll remain wrong as long as eternity exists. Time doesn’t cover sin.
I’ve known people to think that because it happened twenty years ago, and their conscience has already become more or less seared, that took care of sin, but it doesn’t. It’s just as bright, black, dark, and hideous tonight, as it was thirty years ago. Time does not correct sin. The only thing that will do it, is repentance.
You see, after we have come to the knowledge of the truth,
“There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26).
There’s a time in your life when you come to God as a sinner. There’s a lot in your life that God just simply wipes out. But after you pray through, it’s not wiped that easily from the records. You’ve got to go and do some things yourself. The sacrifice has already been used.
Do we want to stay on this one? Is that a good healthy sign that we’re humble if we spend our whole hour saying, “God forgive me for some old sin we committed way back yonder?” How far do we go on step number two to successful praying?
Until we are assured. Would you give an idea of how you feel when you are assured, or how am I to know when I am assured? Is there a danger that the devil could take advantage of you there, and your feelings would still not give you the right and correct answer?
(Student) He’ll show you the particular sin, whereas the devil will continually give you a guilty feeling.
(Bean) I’m glad you remembered. That’s a good point. Humility is not a continual beating yourself over the head or defeating yourself by accusations. That’s not true humility. In true humility, we recognize our helplessness, weakness, and our need of God.
But, to say how sorry you are for a solid hour is not the approach that God enjoys. He enjoys your faith in His forgiveness. He wants you to believe that He forgave you. Asking God one time to forgive, fixes it, forever. That is, if you did not owe someone else an apology. I’m talking about when you have thoroughly, completely, obeyed the plan of repentance, then God does it immediately. Mercy covers it right then, and blood washes it away.
The question comes up with people who miserably fail, should they be baptized again? Certainly not. After we’ve once been baptized and received the Holy Ghost, never again do you need to be baptized in Jesus’ name, you just simply need to offer repentance to God for your sins.
This is a point that you might like to know. Certainly, every preacher has his right, I guess, to an opinion on it. The question comes up many times, when a person that’s baptized and never prayed through, and went back in sin, then comes back. Personally, I do not believe they are thoroughly born; therefore, I usually baptize them over again. If I know they have gone deeply into sin again, or go back in sin, they never did pray through, then I’d baptize them again. If they get the Holy Ghost, that’s it. As long as they live, the only thing they need to do is apologize.
(Student) What if they feel the need to be baptized again?
(Bean) I’ll baptize them. If by explaining it to me, I determine that it’s not the devil tormenting them; I’ll baptize them, because it’s the answer of a good conscience, and I’d rather redo it too many times, than not enough. If you don’t watch it, backsliders will be having you baptize them every time they pray back through. They are trying to pay their way back to that place where they once were, and that’s not God’s plan.
(Student) Is it necessary when a backslider prays back through, to speak in tongues as evidence?
(Bean) How would they know that they have got everything clear if they didn’t get some kind of an evidence? It’s too dangerous.
Man, I wouldn’t take that, knowing that I’ve got to go into eternity. I’d hate to know that I haven’t come back into the fold, receiving the Holy Ghost without the evidence of speaking in tongues. In the first place, you need to pray through often, anyhow. This doctrine of once talking in tongues, and then you don’t have to anymore, is the most dangerous doctrine I know. That is a twin sister to “Once saved, always saved,” and I don’t believe that. That’s somebody else’s doctrine. I believe you need to recharge that battery often. The Bible speaks about the regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, and it makes sense that every now and then you need to refresh your relationship with God.
“He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself” (I Corinthians 14:4).
There’s an edification that somebody’s not going to get if they don’t talk in tongues often. We are fast developing in Pentecost a doctrine of “Once saved, always saved.” It actually is a scary thing. We need to express our faith to God no matter what our feelings are if we have thoroughly repented. We must believe that He forgives, and move on to the next step in successful praying. Believing God, having full assurance that we can come boldly, now we can say, “Hearken.” We can start telling Him things that we want. We can tell him to do something, and we can then say, “Defer not.
“In the example Jesus gave, he taught us to pray by saying, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This is the parallel to Daniel’s five-point prayer, when he says, “Hearken, do and defer not.” Give it today, and give us a particular thing, today.
Do you have any other scriptures that would give us the idea of pinpointing our prayers? Telling God to do certain things, instead of the general prayers of “Oh God move,” or “Oh God stir,” and the general terms that are so often used, and the repeating of the calling of His name.
(Student) “Concerning the works of my hands, command ye me.”
(Bean) Okay, can you think of others?
(Student) “Say to this mountain, be thou removed.”
(Bean) “And to say to this certain tree.” He even said to call the name of it, because if you’ve got that faith, and say “Tree be moved.” Which one’s going to go? God wants it pinpointed.
Another beautiful illustration of pinpointing your prayers is when Jesus stated, “Lazarus, come forth.” That was a demonstration of pinpointing your prayers to God. Let me give you another one that’s very good.
“Take with you words, and turn to the Lord ” (Hosea 14:2).
This does not contradict the spirit of intercessory prayer, that is, groanings that cannot be uttered. Because the spirit now is pinpointing it, even though your mind does not register as to what it is.
When you are groaning, or you are interceding in tongues, the Spirit is still pinpointing. For you know not what to pray for as you ought, but the Spirit will bear your infirmities, and pray for you and through you, but in any case, I’d guarantee you that He’s pinpointing your prayers.
(Student) When you’re praying in tongues, are you in the channel of supplication or intercession?
(Bean) It would be determined by what the Spirit is praying through you about. When God takes over, Paul said,
“I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also” (I Corinthians 14:15).
So if God takes over, you so thoroughly trust Him, it’s not important at that point if you’re that far along as to what area you’re in, because the reason we’ve even discussed the channels of approach was that we might be received by God. You’re already in touch with Him. There’s no static on the line.
I believe there are divers tongues. There are tongues to be interpreted, there’s the initial evidence of the Holy Ghost, there are tongues of praise, there are tongues of prayer and intercession. You don’t always know what you’re praying for, but sometimes the Spirit will at least give you the faint idea of what direction it’s is going, and in my experience, I believe I have prayed for myself in tongues. I believe I have made supplication through tongues.
Generally, if you’re praying around a seeker, or for others, and the spirit of prayer comes on you in any degree it’s generally for them, and that’s the intercessory spirit.
I have been praying for certain things, and the Spirit didn’t want me fooling with that now, it wanted this. Could you see how that could become confusing?
Here I am saying “Oh, God, save John Doe,” or “Oh, God, move in a certain direction over here,” and all of a sudden the Spirit will pick me up, and move me somewhere else, because of the urgency.
You don’t always determine what the Spirit is praying through you for, by what you’ve been doing. It could be that it would want to transfer you, and that’s the reason it picked you up because it saw that you were wasting your time around here, so it moved you toward something else more valuable at the moment.
Remember that all tongues are not blessings. Some of its personal edification, that’s all its for, but there are times when you are definitely making appeals to God. Whether it be supplication or intercession, you’re making appeals through tongues.
(Student) You say that the Spirit maketh intercession for us. I have a hard time understanding how God can pray to God?
(Bean) The thing that you are failing to see is that’s it’s moving on you through your spirit, and borrowing your tongue. It’s still using the human element.
“Oh thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come” (Psalm 65:2).
You’d almost have to say the same thing about praying with an understanding. Have you ever been quickened to pray something? You knew what you were saying, but the Spirit quickened that to you to pray? The Spirit told you to say that. God told you to tell him, and that’s the secret of praying. God could take care of all this without us, but he chooses to use us. He chooses the channel of prayer, whether it’s understood or not.
I’ve been praying along, and it’s just like preaching a sermon. In fact, I contend that every now and then, everybody ought to pray like they’re preaching. There are times when I go to walking and praying, and I preach my prayer.
If you want to exercise anointing in your life, that’s a good way to do it, and you’ll actually be in good practice with the anointing if you’ll preach your prayers. Many sermons I’ve received from God, I got walking and preaching my prayers. Quoting scriptures, praying as I felt led, and the first thing you know here comes thoughts that I hadn’t had, because I’m in the spirit now, and the anointing is on me.
Here I am praying, and all of a sudden, the Spirit moves me to pray for a certain thing. I know for what I’m praying. The Spirit told my spirit, and my mind to say this. There would be no difference in that, then the Spirit telling my mind, and my tongue to say something in another language. No difference. It’s all the Spirit interceding for us. The only thing is, at times, He chooses that not only prayer but praise, that we praise Him in His own heavenly language.
He gave me the desire to pray, then He tells me what to pray for, and then He answers my prayer. He could have gone on and done it all without me, but He chooses to use man, and this is how He gets affection from us. This is how He gets our praise. This is why He made man.
On your channels of approach, did you get this point of preaching your prayer? Try that sometime, if you haven’t already tried it. Just get in a good spirit of prayer, and the best place to do this is off by yourself somewhere. Find yourself a room, where nobody will be a listening, and you can freely pray like you want, and talk to God. You’ll be surprised what will come into your mind to pray for, and the messages that will come to you.
(Student) When you’re praying and God reminds you of a scripture or a certain place in the Bible, and you feel that it’s the will of God to read that scripture, is reading that scripture a part of your prayer?
(Bean) I’ve looked up David’s prayers many times and read them, and they fit my spirit right then. I prayed them just like he prayed them. I read them to God as a prayer. Did you know that a lot of the Psalms were written as prayers? They were sung as prayers to God. Many times in my praying I use songs. That’s why the Bible says to speak to yourself in psalms, and in songs, spiritual songs. Speak to yourself.
(Student) Do you believe that in the testimony of the saint, that God can describe the kind of a service that he wants?
(Bean) Definitely! It is a number one good sign. I watch saints very closely, especially people that know God. I keep my eye on them, and whatever spirit’s on them, I want to check that out.
This is a body. You’re the pastor, and in a sense, you’re the head, but there’s a Great Mind over all of us. This body is supposed to work in coordination. Often, when I’m having trouble finding God,
I watch the body. There’s going to be a certain harmony. Not everybody’s going to find it. Some of those lukewarm, far off, prayerless saints won’t, but you know there’s always a kernel in every church that carries the burden of a service. You watch them and you’ll do very well, and hear them.
Often, the reason I have a testimony service is, I don’t know which direction to go. Their testimonies may not direct me, as far as the wording, or content, but sometimes by their testifying they stir up the Spirit. A saint can bless another saint sometimes quicker than a preacher can, and they get the Spirit stirring. Maybe, what they’re talking about doesn’t even fit what I’m fixing to do, but at least they get the Spirit stirring, to where I could find the will of God. Sometimes, it’s dangerous to throw it open for testimonies. The greater portion of the time, I pick out those to testify. It’s not always that I feel that one is more superior than the other. Sometimes I pick them out because I feel they need to testify, but I certainly have been helped a many of times by standing back and listening to saints. Maybe they’re dead and dry, but here they are. You, as a preacher, can sit there dead and dry, until you have to get up to preach. The anointing doesn’t always come on you until you need it, and you get up and start a song or start talking or reaching and the anointing comes. This happens to a saint. You get about a half a dozen saints that are lifeless, and all of a sudden they stand up and as a result of telling something, they stir themselves up. By that, they stir the next one, and the next one gets up and stirs a little more, and the first thing you know you’ve got some Holy Ghost around there. Now you can have church!
(Student) What would you do if you went to a lifeless, dead, cold church, to get them stirred so that you could have revival?
(Bean) How long you going to be there is an important factor. The length of time I was going to be there would determine what I would do.
It’s hard to answer because I would be feeling after God at ninety miles per hour. I know God will give me something to stir them, but every service would be different. It may take simply laying hands on every last one of them, or maybe joining hands to pray for one another, or a victory march, or a sermon on worship, or I’ll cause them to remind themselves of what God’s done for them. If I happen to know what God’s done for one of them, I’d say “Do you remember what God did for you? When God healed that baby of yours when it was dying?” It takes just a few suggestions like that until the Spirit’s rolling!
Setting the pattern is hard. When a man’s following God, he may wind up doing silly things. I marched them outside on one occasion, but you wouldn’t do that every place! It’s a matter of finding God in that service.
God has used a victory march, or start some good choruses. Lay hands on them, and a few times, but occasionally, I’ve given them a good rebuking for their laziness. If you did that every time, you’d kill them. Inspire them by scripture; tell them something God’s done for you in the recent past, or have them say something.
On some occasions, I grab my guitar and go to singing, but it works so differently, because of the people, the time, the situation, the things that may be causing it.
Sometimes, you don’t tell them to worship, you don’t victory march them, you tell them like I did in one place, “Sit down, and shut up, and hush! You’re not worthy to shout! You’ve got sin in the camp!” You start more digging on the sin, and by the time the sin’s moved out, they’re worshipping all out! I don’t want to inspire you to be mean, and unkind, but sometimes it’s needful. When God’s leading you, you can just about say anything and get by with it, but if He’s not in it, anything you say will fall. I went to one place, and I’d been there before, and we had a mighty breakthrough, and they learned to worship God. When I came back, they wanted me to think that they still had the victory.
“Your labors weren’t lost, so here goes!”
Man, they went to leaping and carrying on, and it was all a put on! You could tell it was, and God had showed me in a dream, before I got there, that there was sin in that camp.
I told the pastor, “There’s sin in this place.” I told them to sit down because they weren’t fit to shout. That was the most disappointed people you’d ever seen. I start digging on the cause for all of it, and in this particular case, I never did release them. The Pastor told me about a month later, he said “Would you please come back and tell them that it’s okay for them to shout! They have died on me!”
I found it a very valuable thing to have some good thoughts on worship ready. It doesn’t take a long sermon a lot of times. I use the thought of Mary and Simon. When a church goes into a revival, I tell them the story about Simon inviting Jesus over for dinner to talk, because there are some people that don’t want to worship. They want to hear a preacher. I had one fellow that got plum mad and stayed home from church because we shouted a few nights.
He said, “I love the deep things, such as the Word of God.” That type person you have often.
Simon invited Jesus over to discuss probably philosophy, current events, and “go deep!” Here came Mary slipping in, and falling at His feet. Staying long enough to cry enough tears to wash both of His feet.
Simon said, “If this was a prophet, he’d know this was a sinful woman.”
Jesus perceived his thoughts and said “Simon when I came to your house You gave me no water to wash My feet, but this woman has washed My feet with her tears. Simon when I came to your house, you gave Me no kiss, but this woman hasn’t ceased to kiss My feet since she’s been here.”
God is showing us how much He enjoys worship above just sitting around, discussing some of the “Deep things.”
Of course, in connection to that, is the story of Mary and Martha. Martha was encumbered. Mary had chosen that good part, to sit at the feet of Jesus, to listen, and worship him. Let’s say you’ve gone for a couple of weeks, and all of a sudden the service dies. All you have to do is say “Simon, Simon? Jesus is here!” Usually, that story comes back to memory. To no particular person out there “Hey Simon! Jesus is here!”
“Oh yeah, I remember that story he told, and what was that connection? Oh yeah, Mary was worshipping, and Simon wasn’t.”
Reminding them of a previous message brings new life. They tell me if a man’s been drunk, if he’ll drink water the next morning, he’ll get on another drunk. So, sometimes we can take a sermon we’ve used, and just give them one shot of it, and they’ll pick it up. So, I will have available some good thoughts on the necessity and benefits of worship, because our churches need that, you can hardly ever miss it.
(Student) What happens if you start a sermon, and you get into it and the message dies on you?
(Bean) It’s like a sister who came here one time. Sister Dorothy Miller. She had heard that in bible schools they taught you to preach when the anointing wasn’t there. How to “can” your sermons. She said, “They don’t need to teach any of that. I know what to do when the anointing doesn’t come. Sit down!”
Generally, when God doesn’t give you a message, and you have sincerely sought for one, then there’s something else He wants done in that service. Now find it! If you don’t do it, you’ll waste good sermons. Maybe you’ll preach one of the old ones that you know, or you’ll waste a good service by not finding the will of God.
Let us discuss fasting along with prayer, and certainly, it’s almost impossible to obtain any prayer without the twin sister of fasting. Some things cannot happen, certain demon forces will not move except by the combination of prayer and fasting.
Fasting almost fits to the tee the parallel of prayer. Fasting has got to be done with purpose. I Believe you ought to pinpoint your fasting just like you do with prayer. I’ve had people tell me they’d fast and it wouldn’t do them any good. You know why? They had no purpose in it. They were not fasting for any particular reason. You’re defeating your fasting efforts with no purpose.
I have something in mind when I’m fasting. I’m either trying to drive out carnality in myself, or I am fasting for a soul or both. I don’t want to set an example, I’ll just give you my experience, and you work out yours.
When I’m fasting, I don’t pray that much. I pray, and I believe you should, but I don’t pray as much when I’m fasting as immediately afterward. My faith in fasting is so strong, that when I’m fasting I believe something is going to happen as a result.
There’s nothing more valuable to me than fasting. Give me about three days of fasting, and I’ve never seen one too hard that wouldn’t break! I’ve never seen a problem that wouldn’t fall before it! Fasting will actually do more for you than if you were praying all night for thirty days. Prayer and fasting need to be mixed together, often, and consistently. Every now and then you need to show the flesh that it’s going to go a little longer than usual.
My faith in fasting is this; any degree of fasting you do, God honors it, but you’ll only get that much from it. If you fast one meal, you’ll get a one-meal blessing. I’ve experienced that. It’s as distinct as it can be, as far as my own feelings, I can tell the difference. I have fasted where, maybe, after the second or third day, I’d start drinking water, and I never recommend going beyond the third day without water, unless you know God told you to do it. If you do without food and drink water, you’re not going to get the greatest reward out of it; but you will get honor for it.
I’ll go on a fast this evening at three o’clock, and eat again next evening at three, the next evening at three. That’s not a perfect fast, but it is a fast. I believe any degree of fasting you do, God honors it, but now if you want the best, and you’re on a three day fast; don’t touch anything. That’s the ultimate!
(Student) Why do you pray less during a fast?
(Bean) There is a difficulty due to weakness. I don’t mean that I quit praying, but not an all-night prayer meeting, or spending three or four hours a day in prayer while I’m fasting. Unless God tells me otherwise, I pray my normal prayer. My faith is, fasting is getting me ready to do more praying; therefore, it’s building my faith.
After I have fasted and got a little strength, then can I touch God. My mind is fresher; my spirit is fresher, everything about me is more alert, because I’ve got a little strength. The fasting is taking affect already; the power of God is already close to me; the flesh is defeated. Now I can pray, but while I’m in the process of killing this flesh, it’s not as alert toward God, and this is one reason why my faith in fasting is so strong.
I don’t want to mislead you, but I believe when I’m fasting I could almost not pray at all, and still get mighty results. If you’ll pardon that, and don’t say, “Okay, I’m fasting, so Brother Bean said I don’t even need to pray.” I believe that there’s power in it, and after I have conquered the flesh with a fast, I’m ready to pray.
There’s a lot of people that defeat the effects of their fast because they couldn’t pray as effectively as they thought they ought to, and as a result of that, they had a guilt feeling that defeated their fasting efforts. I don’t believe you ought to have that feeling. Do what you can in the form of reading your Bible and prayer, but if I’m just too weak to pray, I’m going to wait until I get a little strength, and then I know I can pray.
(Student) What if when after you started a fast for a purpose, God answers it during the fast? Do you continue to fast to its completion?
(Bean) A friend of mine had been on a seven day fast. His wife became sick, and God spoke to him, “If you go on a three day fast, I’ll heal her.” He had just come off of a seven, and he started a three day fast. The first day of that three day fast she got her complete healing! However, since God had spoken to him to go on a three day fast (and I believe to prove his faithfulness), he went on and finished his planned fast. Sometimes, our faithfulness is proven after we get the victory.
He went all the way through, but I believe in fasting through just like you pray through. Maybe you didn’t know how long it was going to take; you just wanted to fast until you fasted through, with no particular set time. When you got through, that’s the time to let up. Unless God has assigned you a certain number of days, if you feel that, and get your victory the first day, it’d be best to go all the way through.
I believe setting your time for fasting sometimes is like setting your time for prayer. You just prayed a certain length of time. You didn’t pray through, you just prayed your hour, or sometimes you just fasted a day or two days, and you didn’t fast through.
Every now and then you need to fast until you feel yourself go through.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM “PRAYER” BY VERBAL BEAN, S.G. CARRIER, EDITOR, 1991, PRIVATELY PUBLISHED, PAGES 149-196. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.