By E L Thornton
“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Paul was a believer in being filled with the Spirit. Please notice that spirit is capitalized, meaning that Paul is referring to a person, place, or thing. Whatever you want to call the Holy Ghost, Paul said you must be filled with it. He taught it to the Romans. (Rom 8:5-11) “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 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. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
(1 Cor 2:11-12) “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”
(Gal 5:7-16) “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. I would they were even cut off which trouble you. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
This, “being filled with the Spirit,” is more than being born again, but is a growing to a maturity in God that we put away childish things. (1 Cor 13:11) “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
Churches have been like Doctors and eating establishments, they specialize;
The Nazarenes – Sanctification, The Wesleyans – Perfect Love, The Quakers – Overcoming Power, Presbyterians – Death to Self, The Pentecostals – What we ain’t got that we so desperately need, Fullness of Spirit. We desperately need an old time baptism of Spirit.
We, in ourselves, are utterly powerless and helpless, to perform the duties of what God intended for the Church, unless we are living with “the fullness of the Spirit.”
(Gal 3:3) “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
I’d rather you be a little wrong about the profound things of life, and have the power and demonstration and fullness of Spirit. Than to see you have all the I’s dotted and the t’s crossed and not have the Spirit.
I. BEING FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT IS A BIBLE TRUTH:
Acts 1:4 “– but wait for the promise of the Father,”
Acts 1:5 “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
Acts 2:4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
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.”
Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses—”
Acts 2:17 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: ”
Eph 5:17-19 “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;”
Wharever you care to call it, whatever you think about it, whatever you believe about it, you gott’a be filled with it.
An old black preacher was asked what was the definition of unction, His reply was, “I don’t know what it bees, but I shore know what it ain’t.”
If programs and plans would fill us, if sermonettes and homiletices would fill us,
if education and formality would save us, I suppose we would be in the Kingdom now. But these things have never and will never save us, but it will take being filled with the Spirit.
What I’m trying to say is, whatever you try, plan or programize in the Kingdom of God, it is as worthless as a deep freeze in the Antarctic unless you have the power of God.
I’m not saying that God is in the loudess Amen, But I am saying that we need, in our church and others, a new breath of God that will give us joy and tears, shouting and conviction, something supernatural to transpire in our public services and in our cold souls.
There is no “New way” to get “Old time” religion. It comes from heaven from God, and then only when, the church or the individual, has an all consuming desire for it to happen.
II. IT IS AN OLD TESTAMENT TRUTH:
Jacob – ——– Wrestled with angel all night, “want let you go till you bless me”
Elisha ———- “I want stop till I get your mantel and a double portion of spirit”
Gideon ——– Where are the miracles of our fathers, spirit came on him
Samson ——- The Lord began to move on him at times
David ——— The spirit of the Lord came on him
How did Gideon overcome the enemy with 300?
How did David kill Bear, Lion, Giant?
How come the Lions didn’t destroy Daniel? on and on the question would go and the answer every time is the spirit of the Lord. (Zech 4:6) “—–Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Jesus, the man, did not perform one miracle. (John 14:10) “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”
One old saint was praying one day, “God give us preachers on Sunday morning with warm bread they just got from heaven’s bakery!” while her preacher was in the next isle praying, “Lord give us saints that come on Sunday morning for bread that have so laboured in your field that they’ll eat what’s set before them.” So it’s not just the preachers job to be filled with the Spirit but also the church.
One brother was praying, “Lord give us unction in the pulpit,” while his pastor was praying, “Lord give us action in the pew.”
“Letting your light shine,” is more than just looking like a child of God. It is considerably more than just acting like a child of God. It is substantially more than just attending church services. Letting your light shine is being filled with the Spirit to the point that worship will move you, where preaching will touch you, where a burden for the Kingdom of God will strike you to your knees in fervent prayer.
Our theme song should be;
I am thine, O Lord, I have heard thy voice,
and it told thy love to me,
But I long to rise in the arms of faith,
and be closer drawn to thee.
In a time and age that every thing conceivable is screaming for our attention, isn’t it about time we listen to the “still small voice.”
I want to be a good preacher, but I want to be filled with the Spirit. I want to be a good singer, but I want to be filled with the Spirit. I want to be a good husband, but I want to be filled with the Spirit. I want to be a good PaPa, but I want to be filled with the Spirit. I want to be a good friend, but I want to be filled with the Spirit. I can be all that and be filled with the Spirit.
(Titus 2:12) “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; The world makes it’s demands, but we can be, ought to be, better be filled with the Spirit.