By Nathaniel Urshan
From almost every fundamental, orthodox, and evangelical, Christian group there is rising today this prayer and plea: “Lord, send us a new and fresh outpouring of thy Holy Spirit!”
We are repeatedly driven to our knees in prayer for a new anointing from God as we realize that only His power can withstand the sin-tide of our generation and bring men back to a moral sanity and to God.
In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul said, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might…For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day” (Eph. 6:10-13).
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” That is the need of the church today. The strength of the Lord, and the power of his might. Will God today make His ministers flames of fire, and each of His saints a flaming seraph of witnessing power?
From the Word of God I shall present these three salient facts: First, we need to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Second, God, who cannot lie, has promised to every obedient believer this anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Third, this blessing can be your personal experience if and when you become obedient to the gospel. We need to be endued with power from on high, not only because we are conscious of our weakness, but also because God has seen our need for power.
In the third chapter of Matthew we read of the preaching and promises of John the Baptist: “In these days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand . . . Then went out to him all Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins . . But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism (and may I remind you that the Pharisees and Sadducees, then as now, were the ritualists, and rationalists in religion), he said unto them, 0 generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Matthew 3:1-11).
John the Baptist saw the need of the people. Their need cried out, “Baptize us with thy power, O God.” To this multitude John said, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” That one promise to the multitude reveals the heresy of the unscriptural teaching that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost was given only unto the apostles. It was promised to the whole multitude of believers, because every believer needs to be filled with the Spirit of God. Our need of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost was a matter of great concern to the Lord Jesus Christ.
In St. John 16:7, we read, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”
In Luke 24:45-49 we read Christ’s parting message to His disciples: “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
“And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God” (Luke 24: 50-53) .
One week later, as the one hundred and twenty disciples tarried in the upper room, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and fire.
From that day — from the Day of Pentecost—the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was the normal experience for the New Testament Christians.
As the prophets before the cross saw our need for this enduement of power, so the Apostles of the Lamb impressed upon all believers their need for this anointing.
In Acts 19:1-6, we read, “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost (or, we did not so much as hear whether the Holy Ghost was given). And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
The Need for the Holy Spirit
Yes, we do need the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The prophets predicted it. Jesus Christ declared it. The Apostles pressed the question, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost, since ye believed?”
Just as surely as our need of the Holy Spirit anointing was revealed by prophets, and Apostles, and by our Lord Jesus, even so, the Promise of the Holy Spirit was made by Prophets of Old, by the Apostles of the Church, and by our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Isaiah 59:20-21, the prophet declared: “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.”
That promise should prevent any Christian from foolishly assuming the gift of the Holy Spirit was only for the first generation of the church.
And again, we have the words of the Prophet Joel: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit” (Joel 2:28-29).
We return again to the prophet Isaiah for another prediction of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.”
This article “The Holy Spirit” by Nathaniel A. Urshan was excerpted from: These Men Are Drunk! By Nathaniel A. Urshan.
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