The Results Of Being Filled With The Spirit
By: Hyman J. Appelman
“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. 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. And all the men were about twelve.” – Acts 19:1-7.
The Holy Spirit Is Every Christian’s Birthright Every child of God is entitled to the fullness of the Spirit. There is no such thing as playing favorites with God.
A great, outstanding, nationally known preacher said to me that we cannot have the victories that D.L. Moody had because of the difference in the times. I do not believe that the times make any difference to God. It is people who make the difference. If we made the same surrenders that D.L. Moody made, that Charles G. Finney and the rest of those giants made, I believe in my soul that we should have the same power.
I will tell you something else that I believe. It is buried in my heart. I am convinced that we are on the very threshold of God’s raising up some man, somewhere soon, who will, for awhile at least, turn the world back to Christ. I believe that before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is very imminent, we are going to have another great revival. Perhaps it is because my heart wants it so desperately; there are so many unsaved people. But there is another reason. See if it strikes a responsive chord in your hearts. If I were God (and I speak it reverently) before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ I should give the world one more chance at a sweeping, spiritual victory. The man whom God will use nowadays will have so much more than Moody, or Torrey, or great Billy Sunday, or the rest of them had, that it will be infinitely easier for him to reach the world with his voice than it was for them. A man does not have to go to England to preach the gospel to England. He can preach it right here in the United States, and they will hear him in England. A man does not have to go to Africa to preach the gospel to Africa. There are radio stations right here in the United States of America that can beam gospel messages out yonder to India, to Africa, to the islands of the sea. The man whom God is going to use, I guarantee you, will have sense enough to take advantage of these things.
Again, I repeat, the Holy Spirit is every Christian’s birthright. “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 2:38-39). “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: …That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Gal. 3:13-14). It is every Christian’s birthright, for He is every Christian’s birthright.
The Holy Spirit Is Every Christian’s Need
If I had my way, because of my own personal, bitter experience, nobody would ever graduate from a seminary unless he had first had and could point to an experience with the Holy Spirit. If I had my way, nobody would ever be ordained until he had first had and could witness to an experience with the Holy Spirit. If the Lord ever puts me on an ordination council, and the rest get through asking the candidate about his state physically, mentally, morally, spiritually, I am going to ask him one question: “Have you been filled with the Spirit?” If he has not been filled with the Spirit, you go on and ordain him. I do not want to have anything to do with it. Unless a person is ordained by the Holy Spirit, he has just about as much right to preach the gospel as Myron Taylor has out yonder in the Vatican in Rome, just about as much as I would have being the Mikado.
Yes, the Holy Spirit is every Christian’s need. The world was going to Hell. Men, women, children were dying in sin. Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. His salvation was available to every soul. Yet He told the disciples, “Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). The world was going down to a devil’s Hell just as fast as Satan could drive it. Saul, the converted Pharisee, was aflame with desire to tell the story of Jesus. Yet fourteen years of his life were seemingly lost because God was not ready to use him, because the anointing of the Holy Spirit surely was not upon him in the mighty afflatus and power that later made him the greatest of his day and time, and for that matter, of all days and times.
The Holy Spirit Is Every Christian’s Responsibility
Not only is He every Christian’s birthright, not only is He every Christian’s need, but He is every Christian’s responsibility. Oh, yes, we tear a passion to tatters talking about temperance, drunkenness, and so on. But I say to you that the Christian who is not filled with the Spirit is just as much a sinner in the sight of God as the Christian who goes out and takes a drink of Bourbon. There is no question about it. It is the same command, the same imperative mood, the same verse of Scripture, the same words, the same definite declaration from God: “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).
You can live right; you can do right; but if you are not filled with the Holy Spirit, you are a long way from being where God wants you to be or what God wants you to be. I will prove it to you. Let me show you something. My mother, a Jewess, believes that Jesus Christ is a bastard. I have heard her say that. My father does not believe anything of the kind, but he is not a Christian. My mother does not smoke. She does not even touch tobacco. My father does. My mother never goes to a show. My mother never reads a novel. My mother is the soul of kindness. She is the soul of sacrificial charity. She will do anything for anybody, at any time, day or night. Yet, my mother believes that Jesus is a bastard. You say that you believe that Jesus is the Christ of God. What do you do more than my mother? She lives right. Why, people think she is the finest woman on her side of the city! When anybody is in trouble they go to her.
My father is the same way. A group of men came into my office when I was practicing law, with a real estate deal involving a quarter of a million dollars, an apartment hotel. They could not come to an agreement. There was the sum of some twenty-odd thousand dollars on the table. After they had divided the rest of the money as per contractual relations, there was left a pile amounting to some twenty-odd thousand dollars profit. It was right there on my desk, in money-not in checks-but in gold, in silver, in bills. They did not know how to divide it. The bank was closing.
Reaching for my telephone, I called Scott Duffy, the teller. I said, “Scott, this is Hyman Appelman. I have twenty thousand dollars. I am going to bring it to the bank. Can you hold open a little while longer?”
He must have looked at the clock, when he said, “I will wait for you fifteen minutes extra. I cannot do any more than that.” Turning to my clients, I said, “In fifteen minutes I am going.”
They argued, and argued, and argued. Finally I reached for my hat and coat to leave. One of them turning to the others said, “Listen, let’s let him hold the money,” meaning me. Crooks do not trust anybody, you know. They got quiet. Then another one said, “Sure, let him hold it. He is Louis Appelman’s boy.” If you do not think I was proud of my daddy about then! Louis Appelman’s boy! Twenty thousand dollars-Louis Appelman’s boy! “He is all right, he has good blood in him.” Louis Appelman – my daddy!
He does not believe in Jesus Christ at all, and yet the only bad habit he has is smoking. I know some outstanding preachers and Bible teachers who do that. Nobody has ever accused him of immorality. I have never heard him say a curse word. I have never heard him raise his voice loud, except when he was bawling me out, and then it would be followed with a strapping. Then he would make me kiss the strap on top of that, to add insult to injury!
Tell me, what do you do more than my daddy? You give to charity. You give to religion. You call a conference every year. You need thirty-five hundred dollars, and it takes five or six days to raise it. Listen, I stood in a Jewish synagogue in Chicago and saw Sam Terman buy, for twenty-three thousand dollars, the privilege of standing by while a portion of Scripture was being read. You do not understand it. They auction off these privileges. You talk about giving money, you talk about raising money for missions, why, you do not know what you are talking about! I stood on the platform of the Young Men’s Hebrew Institute in Chicago. (It is like the Y.M.C.A., only it is Jewish), and I saw Jacob DeHaas make an appeal for Zionism. I saw men and women come flocking down the aisles, to throw money on the platform until Mr. DeHaas stood waist deep in bills. Have you ever seen it like that in any Christian church?
Samuel Andrew Hoffman, secretary of the Zionist Convention in Chicago, announced a banquet in the Drake Hotel of that city. There were ten thousand tickets sold. There was room for two thousand people. The tickets were sold all over America for ten dollars each. I bought two of them, one for my girl friend, one for myself. That night we entered the hotel and strolled into the giant dining room. All we found there were bare tables, candles, glasses of water. Every penny went to Zionism. We cheered until the building almost cracked. Imagine getting a bunch of Jews to pay ten dollars a ticket and receive nothing, then having them cheer! What do you have, what do you do more than these Jews?
The Holy Spirit is Every Christian’s Responsibility.
Why Are We Not Filled With the Spirit?
The first reason is ignorance. How long has it been since you heard a series of sermons in your church on the Holy Spirit? How careful our Sunday School lessons are to avoid the Holy Spirit and the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ! How long has it been in your church since the pastor, the Sunday School teacher, or you yourself, have set aside everything else and said, “This church needs to know about the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit”? And oh, how desperately they need Him! I learned a long time ago that negatives do not pay very much. If you want a man to quit a sin, make him fall in love with the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the only One who can do it. But again it is ignorance, just plain ignorance that keeps people away from the Holy Spirit. People do not study their Bibles as they should. They do not read religious literature as they should. The Holy Spirit’s person, program, power, passion, plan are not being preached. Consequently, people are ignorant of the whole matter.
The second reason why people are not filled with the Holy Spirit is indifference. They do not want to know about the Holy Spirit. They are not interested. They are saved. They seem to think that Jesus Christ, His cross, His blood are insurance policies to keep them out of a devil’s Hell, and that is all they care about. They cannot understand us who mourn, who yearn, who long, who weep, who agonize for the fullness of Spiritual power.
I was in a revival meeting a little while ago with a great preacher friend of mine. We went to school together. We argued with each other and fought with each other like a cat and dog, but we loved each other. At least, both of us had that much sense.
One day I was preaching about the Holy Spirit. After the service I asked the people to pray. With a hunger in their hearts and souls, hundreds of them stayed, and, on their faces, prayed. Early in the morning we started for the preacher’s home. He turned and said to his wife, “Do you know what is the matter with this guy?” (meaning me) “Do you know what is the matter with this guy, Hyman?” I listened. He said, “He wants the rest of us to be as crazy as he is.” No, I want you to be as crazy as Peter was on the day of Pentecost, as crazy as Paul was. Certainly, they will call us crazy. I would rather be crazy with Jesus than sane with the devil any time! I have been both.
I was not reared in a Christian home, and I did not know any better. I was twenty-three years old, a lawyer. You should have known me then. I surely was smart. I used to be like Ichabod Crane, I would look at myself in the mirror and wonder how one man’s head could contain all the brains I had! Now I look at myself in the mirror and wonder where all those brains went to, because I surely do not have them now.
Others do not want the Holy Spirit at all. They know He will drive them away from sin. They know He will make them uncomfortable. They know He will keep them awake nights. They know He will crush them with the burden of a lost world. Some people have an idea that when you are filled with the Holy Spirit things are going to be easier on you. I warn you, my friends, that it is going to be harder to live in the Spirit than it was to live without Him. You are not going to be able to get away with some things you are seemingly getting away with now. You will have a much more tender conscience.
There are still other folks who are indifferent because they do not want to pay the price for the Holy Spirit. They do not want to pay the price for the outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon them. It means tarrying! It means self-denial! It means living in God’s Word! It means going away from those things to which you are accustomed. People just do not want to do that.
The third reason why so many of us are not filled with the Spirit is not only because of ignorance, not only because of indifference, but also because of iniquity, because of just plain sin. I should have said that at the beginning and not wasted so many words. If there is not enough of God’s Holy Spirit in you, if the Holy Spirit does not have control of you, if your life is not victoriously fruitful, conqueringly powerful, you can alibi from now until the crack of doom. The real reason is that there is sin in your life. You can alibi, you can argue, you can debate, you can blame the Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Baptist Church, the Methodist Church; but the real reason is that there is sin in your life. It is a seemingly hard fact for some of us to accept, but there have been Catholics who have been filled with the Spirit. There are Presbyterians who are filled with the Spirit. There are Lutherans who are filled with the Spirit. There are Methodists and Baptists who are filled with the Spirit. You do not have to leave your church; you do not have to start a church of your own; you do not have to criticize the denominations and the nondenominations. No, my friends! There are Methodist bishops who know what it means to wait on God until the power of Heaven flows through their lives. There are Presbyterian elders who know what it means to soak their pillows with their tears until Heaven is reproduced in their souls. No, my friends. It takes more than some of these things that you are so querulous about.
Sometimes it is the sin of sentiment. You carry an unforgiving spirit. You are hard in your criticism against people. You find fault too quickly. You raise objections too readily. You are always belittling, always undermining, always pulling down. If there is any one group of people under God’s shining stars who are sinning the worst in this matter of sentiment, it is the fundamentalists! You cannot get along with them. You cannot getalong without them. But one certainly cannot get along too well with them. They argue, debate, fuss, so that nobody in his right mind would say, “Look at the love of these brethren for each other.” There should be no such sentiment in the sense of bickering, of backbiting, of criticizing.
Then, of course, there is the sin of sensuality. I do not have to say that, do I? There is lust. There is covetousness. There is lying. There are, alas, too many of these venial and mortal sins.
There is also the sin of selfishness, only too common. Here is what I am talking about. If you want a bigger church than you have right now, and you are waiting for the filling of the Holy Spirit in order to get that bigger church, you will wait until you go down into the grave. You will never have it.
The first thing the Holy Spirit does to you is to make you humble. He makes you everybody’s servant. ‘He that is greatest among you,’ says Jesus, ‘shall be the servant of you all.’ No, you cannot be selfish, you cannot want the Holy Spirit because of what He will give you in the way of popularity, in the way of fame, in the way of greatness of name. In all your toils, you should seek to glorify God. Whatsoever you do, do it to the glory of the Lord. Your desires, your aspirations, your ambitions, your hopes, your churches, your revivals, your Sunday Schools, your personal lives must have but one object-and that is to enthrone, to crown the blessed Son of God.
What Will Happen When the Holy Spirit Fills Us?
Some people say we will speak in tongues. I do not know. Do you? I presume that you expect me to say there is no such thing as speaking in tongues. Well, I do not know. I have not spoken in tongues, but I have not done many other things. I know some very good people who say they have spoken in tongues. You say they did not do it. How do you know? I do not know. But I know this much: any person who tells you that unless you have spoken in tongues you have not been filled with the Spirit, is neither Scriptural nor spiritual. I know that much. I can prove it to you much as a lawyer proves his case.
I will put witnesses on the stand. George Whitefield had an experience with the Holy Spirit, and he tells about it. John Wesley had an experience with the Holy Spirit, and he tells about it. D.L. Moody had an experience with the Holy Spirit, and he tells about it. Charles G. Finney had an experience with the Holy Spirit, and he tells about it. Dr. George Truett had an experience with the Holy Spirit, and he tells about it. Billy Sunday had experiences with the Holy Spirit, and he tells about them. Not one of them, not one of them, ever spoke in tongues. I will leave the rest with you.
But, I do know that certain things are going to happen. I want to pass them on to you. I speak out of a burning heart, out of the agony of a longing soul.
A realization of Christ’s abiding presence will be the first thing that will happen to you when you are filled with the Holy Spirit. Understand me when I say this. I am not satisfied with the Jesus of the Bible. I have not turned modernist. I am not even satisfied with the Jesus of the Book, the Bible. I need more than that. I am not satisfied with the Jesus of Peter. I am not satisfied with the Jesus of Paul. I am not satisfied with the Jesus of Moody. I want the Jesus of Hyman Appelman! I want Him in my heart. I want to know that He lives. I want to feel Him, to taste Him, to see Him, to talk with Him, to walk with Him, to enjoy Him, to rejoice in Him! The only One who can do that for me is the Holy Ghost. He is the only One who can help me in this.
Dr. Truett used to tell a story. He said he held a revival in Baylor University. Every student was converted except one, a brilliant young fellow, as bright as a newly minted dime. But somehow he could not bring himself to believe. Dr. Truett made an appointment with the young man in the president’s office. They sat down and talked it over. Every question Dr. Truett asked, the boy answered philosophically. After awhile Dr. Truett, giving up, stood to walk around the desk. The boy also rose from
Dr. Truett, stretching out his hand, said, “Son, I am sorry. I wish I could help you.”
The boy did not take the preacher’s hand, but spoke up, “Dr. Truett, will you answer a question for me?”
“What is it, Son?”
The boy looking into Truett’s face, his own eyes heavy with unshed tears, said, “Dr. Truett, will you answer me man to man, and not as a preacher?”
“I will, Son, man to man, the best I know how.”
“Dr. Truett, is Jesus real to you?”
It is a good question, is it not? Is He real to you? Is He some picture in this Book? Is He Somebody who died on a cross a long time ago? Is He real to you?
Dr. Truett, stretching out his hands to the lad, said, “Son, He is more real to me than the flesh on my bones. He is more real to me than the skin on my flesh.”
The boy said, “I will take Him as my Saviour.”
Is He real to you? Is He real to you? I learned a long time ago that I cannot preach any better than I have lived. I cannot preach any more than I know, not with my mind, but with my heart. It is not enough to know with our mind. I can read the Greek. I love to study it. I knew the Hebrew, some of it, and know a lot more of it now that I have been to seminary. I still remember my Latin. I can rattle it off, and tell you what I am saying, too. But that is not enough. I want to speak out of some place that I have lived with Jesus. I want to have Jesus real to me. The Holy Spirit is the only One who can make Him real to me, to you, to any of us.
Then Jesus will be reproduced in us. The Holy Spirit will not only give us a realization of the abiding presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, but He will also give us a reproduction of the holy life of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The same Dr. Truett tells another story. He said he held another revival in Baylor. There was another young man there who was hard to reach. His name was Meredith. He was captain of the football team. (He is a preacher now.)
One day Dr. Truett met him on the campus.
He said, “Meredith, why don’t you give your heart to Christ?”
The boy said, “I just can’t bring myself to believe. I can’t bring myself to believe. I can’t see it! I just can’t see it! There are things about it I can’t understand.”
Dr. Truett put his hand on the boy’s shoulder, smiled at him and said, “Son, you know I knew you almost before you were born. I knew your father and mother before they were married. Son, I want to ask you a question.”
“What is it, Dr. Truett?”
“Son, what about your mother’s religion?”
The boy took off his hat, the tears starting down his cheeks. Raising his face to the preacher, he said, “Dr. Truett, I can’t argue against a fact.” I was in the home of some people from Georgia who had moved to Oklahoma. We were holding a revival in the school house in Bache, Oklahoma. One night an old man, Uncle George Murray, then in his seventies, came walking in from church a bit late. He came into the room where the singer and I were staying, in his son’s house. “Boys, are you asleep?”
“No. We just got into bed.”
“One of you move to the other fellow’s bed. I want to sleep with you tonight.”
The song leader got out of his bed and came over to mine. I moved over to make room for him. The old man sat down on the edge of the bed and started to unlace his shoes.
“Boys, did you ever hear the story of the walking Christian?”
My song leader, Fred Forester, said, “I have heard it, Uncle George.”
I said, “I have never heard it. Tell it to me. Let him go to sleep if he wants to. Tell it to me.”
The old gray-haired man, that old Georgia saint, sitting on the edge of the bed unlacing his shoes, spoke on. “Years ago where I lived, out there at the foot of a mountain in old Georgia, there was a crossroad. Right there in the fork of the road, there is a village. As you turn right, there is a little hill. Beyond that hill, there are some more villages. Right there at the very crossroads was a colonial mansion. An old infidel lived there, a bachelor, the last one of his line. In that village, there also lived a shoemaker. Every Saturday after dinner he would walk past the infidel’s house, turn into the road to the right, then disappear over the hill. Monday he would come back. Some twenty-odd years he kept doing this every weekend. One Saturday he walked up and over the hill. When Monday came he did not come back. Tuesday came, and he did not come back. Wednesday came, and he did not come back. Thursday came, and he did not come back. On Friday the infidel wanted to know more about it. He went into the village, walked into the shoemaker’s shop. There was a young woman there, apparently the daughter of the old man.
“The infidel asked, ‘Where is your daddy?’
“‘What can I do for you? He is not here. Did you leave a pair of shoes?’
“‘No. Where is your daddy?’
“‘Do you want to leave a pair of shoes? He is not here.’
“‘Well, where is your daddy? Where is he?’
“‘It is like this. You know just past your house where the road leads across the mountain?’
“‘Just about two miles from your house, on the other side of the mountain, there is another village, and in that village there is a church of our denomination. My daddy worships there. They are having a revival. The preacher is one of the greatest of our denomination. My daddy is too old to walk every day, so some of our relatives asked him to stay there.’
“The infidel walked home. He could not contain himself. He came back to his house, sat down, studied for awhile, then decided he would see what kind of church that was. He harnessed his horse to his buggy, drove out across that mountain, went into the village, asked where the revival was being held. They told him it was behind the post office. He went behind the post office. There was a brush arbor. He stood by it for awhile, then sat down on one of the benches. He saw the shoemaker sitting near the front. They sang, they prayed, they preached, they gave the invitation. The first man to come down the aisle was the infidel. They greeted him, welcomed him, loved him as they do down there. As soon as it was all over the preacher, walking up to him, said,
“‘Listen, what in my sermon made you come down the aisle?’
“The man said, ‘Did you preach a sermon? I am sorry, but I didn’t hear much of it.’
“‘Well, what was there about the song that our soloist sang?’
“‘Brother, I have heard better singing.’
“‘Well, what was there about the service, the testimonies?’
“‘Brother, leave me alone. I want you to baptize me.’
“‘Well, brother, tell me. Perhaps there was somebody else who helped you.’
“The old man straightened up, pointed over to a buggy where the shoemaker was standing, and said, ‘For twenty-three years that man over there has been walking his religion.'”
I want to be a ten thousand times better man outside of the pulpit than I am in it. If God will hear my most earnest prayer, He will make me a good man. I do not care so much about this business of being a great preacher, but I want to be a good man. When I first started out to preach, I was fresh from the army barracks, fresh from the law office, fresh from the professor’s chair. I used to prepare my sermons – you ought to see some of them. I am telling you, Harry Emerson Fosdick would hang his head in shame if he were to read some of those early sermons of mine. I put in every jot, every tittle, every comma, every period, every semicolon, every exclamation point. I had it all just plotted up, painted up, perfumed over. I would stand there in front of those church members in that little country church in Oklahoma weaving a web of words, shaking the star dust flickering down. Those poor old farmers had a hard time keeping their eyes open. I would say to myself, “Well, they’re just ignorant. Wait till I go to a city where they read the Saturday Evening Post and the Reader’s Digest, where they have some education.” Then one day I came across a man’s testimony in the autobiography of Hudson Taylor, “The nearest way to a man’s heart is by God’s throne of grace.” I have changed since then. Do not think I do not use notes. I would not presume upon the intelligence of a congregation to preach without notes. Any preacher who preaches absolutely extemporaneously, without preparation, has insulted the intelligence of the congregation.
Yes, we all need a reproduction of Christ’s holy life. We all need to be more like Jesus. I would rather have people say about me what my wife says about Gipsy Smith than have everything else God can give me, Heaven included. She says, “Every time that man steps into the pulpit, it is like the Lord Jesus Christ coming down out of Heaven.”
I would rather affect you as George Truett and Lee Scarborough affected me than have everything else God can give me, including Heaven. All they had to do was-look at me, and the tears would come. They broke my heart. I want to be a good man. The rest will take care of itself. There is only one Person in the world who can make me good and He is the Holy Ghost.”
The third thing the Holy Spirit will do for us is that He will give us power. Not only will He give us a realization of Christ’s abiding presence, not only will He stir within us a reproduction of Christ’s holy life, but He will also create within us a re-enactment of Christ’s mighty power. There will be power in preaching. Power in preaching! Jesus preached and things happened. Paul preached and things happened. Peter preached and things happened.
I was state evangelist for the Texas Baptist Convention for eight years. I memorized my last report from 1940 to 1941; the last report that I made in November, 1941. In the twelve months, I saw 1,169 join the church by letter, 2,703 for baptism, and 917 other conversions. There were more than four thousand people who responded to the gospel invitation. Religious editors wrote me up. They took my picture. They bragged about me. They used me as an illustration. Hyman Appelman was the greatest thing God ever let live?!? But I knew better. I know another Jew, who never went to the seminary, who did not have a church behind him, who did not have what I had, did not even have a real Bible. He preached one sermon and had three thousand for baptism. You say, “Well, that happened on the day of Pentecost.” All right! I know another preacher by the name of John Livingston who preached an association sermon. (If a person were converted in an association meeting today, the millennium would come. Why, we have to make reports. Why, we have to tell everybody what we are going to do-not what we have done, but what we are going to do. The Bible says you must not let your right hand know what your left hand doeth. We have improved on it. We want everybody’s hands, feet, eyes, minds to know what we are going to do. A preacher will stand up and say, “You know, we dedicated our church yesterday. It cost $65,000.” But he does not tell you that there is a $49,000 mortgage on it. That is an entirely different story. Then the women have to get up to report how many coats they sent to the orphanage, how many jars of jelly, how many vases of flowers they brought to the hospital.) But there was a man, John Livingston, who preached one association sermon and more than five hundred people professed conversion. You say, “That happened two hundred years ago.”
I know a Baptist preacher who is preaching today. Something has happened to him. His fire seems to be gone. But, he was a giant. He preached five weeks in a town in one of the Carolinas. He did not give the invitation. That is his way. He preached one more night, gave the invitation, and had thirteen hundred conversions. He preached eight weeks altogether, and had six thousand or more people saved.
Some preachers preach a whole year and do not have fifty conversions. What is the matter with us preachers? We need the Holy Ghost. We believe the Bible. We are fundamentalists. We believe in Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, all the rest of the fundamentals, believe in them heartily, utterly. But it is not enough. We need the Holy Spirit.
Think of the little power there is to our praying. We pray, and pray, and pray, and nothing happens. We pray Sunday morning, Sunday night, at Sunday School, Young People’s organizations, preaching services, on Wednesday night. We have cottage prayer meetings. We have special prayer seasons. We pray, and pray, and pray, and nothing happens. What is the matter with our praying? Does God not understand English? Yes, He does, and He understands every other language, too. We are not praying in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit. That is what is the matter.
Think of our witnessing. How much power we do need in our witnessing! Paul and Silas went up. and down the Mediterranean region. People said of them, ‘These men have turned the world upside down’ (Acts 17:6).
I used to brag about Texas until people began to call me “Texas.” One day in Nashville, Arkansas, in a revival, an old preacher publicly called my hand.
“Brother Appelman, I would like to ask you a question or two about Texas.”
“All right.” I thought he wanted to know something more. I had not told them everything about my great state.
“How many Baptist people have you got in Texas?”
“Seven hundred thousand.”
“How many churches?”
“More than twenty-five hundred.”
“How many Baptist schools?”
“About eight or ten.”
“How many did you baptize last year?”
“Close to sixty thousand.”
“How much money did you raise?”
“A million and a half dollars.”
He looked at me, smiled to take the sting out of his words, and said, “Preacher, do you have any liquor in Texas?”
I quit bragging right then and there. I have never bragged about Texas since. We have seven hundred thousand Baptists, almost as many Methodists, with the largest churches on the American continent, yet we cannot keep liquor out of one state. Texas has the largest single body of Christians in all the states, at least of church members. There is not any other place in the world quite like Texas. Yet what is the matter there with our witnessing? I will tell you, beloved. It is not in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit comes, when He re-enacts the mighty power of the Lord Jesus Christ in us, things begin to happen.
How to Be Filled With the Spirit
Now the last word: what must we do to be filled with the Spirit? There are three things we must do, three conditions we must face, three steps we must take. God help me to pass them on to you. God help you to heed any obey them. May the Holy Spirit burn them into your hearts. They are simple. They must be simple for me to understand them. They must be simple for me to be able to preach them.
The first is, you must condemn the flesh. You must condemn the flesh! You must condemn your heritage. You must condemn your physical flesh. You must condemn any hope in the flesh. The world is trash inside and outside. There is nothing good in it. You must condemn the flesh. You must make up your mind that from education, that from science, that from philosophy, that from art, you can only take that which can be submitted to the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you take more, you have not condemned the flesh.
You talk about rice Christians in China. We could give those Chinese cards and spades, then beat them with the numbers of rice Christians right here in the United States of America. I would not give you two cents for all the church members, for all the Sunday School members you can get with socials, with programs, with movies, with other similar worldly activities. Oh yes, some churches in our land have turned over their services on Sunday nights to moving picture shows. If this be treason, make the most of it. I would not turn over the auditorium of my church to a moving picture of any kind. I do not care what it is. I would not let anybody stand in my pulpit except a preacher of the gospel, or a man of God, a Christian twice born, who is there to tell the story of Christ and Him crucified.
No, we must condemn the flesh. Condemn the flesh! There is no good thing in it. You have no right to expect anything from it. God is against it. You must be against it. The Spirit is against it. The church is against it. Condemn the flesh! Condemn the flesh! Do not bother with illustrations from novels, from romances. Do not stand there in the pulpit to advertise that you are going to review some book because you expect a crowd to be drawn to hear you. That is the flesh.
Then you must crucify the old man. This second step is much harder. You must crucify the old man. You condemn the flesh once and for all, but you crucify the old man day by day, hour by hour, all the time. It is one long, progressive crucifixion of the old man. I attended a church in Washington once. There was a lady there who was the head of the Visual Education Department of the United States Government. She was a brilliant, beautiful woman, one of those fortunate ones who, at the age of some fifty-odd years, looked like a girl of sixteen. Of course her face was lined a bit, but her form, her body, her ways were young. She was very fortunate. She could eat all the candy she wanted to and still stay thin. Now if that is not fortunate for a woman, I do not know much about women’s mentality! She ate candy, too, a pound or two pounds a day. She would eat most of it, give much away, the most expensive candy in Washington – $1.50, $2.00 a box. One day I was in her home for dinner.
She said, “Hyman, do you people (the Baptists) observe Lent?”
“Not the way you do.”
“You know I do. I always have observed Lent.”
“What are you going to deny yourself?”
“You mean you are not going to eat a bite of candy in these forty days?”
“It sure is going to save you lots of money, isn’t it?”
“It surely is.”
“What are you going to do with the money?”
She had the grace to smile at me queerly as she said, “I am going to buy the biggest five pound box of candy there is in Washington, D.C.”
That is not crucifying the old man. The Bible does not say, ‘If any man will come after me let him deny to himself.’ It says, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself.’ (Matt. 16:24). Deny yourself, your appetite, your ambitions, your aspirations, your flesh, your heart, your soul, your life, your home, your loved ones, your friends, everything else.
I came home one day when my boy was about a month old. My wife said, “Now that you are a father, you are going to have to stay home a little more.” I spent sixteen days at home last year. I have spent five hours at home this year so far. Around Christmas I will be home again. Somebody has to do it. I love my wife and my children. But somebody has to pay the price for these revivals.
Thank God for the privilege!
I did not say a word. I walked over to the cradle, I picked up that boy in my arms. I raised him in my hands and said, “Lord, if this boy is going to stand between me and preaching, You can have him right now. You can have him right now.” There must not be anything between us and the Lord Jesus Christ.
You say, “What is in my way?” Let Jesus tell you. When you get down on your knees in your prayer closet and mean business, God will tell you what is in the way.
The third step is this: you must cooperate with the Holy Spirit. You must not only condemn the flesh, not only crucify the old man, but you must also cooperate with the Holy Spirit. If He tells you to pray, you pray. If He tells you to study the Word, you study the Word. If He tells you to teach a Sunday School class, you must teach it. If He tells you to visit, you must visit. If He tells you to give, you must give. If He tells you to go as an evangelist, go. If He tells you to stay as a pastor, stay. Whatsoever He tells you, that do. The miracle that happened at Cana of Galilee will be reproduced in your life, too.
I remember the first experience, consciously, that I had with the Holy Spirit. It was the first experience that made any impression on me. I must have had others before. I surrendered to preach in 1930, was ordained in May of that year. I went to the seminary in Fort Worth that summer. My dear friend, Fred Forester, asked me to come to help him in a revival meeting in Woodbury, near Hillsboro, Texas, just a little wide place in the road. We went out there. The people had built a brush arbor. Folks there had never heard a Jew. They came from everywhere, packed and jammed that brush arbor until there was an acre of folk. I preached and gave the invitation. Souls were saved. One day the pastor and I were out visiting. We drove down the highway, came to the home of a man, Big Joe Brown. He was one of the most wicked white men I ever knew in my life. He had a twelve-year-old granddaughter who was already a member of the church. He was not saved. His wife was not a Christian. Only the oldest son was a Christian. The rest of them were unsaved. He had five boys and one girl. We drove into his yard. A number of men and boys were sitting on the ground eating watermelon. Joe’s wife and the girl, who was fourteen, the baby, were on the porch also eating watermelon. It was summertime. We drove into the yard. Since they were eating watermelon, we knew what to do. We sat down and started eating watermelon with them. One of the men was a visitor, a Tennesseean, a Christian. The rest were, as I said, unsaved. We started talking to the boys. One by one they gave their hearts to Christ. We spoke to the girl. She was converted. We talked to the mother. She looked over at her husband. She was a little bit of a thing. He was a giant of a man. She said,
“If Joe will, I will.”
We turned to Joe: “Joe, you heard what your wife said. You saw what your children did. Joe, will you not give your heart to Christ?”
He opened his mouth, and for fifteen solid minutes, as God is my witness, he emptied Hell over us. He cursed until I clenched my hands in my pockets to keep from smashing him in the face. We could not do a thing with him. After awhile he got out of breath. We could not persuade those boys, that girl, that mother to make a stand that night. They were afraid of daddy. We went away brokenhearted. We finished visiting, had our little supper, changed into our preaching clothes. The year 1930 was a dry one in Texas. Fred Forester and I went over to a creek bed across a meadow. We stretched out in that lush grass to pray.
We told the Lord where we had been that day. We told the Lord what we had tried to do, what we had seen. We told Him about Big Joe Brown. We started crying, both of us. We were just a pair of young fellows doing our best. It was the first year of our ministries. We did not know what to do. Our hearts were broken. We did not know what to say. We had reached our limit. We started crying, crying hard. I almost got hysterical. I had to hide my face down in that grass, in that sweet grass, to keep from screaming out loud. After a bit, the pastor patted me on the shoulder and said,
“Hyman, I will start the service. When you get ready, come.”
He left, I kept on crying. I could not stop. I started praying to the Lord to stop my crying. I grew quiet, calmer. I dusted off my clothes, picked up my Bible, lifted my coat over my shoulder, started across the field. I crossed the road. Fred saw me and waved at me as if to say, ‘Your turn.’ I came up then and preached. I do not know what I said. In those days, I did not even have sense enough to keep notes. I did not have a diary, and I cannot remember what my text or subject was. I preached, just the best I could. I gave the invitation. The first man to come down the aisle was Big Joe Brown. The place was packed full. This big giant of a man pushed his way through, coming to the front. His wife came after him, followed by the five boys and that girl, and by about twenty others. I got so excited, I threw up my hands and hit the lantern over my head. It broke and the kerosene spilled on me. I was wearing Fred Forester’s suit. It is a wonder I did not set myself on fire, and the brush arbor as well. The people just cut loose, shouting, hugging, loving, dancing around, kissing each other.
Do you know what happened? It was the same thing that I am praying for all the time. God poured out His Holy Spirit upon us.
When the Holy Spirit comes down, something happens, something breaks wide open. Revivals come. There is a reproduction of Christ’s holy life. There is a realization of Christ’s abiding presence. There is a re-enactment of Christ’s holy power.
I want to borrow a word that I heard here yesterday. It says in much better fashion what I mean than my poor words can tell you. This matter of being filled with the Holy Spirit is a crisis, and it is also a progress. You make up your mind once and for all that you will make that surrender to Jesus. Then you have to keep on re-surrendering yourself day by day, for every activity, for every service, every time you think of it.
God give us all the grace to condemn the flesh, to crucify the old man, to cooperate with the Holy Spirit that Pentecost may be the constant experience of our lives.
(The above material was published by “How to Have a Revival”, Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1946.)
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