THE WORKINGS OF THE HOLY GHOST
BY VERBAL BEAN
I would like to mention a list of subjects that we will be studying in the area of the works of the Holy Ghost. This forward is especially designed for the correspondent student, since the tapes will be going out, we would like for them to make sense. We will be discussing the leading of the Spirit, communication with the Holy Ghost, spiritual gifts and their operation, opposing forces, finding the will of God, altar services, signs and wonders, dreams and visions, human response to the Spirit and its assisting us in finding the will of God, and Spiritual counseling and many other subjects that will assist us in our ultimate aim and purpose as a minister.
I would like for these lessons to do build your faith in the Holy Ghost. It is amazing, what little faith exists among our people, in
comparison to what the Holy Ghost can do. It is my desire to build your faith in it, to trust it, believe it, don’t question it, obey it,
and watch its results. It is recorded in your Bible that “God gave the increase ” (I Corinthians 3:7).
Preachers did certain things, but God gave the increase. If we get any increase, or results, it’s going to be because of the Holy Ghost. That does not mean that the Holy Ghost doesn’t use certain abilities in you. But, the Holy Ghost can do it without any ability of ours. He can create ability. I believe as we go into these lessons, you’ll thoroughly understand that the power of God can create ability in you that you did not have. If you can ever learn to lean heavily on it, without question, you’re going to start seeing a change in your ministry. You’ll see effective results in your life, no matter if it is pastoral, or evangelistic.
In our first lesson we want to thoroughly investigate the five channels by which the Spirit will generally flow. Notice, I said, “Generally.” God is not obligated to any pattern, but if we can establish these five channels, we’ll see souls saved. However, I cannot believe that we can discuss these five channels, and how God would operate through these without developing more faith. The Spirit has the sovereign right to change at any time, any pattern. I believe that’s demonstrated in the Scripture. We find a place where it was strictly unlawful for a Gentile to get mercy and salvation from God. But a little gentile woman plead so earnestly, that Jesus Christ broke a dispensational barrier to heal her child. This proves that God has the sovereign right to do anything he wants to with us to meet a need. Keep in the back of your mind, that everything you learn in these lessons is subject to change.
If we can learn the wonderful counsel, and excellent workings of God, you will never lack results, because this was designed for results.
A friend of mine went to preach for another man awhile back, and the host pastor spent the whole service telling them how completely negative the message was, how hard it was, and there wasn’t anyone who was going to believe it. It was not designed for that. We, in our lack of faith and total laziness, hide behind these things, and say it’s our gospel, but it’s too hard and they won’t accept it. Some people won’t. Jesus Christ did say that three fourths of the ground is not good, but he gave us a promise of one-fourth, and if he is serious in his averages we haven’t reached that one-fourth yet. One-fourth of Houston is quite a few people.
I want to enlarge your faith about revivals, reaching people, perfecting saints and the assistance of the Holy Ghost.
Let’s go to the Book of Acts, and I’ll use an old favorite evangelistic sermon of mine on you. I’ll say this, in case you might someday want to use the same thought. The reason I preach this message is because some people think we run the Holy Ghost in the ground. Some folks think we’re Holy Ghost crazy. But it would do us good to refresh our minds as Holy Ghost-filled preachers, how, in the center of every action, the Holy Ghost was in the lives of the apostles.
I’m glancing, now, in the Book of Acts to see how important, and where the Holy Ghost was in the lives of the apostles.
“Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost… ” (Acts 2:2).
Are we that Holy Ghost crazy?
“For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost… ” (Acts 1:5).
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you… ” (Acts 1:8).
“Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas ” (Acts 1:16).
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.. (Acts 2:4).
We’re glancing through the Book of Acts, to convince both ourselves and those who are leery of our Holy Ghost, that God put this in the church, to be used in every phase.
“…the promise of the Holy Ghost… ” (Acts 2:33)
“…and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost… ” (Acts 2:38).
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel” (Acts 4:8).
For you to preach successfully to anybody you must be filled with the Holy Ghost.
“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost… ” (Acts 4:31).
To show how important the Holy Ghost should be, they had already received the Holy Ghost in the second chapter of Acts. Two chapters later they prayed and received it again! Somebody says it’s not necessary for salvation. It was so necessary for them, they got it over again!
Correction came to the church in the fifth chapter of Acts. Sin tried to creep in, and the importance of the Holy Ghost is again revealed. Peter said,
“Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost… ” (Acts 5:3).
“And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost… ” (Acts 5:32).
This would destroy some of our Pentecostal churches.
“In those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost.. (Acts 6:1-3).
The denominational world would stop right there, in fact they wouldn’t even have to have “of honest report…” That’s not all of the
qualifications. Some would like to stop there and say, “Man, I’ve got a deacon. He’s the smartest man! He’s a big accountant, or somebody. ” That’s not the qualifications the early church put on a deacon. Before they would select a deacon in the early church, he had to be, “,full of the Holy Ghost.”
“And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Ghost… ” (Acts 6:5).
“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).
“Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost” (Acts 8:15).
I’d like to brainwash you here tonight, and make you so Holy Ghost conscious that everything you do, you’d do it in light of “What saith the Holy Ghost?”
“The Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2).
Preachers were sent out by the Holy Ghost. Ministries were developed by the Holy Ghost. A mighty anointing came to speak to elders and rulers by the Holy Ghost. The early church began to pray for boldness, in the fourth chapter of Acts and do you know what they got? Holy Ghost! They asked for boldness and got Holy Ghost. So, there must be a connection between boldness and Holy Ghost. If you’re going to have a timid ministry, it’ll be because you have a deficiency of the Holy Ghost. A bold, daring ministry is one that’s filled with the Holy Ghost.
I enjoy good sermons, and believe you need to study not only the Bible, but other books associated so that you might a accumulate good solid information to make good sermons. But whatever you do, mix it with Holy Ghost, and consider the will of the Holy Ghost. This may sound monotonous, but I hope you’ll dream of Holy Ghost tonight. We’re Holy Ghost preachers. You’re either a Holy Ghost preacher, or you are somebody’s preacher. A man that’s not going to follow the Holy Ghost is going to be subject to a congregation. He’s going to be scared of them. They’re going to control him. You’re going to be controlled by one of two things: people or Holy Ghost. Make up your mind whichever one you want. If you want results, you’ll be controlled by the Spirit.
Paul discerned and judged the man that had the sorcery.
“Filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, and said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord” (Acts 13:10)?
The judgment was passed. How was it done? The man that was doing the talking was full of the Holy Ghost. Don’t ever go into the pulpit until you know you’re in touch with God.
Lord, help us to get full of the Holy Ghost. I hope it comes on you so you can’t sleep at night. For the next three weeks I want Holy Ghost to stir this bunch of men, and I’m going to help the Lord all I can. I know you men work, but we’re starting some prayer meetings in the morning, and we’re going to stir ourselves up in the Holy Ghost. The Apostle Paul said to Timothy,
“Stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands (II Timothy 1:6).
Stir it up! If you want to bless others. Stir that gift up in you, and let it start working, and the first thing you’ll know you’re going
to see results. Whatever the ultimate is, if it’s the correction, blessing or perfecting of a saint, or saving a sinner. Whatever it is,
the ultimate goal is going to be accomplished because you minded the Holy Ghost.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus ” (Philippians 2:5).
1 can’t imagine us having the mind of Christ without having the Spirit of Christ, that being the Holy Ghost,
“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul… ” (Acts 13:2).
There wasn’t a scheduling book there that day. Paul didn’t get his little book out, and say “I’ll be in Booger Branch next week, and I’m going to Cedar Bayou the week after. ” There was no scbeduling to it, the Bible says “They ministered to the Lord and fasted,” until the Holy Ghost said, “I need Saul and Barnabas over here.” Holy Ghost! We are Holy Ghost preachers, and the only way you can be a Holy Ghost preacher is to be delivered from people. Don’t have the fear of people. Paul said,
“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men ?for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
That doesn’t mean that you separate yourself from a love of people. There’s an old idea, “I don’t care! You can take it or leave it! ” You almost need to go that far, but not quite. You want them to accept, and believe it, but you’re so delivered from them, until you give them the message whether they receive it or not. There is a balance to anything we do in God. There is an independence you need in God, yet with a love and compassion that drives you to reach the lost.
I’m going to mind the Spirit, by the help and grace of God, if I lose every friend I have. I’m not going to try to lose every friend, I’m
going to try to mind the Spirit and keep my friends!
“The preacher sought to find out acceptable words (Ecclesiastes 12:10).
You can get a word from God, but you can so deliver the word that it can be offensive. Be firm, obedient and independent, but not to the extent of becoming offensive.
If you’re going to follow God you’re going to make somebody mad, but you won’t be trying to do it. You’ll make enough mad without trying!
How can the Holy Ghost work if we don’t have it? You can’t lay around all day, and not pray, then go into revival that night and expect the workings of the Holy Ghost. We can teach you some of the things the Holy Ghost will do, but it’s going to be very disappointing to get up there and start watching for the Holy Ghost to do something, when you don’t have enough of it there, to do it! Let’s get it there first, and then after we’ve got it there we can depend on it to come and help us. After all, this is not our battle, it belongs to God. Always keep that in your mind. This is God’s church, and God’s plan, and He chose us to be preachers. Whatever ministry we fall into, we minister with the ability given to us by God. He is obligated to assist us and furnish us the ammunition, supplies, whatever it takes to win the battle.
“Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he open and break the clods of his ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place? For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him. For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen. This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working ” (Isaiah 28:24-29).
Different seeds in their place.
“For his God doth instruct him… ” (Isaiah 28:26).
Somebody is getting instructions from God. He’s talking about a farmer and that’s what you are as a preacher. As a farmer, you’re going to need instructions if you’ll gather any corn in your crib. You need discretion. Let God teach you discretion. Learn it for a lifetime and it will always be a blessing to you.
He explains the different ways the seeds are put in their place. Then, when they’re grown, the seeds are reaped according to their type. He doesn’t take a threshing instrument to reap the cummin and fitches. That’s a little seed. He takes a little staff or rod. He’ll place a cloth on the ground, and gently beat the cummin and fitches until the tiny seeds have fallen upon the cloth. Then it’s gathered up and used for seasonings. But the old bread corn, he’ll never get through bruising it. He’ll turn that oxen loose to walk on it until the shucks are off.
He is teaching us discretion is necessary to be a farmer. See yourself in the light of the ministry, as a farmer. You’re wanting results. You’re wanting to plant one seed and get dozens. That’s what you call results. No farmer wants to plant one seed, and get one seed. He wants a multiplication of the seeds, and you can believe for the same thing. God called you as a spiritual farmer.
The Bible is loaded with promises for you, if you claim them. It doesn’t make any difference how valuable the seed, or how rich the ground, if the farmer won’t learn some instructions from God, with discretion, he still won’t reap. We’re gathered around these little pink tables tonight, to try our best to learn from God some instructions and discretion.
I do not believe I have to preach every night to please God. God has a will for every service. It’s your job as a leader in that service to find it. When you’ve found it, you can expect results. If you miss it, you can expect failure.
We’re planting a valuable crop. God help us to put the right seed in the right place. After the crop grows up to where it’s reaping time, God help us to use the right threshing instrument. Many souls have gone to hell, because the preacher used the wrong instrument on them.
There are some you don’t get through bruising. I told one man, he didn’t even have a socket for a backbone, much less a backbone! If I’d have told another man that, it would have killed him. You can’t handle them all alike. You better not try it! Oh, I tried the little rod on him. I gently beat him, but nothing happened. I preached love and Calvary.
He was a cowboy, and he thought he was rough. All the crying didn’t work. He was bread corn. So after awhile, I turned the oxen loose on him! I said, “You haven’t got the guts to come to this altar! You’re not man enough to do it! If you were a man, you could throw that little cigarette away. Your little pale-faced wife can live for God, but you don’t have the guts to!” He hit that altar, because he couldn’t stand to be called a coward! But if you handle everyone like that, you’ll run them off. Learn discretion and you’ll win souls.
“…He that winneth souls is wise ” (Proverbs 11:30).
How am I going to know when, and when not to be rough? Follow the Holy Ghost.
We’re farmers, and we have a lot to do. There’s plowing, irrigating, fertilizing and working the ground. There’s much care involved in bringing a crop to where you want it. Then there is outright labor to bring it into the crib. Don’t think it’s easy. If you’re going to
follow God, and get results, then get ready to be exhausted. Get ready to go home from a service feeling like you are actually going to die!
I’ve seen preachers that when kneeling, were afraid they’d mess up their crease in their trousers. They’d throw their handkerchief down first, then kneel. They preach their little message, bow and leave. If you’re going to get results you be willing to stay until the last one’s gone. Learn to work in the altar. Learn to do it all. When you go to reaping, it’s labor. Make up your mind, “I’m going to work, if I want to get something done. ”
Some think since this is the push-button age, you push the buttons and the folks get it all. All you do is eat after church, laugh, talk, drive a big car, collect the offering and tithes. That’s not it. Man, there’s labor to this!
There’s built up in many of the minds of those to whom you will minister, unless you preach they’re not interested in you. I fought
that battle until I finally got hardened to it. I told one congregation, “My head’s harder than yours! ” The Bible said it was. If there wasn’t such a thing as hard beaded preachers, there would be no such a thing as good saints. Somebody has to stand when the
congregation says “No.”
They’ll say it. They won’t say it audibly. They can sit down on you. They can pressure you into doing things. You’re saying, “Come on folks, let’s worship!”
And they’re saying, “Preach! Entertain us! Let us compare you to somebody else we’ve heard!”
I refuse to be compared with anybody, and I refuse to be the only actor on the stage. Everybody is going to be in the act if I’m there. Every saint in the church is going to be part of the act. That’s the only way you can get results.
When I’m saying these things, I’m not trying to get you to say the same. I could say things and get by with it, that you couldn’t. You could do the same.
I’ve always contended that a bird dog is just that from birth. Brother Lawrence had a little bird dog. That puppy would literally point flies in his house! That leg would go up, and that tail would go straight out when a fly would go in front of him. All he’d need to do is take him to the woods, and knock a bird down in front of him, and he’d have a bird dog. Put him with squirrels, he wouldn’t know what to do.
If there is in you a calling for evangelistic ministry, I’m trying to knock a bird down in front of you. You can’t be what I’ve been. I
can’t be what you’re going to be. You’ve got to be an individual to be successful. Don’t try to copy anyone, but take the ideas and use them in your way.
I had a few young men that heard me preach hard one night, and they went home to their churches, and like to have tore their churches up. You can’t do that! God told Ezekiel,
“Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
“Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there
astonished among them seven days” (Ezekiel 3:1,15).
Eat the roll and hush for seven days. Don’t open your mouth, until you’ve digested it. It’s you. If you jump up and preach somebody else’s sermon, and you haven’t got it inside, you’re fixing to get in trouble. Get this in you, and it will work for you. Don’t preach it because it sounds good to you. Eat the roll, then hush until you get it as a part of you. I can’t preach like Joe Duke or Rodney Free. I have to do what I have to do, but I’m sharing ideas so that you can take it, and in your own way obey God, and get results.
You need to have something in you that refuses to bow to human pressure. They’ll put it on you from every angle.
Pardon personal references, but it’s the best way I know to get points over. I was this one place, and I felt the Holy Ghost wanted to do something, and I didn’t know what! That’s a predicament. The congregation already knows! They think! They want you to preach like all the rest of them. They’ve got it planned for you, in fact they want you to preach certain type sermons. They enjoy certain types more. I’ve had them so mad at me until they’d say, “I drove a hundred miles to hear you preach, and you wouldn’t even preach!”
“Come back. I may or I may not.”
That’s not easy if you like people, and you want them to like you. I was preaching a camp meeting in Texas one year, or at least I was suppose to do it. God had dealt with me to pray the whole night. I’m not boasting about it, but the Spirit was getting me prepared. At eight o’clock the next morning the Spirit lifted from me, and I ceased to pray. The Holy Ghost spoke a message, “You will be used to break through for My people. ” There was another preacher with me, and I told him, “One of us is going to preach, we might as well get ready. ” I didn’t know who it was. I had no more than walked onto the camp ground than the pulpit committee walked up to me and said, “We want you to preach this afternoon.” I said, “All right.”
God had shown me in a dream a month before. I was wearing a certain suit, standing before a large congregation, anointed mightily of the Spirit and I hadn’t even thought of it until I finished that day, and I had that suit on. These things occurred to build my faith. He knew the pressure I was going to be under.
I got up there to preach, and God knows I wanted to preach the best sermon I knew. I don’t get to preach a camp meeting every year. I knew that there were preachers there I’d like to preach for. The temptation is to pull that good one out! You have sermons that you’re going to preach, that you enjoy and preach better than others. The temptation is going to be to use it. I’d latch onto some thoughts, and they’d leave me. When that starts happening to me, you might as well figure I’m not going to preach. I’d latch onto another and it would leave me. I’d think, “Boy, this is it!” and then it’d be gone.
Of all things on earth, the Spirit began to deal with me about tongues and interpretation. Right there before God and everybody! There was pressure from all angles. You could almost hear them scream, “Preach, can’t you’? Don’t you know how? Didn’t you get a sermon? What’s wrong with you?” You’re going to meet this pressure if you’re going to follow God. It’s not easy to stand there and wait, and them sitting down on you, and putting the pressure on. In fact, I’ve heard them scream it out audibly, “Preach!”.
Do you know what that’s saying? “We know more about God than you do.” The pulpit is not ruled by the pew. If it is, then something’s wrong. God planned the pulpit to rule the pew. Not necessarily with unkindness, but there needs to be an authority, and the mind of God behind that pulpit, or you’re in a mess. If you start directing your sermons, determined by what’s out there, you’re fixing to lose instead of gain. Sometimes you have a trouble maker out there, and if you’re not careful and don’t follow God, you hit him every night, and destroy good faithful saints.
The Spirit’s dealing to give out a message. I knew where I was at, and the pressure was on. To be honest, that day I was arguing with God. Sister Freeman was there that day, and I knew she didn’t care what she did, so I called her up to pray, because I thought maybe God would use her. She never prayed a drier prayer in her existence! I almost heard God say, “Uh huh, next time I talk to you to do something don’t put if off on somebody else!”
She went and sat down and nothing happened. I said, “Okay, God, I’ll obey.” I got the folks to worship a little bit, those that would. Some folks won’t worship with you, because they know if you get it to going, you may not preach, and they came out to hear you preach. But obey God. That will give you ulcers, if you don’t have a little faith to go along with it.
Sure enough, the Spirit began to speak. I told them what He wanted to do, and without me saying a word, folks began coming up for prayer for their body. Before it was over, there was a double line across that entire auditorium for prayer. In that service many were miraculously healed. Epileptic cases delivered totally.
I’ll never forget the very last one for whom I prayed. A woman had a handkerchief. She said, “This woman in our community is dying with cancer, and has but a few days to live. She can’t speak above a whisper. She does not have the Holy Ghost. ” Under the anointing of the Holy Ghost you’ll do things that later will nearly scare you to death when you come back down to earth and go to thinking about what you said and did. That’s why I say the Holy Ghost must be there if you’re bold, if you’re obedient.
I’ll never forget pouring the oil on the handkerchief, and saying, “When you put this on her body, she’s going to receive the Holy Ghost and be healed!”
Now either she does, or I’m a false prophet! It doesn’t take but about three cases like that and you’re ruined. Did you know that there were saints that left that meeting that day, that later came and confessed, “I left so mad I couldn’t hardly see, because you didn’t preach.” If I would have preached I would have missed this woman dying with cancer, and she didn’t have the Holy Ghost. God knew there would be a connection of faith that day when that handkerchief was anointed.
I received a letter from the lady a short time later. She reminded me of who she was, and the case. “When I brought the handkerchief in and laid it on her body, she came up out of bed and shouted all over the room, talking in tongues, healed by the power of God!”
If I’d have yielded to pressure, that woman could have died without God. Let me drive this home, and take a forty penny nail if there is such a thing, and tack it! There are souls depending upon your obedience to God! In fact, you’ll find, when the Spirit is so
excessively moving, you’d better know something is urgent, and needs attention now! But if you go ahead with your little form and sermons. “Well let’s see, I preached this sermon the third night in that other revival, so I’ll try it the third night in this one.”
Let’s say Farmer Brown says, “I want to be a good farmer, and farmers plow.” So he buys a bunch of plows! I mean every kind of plow, he buys it, and he goes to plowing. “It may be December with frost on the ground, but farmers plow, and I want to be a good farmer.” So he plows. All year long he plows.
Farmer Jenkins says, “Farmers irrigate, that’s what they do. I want to be a good farmer, and farmers irrigate so I’m going to call that well digger, and I’m going to get him to dig a six inch well. And I’m going to get one of those big pumps. I mean one of those diesel jobs! It may be raining, but farmers irrigate, and I want to be a good farmer.” So he pumps all year long.
Farmer Smith says, “Nah, what are you all talking about? Farmers reap. That’s what they do. ” He wants to be a good farmer, so he buys all types of reaping instruments. He gets out there every day, and it doesn’t matter if it’s August, December, or rainy days in February. “Farmers reap, and I want to be a good farmer, and I’ve got some good reaping instruments. ” So all day long, he may not be reaping anything but cockleburrs, but he’s reaping.
Farmer Jones says, “Farmers sow seed, that’s what they do. I want to be a good farmer. ” So he spends his earnings on seed. He doesn’t plow, irrigate or reap. He sows seed. It doesn’t make any difference where.
This is ridiculous. You know it is, but it’s as ridiculous not to be versatile before God in a service.
There comes a time when God wants plowing. You might as well get you a long sweep and get at it! And don’t spare the ground, tear it up! Then when you get done with that turning plow, get a disc, harrow and springtooth. I mean pulverize it! Bed it up in rows. The farmer has been taught discretion. Then, he knows the time to sow, and when to fertilize.
Wouldn’t it be ridiculous for a man with tall, beautiful corn standing in the field, brown and hardened. It’s ready for the crib. And he says, “Farmers plow, so here goes!” Down through the corn patch turning the corn under. I’ll guarantee many services have been destroyed this way.
“Yeah, but you’re supposed to preach, Brother Bean.”
You don’t have to do anything, but what the Holy Ghost says! Doesn’t my Holy Ghost know what that service needs? You need to convince saints that the Holy Ghost knows best, and then you need to convince them that you know what the Holy Ghost wants. The best way to convince them is to obey it, and let them see results.
At another location they put the pressure on me. It died so dead. I could hear them say, “Son, I’ve heard a lot of preachers, but I’ve
never seen anyone as ignorant as you are. Don’t you know how to preach? Have you preached all your sermons out? Didn’t you pray today? Why are you standing looking at us’?”
I said, “Saints, let’s wait on God. He wants to do something.”
I finally closed my Bible to further emphasize to them I was not going to preach. By nine o’clock they saw it was too late for preaching. Even if I got a sermon it would keep them there too late. So they finally yielded and said, “Okay, what?” It wasn’t long until the Holy Ghost fell, and everybody got it! The saints yielded to it. It moved in the audience. The altar filled from one side of the building to the other in a church that had not had a revival in many, many years. Why hadn’t they had a revival? Everybody that went there yielded to the pressure that I was feeling, to go ahead with their little sermons. No matter what God wanted. When we finally broke through and convinced them, the Holy Ghost had a way of moving. The Holy Ghost can do more in five minutes, than you can preaching for two hours! Especially if your sermon is out of the will of God. In a few minutes by turning the
Holy Ghost loose, sinners came running and screaming to the altar begging God for salvation.
I’m saying Holy Ghost, Holy Ghost, Holy Ghost! I want to brainwash you here tonight to the Holy Ghost!
I’ve waited until after nine-thirty and still nothing would happen. That takes faith and patience. But I’ve learned that I’d rather stand there in an awkward position, waiting on my Holy Ghost to work. Even though I’ve waited long, and it looks like it’s not coming. I still feel that little inward feeling. I can’t feel to preach. I can’t feel anything in particular. Except there is something trying to move in. A strangeness. A difference in the atmosphere. There are strong mental impressions that God is wanting to do something. He doesn’t always tell you what He’s wanting to do. He simply wants the audience to respond to Him, to where the Spirit will be stirred. When it’s stirred it can start working.
There is air in this building right now. If it were hot, it would do us very little good, unless there was a fan to stir it. The Holy Ghost is present, but it’s not doing anything until it’s stirred. The best way to get it stirred is to get saints praying or worshipping in a service. Then, the Holy Ghost can lead off in the channel or direction it wants to go. It needs an open door. It needs response.
To whom was Jesus speaking when he said,
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock” (Revelation 3:20)?
He wasn’t talking to sinners. You mean he was talking to the church? According to my Bible, He was wanting entrance into the church. Sometimes that’s a little difficult. Pride. Set rules. Programs. It’s a little difficult.
A couple of our boys went to a Camelite church, and they asked one of the deacons to pray. These two boys went to praying with him. An usher came over and tapped them on the shoulder, and said “Look boys, God’s not deaf.”
One of the boys said, “Yeah, but He’s a long way from here!” He wants in the church. He’s got to be there. How do you get Him there? By the church opening their hearts’ door to Him. The Spirit is very sensitive. It can be grieved or received.
I’m not going to plow every night, because the Holy Ghost knows what that service needs. There may be one man in that audience, that’s been preached to, and knows the truth. Maybe he’s been preached to for years.
There was a man that weighed better than three hundred pounds, that attended a church that had me for revival. For a solid week we did nothing but shout. They had never shouted much, but a few of them got a taste of it, and they turned out to be winos! I mean it was going good! We didn’t do anything but shout every night.
One night I was standing back at the door after service. This gentleman walked out, and he was mad. He looked me square in the eye, and said, “Look, Preacher, I’ve been around Pentecost thirty years, and I’ve heard all kinds. I’ve been out here one solid week, and you haven’t preached one time. I want to hear you preach!”
“I can’t promise you, sir. Come back. We may, we may not! You know what was happening to that old bugger? Something was getting underneath that hide. He openly admitted that he had been around for thirty years, and hadn’t been touched. God knew what it took to touch him. Sermons wouldn’t do it, because he’d roll them off like water off a duck. But the move of the Spirit! You don’t get people worshipping and talking in tongues and keep it confined to their vessel. That’s stirring throughout the building! It’s going outside the building! Walls don’t stop the Holy Ghost! The more Holy Ghost I’ve got in this room, the more that is going to go on out yonder to sinners that are not even here.
He was getting stirred, and couldn’t stand it. In fact, he didn’t like me. I was giving an altar call one night, and he was so mad he
wouldn’t even talk to me. He stood up during the altar service and hollered at the pastor, “I want to come down to that altar, but I want certain people to pray with me. He didn’t address me, but I addressed him.
I said, “Sir, if you come to this altar, we will all pray!”
He sat down. After awhile he grabbed two or three of those old ladies that he had a little confidence in, and took them in the back room, and they prayed. I peeked in the door to see what going on, but I didn’t go pray for him. I’m not going to pet a spirit like that.
I waited on the Holy Ghost. My Holy Ghost can do more with him. You’ve got to see the unseen force that Moses saw. You know why he endured?
“As seeing him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27).
Brother, you can take a lot of pressure when by the eye of faith you’re seeing God move in places. Paul said,
“Know we no man after the flesh (II Corinthians 5:16).
If I was looking at flesh, I’d had said, “I can’t do anything with that boy. ” But I believed in my Holy Ghost. I kept turning on that
cutting torch of Holy Ghost, and it works!
The next night it was worse. Now, mind you, he had stood publicly and said, “Only a few are going to pray with me. ” I refused that. I wouldn’t accept that.
The next night the Holy Ghost got on him strongly. Right in the altar service he stood up, and he waved his big arm, and cried out,
“Everybody come pray with me! Everybody, come on! ” He meant it too, and he got the Holy Ghost that night!
If I’d have plowed every night, I’d have missed that man. He’d have died lost. He died shortly after that. But he died saved, simply
because I put the plow down. There was corn on the stalk, and it was time to reap. Don’t irrigate. Don’t sow seed. It’s already there! Go grab it!
The Lord teaches a farmer discretion. “God, I’m going into this service tonight, and I’ll do anything you want done, because you know best.” Believe you me, as much as you love God, and as much as you believe in the Holy Ghost, there are times in your human mind, when you question whether or not this is right. But I learned better. Go ahead and mind the Spirit, whether it makes sense or not, if you want results. I could preach a few sermons and make the rounds, but I want results. And the only way I can have results, is to turn my Holy Ghost completely loose without any hindrance.
I am now yielded, ready to go any direction. The preliminaries of the service do not determine the will of God for a service. As an
evangelist, you are responsible for the ultimate program in that service. I’ve seen them shout in the preliminaries, and the more they shouted the more burdened I got while I was sitting there. I’ve seen them weep in the preliminaries, and the more they wept, the more I felt like shouting.
I never will forget the first time I went to Life Tabernacle. Brother Kilgore would get up and start a slow chorus, and I’d follow him with a fast one. The next night he started off with a fast one, I followed with a slow one.
Finally, he said, “Look, I’ve tried slow ones and he gets fast ones, and I tried fast ones, and he gets slow ones. I’ve made up my mind to sing what I feel like, and he can sing what he feels!”
There’s a reason for that. That’s not a matter of one man wanting something, or fitting his spirit better. You better not go in there
selfishly wanting the service to please you, because everyone of us has got our choices. Some would rather shout than cry.
I told a pastor one time, “You thoroughly enjoy your type of preaching, and it’s good, but you’re starving a part of your congregation, because you’re feeding them exactly what you like. ” There are people who like to preach hard holiness sermons, so that’s all the congregation gets. Others like to preach the cross. That’s good in its place, but after awhile you’d starve to death only hearing Calvary. God has a variety. He teaches the farmer to plow, break clods and then to plant the seed in its place, then how to reap after it comes to maturity.
“God, I’m waiting on your will for this particular service. Every service has a definite, specific will. God wants every service to be great.
Have you grown any spiritual feelers? If you haven’t, get a set of them. You’re going to need them. My feelers are out constantly. I
didn’t say my feelings, my feelers. There’s a difference. If you go by your feelings being stuck out all the time, you’ll be in trouble. A man who tries to follow God is forever going to have his radar open and working.
You can participate in the preliminaries if you like, but I never did, except on special occasions, because I found it did me more harm than good. I generally had to explain it to them, because they thought I was just sitting there and didn’t care.
One pastor told me, “They don’t know what to think of you sitting there like a knot on a log, until it’s time for you to get up there. ” I always had to explain it to them that I wasn’t being unconcerned. There is a pressure to take advantage of what spirit they’ve got in the song service, testimonies and their praise.
Pull that spirit toward you to help find the will of God. It’s scriptural. Elisha was inquired of to get a word from the Lord. The
Israelites were in battle, the water had run out, and cattle and men were dying. They went to Elisha, and inquired of him what God would say to them. He said,
“But now bring me a minstrel” (II Kings 3:15).
The value of preliminaries in a service is to move the Spirit to where the preacher can find God. If you can get saints convinced that’s their job, then they won’t mind you sitting there maybe not participating outwardly.
If you know anything about me, when I’m not the preacher I’m going to try to encourage the preacher. This doesn’t justify a man sitting around looking like he lost his best friend. If you’re not feeling after God, at least, don’t let it be laziness.
If they’re shouting, and I’d go to shouting with them, I could get off on that tangent, and maybe that’s not the ultimate will of God. I’ve seen them shout, then all of a sudden travail hits just like that. I’ve got to be so I can go any direction. If I go down one little
path, I may hit a dead end street, and might not be able to get back in time to obey the other channel of flow. So, I’m open. I am not allowing what’s happening to necessarily determine what I’m going to do. I can’t.
God will use a shout sometimes to break the ice for conviction. Sometimes He’ll use fear to break the ice for shout. He uses opposites to break through for the other. Learn the works of the Holy Ghost. That shouting might not go through the whole service. That may be getting the congregation ready to maybe go through a fearful service, or a reaping service. God had to use the boisterous to break it through.
On the other hand, I’ve seen Him use the weeping, and the first thing you know everybody’s shouting. Preliminaries are heart conditioners. Any moving of the Holy Ghost in the preliminaries are heart conditioners to get them ready, and get you ready for the ultimate will of God for that service. whether it be an altar call, sermon, revelation, whatever it is. Get the minstrel and play it, and then I’ll tell you the word of the Lord.
Some folks say, “You ought to be instant in season and out of season. You ought to be able to hop up there and go any direction. ” Elisha needed some music to get the Spirit stirring. I wouldn’t say I couldn’t eventually find God, but the quickest way for me to find the will of God in a service is for a church to have thoroughly participated in the preliminaries, and got the Spirit moving. Then I can generally walk up there with the mind of God. But if it doesn’t, then I’ll have to get them worshipping by myself until it stirs enough that I can find the mind of God. That’s why I’ve stalled many a service. There was not enough move in the preliminaries for me to know God.
My feelers are out. I want to know God in this service. There may be sinners there, or saints about to backslide, or some already backslid. There may be sin in the church. There may be something disastrous ready to take place, and you need to know God, to prevent missing a soul.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been in a service that it was the last service for people. How would I know, but this next one would be the same way’? If I’m not where I ought to be in God, I may not give the warning like I need to do. Men, I’m going to tell you, there’s something waiting when you stand in that pulpit, and you are under obligation. You are standing between souls and eternity. You can’t imagine how serious it is for you to know God. This idea of “Well, we didn’t break through tonight, maybe we will tomorrow night.” I’ve actually been to churches that had this attitude. They got used to having a hard service one night, and a better one the next night. So they succumbed to it. “Okay, we had a hard one tonight, but maybe tomorrow night everybody will be in a better mood.” I’ve never operated under any such idea. I believe every service has a divine plan, and a mighty victory. If you’ll live for every service to be victorious, God won’t let you down. What if the devil came in there that night knowing that a soul was fixing to go out into eternity, and everybody took the nonchalant attitude, “Well, this is one of those nights.” The preacher says, ” I’ll just preach a little bit.”
One evangelist said he was preaching for a pastor, and he whispered over to him, “Get us out early, I feel badly!”
That’s real zeal, isn’t it? I don’t want to condition a service to how I feel. If I get to feeling too badly, I’ll go home, “But you all go
on and have a mighty service! ” Every service is planned to be great, but it will be deter-mined by how much you know God, and can follow God in that service.
There may be fifteen different moves in that one service, but you have to follow God. How did the Bible say the twelve tribes of Israel served God?
“Instantly serving God day and night” (Acts 26:7).
When that cloud moved, it didn’t make any difference what they thought about it. They may have just gotten the kids in bed, after traveling all day long. They just got the tent up! They just drove the last stake, and they were fixing to lay down and the cloud started moving.
They started hollering, “Let’s go!”
“Lord! The kids are crying! We’re tired! We just got the tent up, now I have to take it down!”
They served God instantly day and night. If we could learn to follow God instantly day and night, we’d have churches packed with people.
I’ve written on the board the five channels by which the Spirit generally moves. The five channels will move in two ways: tongues and interpretation, or sermons.
When God gave me this revelation, my ministry changed. Instead of a hit and miss affair, it became an accurate target every night.
Let’s apply ourselves to the spirit of prayer. One of the reasons I like to get saints worshipping in a revival, is they can take the Word a lot better if they’re spiritual minded and full of the Holy Ghost, than if they’re dead and dry. The same thing will go for you. If you’ll do some extra praying during this three week session, the things we’re talking about will turn light on that you wouldn’t have seen.
In a service where the power of God is moving, is where I get the majority of my thoughts. The Spirit is freely flowing around me. I like to open my Bible a lot of times while they’re singing in the choir. The anointing is heavy. The word is now more enlightened to me. I ask you to apply yourself to prayer.
The loneliest man on earth is a preacher behind the pulpit. He has no friends, no wife, no children, no siblings, no mother or father. He is friendless, and homeless. If he is going to be the messenger of God, he is going to stand there alone. I would say that the message has been hurt, because men would not be that lonely. They want somebody on their side. It’s human nature.
I preached for a man that I had to reconvert every night. After I’d preach he’d go home so excited and stirred, but by the time his wife got through with him the next morning, he didn’t have the same attitude! She’d convert him after I’d convert him! So I had to
reconvert him. You’d be surprised. Some of you that don’t have wives don’t understand that. You say, “I’ll never be affected. ” But those little darlings can affect you. You’re going to have to learn to be a kind, loving husband, and yet a firm, lonely preacher. There are a lot of thin lines to walk, if you’re going to be a preacher. I beg you to remember it, because this all enters into the works of the Holy Ghost. How much can the Holy Ghost get of you? How much can it control in your life?
We are farmers, and he has taught us discretion.
“When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley, and the rie in their place (Isaiah 28:25).
Gentlemen, I beg you to understand what “in their place,” means. We’re fixing to go into the five channels by which the Spirit would generally move to give you a sermon, or tongues and interpretation.
I realize Scripture teaches that tongues is for the edifying of the body, but don’t misunderstand the word, “edify.” That does not always mean that it blesses. Edification to the body could mean to sever something from that body. If you’re going to edify, strengthen or help a man who has an infection, maybe the infection cannot be curbed or stopped, it may take an amputation. Misunderstanding has occurred when tongues comes forth in a rebuking manner. Some may think, “That couldn’t be God, because tongues is supposed to edify. What do we mean when we say edify? Sometimes to correct is edification.
Both in messages, and in interpretation of tongues, you will find the five channels by which the Spirit will flow. Again, this does not mean that we limit God to this.
Discretion: An ability to make responsible decisions. God is teaching us to have ability to make responsible decisions. Your life is a life of decisions. It can be nerve racking, because you’ve got to go find the will of God for revival, or in the case of a pastor, who to get for revival. You need to make decisions on individual services, when to close a revival, or start the next one. You are constantly at the point of decision as a preacher. God is trying to teach us how to make a reasonable, sensible, accurate decision. The best way to make an accurate decision is to know His voice.
“…his own sheep … know his voice ” (John 10:4).
The Bible teaches us that our conscience is pricked, built up, refreshed and renewed because of much use. Your conscience can be used by the Holy Ghost to do more than condemn you of sin. The same little ticker in there that tells you that you’ve done wrong, could also tell you what to do right. By use of this, you develop a sensitivity to the Holy Ghost. Don’t feel despondent that you don’t hit it every time. By much use you will develop an accuracy to know the voice of God.
The pressure’s on that you’ve got to preach every night. God didn’t call you to preach every night. I no more believe that, than a farmer plows all year long. You’d better learn that lesson if you’re going to get results. You might think that right now you don’t feel like you’ll ever have any problems, but you wait until you get to a church that’s been used to hearing a sermon every night, and they start putting the squeeze on you. You’ll wish you’d have remembered what Brother Bean said, and a little more, on how to combat the reaction of people. The more Holy Ghost that abides in you, the more boldness you’ll have to be delivered from human beings.
“Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them” (Jeremiah 1:17).
1 had a serious problem looking at the audience when I started preaching. There are some out there that will knock the anointing out of you, if you’ll pardon that little expression. I preached at one place, and there was a woman sitting there, with her head cocked to one side. She looked at me with the attitude, “You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re an ignoramus! What in the world are you doing here?”
I felt constantly analyzed by her. As a result, when I’d get to where she sat, I’d either look over her, or sometimes closed my eyes and preached. I found out that wouldn’t work. The more boldness I got in the Holy Ghost, I found I could look the audience in the eye, and it does you well to be able to do that. Don’t ever be afraid. If they detect that your eyes are jumping away, they detect fear in you and immediately they lose confidence in your ability to guide them.
A man that walks to the pulpit, is not to go there a smart alec by any means, but he is to go there with some type of an assurance of his ability to touch God.
We have had complaints, in times past, of men that have gone to different Bible schools, then go home to their old pastor, and “The pastor doesn’t know a thing anymore, since I’ve been to school.” That’s not the purpose of this class at all. I trust you men will never use anything you’ve ever learned to show that you know more than anybody else. A smart man is one that is humble. Did you know that a smart alec man is trying to put up a front for something he lacks? Don’t ever misuse what you’ve learned.
Don’t ever go to the pulpit as a smart alec. On the other hand if you do like I did when I started, they said, “All we could see was the white of his eyes. ” I looked straight up at the ceiling! Immediately a congregation loses confidence in you. “He’s scared. What’s the matter? Doesn’t he know where he’s going?” Besides, if you go to preaching to them, and you’re scared, and they can detect it by looking at you, they’re not going to pay you any attention. Learn to look a hole through them, and not be afraid.
If you want to get confounded, let human spirits, and congregations affect you.
“He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet ” (Psalm 18:33).
Be sure where you’re stepping. Don’t shuffle the rocks, because people are easily thrown off. If they see a countenance of fear, they’ll be afraid of you. If they see assurance, you may not even know where you’re going, but act like you do! That’s not being hypocritical. A preacher has got to hide feelings. He may be as sick as a horse, but he’d better not get up there moaning and groaning. If you start describing your ailments to them, you’ll have about fifteen in the church get the same symptom! Don’t have a heart attack around the church! Hope and pray it’s a gas pain, because you’ll have half your church with heart trouble!
Leadership influences people’s minds. I’ve seen preachers that couldn’t hide their feelings, and they always ran into trouble. Anger must never show on your face.
“Be ye angry, and sin not” (Ephesians 4:26).
Preacher, you’d better learn how to do that. The only way I know how to do that, is to not move a muscle in showing your anger. If your eyes are flashing, I’m afraid you’ve sinned. Learn to be angry and not show it. In hiding your feelings you’re simply not giving into the flesh. When it comes to human feelings, like fear, anxiety, and anger, have self-control, or you will lose your audience no matter how much anointing you might have.
Peter said, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).
1 am not boasting when I give personal reference. It’s the best way of getting my point across. I’ll never forget about God dealing with me about a message that I knew the pastor’s wife, and nearly everyone in the church was guilty. That’s not easy! When I say a preacher’s lonely, I mean exactly that.
When God gave me the message, I rolled on the floor, prayed and cried for about three hours, until I did like Ezekiel, I ate the roll and let it digest. When I stood in the pulpit that night, it wouldn’t have made any difference who was there. I felt hid behind a shield of anointing. A man can be bold, and yet humble when he has the anointing.
I wept through the whole message, yet as bold as a lion.
“For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).
That takes anointing.
Don’t preach a message because somebody else preaches it. Let it become a part of you, and let it become an anointing. When it’s
anointed and it’s you, then you can have a boldness and assurance. You can step into the pulpit, and nobody would ever detect there’s a fear in you.
One of the greatest disasters is to let people think you’re scared of them. We shouldn’t attack them to overcome our fear. I wonder if the boisterous attack that some preachers make, and the remarks they make that are not wise, aren’t an attempt to build up self-confidence, and assurance of an upper hand in the situation.
Young pastors can get into trouble by trying to use excessively harsh remarks. All it amounts to, is they’re trying to build up their own ego or confidence. You’re losing control that way. A sober solid approach is God’s plan. Never allow yourself to show human reactions, except for the good.
Some preachers never allow the Spirit to move on them. They feel it’s downgrading to their office to turn loose and worship. I personally believe it’s to your advantage to demonstrate what you tell them to do. I’m afraid of a man that’s always telling them to worship, and never worships. I don’t mean that he has sin in his life, but he’s being unfair. We are to be first partakers of the fruit. A man that can weep, rejoice, and yield to the Holy Ghost readily is going to get quicker response out of his audience, but you can’t yield to your human spirit. Here’s the thin line. You have to walk a tight rope.
What is more responsible than standing between a soul and eternity? Making the right decision that will draw them in, or the wrong decision that would drive them away. Friend, we’ve got it on us tonight! When you said, “I’m called to preach,” you said, “I’m going to walk a tight rope the rest of my life. I’m going to live in an open fishbowl, with windows on all sides. What I do and what I’ll say will be heard and talked far and wide.” What preachers do and say is important. You have to be careful.
We are now entering into a service We have already discovered some points. For instance, that God has other ways besides the plowing, irrigation, reaping or sowing of seed. He can choose according to the need.
There are services where He wants to heal. There are services where He simply wants to save, others where He wants to enlighten. You need patience to wait on seed to grow.
We’re sitting in a service, supposing that God wants some type of a message. We have felt that it’s not going to be all shout tonight, even though we know that some services could be. It’s not going to be an altar call, or weeping. God wants a message.
Every now and then, you will be a preacher of sermons. God wants you to study the Bible so you can have sensible sermons to preach. He wants you to do as they did in the Old Testament, read it, and then make sense of it. You are an interpreter of the will of God from his Word. It is up to you to get the anointing as strongly as the man who wrote it. When God gave it to these men, they wrote by the unction of the Holy Ghost. When you preach, if the same anointing will come on you, then you’ll understand what they were writing and why they wrote it. Make sense with it, then make a good message out of it. Don’t be satisfied with a mediocre type sermon. Get some that would jar the earth! Accumulate other information, besides Bible if necessary to make it effective. I believe we ought to build sermons like we build buildings. Make them worthwhile, so they’ll stand.
There are messages that I can preach, that only momentarily inspire the audience. I have heard sermons, that while I was listening I thought to myself, “How can it be?” The man is spitting out incredible words. He must have been transformed into an angel! His words are angelic. Just marvelous!”
But the next morning I couldn’t remember a thing he said! Those are inspirational sermons. They simply inspire for the moment.
Get sermons that have enough meat to stay there. That they’ll remember the next time you come around. It’d be dangerous to preach again, because they’d remember it. You need messages that stick with people, whether you gave them a title or not. Titles help, I guess. I have very few. Some folks, all they’ve got is a title. I’d rather have the contents, than the can’ Titles don’t always prove out.
A good friend of mine, Ike Terry in Bakersfield, California was having a debate with a Church of Christ preacher. Their debate was, The Name of the Church. The Church of Christ believes, simply because they call themselves the Church of Christ that it makes them the genuine. Bother Terry came up with an idea. He got a can of horseradish, and patiently took off the covering of Libby’s Sliced Peaches. He covered the can of horseradish with the label. He sat the can down, and kept referring to that can of peaches. After awhile he got a can opener, and said, “Let’s have some peaches.”
He opened it up and set it down right beside the Church of Christ preacher, and the poor man had to sit there and smell that horrible smell for the rest of the debate! The title doesn’t always reveal the contents!
You can’t find sermonizing in the Bible. Sermonizing didn’t come into being until many years after the church went into apostasy.
Let’s suppose that we’re in a service, and a mighty revival’s going on. Our feelers are out, and we’ve waited on God through the whole service. The preliminaries stir up enough Holy Ghost for the man of God to find the mind of God. Through this, you’re changing like a lizard, you’re green, then brown. You might feel like we’re going to shout tonight; then, whoops, it fell, we must be going to cry. You look out there and there’s a few sinners, but you don’t know them all that well. You don’t know what their condition is. You’re trying your best to feel for God. Alas, it comes.
Some men have the glorious ability to pray that day, and God will give them a message for that evening’s service. I don’t suppose there’s been a dozen times in my life that’s ever happened to me. If that works for you, don’t change it. It’s hard standing in the pulpit not knowing what to preach. I didn’t say I stood there without a message. I’ve got fourteen dozen messages! I could go any direction that I’ve already studied out, and prayed over. I’m also open for a new one.
I’ve actually had the Holy Ghost to have me open my Bible, and my eyes fell on a scripture. Some of the best sermons I’ve preached, I received in that miraculous manner. That doesn’t justify me lazing around all day, and not studying my Bible, because I’ve accumulated sermons. If you do, you’ll become stale, and God’s not going to use you if you depend on what you’ve already learned. You should constantly search the Bible for new and better sermons.
This particular night, we’ve decided that God wants a message. There are five channels by which the will of God will be channeled that night.
God may say, “I am giving you a message to instruct or correct saints. ” Scripturally, I refuse to say that evangelists cannot preach to saints. My recommendation would be, if a pastor doesn’t want you, as an evangelist, to preach to his saints, then excuse yourself to the one who does. You’re not going to do any good.
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ ” (Ephesians 4:11,12).
Suppose there are more sinners there than you’ve had for the whole revival. If you have any evangelistic nature in you at all, like a
bird dog, you’re going to point. But you have to watch it. Human desire is to go on and reach the lost. It’s easier to do that, than correct saints.
There have been times when the Holy Ghost refused to let me talk to sinners in a revival service. That hurts. It hurts in more than one area. You’ve got a pastor that worked hard to get those sinners out there. Saints have done all they knew to do, and they finally got them there. They may have been working on some of them for six months. Here they are at last, and only to hear a man whip the saints. As much as that pastor loves you, he’s going to wonder if you missed God. I had a man say, “I believe your message, but I certainly question your timing!” I can miss it, but I’ve got to do the best I know how, and he’s got to grant me that liberty.
I’ve had them to try to pressure me into reaching a sinner. They’d lean over and whisper, “We’ve got a business man here tonight!” or “That man over there, we’ve been working on him for the longest time.” You know what they’re telling you? “Please try to catch him!” It’s awful to be mean, but I’ve got to follow God.
I told one preacher, “When I come preach for you, I’m not going to fit the pattern of your church, I’m going to mold them according to my pattern. ” What’s the benefit of me coming, and simply fitting into what’s already here?” I haven’t done them any good. Naturally, you know, I’m not referring to bringing them aside from doctrine, I’m talking about worship, dedication, advancing in the Spirit. I can’t go and fit their pattern, not even in standards. I can’t go in, and say, “I’m not going to mention anything.” My Holy Ghost as an evangelist made me correct saints, in their standards, to bring them to spiritual elevation to where there could be a revival.
The first two weeks, they’ll generally bring sinners out. That church may not be ready to receive saints.
At one location the pastor urged me to preach to sinners, and the church resented me preaching to them, until there was strong pressure.
I finally said, “God, I beg you to give me an evangelistic sermon.” What do you think He gave me? A tougher message to the saints than I’d had the night before! I decided, “If I don’t do something they’ll lynch me!”
So, I attempted an evangelistic one, and you have never in your life heard such a dead, dry, lifeless, stuttering, stammering sermon! I could hardly breath, much less preach. The anointing left. If God’s against me, I feel like I’m in a barrel. I can’t breath. The only two times I tried it, God liked to have killed me. I said, “God I’ll preach what You tell me what to preach next time, whatever the consequences.”
This is not to be unkind, or hard to handle, I’ve got to be led of God if I do them any good. Believe me, every pastor doesn’t accept that. The pastors that don’t want it, let them get the man that’ll preach what they like, because I haven’t got time to fool with it. There are too many that want all of this, for me to waste my time on men that want only a part of it.
I told this particular man, “When I come to your church, I’m not going to have one hand behind me. I’m not going to be tied or bound. I don’t blame you if you don’t want me on these conditions. ” That’s the only way I know of having any results. If we’re going to follow God, we need to stand out, and be lonely.
I’ve had them say, “When I got you, I wondered if I missed God.” It looked like I was going to tear the whole church up.
If you don’t prepare yourself to obey God, pressures may arise and sidetrack you. They can hinder the move of God in a revival.
There are points in a revival where it can turn either direction, and the wrong message could turn it downward. You might as well stop then, while it’s at least at that high pitch, but the right one can send it into another orbit.
Revivals come in sections, and I’ve had as many as four revivals in one. It is a custom to have a little bit of something the first two
weeks, but invariably you’ll hit a hard spot. Most people think the revival’s over, when it’s just beginning to start. What you need to do now is dig. Prepare a foundation for something better. Then you’ll hit another little spurt, then another hard spot. I’ve hit up to four hard spots in one revival, and each one got harder. Each one looked more like the revival was over, but by considering God’s will, and much prayer, you know it’s not through, it’s a hard place, so you keep digging. This is where you need to know the mind of God for that church.
How do I determine what to preach? Looking at the audience doesn’t tell you what to do; however, sometimes you can use that. Some things you can use, but not totally.
One preacher thought he had two Carnelites in his service, and they were deaf and dumb people! Expressions don’t always tell you what you need to know. The Spirit may call for something that naturally doesn’t fit.
Why would the Holy Ghost have you preach to saints with a full house of sinners? God does not want to bring a new convert into a diseased church.
The ultimate goal is not to number a bunch in a revival, and say “I had this many pray through! ” The ultimate goal is how many are going to stand at the Judgement saved because you helped them. This is the ultimate goal, and it changes the scene altogether. It’ll change your ministry, when you look down the road instead of at the immediate situation. If you want lasting results you’re going to have to produce something other than quick reaping.
If a church is not healthy and strong in the first place, a convicting-type message to the sinner will die, and be ineffective. God feeds, He first feeds His children. He told the woman,
“It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs ” (Matthew 15:26).
1 don’t know why God does it that way, but He works through the church. If that church is not where it ought to be, there’s going to be a hinderance to the anointing. I’d rather preach to five thousand snuff-dippers, adulterers, whoremongers, thieves and robbers, than to preach to three unconsecrated saints. Saints can tie you up, but sinners can’t. The children of God will affect the service, but a sinner can’t do a thing to you. A sinner can come in as mad as a wet hen, yet it won’t affect your sermon. It may inspire it! But that saint sitting down on you will affect you. God sees to it that it does! He works through the body. If you reach a sinner, you won’t reach them over the church, but through the church. After all, it’s sheep that bear sheep. If the Holy Ghost is saying, “This church needs help,” then it may be the will of God to tend to that first.
We had a very effective evangelist that would tell the church not to bring sinners, until he gave instructions. It worked well for him, but I only did that once or twice. I found out for me, it worked to have the sinner come on. If a church is not ready, God’s not going to let many sinners come out. No matter how much personal work you do, if the church is not ready, God will hold them out. In fact you can discourage saints, by pushing them to invite sinners out, and they’re not coming, and maybe it’s not time for them to come. God wants preparation.
I got a little weary one time in revival. We had been going five or six weeks, and I hadn’t got to reach the sinner yet. I was still on
the church. I got weary and hungry for souls. We had a few. As Brother Joe Duke usually expresses it, we had a few “slip through.” I complained to the Lord, “God I don’t understand all this. I’m anxious to get sinners, and every night is the same wearisome battle of teaching the church.”
God gave me a good rebuking. When He finished with me I was ready to go as long as He wanted. In the conversation He let me know “If you’re going to build a building of any value, and any stability. It needs a good foundation.”
Let’s say this church is weak. This man can’t quit lying, but he’s a member of the church. Here’s one in adultery. Here’s one that hasn’t prayed through in months. I’ve been in churches where they hadn’t talked in tongues since they got the Holy Ghost twenty years ago! Here’s one that has so much jealousy he can’t hardly stand it. All these spirits existing! All these weaknesses! God made me to understand, “What if I gave you an eighty or hundred soul revival, with all these weaknesses, and every new convert brings with them their weakness?”
You must expect people to bring their weaknesses. Receiving the Holy Ghost doesn’t perfect people. You dump eighty brand new babies in the lap of church that’s already so weak they can’t even grunt. You’re adding water to the soup! With all these new convert’s weaknesses, piled on top of the saints’ weaknesses; it’ll kill the whole bunch. Believe me, that’s exactly what will happen!
That’s why some churches have totally dissolved as far as standards, spirituality. They’ve accumulated a bunch of people, and mixed them with that bunch that was not what they ought to be. First thing you know, weakness overpowers strength. That’s dangerous! God made me to understand it’s very possible that I’m going to have to spend time with the church.
This does not follow a pattern at all. When I say you’ve got to follow the Holy Ghost, Friend, I’ve never seen one revival like the other one. I went to one place, and there was deep, deep sin. But for the first two weeks God gave us the greatest reaping. Thirty or so received the Holy Ghost. Man, we had a time! All of a sudden, bang. The Holy Ghost said, “There’s sin in this church. ” The only reason I could see that God would do a thing like that, is He knew the only way that I could affect that church was to first get their favor, blessing and encouragement. A physician fixing to operate doesn’t just go to slashing and cutting.
On the other hand, another place on the first night I stopped and said, “Wait a minute, there’s deep sin in this church. ” God sees the church. He knows what it’s able to take. A good cleansing doesn’t come to any church and it be able to bear it. When a doctor examines a man, and determines that he’s already weakened, he’s going to build him up first. On the other hand, if he’s ready for an operation, lay him on the table.
God knows, but you or the pastor might not. The pastor some times thinks he does, but he doesn’t always.
I went to one place, and the first night. I said, “Man, you’ve got sin in this place in high places.”
He said, “Oh no, some of the kids might be doing some things they shouldn’t.”
The first one that came through with his confession was his deacon that had committed adultery. The pastor doesn’t always know, and that’s the reason why he needs somebody to help him find God. I don’t believe one man can perfect a church by himself. It’s going to take all the ministries.
God doesn’t follow patterns, but it’s according to the need, and it’s up to you to find out what the need is.
We’re in revival. There’s a bunch of sinners there. All of a sudden, that sickening feeling comes over you, and it’ll come over you, because you know what the pastor’s thinking. You’re going to have to get one of those old fashioned, blood and guts, correcting-type sermons to the saints. You may try to substitute it, but it’s best to go ahead and obey.
I’ve found that the sinners that are there will not be offended. They’re glad to hear you correct them. They may know more about those saints than you know. They know when they’ve been hypocritical. It does them good to know there’s a holiness preacher left in the country trying to straighten people out.
I’ve found very little offense at preaching hard, as far as sinners are concerned. Some say, “Oh please, don’t mention adultery in the church, and sinners here! ” It doesn’t hurt them, it does them good. They know we’re cleaning this thing out. If they have any desire to do right, they’ll say, “That’s the church where I want to go, ” because they won’t be allowed to do whatever they want.
You may have ten sermons that you already know, besides the possibility of a new one. I’m going to tell you how I do it, but I’m not trying to make Verbal Beans out of you, I want you to see the possibilities.
I will generally feel the spirit of the message before I know the message. This is exactly how interpretation of tongues works with me. When a man or woman speaks in tongues in a service, before I ever receive the interpretation, I receive the spirit of the interpretation. What type it’s going to be. This may not work with everybody, but this is the only way I know how to explain it. I believe it will work generally with you, if you’ll allow it. After you have the spirit of it, check it out with what revelation came to you. If it doesn’t check, then there’s something wrong. It will come strongly to me, there’s going to be correction to the church, but I still may not know what I’m going to say. Is it going to be holiness, digging sin out, that they need to step up in their prayer life, or they need to worship’? This is the valley of decision that the preacher lives in. It’s no wonder they’re having heart attacks and strokes. Men, this is not easy! When you signed up for this job, you signed up to work.
You can preach one, and blunder on over the will of God, and probably preach pretty well. You may get pats on the back and plenty of revivals. But is that what you want? Or, do you want results? Results are worth the waiting. Worth the battle!
I believe I’ve found the channel. I believe it’s going to be correction to the saints. What message fits that spirit? A new one or
old? God doesn’t mind you preaching a sermon over, so don’t feel guilty for it. I used to feel guilty preaching a sermon over again.
God told me one day, right here in Greens Bayou. He gave me a message one night, and wanted me to preach it to all the churches, and I don’t believe I’ve missed one. I preach it everywhere I go. There are those that need to be preached everywhere. I don’t mean lean on that book of sermons you’ve got. If you start doing that, you’re wrong, but have them available for your use.
I begin checking the old sermons out in my mind, while I’m sitting in that service. My little computer is pushing a button. A sermon I’ve already preached, or a thought I’ve already used, possibly. I push that button, and let that thing roll a little bit. I go down that road, in other words. In a condensed version, I preach that sermon to myself. Somehow or another it didn’t work, it fell crossway. So, I try another. Does this sound burdensome’? It is every bit of that! I’ve walked to many a pulpit not knowing what I would do. I may single it down to two or three thoughts, but I can’t get settled on which one of the three. So, I get up there and start talking a little bit. Waiting on God. A lot of my talking is not rambling, I’m waiting. After a while, one of them fits in my mind. I feel it. You feel that there’s an open channel all the way to the end. There’s no dead end streets to it.
You may not think you can stand there and talk, and yet be preaching another sermon at the same time in your mind, but you can, because I’ve done it for years. Check it out to see if that’s what the Spirit’s calling for. Let Him talk to you the way He wants to talk to you. Be sure it was God that gave it, and be willing to change if He wants to change.
One good evangelist told me he knows before service what type of service it will be. That’s marvelous. I wouldn’t change him for
anything. Mine never worked that way.
You found the right sermon. The message you preached fit that particular spirit that you felt. There may not have been any obvious results, but don’t forget,
“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which 1 please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
When you have obeyed God, fear nothing.
I’ve had them come to me and say, “I won’t come back anymore.” It’ll bother you for awhile, but you’ll begin to believe God, and say “God, you gave it to me. I did the best I could with it. I didn’t preach it so harshly to be hard. I’m not enjoying the role of a hard preacher. I’m preaching what I feel that the people are in need of, because of what You told me.”
Men, don’t ever divorce yourself from the love of human beings, and their souls. Some preachers have made a game out of hard preaching. I don’t enjoy it, myself, but I’ll do it if it must be done. I can’t yield to my own feelings, and since I don’t like this, say, “I’m not going to do it.” I’ve got to get results no matter the cost.
One preacher called me and said, “I’m coming to set up a three-day tannery. ” I don’t like that. It’s making a joke out of hard
preaching. You wonder if they’re seeing who can find the most hides. What is their game? “Bless God, I busted their hides!” And they’ll laugh about it.
Friend, it’s too serious for me to make a joke out of it. I’m not in the hide-busting business. I’m not in the tannery business. But I
want you to know, I preach as hard as they can preach. I’ve called them rebels. I’ve rebuked them openly. I’ve called them by name from the pulpit and sat them down. I have physically sat them down. But on the other hand, it was all with one goal, and that’s to save that soul. Paul said,
“If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them” (Romans 11:14).
Paul also said,
“Reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (II. Timothy 4:3).
If you’re not man enough to do it, you’re not man enough to preach. I’m not saying this to be slanderous. I have no motives in mind, but license doesn’t give you boldness. Money doesn’t give you boldness. Good looks doesn’t give you boldness. A good vocabulary doesn’t help you with boldness. It’s going to take some Holy Ghost anointing in your life to give boldness to stand before that people, and tell them what they need to know. Knowing that correction stings, but in the long run, produces results.
There comes a time you need to preach faith building, an uplifting message to the church. There’s a different feeling when God wants a faith building message rather than correction. You represent the attitude of God toward that congregation. If you and saints, both, could understand that, it would help a whole lot.
I’ve preached when they thought I was mad, and I wasn’t. I represented the attitude of God. I preached like I was going to tear them up. God felt that way, and I was totally yielded to Him. I’m not choosing my attitude. If I’m anointed, and my words are coming sharp and harshly, I am manifesting the attitude of God. That’s why a preacher needs to be sure that he’s obeying the right spirit.
There are three spirits you’re going to counteract, or obey. God’s Spirit, Satan and yourself. Your human spirit can get the upper hand. You need to know of what spirit you are.
Have you ever felt like preaching a love-type message? This falls into the category of uplifting faith. In other words, “Church, God loves you. He enjoys blessing you.” You’re talking about Calvary and the price He paid, and what love He bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God. That sweet flow is everywhere.
You know what you’re doing? You’re manifesting God’s attitude that night. If Jesus Christ stood there in person, He’d be doing the same thing. He’d be loving them. You’re an ambassador of Jesus Christ. That’s why it’s vital that you find the right channel.
What if you’re saying, “God’s mad tonight,” when He wants to show love’? You have misrepresented God’s attitude that night. On the other hand, what if you’re showing love, and He wants correction?
God corrects, so don’t ever get it in your mind that it’s all a love message. Paul asked a church which way did they want him to come to them? Truly a church chooses the spirit that God manifests to them. If they’re willing to behave, and mind the Holy Ghost, God will come to them with love. But if they’re disobedient, God’s going to correct them, because,
“Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth (Hebrews 12:6).
You represent God’s attitude in that service. When God wants judgement to the sinner, you feel like you’re almost the judge yourself. If you’ll pardon this, please. When I preach a message, I preach it as though I wrote it myself. I’m not saying that I was the author of the thought. The apostles wrote this Book. But they wrote it by inspiration. When I preach, I do it as though I got it fresh from God. It’s my word from heaven. When I get a scripture that the Holy Ghost has picked out for me to preach, that’s as powerful and accurate as if I’d have gotten it straight from God. I’m not here to tell you that we should get off on a tangent, as some in times past have done, and start writing our own bible. Everything the Spirit does will agree with the Bible. If it doesn’t, you’d better check it out, something’s wrong.
But, when I preach it, if I got it from God, and it’s on me strong, it’s as though I got it straight from heaven. This Word becomes
Spirit, and life when it’s anointed for us to preach it. It needs to be that way. It’s the voice of God. God told Jeremiah,
“If thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth” (Jeremiah 15:19).
“He that heareth you heareth me ” (Luke 10:16).
If I’m preaching a judgement message to a sinner, God is angry with that sinner. He’s fixing to do something about that sin. “I’m not mad at you, God’s mad!”
I preached one time where the judgements of God hung so low for so long, until I found myself slamming doors! And God knows I wasn’t mad at anyone, but the air was charged with indignation. During that one revival, twelve people died. I told them every night, “Count your dead as a result of this revival! ” That was God’s attitude toward that community.
There will be one of five channels used by God. That doesn’t mean that God won’t rebuke both saint and sinner in the same service. There’s always exceptions, but we need to establish some rules, then branch out from there.
By exercise and use, naturally, you develop a sensitive heart to the Spirit. Similar feelings will be made manifest if there’s going to be correction to the saint or sinner. God’s still mad, because sin is sin whether it’s in a saint or a sinner, but you can feel the difference. There is a difference in how you handle a saint than how you handle a sinner. The best way I know how to feel for the difference, is to compare your feelings. You can’t always go by your feelings, but we are led by the Spirit, and how in the world are we led if that Spirit doesn’t move on us some way or another to let us feel it.
I have little faith in fleeces. We are led by the Spirit. By inward impulses of the Holy Ghost, moving on our conscience, telling us what or what not to do.
Since I know this is a judgement message to sinners, then which one’? Do you want to warn of hell? white throne of judgement’? wages of sin? It’s your job after you’ve found the right channel, to find the right message. I have had times when I was in the right spirit, but I missed the message. I preached a judgement message, but it wasn’t the right one.
The Word of God will have results, but what we want is the ultimate results. We’re tired of “One reclaimed and one blessed!” We want some revivals! Moves of God! Souls saved! God knows far more than I know what that service needs. If I can lean heavily on the Holy Ghost, I’m going to get results. Besides that, is there not strength for you when you know you’re in the will of God’? Doesn’t it make a giant out of you? But doesn’t it make a grasshopper out of you when you’re out of the will of God? Aren’t you weak when you can’t feel you’re in the will of God?
Find which one of these channels He’s wanting, then let me find which message fits that channel, for that particular night, and there’s nothing out there that will phase me! I believe I’m going to get results in the face of opposition. My faith is made strong by finding His will, but if I’m a little confused, my faith is weak. This is why it’s so vitally necessary that we know the will of God. We’d better know what the mind of Christ is that night.
I’ve generally found for myself, if there’s a doctrinal message, there’s generally a light heartedness. You don’t feel like rebuking,
or judgements are fixing to fall. You feel more of a joyous spirit. I have actually felt that there were Assembly of God, or Church of Christ folks out there. It’s so revealed, that if you’re not careful, you’ll start calling the name of the church. Sometimes it may be good, but I’d say the majority of the time it’s bad.
The old bread corn. You can handle him rough. But some get bruised if you don’t use the right threshing instrument.
The first time C.W. Shoe in Ft. Worth went to a Jesus’ name church in his life, he faced a woman preacher. He didn’t believe in them, and he was a Methodist. The first words she said when she walked to the pulpit was, “All the Methodists are going to hell! ” It made him so mad, especially coming from a woman, that he went home, and started reading his Bible. He was fixing to prove her wrong, but he wound up with the Holy Ghost! The old bread corn. You can’t win them all that way.
I went to the Carolinas awhile back, and I never walked on my tiptoes so much in my life. Those people are so shy of new doctrine, and especially anything Jesus’ name, because of the snake handlers. I found myself being extremely careful with what I said. The Spirit made me do it. The pastor said, “I’ve had men come here and not know this, and carelessly lambast, and scare and scatter them like rags. ” The Spirit bade me to be careful. A man came up and openly questioned me, but I was real careful and kind. I was careful not to slander other religions.
There have been times when I’ve blasted away at them. You know those nights when the Holy Ghost will make you reckless? And you go to reading about the Hittites, Jebusites, and invariably you’ll include the Camelites? The Spirit will allow you to do that. But, I had cummin and fitches in my hand. I was careful. The threshing instruments won’t work.
Brethren, our churches would be packed if we could learn where to plant the seed, and when to plow. It grieves me when I think of how many we’ve missed, because we didn’t find the mind of God for our message. Or, we didn’t find the mind of God enough not to preach a message! We’re dealing right now with, when God uses messages. I try to get a word of God so fresh that it’s a message and not a sermon.
It’s hard to describe the spirit of correction. There is a build up of boldness, and if you’re not careful you can go overboard with it. You have to balance yourself, and keep the human spirit out of it. You’re at the point of anger with weakness in saints. At the point of disgust that somebody would stop your revival, with sin. Your mind starts reaching, yet you become vexed with saints for their weaknesses. You feel in your soul a disturbance about their weaknesses and sins. You can’t get your mind off of saints. There must be something that God wants to do for saints tonight. You feel the buildup that it’s correction.
When I feel faith, it’s an uplifting Spirit. I begin to feel faith myself. I get a little preview of my own message. God gives you an
assurance by the Spirit you feel. I’m telling you how it comes to me as best I can, you may get it in another way.
Would you not agree with me, that it’s important to find out which channel God’s working in tonight’? Rather than get up there and scatter-barrel, be nonchalant, and feel it doesn’t make any difference. Don’t follow a pattern of revivals, or preach a little sermon and get it over with. Desire to know what God wants! Please let me know, Lord. Don’t leave me here standing. I’ve stood in services separate and apart from the channels by which He uses sermons or messages. Maybe you’re standing there, and you haven’t read a text, but you’re still talking along a certain line.
Some criticize me, because they say I don’t preach. You know why they do? Because I didn’t take a text every time. That doesn’t mean I’m not preaching. Sometimes I’ll start out talking, and wind up judgement to the sinner. Just talking. I may have quoted more scriptures than the other preacher would have preached, but I didn’t take a text so folks didn’t think I was preaching.
We’ve gotten into a rut in Pentecost of sermonizing, and giving elaborate, sensational titles. Such sensational titles as “Seven Ducks to preach a message! We’re dealing right now with, when God uses messages. I try to get a word of God so fresh that it’s a message and not a sermon.
It’s hard to describe the spirit of correction. There is a build up of boldness, and if you’re not careful you can go overboard with it. You have to balance yourself, and keep the human spirit out of it. You’re at the point of anger with weakness in saints. At the point of disgust that somebody would stop your revival, with sin. Your mind starts reaching, yet you become vexed with saints for their weaknesses. You feel in your soul a disturbance about their weaknesses and sins. You can’t get your mind off of saints. There must be something that God wants to do for saints tonight. You feel the buildup that it’s correction.
When I feel faith, it’s an uplifting Spirit. I begin to feel faith myself. I get a little preview of my own message. God gives you an
assurance by the Spirit you feel. I’m telling you how it comes to me as best I can, you may get it in another way.
Would you not agree with me, that it’s important to find out which channel God’s working in tonight? Rather than get up there and scatter-barrel, be nonchalant, and feel it doesn’t make any difference. Don’t follow a pattern of revivals, or preach a little sermon and get it over with. Desire to know what God wants! Please let me know, Lord. Don’t leave me here standing. I’ve stood in services separate and apart from the channels by which He uses sermons or messages. Maybe you’re standing there, and you haven’t read a text, but you’re still talking along a certain line.
Some criticize me, because they say I don’t preach. You know why they do? Because I didn’t take a text every time. That doesn’t mean I’m not preaching. Sometimes I’ll start out talking, and wind up judgement to the sinner. Just talking. I may have quoted more scriptures than the other preacher would have preached, but I didn’t take a text so folks didn’t think I was preaching.
We’ve gotten into a rut in Pentecost of sermonizing, and giving elaborate, sensational titles. Such sensational titles as “Seven Ducks in a Pond.” Tricky titles. We’ve gotten into the habit of wanting to hear them. “Giving the Pig a Permanent Wave.” That got their attention, I’ll guarantee, but let’s not get so sensational with our titles that we can’t talk about judgement to the sinner as we feel it. Some of my best revelations from God, came when just talking. I talked myself into the anointing; and into the channel. Then, when I saw I was in it, I stayed. Many times I never opened my Bible. First thing you know, people are in the altar. What I’m wanting is them praying through, whether I got credit for preaching a sermon or not.
You look awfully bold tonight, but you wait until the pressure of preachers, pastors and saints. You’re standing there and they’re
screaming, “Preach!” “Feed Me!”
I had one man who was supposed to have the Holy Ghost. He got so mad he stopped coming to church. He said, “We’ve shouted a week and you haven’t preached. ” Some in that church had never shouted in their lives. God knew what they needed, and He was feeling what they needed. He said, “I love the deep things, such as the word of God.”
I don’t mean to be unkind, but he wouldn’t have known depth if he’d have fallen into it. Some folks are like the children of Israel, they got tired of the manna and wanted something else. I told them, “Some of you are moaning and groaning about the manna. Saying, the table of the Lord is contemptible. The children of Israel did the same thing, and started screaming for meat. When God sent it, it ran out their noses.” You’d better take what He’s giving. I believe the longest I’ve ever preached is around three hours. You’ll have it running out your noses!
How many of you have ever felt a doctrinal sermon? Not only is it possible to feel, when you’re bid to preach, many times you’ll feel it when the other man gets up to preach. Naturally, it wouldn’t be as strongly impressed on you, if you’re not going to be the one responsible. When the body works together like it ought to, the Spirit will come to you even when another man’s preaching. I’m not trying to teach you to consider that angle.
I know one school that teaches the students to criticize, in their minds, the preachers they hear. I certainly don’t want to develop an attitude like that. I don’t feel we should ever criticize. Their point was to perfect you, but while they’re perfecting you in one
angle, they’re injuring you in another. God usually gives the deepest impression to the man who’s responsible for the service.
How can you know, in your own spirit, when God is calling for a correction-type message for the saints? The Spirit is heavy, and you feel there is some type of correction, or some type of adverse dealings with the human family. Whether it be sin in the church, or sin in the sinner. Will God show you the difference, and if so, how will you determine this?
It’s almost totally opposite directions, even though it’s a similar feeling of heaviness. If you’re going at the saint, and God’s wanting you to direct attention at the sinner, you can see how you’re moving in the opposite direction. It’s vital that you know which direction God wants you to preach. The reason I contend that general-type sermons will not bring specific results, is the same argument I feel towards general-type prayers, they don’t draw the attention of God. God’s interested in specifics. Our preachers should learn to get more specific in everything, not to generalize.
If it is the Spirit dealing with saints, you almost become impatient with them, feeling that they’re standing in the way of progress. I don’t want to justify impatience, but it’s similar. It’s a thin line between what you feel, and impatience. Your mind will be drawn more to the saints. Sinners are sitting out there, but you can’t even think of them. “There’s that saint, and I haven’t seen imm worship since I’ve been here. There’s that one who’s been looking at television. ” You can’t wait until they’re perfected to where you can get them out of your way, and go to reaching for the sinner.
I have never divorced my mind from the sinner. I may be preaching to the church tonight, but my ultimate goal is to get them prepared to where I can get that sinner.
I noticed when Brother Wilhoite was here, he was very good at knowing whether to reach for a saint or sinner, and I could tell for which one he was reaching, because he made it very obvious. I’ve seen very few times, when he set his mind on one, that he failed to get them.
A boy that’s in Highlands now, came one night Brother Wilhoite came, and he set his heart on that boy. He never had been to an altar. These are the things that are important in getting people to an altar. You can so generalize your invitation or your message, that you’re not going to get any results. You’ll find that people have got to be pinpointed. Not so that they’ll be embarrassed. I have literally, purposefully fastened my eye on a person in the audience, until I knew they knew I was talking to them. The rest of the audience may not detect it all that much, and it’s not that embarrassing, especially if saints know how to behave themselves, and not go to looking around.
The personal contact is the thing that’s going to reach them. Very few people are saved by handing out tracts. You’ll get some, but very few. It’s the personal touch that brings results. Brother Free emphasized in our church, to sell you must sell to someone personally. Sell them on the idea. Here’s why I’m contending to narrow it down to the will of God. We’ll feel more faith, and know there will be more results if we pinpoint the individual. Bring it home to that individual. You’ll get results, with a saint or a sinner. The value of knowing the will of God, and then pinpointing what channel is going to help you catch the fish. You can cast out into the middle of the stream, but I’ve always caught fish best by throwing over where they’re at. Over by that old log, and that treetop. It’s very similar in catching souls. You’ve got to go where they’re at. You’ve got to get down where they’re at. You’ve got to think with them, and the mind of the Spirit does this.
The Spirit spoke to me one time, when two backsliders were present. The Holy Ghost was centering in on them. This is what it takes now days. It seems that years ago just to preach, people were so sensitive to God and his Word, that it would bring them in. But anymore, you’re going to need more than sermons. Even though you’re in the right channel, sometimes you’re going to need additional aid of the Holy Ghost to hone in on them.
I had not had any hint from anybody that the backsliders were there. That helps to know that there are two backsliders, but when God began to focus in, and draw a bead on them, He gave an even more accurate reading than that. He began to tell me what judgement was fixing to come upon them.
All of this is the knowledge of the mind of God. You’re representing God, and you’re suppose to have the mind of God. He knows what they’re thinking. Jesus demonstrated that many times, when He perceived their thoughts. If we have the mind of Christ we ought to be able to perceive their thoughts. The Spirit began to read these two backsliders closely. While I was talking, I all of a sudden stopped and said, “Don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about!” Why would a preacher say something like that? I had no earthly reason to make such a statement.
I couldn’t hear them since they were in the back of the building in next to the last bench. The Spirit was so thoroughly following their thinking. It was split second timing of the Holy Ghost. When I said that, both women began to cry, and came to the altar to pray through. A saint had been sitting behind them, and said that before I said, “Don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about, ” one leaned over to the other and said, “I don’t know what he’s talking about! ” The backslider had no more than said it, when I responded.
This is no glory to me. How could I know that’? But the Spirit was reading them accurately and closely, and if you’ll let it, the Spirit will use you in a service. Naturally, a fear came on the backsliders. Like Paul mentioned,
“But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth ” (I Corinthians 14:24, 25).
When you’re close enough to God that you can hear from Him, you can actually make secrets of mens’ hearts manifest. The common saying is, “You preached at me tonight!” That’s true, I never denied it. We’re not beating the air, we’re shooting at something, I never have liked shooting at the air, I like to have something treed.
God’s plan for reaching souls is not to be a generalized preacher. Narrow it down, and find what channel He wants. Then narrow it down to find which sermon fits that channel. Though there may be ten very similar, I believe there is a will of God for a sermon. You might as well be out of the channel, as to be in the channel with the wrong message. Your results will be lifeless and dead, because God has a will for that night. When you’ve found it, He will give results. There are some formulas that will work. Two plus two equals four. There’s a formula in preaching, when a man has walked softly before God, and has God’s mind for that service, then fearlessly delivers the whole counsel of God. That formula will not fail to give results at the end of that service, or sometime.
Here are some points that will assist you in preparing hearts for a message. If you feel that you don’t have the attention and hearts
going in the right direction, give them a brief experience, or lead them in a chorus that would fit the correct channel. Logically, if you’re preparing to preach judgement to the sinner, you wouldn’t sing I’ll Fly Away, before you preach. You want them in the frame of mind to receive your message from God. There’s not a thing wrong with that. In fact, it’s wrong if you don’t do it. Unfortunately, you will find at times that they did not attain from the preliminaries enough of the move of the Spirit to be conditioned to receive your message.
I am a great believer in getting the Spirit flowing before I preach. I will not waste a message on hearts that will not be moved, because they will not receive the message. If it’s dead and lifeless when I get it, I’d rather go home if I can’t awaken them into a spirit of worship, an attitude of praise, or some spiritual attitude. Again, I refer to Elisha when he stated to bring the Minstrel and play. In revival, I’ll emphasize it to the church so they’ll remember it. You can spend one whole service on teaching how they should act in the preliminaries. You can have one key phrase that you can bring up again, and they’ll remember your whole sermon. Then, you won’t have to waste time.
An example of a message I almost always preach in preparing people for the spirit of worship, centers around Simon inviting Jesus over to his house. The woman entered uninvited and fell at Jesus’ feet, and began to wipe His feet with the hair of her head. Simon was a little upset, because he had evidently called him over for a little philosophy, and he didn’t have time for worship. You have a lot of people that way. They want to hear the deep things, when actually Jesus loves adoration and worship. Jesus got more out of the little woman worshipping, than Simon’s conversation. He perceived Simon’s thoughts (if this was a prophet he’d know that this is a very vile woman, and would say, “Don’t touch me. Jesus said to Simon,
“Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment” (Luke 7:44-46).
To emphasize the point I usually say, “Simon, Jesus is here.” You generally have at least one Simon out there.
Martha was encumbered while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet. Mary had chosen the good part to sit at his feet, and hear his words. “Martha, Jesus is here. ” I emphasizing the importance of attending to Jesus when He comes; and He, being a very affectionate God, wants praise.
I may spend a whole night on that one thought. The next few nights they’ll do pretty well on worship. Then, they’ll get back into a lull. But, all you have to do is say, “Simon, Jesus is here. ” That key phrase awakens in their mind what you have previously taught them. I found this to be exceedingly valuable. It awakens them to worship, and I don’t have to embarrass myself and them, with sinners present.
Get some key phrases to which you can refer back, because people forget easily. Preparing the hearts and minds of the people for the message is as valuable as the message itself. A man that can successfully bring their attention in the direction he wants them to go, can almost be a failure in delivering his message, and still have results.
Some of things I’ve had to say to get the congregations’ attention are almost ridiculous. One night I felt a lighthearted spirit of worship, before I got the pulpit. I went to the pulpit and stood looking down at my Bible. Everyone was lifeless, and I didn’t know what to do to stir them. All of a sudden, by impulse, I said, “Boo!” They all jumped, but I got their attention! I’m not promoting humorous tactics, because I don’t believe the pulpit is a place for humor, but I got their attention, and I had no problem with them the rest of the service.
Whatever angle that God is leading you, try to get their minds in that channel. A preacher is like a traveler, but he travels human minds. When their minds are scattered, you can hit some bumpy roads, and I’ve hit dead end streets. You are obligated to get their attention, and get them in the frame of mind.
There’s a danger misjudging the human spirit as the Spirit of the Lord. I thought I had the Spirit of the Lord one night. I thought it was one of those sad tear-jerking kind, so to get them in that frame of mind I got on the guitar in the key of E. The saddest key on the guitar. I sang the saddest song I could think of, because I thought it would assist them in feeling the way I felt. You’ve got to get the sinner to feel what you feel. If you’re feeling compassion, let him feel it, for he needs to do it.
Come to find out after I sang a while, and talked a bit, that everyone got into a melancholy, dead, lifeless mood, until I couldn’t bring them back out. The Lord stopped me, “You yielded to your own spirit. You were a little homesick, and you imposed it on the congregation. ” I don’t think I ever brought them out of it. If you yield to the human spirit, you do more injury than good.
“But the sorrow of the world worketh death (II Corinthians 7:10).
It’s godly sorrow that worketh repentance. If you get them in a human frame of mind that adjoins your spirit, and your spirit’s not with God, then you’ve got a job on your hands to get them out of it. It may take you two or three nights. That’s why a preacher has to almost be delivered from any kind of earthly feelings. If he got a chewing out that day, he can’t come to the pulpit, and bring a bad attitude. A man that does that, is going to kill the congregation. You’ve got to show a smile when you’re crying inside. Don’t moan and groan to your congregation, because you are there to affect them with whatever you feel, especially if they’re sensitive to the leading of the Spirit.
If you feel you are going to teach love and mercy to the sinner, it would be an advantage to sing about an old rugged cross, or “He showed me his hands that were marred by my sinning.” Melody and music will assist in inspiring that man or woman to feel the love of God which you’re going to preach. The importance of getting them in the right attitude toward your message is as important as the message itself.
There are times when a congregation can be rebuked. But be careful, because you can offend and kill them, and they’ll never respond to you again. Sometimes you’ll feel like you could take them and shake them. I’ve known the times when God wanted to bless so badly, and there they carnally sat. I literally wanted to shake them! But you’ve got to use wisdom and self-control, or you’ll injure yourself for a lifetime with that congregation.
If the church was not coming in behind me, and helping me, I’d make the appeal, “Saints, help me tonight, I need your help.” When people feel like they’re needed, they generally will help you more, than to say, “You bunch of reprobates, why don’t you all help me!” There’s a way to get help, and there’s a way not to get help.
I have to admit there were times when I spoke sharply. To one congregation I said, “You’re the most ignorant bunch I’ve ever seen in my life, when it comes to worshipping God!” But they were so far gone, that anything you would have said would have been all right! I’ve never used that since.
There have been times I’ve felt a judgement message to the sinner. I knew I would have to preach. I might acknowledge the Spirit that I felt. “Folks, do you all feel the seriousness of this Spirit that I feel tonight? I feel a strong burden for somebody.” You’re tuning them in on what you already feel. The first thing you know, they’re with you. Your main goal is to tune the saints in. If the saints aren’t with you, you’re going to have a time.
I’d rather preach to ten thousand snuff-dippers, whoremongers, and thieves, than to preach to three unconsecrated, unconcerned saints. Saints can affect a ministry, but a sinner can’t. It’s planned in the Bible that way. God reaches the sinner through the church. Always be conscious of that, and as we go further, I’ll show you the workings of the Holy Ghost to clear to clear out that channel. That’s where digging sin out comes into God’s plan. Digging sin out of a church is a vital work of the Holy Ghost.
You feel a faith-building, uplifting message to the saints. You are already feeling it so you tune in the saints. Sometimes telling an
experience, or maybe a victory was won two or three nights previous. “My, wasn’t the Lord good to give us that victory.” That faith builder gets them into that channel of thinking, and then you carry them on to a greater level of faith.
A real pastoral pastor has difficulty being evangelistic. His tendency is to lean toward saints. I believe that’s one reason why Paul told Timothy,
“Do the work of an evangelist” (II Timothy 4:5).
Some are so pastoral that it’s very difficult for them to think in a message channel for a sinner. That’s too pastoral, as far as I’m
concerned. If your church is going to grow, you can’t have an evangelist all the time. Some Sunday nights you’re going to have to
reach the sinner.
What a man likes to preach, he’ll search the entire Bible looking for it. That’s not good. Some men like holiness, so any scripture that reads mean enough to be a holiness message, that’s all they’re looking to find. You’ll wind up starving your people, because you’re giving them one menu every day. Read the Bible with an open mind, and let God give you something else, once in a while.
At one place, all they ever heard was holiness. I said, “How many of you folks believe that you should not look at television?” Their hands all went up! (They were scared not to raise their hands, the pastor was looking!) “How many of you don’t believe in wearing short sleeves?” I went through all of the different lines of holiness, and got them to unanimously vote for them, and then said, “Fine, that settles it, doesn’t it? Let’s go somewhere else now!”
Some only preach faith, healing type messages. Some enjoy one God. You’ve heard them say, “That’s a one God preacher, that’s all he wants to preach. You’ll starve them to death.
I preached at one place that didn’t want anyone else preaching to the saints. That’s when I first started out. I don’t think I’d stay there now, but I did then. God was merciful to me. I preached the first three nights to the saints. The pastor’s wife said, “I don’t believe they need that.” All he taught was Acts two, thirty-eight. He brought new ones in, but the ones he had, were badly in need of perfecting. There’s danger of getting hung-up on one line of thought. That’s why we’re teaching this right here. Believe me, God has more than one finger. He wants to use those fingers, the different channels. You’re being unfair to God and to the people, as a representative of God, to find only one type of sermon.
I believe that we should search the Bible for the overall variety. Naturally, as an evangelist, your mind is going to run along the line of the sinner and his needs. But if you’re successful, you’ll have to have something to feed the saints.
One pastor told me about a particular evangelist, “As long as there was a sinner there, he was a champion, but if we couldn’t get anyone out, he didn’t know what to do.” The saints just sat, bored. You’d better get something to feed that church when there’s no sinners there.
Brother Duke told us that he felt led of the Lord to go to an old country church, way back in the woods. He looked, and saw four or five saints, that’s all. But the Holy Ghost spoke to him to preach a judgement message to the sinner. He said he literally watched the pastor’s wife giggle at him while he preached. She thought, “The poor silly thing doesn’t know there are no sinners here!” He knew, that as far as he could see, there weren’t any in the building; but, he knew what God had put on his heart. At the close of that service, a man who was standing outside, listening, came in, prayed through, and became a preacher.
God had warned him ahead of time in a dream, that he was going to catch a very valuable fish, and this helped his faith to what seemed to be the wrong thing. Generally, if God’s going to make you do the exceptional, He’ll give you something to assist you in faith to go ahead and to it.
So many areas of our church life, anymore, are set on a pattern. People hate to get out of a pattern. This is where you’re going to
have a job. It’s not easy to change patterns that have been set for many years. There are times in revival that we had our greatest
results in Sunday school. We’d go from department to department praying them through. It can be the greatest evangelistic service.
I like the idea of teaching in Sunday school. This relaxes the sinner. He’s not under pressure. He came to hear the Word. If you push for an evangelistic service every Sunday morning, you’re going to destroy your prospects. God is going to see to it that their hearts are ready. Don’t feel like you are being unspiritual by teaching on Sunday morning. The main thing is, follow the Holy Ghost. Have order and form, until the Spirit takes over.
A French philosopher said, “Give us order, which without liberty is a snare; and give us liberty, which without order is a delusion.” I believe in having order until the Spirit takes over. If the Holy Ghost isn’t going to come, have something ready, but I believe He’ll be there. Don’t confine yourself to a system or program that God can’t get into it. This is a problem with a multitude of our churches.
Sister Freeman had a vision while in Africa. She was lying on her bed sick one night, and the room lit up. She thought someone had brought a flashlight to her. It was a constant thing in that country for someone to be searching out a spider, or snake. But after a while it came close to her bedside, and it was a man clothed in light! He unrolled a scroll, and he said, “I’m a messenger sent from God. I’ve brought a message for you to give to the churches. (Sister Freeman said at that time she was not aware that she was going to get to come home to America. It was about a month from then that she was able to come home, miraculously! Then she was able to know what the messenger meant.) The Spirit is not visible, but I’m going to make it visible, and show you the condition of the majority of My people.”
In the Spirit she was carried away to a church that was dead, lifeless, and formal. The messenger said, “This is the condition of the majority of My people.” The preacher was lifeless.
“Now I want to show you My plan for My churches.” She went into another church in the Spirit, and there stood the preacher. It looked like a Niagara Falls of light was shining down into him, and out from him. Every saint had the same Niagara Falls of light, shining down upon them and out from them. She said she saw a sinner walk in the back door with a chip on his shoulder, as though to say, “You’re not going to get me tonight!” He came in and sat down, hardened. Nobody said a word, but that Spirit was flowing into the saints and out from them. From the preacher to the back pew, the Spirit was flowing. After awhile, that sinner fell on his face crying out for God’s mercies. The messenger said, “This is My plan, ” and he read a scripture on the scrolls.
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37,38).
He said, “My will for My people is for rivers of My presence to flow through them. They’ve sprung out drops, cupfuls, and bucketfuls, but My plan is for rivers of My presence to flow through them. They’re using high pressure tactics to try to win the lost. All they need to do is turn My Spirit loose.
They’ll go back to them and say, ‘Won’t you come? Please come. And jerk and plead with them. If they’d simply turn my Spirit loose!”
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32).
The last message he brought her was, “The reason My Spirit can’t flow is the hearts of My people are clogged and contaminated. They have pride, self-will, and unforgiving spirits. This stops the flow of My Spirit. Tell My people to let My Spirit flow like rivers!” I believe that’s the answer. If you and I can get to the place where Niagara Falls of light are shining into us, and going out from us. I believe He’s still able to draw the sinner. He said,
“No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44).
What draws them? Your personality? Your excellent speech’? Your well-worded sermons? Your music’? It is His Spirit which draws the sinner! Paul said,
“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (I Corinthians 2:2, 4).
“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (I Corinthians 2:5).
We could have some speech classes here in this room. No doubt it would do us good to have English taught, yet I’m not as interested if you say “ain’t, ” but rather, “Let’s get some Holy Ghost!”
Whenever you can convince that congregation what the power of God can do, you’ll have no trouble saying, “Wait, hold it Saints! I feel God’s fixing to move in this place!” Faith immediately sparks life into them, and they start reaching for that power. After a while it’s turned loose, and who can resist God? Who can turn Him away? The more the Spirit flows, the less chance that sinner has of leaving without God. or the saint leaving without consecration.
I cannot overemphasize the Holy Ghost. This is a Holy Ghost church! You’re a Holy Ghost preacher! If you’re going to save anyone, it’s because they are filled with the Holy Ghost! If you learn anything, you’ll learn it from the Holy Ghost!
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26).
The Spirit of God is a Teacher, a Revealer of secrets. It makes known the secrets of men’s hearts. Don’t try to use psychology, you’ll make a fool out of yourself! Use the Spirit, and that Great Psychologist knows!
I like what I feel right now! When you start talking about the Holy Ghost, and honoring Him, He’ll actually abide here. The Bible teaches that God dwells where there’s praise. He inhabits the praise of His people. You magnify the Holy Ghost, and He’ll come in on you. That’s why it’s vital to have worship in a service. If they haven’t worshipped before you’ve gotten up to preach, then don’t waste your sermon on them, unless you already feel the anointing is there. There are times I’ve gotten up and they haven’t shouted or cried, but the feeling of power is there. There’s a difference between when they’re dead, and when the Spirit is flowing in a quiet manner. Sometimes that’s when you can preach the most effectively. Don’t waste your time on a lot of preliminaries when the Spirit of God is already there, but if they haven’t worshipped and the service is dead, then don’t waste your sermon when people aren’t ready for them.
The Spirit of God can be absorbed. Moses stayed so long in God’s presence that his face shown. Peter and the apostles so absorbed God that when they walked by, the shadow fell upon the lame and they were healed.
There will be times when your flesh will not want to go pray, but you’re going to have to make it pray to attain this. You can’t wait
until you feel like it. The greater portion of the time you’re going to have to make yourself pray. The flesh doesn’t want to take the load and responsibility of spirituality. The apostle said,
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (I Corinthians. 9:27).
If you attain, it will be because of a pressing. The kingdom of God is preached, and we press our way into it. It’s worth it to spend hours in prayer, when your body wants to go play. You’d rather go sit and talk with the pastor, or you’d rather drive around the city, or have a hee haw time with somebody else. That’s flesh. But if you want results, you’re going to die to fleshly desires. You’re going to be a lonely man many times. But stay there until you’ve listened for God enough to hear His voice. Having power proceeding from you as rivers of His presence, and the reward of souls is so much greater than a good time.
The temptation in revivals is to sit around talking with the pastor. You’re going to have to learn to kindly excuse yourself, and go pray. You don’t have revivals around tables after church. While everybody else sleeps, the saints have no burden. You’ll wonder, “Oh, God, what am I doing here if they don’t care any more than that?” But you’re there to inspire them to pray, and the majority of the time you’ve got to carry the load for the first few weeks yourself, until they catch it. It’ll pay, when you start seeing lives totally changed; and whole churches changed. What was once a carnal, dead, lifeless church is now vibrating with power, because you stayed before God. You obeyed the Spirit.
(Student) Why can there be two interpretations given in a move of the Holy Ghost, that do not seem to coincide?
(Bean) Paul recognized that the gifts would stir up speaking in tongues. That certain anointing, moves of the Spirit will do this. So he said,
“But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church ” (I Corinthians 14:28).
He did not deny that the ones speaking were doing so under the influence of the Holy Ghost. Something stirred them to speak in
tongues. There’s no difference in speaking in tongues, interpreting out of order. A lot of human spirit gets involved, yet they can be sincere, honest people. Generally, after a mighty move you’ll have a discourse of tongues. Sometimes it’s the will of God to have two interpretations. I’ve seen two different types of messages given in one service for two different people.
“Behold I am coming soon.” I believe that’s God, but that’s all the faith they had. Prophecy according to the measure of your faith.
Anyone can give out a general message, especially agreeing with the Bible already. It doesn’t take much faith to say, “Behold I am coming soon.” But to get up and say, “In your pocket this night is such and such, ” and call it by name. That takes faith. While someone is in the formative years of operating the gift of interpretation, they’ll give out general messages. It’s not developed, but God lets them be moved.
I’ve been grieved, but I can’t say it wasn’t God, because there wasn’t enough faith to give out more than general messages.” I’m in your midst.” “I’m coming soon.” Those are wonderful words, and true, but it doesn’t take any faith to say it. It takes faith to say, “This night is your final call.”
In one service in Bay City, a woman said, “You said in your bedroom, such and such words.”
A man came to the pastor and said, “I said those identical words, in my bedroom, and I said them to my wife, and she’s the only one that heard them!” He made this statement, “If I ever sin, I’m not coming to this church, everyone in the church will know about it!” This needs to be in our churches!
Some problems with this are due to human spirit. (The early church had a problem with a lack of self-control.) Some get a blessing, but you can’t say it’s not a blessing of the Lord. They haven’t learned to control the blessing to fit God’s pattern.
This is the reason some preachers don’t teach on the gifts of the Spirit, because of the repercussions. You should always have it under control and teach on the order of it.
I was in one place where the Spirit expressly let me know that the pastor was going to be used to prophecy. As a result of the Spirit
that was settling, this woman screamed out, and she was a clean woman. She did not know wisdom. She began to speak in tongues and try to interpret. Her human spirit got beside itself, because of what she felt in God.
Don’t charge just the saint. The preacher gets into that fix, too. He gets to preaching under the anointing, and if he’s not careful he’ll go beyond the anointing, coasting on what he felt. He’s as much in the flesh as the saint trying to operate the gift. I’ve done it. I’ve felt so good with the anointing, that I’ve tried to stretch it out beyond. And you’ll do it, too.
With this particular woman I said, “If you’ve got to do all that screaming, go in the back room. She was so lost in the Spirit that she didn’t hear me. When they get too spiritual to hear from the pulpit, they’re too spiritual. I asked the pastor’s wife to get her, and lead her into the room. She did, and the last I heard of her, she was carrying on.
I hadn’t told anybody how I felt, but I felt God was fixing to work. The pastor came up from there with a prophecy that would make your hair stand straight up on your head!
This woman, I don’t believe, had the gift. Yet, I don’t believe she was playing, but was seriously trying to obey what she felt. This is
where you’ll run into problems teaching saints to yield to the Spirit. You’ve got to teach them there’s a balance to it all. There’s nothing that needs more balance than the operations of the Spirit. People get too far out.
The Corinthian church had a problem of the human spirit going beyond the Spirit of God. Somebody would speak out a message, and then go to hollering and screaming. They didn’t know any better. I don’t believe they were putting on. I believe they felt God. But they didn’t know how to control themselves with God. Electricity is electricity no matter where you put it. If you can train people to use it, it can be used for a light. But on the other hand, some folks don’t know how to harness it.
The great fear among us is the fear of wildfire. Everybody knows that the aftermath of a move of God can create any number of conditions. Human spirits can be stirred. People in the process of developing gifts, can be stirred, yet not knowing how to handle it. If you’re a preacher listening to a preacher, and that preacher is mightily anointed of God, you’re going to feel an anointing come over you that will make you want to preach. You’d almost wish he’d get out of your way! Also, messages will come to you, that don’t even fit what he’s talking about, but he provokes thoughts in your mind because of the anointing. The same thing happens to the saint. They don’t know how to control it like a pastor. You know you can’t get up and say, “Hold it Mister, I’ve got a message!” You wait your turn.
When Peter stood up with the eleven, those others were waiting for Peter to get done so they could preach! They had just received the Holy Ghost! Peter was the spokesman, and they knew it, but they were waiting for their chance.
The anointing will stir everything that can be stirred, and this is where the preacher needs to know, and teach his congregation the possibilities of human spirit.
I know of some young people that got aside one Sunday afternoon praying, and they yielded to everything they felt. Everyone of them became demon possessed. They had to have devils cast out of them. They did not know to what to yield. They yielded to everything, and the devil saw their weaknesses, so he came in and took over. God was merciful and delivered them.
“Try the spirits whether they are of God” (I John 4:1).
The Spirit will never contradict the Word. If it’s an adverse order of what Paul taught, you can figure that’s a human spirit, or another spirit. I don’t know what caused the young people to get to this point. There had to be a breaking down in their hearts. Possibly sin. It could have been caused by a put on, being hypocritical, which naturally opens the door to Satan.
Dad Sharer had a woman traveling with him in the gospel work. She gave out a message one night, and he stopped her and said, “Look, here’s where God stopped, and you started.”
She admitted it, “It didn’t make sense, so I added a word.”
He said, “God didn’t call you to make sense! If you operate in the carnal again, you can get your suitcase and go home! We’re not going to have this in my revival!”
That’s why any prophet or prophetess was accurate in his meetings, because they knew if they weren’t, somebody would catch up with them.
John fell at the Lord’s feet. It’s a fear beyond anything I’ve ever had. A helpless fear. I’ve often wished that I’d have the power to stay there, because I felt that there would be a visible visitation. I was unable to bear it. I would like to have the grace to stay and see what’s to be seen.
Dad Sharer, got to the point where it was almost a nightly visitation. God could only show his wife things in dreams. That’s the way He talks to me.
She said, “I want to know why I can’t have a visitation’?”
So Dad Sharer inquired of the Lord. God let him know that she was too nervous. It would excite her too much. So God had to put her to sleep, and that’s the way He does me.
I’ve seen some things, but I feel that there are greater areas in that field, if men would have the courage to stay.
At the old CC camp in Curbyville, when I was a lad of a boy, we were praying all night, and that fear came on me. We prayed up such an anointing and power of God, until I was saturated with fear. Every fiber in me responded to the anointing of His presence. I’d pray until I honestly felt paralyzed with it. It wasn’t the devil, it was God. I knew the difference.
There was a man there, and while we were praying, he was singing in the most beautiful tongues. When I’d quit praying, he’d go to moaning, groaning, and hollering in the Spirit, “Pray!” In a travailing, appealing tone. I’d start back to praying, and he’d start singing. I don’t know to this day what it was all about. This lasted three or four hours. I wanted to run out from under the tabernacle at times, but about the time I’d quit, he’d start pleading for prayer, and that would scare me worse!
There was a boy, there, who was seeking the Holy Ghost, who prayed through and God called him to preach, but I don’t believe that was all there was to it. There’s no way of knowing in this life for what all you intercede, because the Spirit bears your infirmities, and prays through you about things you don’t even know.
If any man has told you that you’re all right without the gifts of the Spirit, they’re saying it’s all right to be blind. The Scripture
teaches that these gifts are put in the church as eyes, arms, hands, as tools, to where the body of Christ is perfected to the full stature of the man, Christ Jesus. I do not believe the church is perfect without the gifts of the Spirit.
There is a teaching in the land, that churches when they mature don’t need the gifts anymore, and that is totally unscriptural. I cannot believe that for one moment! I believe it is an essential thing that we have the gifts. The closer we come to the end of this journey, the more you’re going to have to have them. If you cope with the spirit of this age, you’re going to be more than a conqueror, because you’ve indulged into the spiritual realm in a greater measure.
I contend that the apostles in the early church, and all their deliverance, and success, is attributed to the Holy Ghost, and it’s
administration and workings. I feel that we’re going to have to return to that.
It’s very possible that the day may arrive, in our lives that we could not get a lawyer to defend us. What lawyer defended Paul and Silas? It was the workings of the Holy Ghost. Right now, we can get a lawyer. But I personally believe that the day will arrive, that we’ll have less of that to depend. God is going to force us, in my opinion, to reach for Him more, and lean upon His Spirit more. And that’s why I want to be ready for it. I like to be prepared.
Preliminaries create an atmosphere to where I can find the will of God. I wish I could tell you that every time you get up there, that the service had already been a success as far as the preliminaries are concerned. We could cut about half of this teaching off if it were, because you wouldn’t have much of a problem. If only the church knew how to move into the area of the preliminaries, worship, and bring the power of God, like it ought to do. If you were anywhere near to being in contact with God you could find His will without any trouble. But eighty percent of the time they didn’t do that for me. I had to get up there still confused. So, now what do you do?
The preliminaries are over, it’s in your hands. You may have to start another preliminary. And don’t feel embarrassed, like you’re forced to go ahead and preach. When I move into the pulpit, I want to know I have the liberty to do whatever needs to be done to find God, if I haven’t already found Him. I have actually started service over again. I said, “Let’s start church now!”
You can’t do that every night, because that’s somewhat insulting.
You need to do it in a manner to not reflect against the pastor. Many times a pastor doesn’t know, himself, how to follow God in these areas we’re discussing. That’s the truth, and we might as well face it. I’ve been in churches where the pastor stumbled over it. This is one reason there’s a desire in my heart to try to transfer what little I know about it to somebody.
I’ve had older preachers admit they were used to the old form, and couldn’t be of help finding the will of God. All they knew was, three songs, a testimony, offering, and turn it to you! They didn’t know how to push for you, how to create atmosphere, how to open the channels. Most of the time I had to go the pulpit, still not knowing what to do. There wasn’t enough Holy Ghost there to find the channels, so I had to create it, to capture the minds of the people.
Saints learn that you do this. You almost spoil them. I’ve had pastors say, “Take it as quickly as possible because they’re not going
to do anything until you get up there, anyhow.” They learn because the pastor may get up and sing a fast one, then I get up and sing a slow one, then the next night he sings a slow one, and I sing a fast one. So, be prepared to conduct your own preliminaries to get the Spirit flowing as in the case of Elisha, until the voice of God can be heard.
Let’s say that I’ve found the channel, and it’s judgement to the sinner. I’m bursting inside. I feel a fire burning. Maybe the saints are shouting. I have literally sat there while the saints shouted, and the more they shouted, the greater the burden that built up in me. Use the anointing. Use whatever they’re creating, to help find the will of God.
This is one reason I never participated much in preliminaries, because if I go down the road of shouting with them, then I have to regather myself. Whatever they were doing, I’d absorb, to help myself find the will of God for my part of the service. The Holy Ghost can be used, whatever way it may fall. One may shout, another may get his healing. It was the same Holy Ghost that fell.
They’re shouting, but I’m using that power that’s present. Even though it’s completely opposite to what I feel, I’m using that Spirit on them to build up the will of God in my heart.
If I’m going to get results I need to get those saints with me, because God works through the church. That’s why it’s so important to get sin out of the church. We’re only after results, not to preach great sermons. Souls are at stake. I can miss God, and a soul will be lost. No doubt, I have done it. There may be souls in hell right now, because I stumbled over the will of God. That’s how serious it is to me. I pray to God I could get this down deep into your heart, like I feel it tonight. If I miss God, I stand the chance of causing someone to be lost.
If the saints’ minds are running in the channel of blessing, that’s fine, until I get up there. I need to get them thinking in the channel that God has shown is His will. How? Choruses, telling past experiences. Sometimes I acknowledge what I feel. “Saints, I feel a fear here tonight. Some sinner is on dangerous ground. ” If those saints have any confidence in me at all, immediately they’ll start carrying that burden with me.
I haven’t preached. I don’t want to preach yet. I’m pulling them in so they can help me. If I start preaching, and I haven’t got them in the right atmosphere, what’s that done to my message? It’s like a short on an electrical line. I’m not getting the full power from the church.
When I say, “create an atmosphere, “you need to get them thinking, and feeling the Spirit of it, with you.
There’s been times when God’s wanted shouting through the whole service. I generally feel, at these times, like participating with the saints. The Holy Ghost will turn me loose, and allow me to get right in there. When the Holy Ghost allows me to participate in the preliminaries, you can figure that’s what is going to continue through the remainder of the service.
My feelers are out and I’m checking every channel. Let’s say they’re shouting. I check to see if God wants that to continue. I go down that road a bit. I may even think of messages on shouting that would encourage shouting. All of a sudden it sours. I back up, and go down another road. I’ve done this through the whole preliminary. That’s why I’m not participating, I’m preaching sermons. I’ve preached fifteen to twenty sermons in part, you might say, trying the spirits to see if they be of God. When I get a message and it leaves me, the interest in it is gone. Then, I get another and it leaves me. Over and over, this happens.
When I can’t latch onto a message, I can figure I’m not going to preach that night at all. God has something else in store besides a sermon. Whenever this has occurred, I don’t actually remember a time, when I have preached a message.
God’s going to use you in a particular channel. And He’s going to use a specific message in a channel. However, you find that may be different than my way. Some folks go off that day, pray, and God gives them a message for that night. Man, that’s the simple way, do it, if you can! It never worked that way for me. Somebody told me that God would show them a day or two ahead what was going to happen in the next service. He waits, and plans for so long, until he almost hinders it. And I believe that’s the reason God withholds it from me. He knows my impatience, and how I plan things. I like to pre-plan everything I do. By the time I’ve pre-planned, I’d have it so messed up to where God couldn’t use it!
So He says, “I’m not going to show him, until the time I get ready to use him.” Besides, if you know it early in the morning, you’ll carry it all day long, and be worn out by night. You’ll be so mentally exhausted that you won’t be as accurate in the Spirit.
I’ve learned that if I get up in the morning, and a burden is on me, and I don’t know what I’m going to preach that night, or if I’m going to preach at all, I pray. But, I do my best to shake that burden until about five o’clock. I used to feel guilty to do that, but I’ve learned that if I can get my mind off of the burden, it will come back. At about five o’clock the burden will begin settling. By church time your mind is fresh, and the burden is heavier, than if you’d have carried it all day. I’ve learned not to be foolish and carnal, but to set the burden aside by reading a newspaper purposely. Then when its time, I put everything aside, the wife, baby, everything else.
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS TAKEN FROM; “THE WORKS OF THE HOLY GHOST,” BY VERBAL BEAN, EDITED BY S.G. CARRIER, 1993, PAGES 1-74.
THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.