The Spiritual Ministry of John G. Lake
By John Graham Lake
There is a wonderful single word that expresses what God is trying to develop in us. That word is, consciousness. I love it. It is an amazing word. Consciousness means, that which the soul knows. Not that which you believe, or that which you have an existent faith for, or that which you hope, but that which the soul has proven, which the soul knows, upon which the soul rests, the thing, Bless God, which has become concrete in your life.
Consequently God’s purpose, and the purpose of real religion, is to create in the nature of man, a consciousness of God. And that church which will succeed in creating the highest degree of consciousness of God in the soul of men, will live longest in the world. And the only mode of possibility of perpetuating a church in the world forever is to bring into the souls of the people the full measure of the consciousness of God that Jesus Christ enjoys.
It is a good thing, not only to be good, but to know WHY you are good. It is not only a good thing to be an American, but to know WHY you are an American. It is a good thing, not only to be a Christian but to know WHY you are a Christian, and to know why Christian consciousness is superior to every other known consciousness.
I want to declare that Christianity stands superior to every other form of religion under the heavens and in the whole earth; that no other religion under the heavens has the same consciousness of God or the same means of producing a consciousness of God, that Christianity possesses.
In 1893 in this city, was the great Chicago World’s Fair. Among the features of the fair was a Congress on Religions. All the religions of the world were invited to send their representatives and present their peculiar religion for the good of all. Many regarded it as a great calamity that the varied forms of Eastern Philosophy should thus be introduced into this country. I never felt that way. I have always felt that if Christianity could not demonstrate her superiority over every other religion, then Christianity has not the place and power that Jesus Christ said Christianity had in the world.
But the result of that Congress of Religions was that Christianity was so poorly presented, that the Indian Philosophers ran away with the whole thing, and in the minds of thousands who listened, it left a belief that their knowledge of God, and God’s laws, and the laws of life were greater than the Christian possessed.
And, fellow Christians, there began in my soul a prayer that Almighty God would reveal in my soul what the real secret of real Christianity is, in order that, in this world, Christians might become kings and priests, and demonstrate the superiority of the religion of the Son of God, beyond that of every other in the whole earth.
In later years I went to South Africa. It was at a time of peculiar interest in South African history, just following the Boer War. The great industry there is mining. One fourth of the gold of the world comes from Johannesburg and vicinity. The diamonds of the world come from South Africa, and the United States is the greatest diamond market of the world.
When the Boer War came on, the native people became so frightened over war between white men, that after the war was over and settled, they could not coax them back to open the mines. The result was, that in order to get the industries established again, they had to send to China and get two hundred thousand (200,000) Chinese, and put them to work to open the shops and mines, and all the other industries. These Chinese came in real colonies. Some were followers of Confucius, some were Buddhists, some where Brahmans, some represented this form, and some that form of philosophy. They brought their priests, and their priests ministered unto them.
At the same time there were in South Africa, one and a half million East Indians. These represented all the cults of India. They made complaints that they were not being properly cared for, and the British government sent to India and imported a great company of Buddhist priests, and Brahman priests, and Yogi priests, and all the rest of them, and they came to South Africa to assist their own people.
I had a Jewish friend, Rabbi Hertz, who became famous as a great Rabbi, because of his influence for the British, during the war. There was also a Roman Catholic priest, Father Bryant, a wonderful man. I listened to Dr. Hertz give a series of lectures on the Psalms of David, which I regard as the finest of that character I had ever heard.
One day he said, “Did it ever occur to you what an amazing Congress of Religions we have in this country? It would put the one in Chicago, in l893, in the shade.” I said, “I have thought of it, but do not have sufficient acquaintance among these other men to undertake it, but would gladly give a helping hand.” So it was eventually brought to pass.
We gathered once a week. They sat on the floor all night, Eastern fashion, a priest with his interpreter, and we gave the individual a whole night if he wanted it, or two nights if he wanted it, or as long as he wanted, to tell out the very secret of his soul, to show the very best he could, the very depth of his peculiar religion, and the consciousness of God it produced. It was not the details of his religion we sought, but the soul of it, and the consciousness it possessed. We listened to the Indian Buddhist priest one night, and the Chinese Buddhist priest the next night, and it went on. Eventually it came to the night that Dr. Hertz, the Jewish Rabbi, was to give the secret of the Jewish religion, and tell out the whole of God that the Jewish religion revealed, and the consciousness of God that was produced by the Mosaic and the prophetic teachings.
Did you ever stop to think that in all religious history, the Jewish prophets knew more of God than all the Philosophers of earth combined? They superseded all others of the ancients in knowledge of God, His ways and power. They gave to their day and generation such a revelation of God as the world had never known. Stop and think of the wonders of God that the Old Testament revealed. Think of the marvels, that it seems would stagger the very soul of modern Christianity.
When the Israelites were traveling over the deserts, God arrested the processes of decay in their very shoes and clothing, and they wore them continually for forty years. Think of the marvel of it, the arrest of the process of decay! And then someone wonders if it is possible to arrest the process of decay in a man’s life. Yes, it is, bless God! Jesus Christ arrested the process of death by the power of God, through the introduction of the life and the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ, giving man eternal life.
Think again of the old prophet who, when they had lost the ax in the water, and came to him in their distress, and he takes a stick and holds it in his hands. What for? Until that stick became magnetized by the Spirit and power of God. And when he threw it in the water, the ax arose and came to the stick. Think again of the prophet when he was called to the dying boy. He said to his servant, “Take this staff”, the staff that he carried, “go ahead of me, lay it on the child.” What for? Because he carried that staff next to his God anointed hands until the staff itself became impregnated with the life and power of God. So the servant went ahead, and there was enough of God in that staff to keep the life there, and the spirit there, until he arrived and called the child to life by the power of God.
Later they were burying a man, and in their haste they opened the grave of Elisha, and when the dead man touched his old God filled bones, he became alive. There was enough of God in the old bones to quicken him into life again. Bless God!
You say, “Well, how can Christianity demonstrate anything further than that?” When I listened to Dr. Hertz my heart asked, “Dear God, when I get my turn to reveal what Christianity is, what am I going to say that is going to reveal Christianity as superior to the Jewish dispensation, and the consciousness of God that it produced in the souls of the prophets?”
From eight o’clock at night until four thirty Dr. Hertz poured out his soul in a wondrous stream of God revelation, such as my soul had never heard. In the morning as I started for home I prayed, “God, in the name of Jesus, when it comes next Thursday night, and it is my turn to show forth Jesus Christ, what am I going to say to surmount the revelation of God that he gave?” I had searched Christian literature for it. I had searched the libraries of the world. I could not find it in the writings of the old Christian Fathers. I searched the Word of God for it. I saw flashes of it, but somehow it would not frame in my soul. I decided there was only one way. I gave myself to fasting and prayer and waiting on God. And one day, in the quiet, God told me that secret.
And from that day my heart rested in the new vision of Jesus Christ, and a new revelation of the real divinity of Christianity came to my heart.
So it came my turn and I sat down and reviewed for hours, with care, step by step, the consciousness that the philosophers and priests had shown as belonging to their respective religions, and finally the wonderful consciousness that Dr. Hertz had shown as belonging to the Mosaic dispensation.
Oh, bless God, there is a secret in Jesus Christ. Christianity is all supernatural, every bit of it. The philosophers are natural. The Mosaic dispensation and its revelation was supernatural, but its revelation did not have the high degree of overcoming consciousness that belongs to Christianity. Yet, you can go around the world, and you will not find one in a hundred thousand that can tell what the real secret of Christianity is, which makes it superior to all other religions.
You say, “It is the Holy Ghost. Well, the prophets had the Holy Ghost. There is no more marvelous record given than the Old Testament records. When Moses wanted mechanics and workmen, the Lord called a man by name and said, “I have placed the Spirit of God in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work all manner of workmanship.” That is the way they learned their trade.
Later, they were making preparations for the building of Solomon’s temple. That temple is one of the seven wonders of the world. Did you ever stop to think of where the plans came from, or how they got them? Old David tells us that God gave him the plans of the temple in writing; “while the Spirit of God was upon me in writing”, and he wrote the details of it. He put these details down with such accuracy that they prepared the temple in the mountains, and when they came to put it together, there was no sound of a hammer. Every piece fit into place. What a wonderful moving of God! What a wonderful presence of God! Talk about the glory of God! Why, when Moses came down from the mountain, his face shown or radiated with the glory of God so intensely that the people were afraid of him, and he was compelled to wear a veil until the anointing had somewhat left his soul.
But, beloved, Christianity is more than that. Paul declares that the glory of Moses’ face was superseded. I said a moment ago, Christianity is not a natural religion. It has nothing natural in it. It is supernatural from the top to the bottom, from the center, to the circumference, within and without. It comes right from heaven, every bit of it. It is the divine outflow of the Holy Soul of the crucified, risen, glorified Son of God.
Why does God come down from heaven into the hearts of men; into the natures of men; into the bodies of men; into the souls of men; into the spirits of men? God’s purpose in man is to transform him into the nature of God. Jesus said, “I said ye are gods.” (John 10:34)
The philosophers came to the grave and died. They had no further revelation to give. They had left their nets and they exist to this day. I have studied the great Eastern philosophies. I have searched them from cover to cover. I have read them for years as diligently as I have read my Bible. I have read them to see what their consciousness was. The secret of salvation is not in them.
But in my Bible is seen that the Son of God saves men from their sins, and changes them by His power in their nature, so that they become like Him. And that is the purpose of Jesus, to take a man and make a Christ out of him. To take a sinner and wash him pure and white and clean, and then come into his life and anoint him with His Spirit, speak through him, live in him, change the substance of his spirit, change the substance of his body, until his body and his blood and his bones and flesh and his soul and his spirit, are the body, and blood, and bones, and soul, and spirit of the Son of God. (Ephesians 5:30, 1 Corinthians 6:17)
Oh, Jesus was crucified. Jesus was crucified after there grew in the soul of Jesus the divine consciousness that He could go into the grave, and through faith in God, accept the word of God, and believe that He would raise Him from the dead. Jesus went into the grave with a divine boldness, not simply as a martyr. He was God’s Prince, God’s King, God’s Savior. He went into the grave God’s conqueror! He was after something. He went after the power of death, and He got it, and He took it captive, and He came forth from the grave proclaiming His victory over death.
No more bowing before the accursed power that had been generated through sin. It was a captive. No more fear of hell! Do you hear it? No more fear of hell after Jesus Christ came out of the grave. He had death and hell by the throat, and the key in His hands. He was Conqueror!
When He came forth from the grave, He came forth bringing that wonderful spirit of heavenly triumph that was begotten in the soul of Jesus because He had not failed. He had gone and done it. No longer a hope, no longer a faith, now a knowledge of God’s consciousness in His heart. It was done!
Oh, yes, bless God, I am coming back to that word which I started. Do you know the secret of religion is in its consciousness? The secret of Christianity is in the consciousness it produces in your soul. And Christianity produces a higher consciousness than any other religion in the world; no other religion in the world, or other revelation of the true God equals it. It is the highest and holiest. It comes breathing and throbbing and burning right out of the heart of the glorified Son of God. It comes breathing and beating and burning and throbbing into your nature and mine, bless God.
So that is the reason I love the religion of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That is the reason the cross of Calvary is a sacred place. That is the reason that the conquest of the Son of God in the world’s religions. Death makes a man’s heart throb. That is the reason He gathered His disciples together, and as if He could not wait, He said, “Let me breathe it into you. Go forth in its power. All power is given unto me, both in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore. These signs shall follow … Cast out devils, speak with new tongues, … heal the sick.” Amen.
In those early centuries of Christianity, Christianity did not go into the world apologizing. It went to slay the powers of darkness and undo the works of the devil, and it lived in holy triumph!
MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT
By: Dr. John G. Lake
November 24, 1916
One of the most difficult things to bring into the spirit of people is that the Spirit of God is a tangible substance, that it is the essence of God’s own being.
We are composed of an earthly materiality, that is our bodies are largely a composition of water and earth. This may sound a little crude, but the actual composition of a human being is about sixteen buckets of water and one bucket full of earth. I am glad that there is one bucket full of good mud in us. Water, you know, is a composition of gasses, so you can see how much gas there is in mankind. But, we are not all gas.
Now as to the composition of the personality of God; for God has a personality, and a being, and a substance. God is a Spirit and spirit is a substance. That is the thing I am trying to emphasize. All heavenly things are of spiritual substance. The body of the angels is of some substance, not the same character of materiality as our own, for ours is an earthly materiality; but the composition of heavenly things is of a heavenly materiality. In other words, heavenly materiality is Spirit. The Word says, “God is a spirit”. He is a spirit. Therefore, “They that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit.”
You see, the spirit of man must contact and know the real Spirit of God, know God. We do not know God with our flesh, with our hands, nor with our brains. We know God with our spirit. The knowledge of God that our spirit attains may be conveyed and is conveyed to us through the medium of our mind, through the medium of our brains. The effect of God in our body comes through the medium of the spirit of man through the mind of man into the body of man.
There is a quickening by the Spirit of God so that a man’s body, a man’s soul or mind, and a man’s spirit all alike become blessed, pervaded and filled with the presence of God Himself in us. The Word of God is wonderfully clear along these lines.
For instance, the Word of God says that “I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee” (Isaiah 26:3). Why? “Because he trusteth in Thee.” That is the rest that a Christian knows, whose mind rests in God in real, perfect trust. I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee.”
The Word of God again says that our FLESH shall rejoice. Not our mind, but our very flesh shall rejoice. The presence of God is to be a living presence, not only in the spirit of man, nor in the mind of man alone, but also in the flesh of man, so that God is known in all departments of our life. We know God in our very flesh. We know God in our mind. We know God in our spirit. Bless His precious Name!
The medium by which God undertakes to bless the world, is through the transmission of Himself. Now the Spirit of God is His own substance, the substance of His being, the very nature and quality of the very presence, and being, and nature, of God. Consequently, when we speak of the Spirit of God being transmitted to man, and into man, we are not talking about an influence, either spiritual or mental. We are talking about the transmission of the living substance and being of God into your being and into mine. Not a mental effect, but a living substance, the living being and actual life transmitted, imparted, coming from God into your being, into my being. Bless God!
That is the secret of the abundant life of which Jesus spoke. Jesus said, “I am come that ye might have life, and that ye might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
The reason we have the more abundant life is that, by receiving God into our being all the springs of our being are quickened by His living presence. Consequently, if we are living today and we receive God, we live life in a fuller measure, we live life with a greater energy because we become the recipients of the energy of the living God in addition to our normal energy, through the reception of His being, His nature, His life into ours!
The wonderful measure that the human being is capable of receiving God is demonstrated by some of the incidents in the Word of God. For instance, the most remarkable in the Scriptures is the Transfiguration of Jesus Himself, where with Peter, James, and John the Spirit of God came upon Him so powerfully that it radiated out through His being, until His clothes became white and glistening, and His face shown as the light.
Now one must be the recipient of the light, glory and power of God before he or she can manifest it. Jesus demonstrated these two facts; the marvelous capacity of the nature of man to receive God into His being, and the marvelous capacity of the nature of man to reveal God. In the glory shining through His clothes, in the glistening of the glory of God that made His face glorious and wonderful, He demonstrated man’s capacity to reveal God.
The human being is God’s marvelous, wonderful instrument, the most marvelous and wonderful of all the creation of God in its capacity to receive and reveal God. Paul received so much of God into his being that when men brought handkerchiefs and he took them in his hands, and when the women brought their aprons and handed them to him, the handkerchiefs and aprons became so impregnated with that living Spirit of God, that living substance of God’s being, that when they were carried to one who was sick or possessed of devils, the Word says, when they laid the handkerchiefs or aprons on them, the Spirit of the living God passed from the handkerchiefs or aprons into the sick, or, into the insane man, and the sick were healed and the devils were cast out.
You see, people have been so in the habit of putting Jesus in a class by Himself that they have failed to recognize that He had made provision for the same living Spirit of God that dwelt in His own life and of which He, Himself, was a living manifestation, to inhabit your being and mine, just as it inhabited the being of Jesus or Paul.
There is no more marvelous manifestation in the life of Jesus than that manifestation of healing through the Apostle Paul.
You remember the incident of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, knowing how His whole being, His whole nature radiated that wondrous, blessed life of God, of which He was, Himself, the living manifestation. She said within herself, “If I can but touch the hem of His garment, I shall be healed.” So she succeeded, after much effort, to touch the hem of His garment, and as she touched the hem of His garment, there flowed into her body the quickening life stream, and she felt in her body that she was made whole of the plague. And Jesus, being conscious that something had flowed from Him, said to Peter, “Who touched Me?” “Oh,” He said, “Somebody touched me, for I perceive that virtue has gone out of me.”
If you will analyze that Greek word you will see it means the life or substance of His being, the quickening, living power of God, the very nature and being of God.
If I transmit to another the virtue of my life, I simply transmit a portion of my life to another, the life power that is in me. Blessed be God! The life of God that flows through me is transmitted to another, and so it was with Jesus.
Now then, because of the fact that people brought to Paul, handkerchiefs and aprons, and they became impregnated with the Spirit of God, and the people were healed when they touched them, it is a demonstration in itself that any material substance can become impregnated with the same living Spirit of God.
In my church in South Africa we published a paper in ten thousand lots. We would have the publishers send them to the tabernacle, and we would lay them out in packages of one or two hundred all around the front of the platform. At the evening services I would call certain ones of the congregation, that I knew to be in contact with the living God, to come and kneel around, and lay their hands on those packages of papers. We asked God not only that the reading matter in the paper might be a blessing to the individual, and that the message of Christ come through the words printed on the paper, but we asked God to make the very substance of the paper itself, become filled with the Spirit of God, just like the handkerchiefs became filled with the Spirit of God. And if I were in my tabernacle now I could show you thousands of letters in my files from all quarters of the world, from people telling me that when they received our paper, the Spirit came upon them and they were healed, or when they received the paper the joy of God came into their hearts, or they received the paper and were saved unto God.
One woman wrote from South Africa, who said, “I received your paper. When I received it into my hands, my body began to vibrate so I could hardly sit on the chair, and I did not understand it. I laid the paper down, and after a while I took the paper up again, and as I had it in my hands, I shook again. I laid the paper down and took it in my hands a third time. Presently, the Spirit of God came upon me so powerfully that, I was baptized in the Holy Ghost!”
Beloved, don’t you see that this message and this quality of the Spirit contains the thing that confuses all the philosophers and all the practice of philosophy in the world? It shows the clearest distinction, which characterizes the real religion of Jesus Christ, and makes it distinct from all other religions and all other ministries.
The ministry of the Christian, is the ministry of the Spirit! He not only ministers words to another, but, he ministers the Spirit of God. It is the Spirit of God that inhabits the words, that speaks to the spirit of another and reveals Christ in, and through him.
In the old days, when I was in Africa, I would walk into the native meetings, when I did not understand the languages, and would listen to the preacher preach for an hour, and I did not understand a word he said. But my soul was blessed by the presence of the Spirit of God.
As Bishop of the church, as I went from place to place holding conferences here and there among white and native people, in many of them, people would speak either in English or Dutch. But, I was just as blessed when a Dutchman spoke, and I did not understand him as when an Englishman spoke. Why? Because the thing that blessed my soul was the living Spirit of God.
The ministry of the Christian is the ministry of the Spirit. If the Christian cannot minister the Spirit of God, in the true sense he is not a Christian. If he has not the Spirit to minister in the real high sense, he has nothing to minister. Other men have intellectually, but the Christian is supposed to be the possessor of the Spirit. He possesses something that no other man in the whole world possesses.
A minister of Jesus Christ is as far removed above the realm of psychological influences, as heaven is above the earth. Blessed be God!
He ministers God Himself into the very spirits, and souls, and bodies, of men. That is the reason that the Christian throws down the bars of his nature, and he invites God to come in and take possession of his being. ,And the incoming of God into our body, into our soul, into our spirit, accomplishes marvelous things in the nature of man.
A man came into my healing rooms one day and said, “I am almost ashamed to call myself a man, because I have simply indulged the animal of my nature, so that I am more a beast than a man.” You say, “Why don’t you quit such a life?” “I have not the strength of my being to do so. Unless something takes place that will deliver me from this condition, I do not know what I will do.”
I tried to show him what the Gospel of Jesus Christ was. I tried to show him that through living in the animal state, thinking animal thoughts, surrounding himself with beastly suggestion, and contacting the spirit of bestiality everywhere, that element had taken such possession that it predominated in the nature. I said, “My son, if the gospel means anything, it means there shall be a transference of nature. Instead of this living hell that is present in your being, the living holy God should flow into your life and cast out the devil, dispossess the beast, and reign in your member.”
We knelt to pray and today he came back with tears in his eyes, and said, “Mr. Lake, I feel I can shake hands with you now. I am a beast no more. I am a man.”
Yesterday, a dear woman was present in our afternoon service. She had a tumor that for ten months the physicians believed to be an unborn child. She came with her nurse a few days ago to the healing rooms and told me her symptoms. The thing that fooled the physicians was that there was a movement that they considered similar to life movement, and the result was that during all these months they believed the woman would become a mother until the normal time had long passed. She was the first one to be prayed for after the Thursday afternoon service.
Today, she returned and said, “Mr. Lake, I want you to see me. I have my corsets on. I am perfectly normal. When I went to bed I was not aware that anything had taken place except that the choking had ceased and I felt comfortable. I was not aware of any dimension in my size. But when I awoke this morning I was perfectly normal.”
I said, “How did the tumor disappear? Was it in the form of a fluid?”
“No, nothing came from my person,” she declared.
Now I am going to ask you, “Where did a great tumor like that go?” What happened to it? (Voice from the audience: “Dematerialized”)
Yes, the living Spirit of God absolutely dematerialized the tumor, and the process was accomplished in one night while the woman slept. That is one of God’s methods of surgical operation, isn’t it?
Beloved, the Spirit of God took possession of that dear soul’s person. That tumor became filled with the Spirit of God, and the effect of the Spirit of God in that tumor was so mighty, so powerful, that the Spirit of God dissolved it.
That is the secret of the ministry of Jesus Christ. That is the secret of the ministry of Christianity. That is the reason that the real Christian, who lives in union with the living God, and possesses His Spirit, has a ministry that no other man in all the world possesses.
That is the reason that the real Christian here has a revelation of Jesus Christ and His almightiness and His power to save that no other human in all the world possesses. Why? He is full and experiences in his own soul the dissolving power of the Spirit of God that takes sin out of his life and makes him a free man in Christ Jesus. Blessed be His name forever!
A few weeks ago a dear woman called me over the telephone and said, “I have a young friend who is a drunkard, and the habit has such power over him, that he will go to any excess to abstain. Dry state or no dry state, he has to have it. He is an intelligent fellow. He wants to be free. We have invited him to my home for prayer, and he is here now. I want you to join me in prayer for him.”
I said, “All right, but first you call one of your neighbors to join you in prayer for this man, then when you are ready, call me on the phone, and Brother Westwood, and Mrs. Peterson, and we will join you in prayer.”
She called me in a little while, and we united our hearts in prayer for the young man, who was on the other side of the city. About twenty minutes afterward he arose from his knees and with tears in his eyes he took the woman by the hand and said, “I am a man of sense. I know when something has taken place within me, and the appetite has disappeared.” That is the ministry of the Spirit, the ministry of God to man. Blessed be His name.
Isn’t it a marvelous, wonderful thing that God has ordained an arrangement whereby, man becomes God’s own co-partner and co-laborer in the ministry of the Spirit, that is, “the Church, which is His Body.”
Just as, Jesus Christ was the human body, through which the living Spirit was ministered to mankind, so God has arranged that the living Church, not the dead member, but the living Church, alive with the Spirit of the living God, should minister that quickening life to another, and thereby, become a co-partner, a co-laborer, together with God. Blessed be His name forever!
Men have mystified and philosophized the Gospel of Jesus, but the Gospel is as simple as can be. Just as God lived and operated through the body of the man Jesus, so Jesus, the Man on the throne, operated in, and through, the Christian, also through His body, the Church, in the world. Just as Jesus was the representative of God the Father, so the Church is the representative of Christ.
As Jesus yielded Himself unto all righteousness, so the Church should yield herself to do all the will of God. The secret of Christianity is in, being. It is in being a possessor of the nature of Jesus Christ. In other words, it is being Christ in character, Christ in demonstration, Christ in agency of transmission. When a person gives himself to the Lord and becomes a child of God, as a Christian he is a Christ man. All that he does, and all that he says, from that time forth, should be the will and the words and the doing of Jesus, just as absolutely and entirely as Jesus spoke and did the will of the Father.
By: Dr. John G. Lake
The lesson that God seems to have put in my soul tonight is found in second Timothy, the lst chapter. Do you know we do not read the Scriptures like people read a text book. Have you ever observed how a scientist reads his text book? He weights every single word, and each word has a peculiar meaning. If we read the Word of God like that we would get the real vitality of what it says. I wonder if we have caught the force of this scripture:
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, according to the promise of life, which is in Christ Jesus.” (Verse 1)
There is no life outside of Jesus Christ, no eternal life outside of Jesus Christ, by the declaration of Jesus Himself. John said:
“God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:11-12)
All the Scriptures are dear to my heart, and bring their Peculiar ministry and lesson, but the words of Jesus are the supreme words of the Gospel. Jesus said:
“It is the Spirit that quickeneth … the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63
Do you know the difficulty in our day is that we have run away from Jesus. That is, the church at large has. The world is making a great struggle at the present hour, and we are in the midst of it ourselves, to get back to Jesus. We have run into false theology, we have run into ”churchianity” and human interpretations, and a hundred other follies, but friends, it is a perfectly lovely and refreshing thing to get back to Jesus. Take the words of Jesus and let them become the Supreme Court of the Gospel to you.
I consider all the Word of God the Common Court of the Gospel, but the words of Jesus are the Supreme Court of the Gospel. If there is a question that is not clearly decided according to your vision in the Common Court of the Gospel, then refer it to the Supreme Court, which is the words of Jesus, and the words of Jesus will settle anything that is in your mind.
If our questions were settled by the words of Jesus, we would be out of all the confusion that the world is in at present. I do not see any other way for the world to come out of her present confusion unless it is to accept the words of Jesus as final authority, to accept Jesus as the divine finality where all questions are finally adjudicated, and stand by the words of Jesus.
Just as an example on that line, I suppose there is not any question in the Scripture that is more muddled and fuddled and slobbered over than the subject of water baptism, and we have a dozen forms of baptismal practice, emphasizing different phases of baptismal consecration. But, beloved, the words of Jesus would settle the whole controversy. Jesus’ words settle both the spirit and mode of baptism forever. All the damnation that the Christian world has been in over that question is because we simply refused to take the words of Jesus and believe and obey them. I am such an enthusiast on the words of Jesus that if I was compelled to choose between the practice of the apostles and the words of Jesus, I would stand by the words of Jesus. It is the only method that has kept my soul from the confusion I see in other lives.
Coming back to our lesson, observe these words: “According to the promise of life.”
There is no promise of life outside of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the most emphatic teacher the world ever saw. He said: “Ye must be born again.”
There is no arbitration by which you can get around the matter. There is no possibility of avoiding that truth. You have got to come straight to it and meet it.
“According to the promise of life, which is in Christ Jesus …”
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which first dwelt in thy grandmother, Lois, and thy mother, Eunice; and I am persuaded that it is in thee also.” (2 Timothy 1:5)
Timothy had two generations behind him of women of faith.
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.” (2 Timothy 1:6)
Paul had some faith in the value of the putting on of his hands. It was not a mere form. I want to call your attention to the Word of God, especially on this line. Paul’s own convictions were that, through the laying on of hands on this young man, an impartation of God to his life had been given. It was so real that even though Timothy was not aware of it and was not exercising the power of God thus bestowed, yet Paul’s conviction was that the power of God was present. Why? Because he had laid his hands on him in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he believed the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ had been imparted to him. Therefore, the gift of God was in him. Therefore, the faith to exercise that gift ought to be present, and he believed it was present because of the fact that the Faith of God had already dwelt in his mother and grandmother, and he believed in him also.
Beloved, it takes faith to exercise your gift of God. There are just lots of people around everywhere who have gifts of God, and they are lying dormant in their lives, and there is no value for the Kingdom of God through them because of the fact they have no faith in God to put the gift in exercise and get the benefit of it. Probably, Timothy was a timid fellow, and Paul is going to show him why he should be exercising this gift of God, which he believed to be in him.
There are so many preachers who are afraid of the devil. They have no idea of how big God is who dwells in you. They have no idea of the power given to you because God dwells in you. They preach fear of the devil, fear of demons, and fear of this influence, and fear of that influence, and fear of some other power. If the Holy Ghost has come down from heaven into your soul, common sense teaches us that He has made you the master thereby of every other power in the world. Otherwise the Word of God is a blank falsehood. For it declares: “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19)
And if we had faith to believe that the “greater” is in us, bless God, we would be stepping out with boldness and majesty. The conscious supremacy of the Son of God would be manifest in our lives and instead of being subservient and bowed down and broken beneath the weight of sin and the powers of darkness around us, they would flee from us and keep out of our way. I believe before God, there is not a devil that comes within a hundred feet of a real God anointed Christian. That is the kind of vision God put in my soul.
When I went to South Africa, years ago, after I was there a short time, I attended a great missions conference. It was a general missions conference of the country. We were bringing a new message on our teaching the Baptism of the Christian to heal, and they wanted to hear us, and get us sized up and classified. On account of the Holy Ghost and the power of God featured in the conference, we were a peculiar lot.
Among the difficulties they discussed in that conference was the tremendous influence of the native medicine men over the people. They call them witch doctors. They are a powerfully developed psychic type of man, and for generations and generations they have studied psychic things, until they understand the practice of psychic laws.
It is marvelous to see the psychic manifestations they bring to pass. I have seen shocking things take place at the hands of witch doctors, things that nobody would believe unless you beheld them.
On one occasion two men who had become extremely jealous of each other, both native chiefs, and they lived sixty miles from each other. One time, as I was in the kraal of one of them, I heard them discussing this difficulty with the other chief and it was decided by the chief that the next Sunday morning he was going to set the other fellow on fire. I wanted to see this phenomena and I got a horse and went across the country to be there on Sunday morning.
The chiefs go out and round up their cattle and herds, look over their flocks, etc. It is a sort of Sunday exercise. I rode along. We had not ridden for more that an hour when I observed that this fellow was becoming very hot. Within half an hour he was absolutely purple. I knew somewhat of medicine; I would have said the man was likely to have a stroke from blood pressure. After a while he began to complain of terrible pain, and finally he became exhausted, got down and lay on the ground, and passed into a state of terrible exhaustion. I believe the man would have died. I had heard about these sort of things, but this was taking place under my own eyes. I saw that unless the man got deliverance he would die. When it got to that point, I said to the brethren, “it is time that we prayed.” I stepped over and laid my hands on the chief, and called on God to destroy that damning psychic power that was destroying the fellow and God shattered it.
I talked to the conference about this matter. I said, “It is a strange thing to me that in all the years of missions in this land that your hands are tied on account of witch doctors. Why don’t you go out and cast the devil out of these fellows, and get the people delivered from their power?” They took a long breath and said, “Cast the devil out? He will cast the devil out of you!” The secret of our work, the reason God gave us one hundred thousand people, the reason we have twelve hundred native preachers in our work in Africa, is because of the fact we believed the promise of:
“Greater is He that is in you, that he that is in the world.”
We not only want to seek them, but challenged them separately and unitedly, and by the power of God delivered the people from their power, and when they were delivered the people appreciated their deliverance from the slavery in which they had been held through their superstitions, psychological, spirit control, and they are most terrible.
“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
Whenever they got in the presence of one of these fellows and wanted to cast out the devil, I always felt I wanted to get his eye. The eyes of a man are the windows of his soul. In teaching a class of children I asked them what the eyes are for. One little chap said, “Your eyes are for you to lookout of.” Do you get it? It is not a poetic expression, they are the windows through which you look out. It is wonderful the things you see when you look out. Sometimes you see fear, and the spirit of darkness, and you see the devil in the other life. Marvelous things that you see with your inner eyes.
The world laughs at our Pentecostal people, because they sometimes talk about seeing by the Spirit, and sometimes we talk about seeing psychically. We see all the time, naturally, as you and I do now.
God anoints your soul. God anoints your life. God comes to dwell in your person. God comes to make you a master. That is the purpose of His indwelling in a Christian. The real child of God was to be a master over every other power of darkness in the world. It was to be subject to His. He is to be God’s representative in the world. The Holy Ghost in the Christian was to be as powerful as the Holy Ghost was in the Christ. Indeed, Jesus’ words go to such an extreme that they declare that, “Greater works than these shall ye do.” (John 14:12)
It indicated that the mighty Holy Ghost from heaven in the lives of the Christian was to be more powerful in you and in me after Jesus got to heaven and ministered Him to our souls that He was in Jesus.
Beloved, who has the faith to believe it? Who has faith to exercise it? We cannot exercise anything beyond what we believe to be possible.
Listen: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear.”
Fear of the devil is nonsense. Fear of demons is foolish. The Spirit of God anointing the Christian heart makes the soul impregnable to the powers of darkness. How I love to teach men that when the Lord Jesus anoints your soul and baptizes you in the Holy Ghost, that the almightiness of the Eternal God, the Father, by the Spirit, and Jesus Christ combined, has come into your soul.
One of the thirty six articles of the Church of England says, “The Holy Ghost which proceedeth from the Father and the Son.” There is no truer thing in all the world. Do you get it? “Which proceedeth from the Father and the Son.” In the fourth and fifth chapters of Revelation you see the distinctive personalities of God the Father and Jesus Christ. God the Father occupies the Throne, is holding the seven sealed book in His hand. And Jesus Christ, the silent Lamb, without an attendant, not an angel to accompany Him, absolutely alone, presents Himself to the Father, and the Father hands Him the seven sealed book, as He whose right it is to unseal and open the seals. What I want to bring to you is that the Spirit of God, the divine master, the eternal power of God, the combined life and presence, by the Spirit of the Father and the Son, is given to you. Not to leave you a weakling, and subject to all kinds of powers of darkness, but to make you a master, to give you dominion in God over every devilish force that ever was.
“God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
The Spirit of Power is the Holy Ghost, bless God. And not only of power, but of love and of a sound mind. Not craziness and insanity, but a sound mind, by which you can look in the face of the devil and laugh.
Once I was called to come and pray for a blacksmith at Johannesburg, South Africa. He was in delirium tremens. When I got to the house they had him locked in a room, and the windows were barred. The wife said, “Mr. Lake, you are not going into that room?” I said, “Yes, I would like to.”
“But, Brother, you do not understand. My sons are all more powerful than you are, and four of them tried to overpower him and could not do it. He nearly killed them.”
I said, “Dear sister, I have the secret of power that I believe matches his case.”
“Greater is He that is in you, that he that is in the world.”
“Sister, you just give me the key, and go about your work, and do not be troubled.” I unlocked the door, slipped into the room, and turned the key again, and put the key in my pocket. The man was reclining in a crouch like a lion ready to spring. I never heard any lips blaspheme as he did. He cursed me by every expression I ever heard, and worse. He threatened me if I came near him he would tear me limb from limb and throw me out the window. He was as big as two of me. I never saw such an arm in my life.
I began to talk to him. I had the confidence that, “Greater is He that is in you, that he that is in the world.” I engaged him in conversation until the Holy Ghost in me got hold of that devil, or a legion, as the case might be. I approached the bed step by step, sometimes only three inches, and in half an hour I got up close enough where I could reach his hand. He was still reclining in a posture like a lion. He caught his hand and turned his wrists. I was not practicing any tricks, but I unconsciously turned his wrist over, and as I did it brought my eyes down near to his, and all at once I looked up and I could see the devil in that man begin to crawl. He was trying to get away. God Almighty can look out of your eyes, and every devil that was ever in Hell could not look in the eyes of Jesus, without crawling. The lightnings of God were there.
My spirit awoke, and I could see the devil was in terror and was crawling and trying to get back away from my eyes as far as he could, I looked up to heaven and called on God to cast that devil out, and lent Jesus Christ all the force of my nature, all the power of my spirit, and all the power of my mind, all the power of my body. God had me from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. The lightnings of God went through me and the next thing I knew he had collapsed in a heap and flopped down like a big fish. Then he turned out of the bed on his knees and began to weep and pray, because he had become human again, and the devil was gone.
Dear hearts, don’t you see, in a moment that character of education develops a certain confidence in God, and it makes your soul sick when you see Christian men and women sneak around afraid of the devil, and teaching people the devil is going to jump on you and take possession of you. Not a bit of it! There never was a devil in the world that ever went through the blood of Jesus, if the individual was in Christ.
In the Jewish Bible, among the listings of the covenants, is one that is known as the Threshold Covenant. That was the Covenant by which the Israelites went out of the land of Egypt when God told them to slay a lamb, and put the blood in the door posts and lintel. And the Jewish Bible adds they put the blood on the threshold. And a lot of people get the blood of Jesus on their head, but it seems to me they do not get it under their feet. The Word of God teaches us to get the blood under your feet, and on the right hand and on the left hand and over your head. That is your protection. There was no angel of death in the land of Egypt, or in hell, that could go through that blood unto that family. No Sir! He was absolutely barred.
Friends, do you believe it was the blood of the lamb that was barring the angel of death? Do you believe the red stains on the doors frightened him away. Oh sir, the blood signified to me that there is one that goes through the blood, that is the Holy Ghost. And beloved, the Eternal God, by the Spirit, went through the blood to the inside, and stayed there and defended the house.
“Greater is He that is in you, that he that is in the world.”
All these little insignificant devils that came along in this sickness or that sickness, or that temptation of sin have no power over you. Dear friends, from heaven there comes to your heart and mine that dominion of Jesus by which the God anointed soul walks through them, through myriads of demons and they cannot touch you.
I was in Pretoria, South Africa, visiting with a friend and trying to keep out of the hot sun, to meditate and pray; and as I meditated and prayed, I seemed to be lifted up in the Spirit until I was a mile or more above the city and could see the city like you would from an airplane. When I got up there, I made a discovery. There were spirits of darkness and myriads of spirits of light in the most awful conflict I ever saw. Naturally, you think of a weapon when you see a fight. I thought, “If only I had a weapon I would get into that fight.”
Presently, the Spirit of God got hold of me and when these demons came at me from all sides, I waded into them and began to knock them sown. It continued until I had knocked so many down I had to climb over them to get at the rest.
When the vision lifted I prayed, “Dear Lord, what does it mean?” And the Spirit of the Lord said to me, “This contest that you have seen in the upper air will exist among your own people in six months. This lesson is to teach you that there is a dominion in Jesus Christ, and “greater is He that is in you, that he that is in the world.”
Friends, it is time you and I, as the Blood washed in Jesus, awoke to our privilege, whereby in the Name of the Lord we cease to sin, and let no unholy condemnation remain upon our life any longer.
I do not know, but maybe I have come through a different school from what others have, in the lines of the Spirit, but I am sure of one thing, that if Christianity was to leave me a weakling, to be oppressed by the power of darkness, I would seek something else because it would meet the need. It is that which meets the need that gives you divine supremacy in Jesus Christ. Friends, when your heart is surcharged by that faith in God so that “greater is He that is in you that he that is in the world”, you will pray a new prayer.
Moses came to the Red Sea with impassable mountains on the right hand and impassable mountains on the left hand, the army of Pharaoh behind him and the sea in front of him. If any man had a right to stop and pray, surely you might say that man had.
Over and over and over again, when we get to the real ditch, we try to jump over the thing and put the responsibility back on God. Just watch God make a real man. When Moses got his prayer nicely started, God rebuked him and said, “Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift THOU up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it.” (Exodus 14:15-16)
I want you Pentecostal Christians to get this. God did not say, Moses, you stretch forth your hand, and I will divide the sea. He said, “Stretch forth thine hand over the sea, and divide it.” You have faith in me, you stretch forth your hand and divide the sea. Jesus said practically the same thing to His disciples, “When he had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” (Matthew 10:1, Luke 9:1-6)
Beloved, He gives it to you. What is the Holy Ghost? It is the gift of God Himself to you. The Holy Spirit is not simply given that you may be a channel, and always a channel. No sir! But instead of that, the most magnificent thing the Word of God portrays is that Christ indwelling in you by the Holy Ghost is to make you a son of God, like Jesus Christ. God’s anointed from heaven, with the recognized power of God in your spirit to command the will of God.
It may not be all souls have grown to that place where such a life as that is evident, but surely if the Son of God by the Holy Ghost has been born in our heart, it is time we began to let Him have some degree of sway in our heart, and some degree or heavenly dominion of value, and some degree of the lightnings of Jesus Christ breaking forth from our spirit.
That is what the word of God speaks to my soul tonight. That is why my spirit rejoices in this blessed Word.
“God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and or love, and of a sound mind.”
The sanest man is the man that believes God and stands in His promises, and knows the secret of His power, receives the Holy Ghost and gives His way in his life, and goes out in the Name of the Lord Jesus to command the will of God and bring it to pass in the world.
At the end of the first three hundred years of the Christian era, there were millions or Christians. Christianity was an aggressive power. Christianity went into the heart of heathendom to undo their superstitions to break down their psychological forces, to leave the consciousness of Jesus Christ in the heart, to heal the sick, to raise the dead. Oh, God in Heaven, bring our hearts back to it! Christianity was a conquering force.
But, friends, there was a consecration secret in the life of the early church. It was this: If She could not conquer, they would die. Dear friends, you will never exercise very much of the dominion of the Son of God in your spirit until your heart is ready to say, if I cannot get the mastery, “I can die.” The early Christians died, plenty of them. Millions of them. That is the reason people say the blood of martyrs was the seed of the Church. Bless God, they died for their faith.
Friends, you and I will never know or have the big ministry and the big victory until our souls have arrived at the place where we will die for our faith also. Lord God, help us. These days, if a man gets a stomach ache he is afraid he will die. Die if you have to die, but do not disgrace the cause of Christ and weaken in your faith and sell it man or the devil. When that degree of consecration comes into your heart, when that degree of determination comes into your spirit, you will not have to die.
But I tell you, most of you will think she is dying before we enter there. That is the life into which dead men enter. That is the resurrection life. You have to die to get it. You have to die to enter there. We die to our sin, we die to ourselves, we die to the opinions of men and we die to the old world, we die to the fear of spooks and demons and devils, and prove the truth of the text, “Greater is He that is in you that he that is in the world.” In my name they shall cast out devils. Rebuke the devil and he will flee from you. We live in Jesus Christ. Blessed be His name. (Ephesians 4:27, Ephesians . 6:11, James 4:7, 1 Corinthians. 10:13, Matthew 17:20, Luke 10:19)
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST
(And some of the things it has produced in my life)
By: Dr. John G. Lake
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost was of such importance in the mind of the Lord Jesus Christ that He commanded His disciples to tarry in Jerusalem “until ye be endued with power from on high” (Acts1:8). And they steadfastly carried out what the Lord had commanded, waiting on God in a continuous prayer meeting in the upper room for ten days until the promise of the Father was fulfilled (Luke 24:49), and that Baptism had fallen of which John the Baptist spoke of in Matthew 3:11, saying, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He that cometh after me is mightier that I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.”
In order to obtain from Heaven the Spirit of Jesus (the Holy Ghost), it is first necessary that the individual shall know that his sins are blotted out, that the Blood of Jesus Christ has sanctified his heart and cleansed him from the sinful nature, or Adamic nature, the inherent nature of sin (Ephesians 2:1,2,3).
Personally, I knew that my sins had been blotted out, but it was only two months prior to my Baptism in the Holy Ghost that I learned by the Word of God and experienced in my life, the sanctifying power of God subduing the soul and cleansing the nature from sin. This inward life cleansing was to me the crowning work of God in my life at that period. I shall never cease to praise God that He revealed to me, in depth by the Holy Ghost, the power of the Blood of Jesus.
Many inquire what is the reason that when your heart is sanctified and the conscious knowledge of your cleansing has taken place that you are not instantly baptized with the Holy Ghost. From my own experience and the experience of others it is readily seen, not withstanding, that the heart is thoroughly cleansed from sin, it is still necessary in many instances for the dear Lord to further spiritualize the personality until the individual has become receptive to receive within his person the Holy Ghost. The forces of our personality must be subdued unto God. This we commonly speak of as spiritualizing. In many instances even though the heart is really pure, yet the individual has given up in despair and turned back to his first works, believing that there must still be sin in his heart, thus discrediting what God has already done within him through the Blood of Jesus. No, it is not always that the heart is still impure. It is not because you are not thoroughly sanctified. It is only God waiting and working to bring you to the place and to sufficiently spiritualize your personality that you may receive into your being the Holy Ghost.
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is not an influence, nor yet a good feeling, nor sweet sensations, though it may include all of these. The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the incoming into the personality of Him, the Holy Ghost, which is the Spirit of Jesus taking real possession of your spirit (or inner man), of your soul (the mind and animal life), yea, of your flesh. He possesses the being. The flesh is caused to quake sometimes because of the presence of the Spirit of God in the flesh. Daniel quaked with great quaking when the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. (Daniel10:1-13).
Beloved reader, do you realize that it is the Spirit of Jesus that is seeking admittance into your heart and life? Do you realize that it is the Spirit of Jesus within the spirit, soul and body of the baptized believer that moves him in ways sometimes strange, but who accomplishes the wondrous work of God within the life. That is why every baptized believer praises God for what has taken place in him.
While yet a justified man, even without an experience of sanctification, the Lord committed to me in a measure the ministry of healing in as much that many were healed and, in some instances real miracles of healing took place. Yet, I did not know God as my sanctifier. Ten years later, after sanctification had become a fact in my life, a great and wonderful yearning to be baptized in the Holy Ghost and fire came into my heart. After seeking God persistently, almost night and day for two months, the Lord baptized me in the Holy Ghost causing me to speak in tongues and magnify God. I had looked for and prayed and coveted the real power of God for the ministry of healing and believed God that when I was baptized in the Holy Ghost, that His presence in me through the Spirit would do for the sick the things my heart desired and which they needed. Instantly, upon being baptized in the Spirit, I expected to see the sick healed in a greater degree and in larger numbers than I had before known, and, for a time, I seemed to be disappointed.
How little we know of our own relationship to God! How little I knew of my own relationship to Him; for, day by day, for six months following my Baptism in the Holy Ghost the Lord revealed to me many things in my life where repentance, confession and restitution were necessary, and yet I had repented unto God long ago. Oh, the deep cleansing, the deep revelations of one’s own heart by the Holy Ghost. It was indeed as John the Baptist said, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner: but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire.”
First, then, I will say the Baptism in the Holy Ghost meant to me a heart searching as I had never before known, with no rest, until in every instance the Blood was consciously applied, and my life set free from the particular thing that God had revealed. As I say, this process continued for six months after my Baptism in the Holy Ghost.
Second, a love for mankind such as I had never comprehended took over my life. Yea, a soul yearning to see men saved, so deep, at times heart rending, until in anguish of soul I was compelled to abandon my business and turn all my attention to bringing men to the feet of Jesus. While this process was going on in my heart, during a period of months, sometimes persons would come into my office to transact business and even instances where there were great profits to be had for a few minutes of persistent application to business, the Spirit of Love in me so yearned over souls that I could not even see the profits to be had. Under its sway, money lost its value to me, and in many instances I found myself utterly unable to talk business to the individual until first I had poured out the love passion of my soul and endeavored to show him Jesus as his then present Savior. In not just a few instances, these business engagements ended in the individual yielding himself to God.
That love passion for men’s souls has sometimes been overshadowed by the weight of care since then, but only for a moment. Again, when occasion demanded it, that mighty love flame absorbing one’s whole being and life would flame forth until, under the anointing of the Holy Ghost on many occasions sinners would fall in my arms and yield their hearts to God.
Others have sought for evidences of the Pentecostal experience being the real Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Some have criticized and said, “Is it not a delusion?” In all the scale of evidences presented to my soul and taken from my experience, this experience of the divine love, the burning love and holy compassion of Jesus Christ filling one’s bosom until no sacrifice is too great to win a soul for Christ, demonstrates to me more than any other one thing that this is indeed none other than the Spirit of Jesus. Such love is not human! Such love is only divine! Such love is only Jesus, Himself, who gave His life for others.
Again, the development of power. First, after the mighty love, came the renewed, energized power for healing the sick. Oh, what blessed things God has given on this line! What glorious resurrections of the practically dead! Such restorations of the lame and the halt and the blind! Such shout of just Such abundance of peace! Verily, “Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses!”
Then came, as never before, the power to preach the Word of God in demonstration of the Spirit. Oh, the burning fiery messages! Oh, the tender, tender, loving messages! Oh, the deep revelations of wondrous truth by the Holy Ghost! Preaching once, twice, sometimes three times a day, practically continuously during these four years and four months. Oh, the thousands God has permitted us to lead to the feet of Jesus, and the tens of thousands to whom He has permitted us to preach the Word!
Then came the strong, forceful exercise of dominion over devils, to cast them out. Since that time, many insane and demon possessed, spirits of insanity, all sorts of unclean demons, have been cast out in the mighty name of Jesus through the power of the precious Blood. Saints have been led into deeper life in God. Many, many have been baptized in the Holy Ghost and fire. My own ministry was multiplied a hundred fold in the very lives of others to whom GOD COMMITTED THIS SAME MINISTRY. Yea, verily the Baptism in the Holy Ghost is to be desired with the whole heart.
Brother, Sister, when we stand before the bar of God and are asked why we have not fulfilled in our life all the mind of Christ and all His desire in the salvation of the world, what will be our excuses if they are weighed against the salvation of imperishable souls. How terrible it will be for us to say we neglected, we put off, we failed to seek for the endowment that cometh from on high, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Again, may we say that it was only after the Lord had baptized us in the Holy Ghost that we really learned how to pray. When He prayed through us, when the soul cries born of the Holy Ghost rolled out of our being and up to the throne of God, the answer came back His prayer, His heart yearning, His cry. May God put it in every heart that we may indeed see the answer to our Lord’s prayer, “Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven.”
But someone will say, “How about tongues?” We understood that you taught that tongues were the evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Ghost?” So they are. Tongues are a sign to them that believe not. (1 Corinthians. 14:22) While I personally praise God for the wonderful and blessed truths of His Word by the Spirit, revelations in doctrine, in prophecy, in poems by the Holy Ghost in tongues with interpretation that He has given me, yet, above all the external evidences, that which God accomplishes in your own lives, demonstrating to your own consciousness the operations of God, no doubt is the great evidence to the believer himself for that which is known in consciousness cannot be denied. We stand firmly on scriptural grounds that every individual who is baptized in the Holy Ghost will, and does, speak in tongues.
Baptism means a degree of the Spirit upon the life sufficient to give the Spirit of God such absolute control of the person that He will be able to speak through him in tongues. Any lesser degree cannot be called the Baptism or submersion, and we feel could properly be spoken of as an anointing. The life may be covered with deep anointing of the Holy Ghost yet not in sufficient degree to be properly called the Baptism.
4 Millbourn Road
Transvaal, South Africa
Edited by Wilford Reidt
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST
(And some of the things it has produced in my life)
By: Dr. John G. Lake
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost is a most difficult subject to discuss with any degree of intelligence, for though we may not care to admit it, the fact remains that the density of ignorance among the people and the ministry on this subject is appalling. To view this subject with any degree of intelligence we must view it from the standpoint of progressive revelation. Like Christian baptism, the operation of the Holy Ghost must be seen (comprehended) in its various stages of revelation. Otherwise we shall be unable to distinguish between the operations of the Spirit in the Old Testament.
As we approach the threshold of this subject it seems as if the Spirit of God comes close to us. A certain awe of God comes over the soul. And it is my earnest wish that no levity, satire, or sarcasm be permitted to enter into this discussion. Such things would be grievous to the tender Spirit of God.
In the beginning of this relation, after the deluge, it seems as if God was approaching man from a great distance, so far had sin removed man from his original union with God at the time of his creation. God seems to reveal Himself to man, as rapidly as man, by progressive stages of development, is prepared to receive the revelation. Consequently, we see that as Baptism was a further revelation of God’s purpose in purifying the heart from sin than was the original ceremony of circumcision, so the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is a greater, more perfect revelation of God than were the manifestations of the Spirit in the Patriarchal or Mosaic Dispensations.
Three distinct dispensations of God are clearly seen, with an ever deepening manifestation of God to man. A preceding dispensation of God never destroys a foregoing one. On the contrary, it conserves its spirit and broadens its scope in a deeper and richer revelation of God. This is manifestly seen in looking at the Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Christian dispensation. In the Patriarchal dispensation we see God appearing to man at long intervals. Abraham furnishes the best example, for to him God appeared at long intervals of 20 and 40 years apart; so with the other patriarchs. Under the Mosaic dispensation there is a deeper and clearer manifestation of God. God was ever present in the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire. He was present also in the tabernacle where the Shekinah Glory overshadowed the Mercy Seat. This is a continuous, abiding revelation of God. It was God with man, not man to man as was the Patriarchal Dispensation. God was leading, guiding, directing, forgiving, sanctifying, and abiding with man. But the revelation of God under the Christian Dispensation is a much deeper and truer revelation of God than this. It is God in man. It is the actual incoming of the Spirit of God to live in man. This brings us then to where we can see the purpose of God in revealing Himself to man in progressive steps of revelation.
Man, by progressive stages through repentance and faith, is purified, not alone forgiven his transgressions, but cleansed from the nature of sin within that causes him to transgress. This cleansing from inbred sin, the nature of sin, and all correspondence with sin in us is severed. The carnal life is laid a sacrifice on the altar of Christ in glad surrender by us. The inner heart cleansing that John and the disciples of Christ demanded is the work of the Holy Sprint by the Blood and is necessary if maturity in Christ is to be achieved. A holy God must have a holy dwelling place. Oh wondrous salvation, wondrous Christ, wondrous atonement, man born in sin, sharpened in iniquity, forgiven, cleansed, purified outside and inside by the Blood of Jesus and made an habitation (dwelling place) of God. It was that man once created, in the likeness of God, who should again become the dwelling place of God.
That is what the atoning Blood of Christ provided: Galations 3:13 & 14. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree,’ that the blessings of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that they might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
This reveals to us God’s purpose by the Blood of Jesus Christ for us to now become the habitation of God: Ephesians 2:22, “In whom ye also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit”.
Again in I Corinthians 6:19 we see Paul, in astonishment, saying, “What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?”
Let us now see where we are and we will better understand how to go on.
The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. His purpose is to dwell in man after man’s perfect cleansing from sin through the Blood of Jesus Christ. His coming was definite, just as definite as was the advent of Jesus. When Jesus was born His birth was proclaimed by an angel voice and chanted by a multitude of the heavenly host praising God. (Luke 2:9,13,14)
Equally, so was the Holy Spirit’s advent attested by His bodily form as a dove, (Luke 3:22), and by His sound from heaven as a mighty rushing wind and by cloven tongues of fire upon each of them. (Acts 2:2,3)
Heavenly dove, tempest roar, and tongues of fire crowning the hundred and twenty. These were as convincing as the guiding star and midnight shout of angelic hosts. The coming of the Holy Ghost upon the hundred and twenty is found in Acts chapter 2.
At the last supper when Jesus addressed the disciples, he said to them, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when he is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” (John 16:7-8)
As the disciples were together at Jerusalem, after the resurrection, when the two who had walked with him to Emmaus were conversing with the eleven disciples, Jesus, Himself, stood in their midst. He saith unto them, “Peace be unto you.” They were afraid, believing they had seen a spirit. Jesus addressed them and said, “And, behold, I send the promise of the Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
Then, in Acts 1, we find that the one hundred and twenty tarried in prayer in the upper room ten days. Thus between the crucifixion of Jesus and Pentecost is 53 days.
There was a crucifixion day. It was necessary. And now, we the children of God, must be crucified with Christ and freed from sin, our old man nailed to the cross. We die to sin, a real act, a genuine experience; it’s done. So we are made partakers of Christ’s death. But there was a resurrection day. Hear was a living Christ, not a dead one. He lives! He lives! And by our resurrection with Him into our new life we leave the old sin life and the old man buried in baptism (Romans 5), and are made partakers of His new resurrection life. The life of power, the exercise of the power of God, is made possible to us by Jesus having elevated us into His own resurrection life by actual spiritual experience.
Then comes His ascension, just as necessary as the crucifixion or the resurrection. Jesus ascended to heaven and sits triumphant at the right hand of the Father. According to His promise, He sent upon us the Holy Ghost. This experience is personal and dispensational. The Holy Ghost descends upon us, entering into us, for the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is the Holy God, the Spirit of Jesus, taking possession of our personality, living in us, moving us, controlling us. We become partakers of His glorified life, the life of Christ in glory. So it was with the hundred and twenty (see Acts 2:2-4): “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty rushing wind.”
Suppose we heard it now. What would this audience think?
“And it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
Not as they liked, not when they liked. They spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance. It was the Spirit that spoke in other tongues. What spirit? The Holy Spirit who had come into them, who controlled them, who spoke through them. Listen, speaking in tongues is the voice of God. Do you hear God’s voice? They spake as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Now we have advanced to where we can understand God’s manifestations. Not God witnessing to man. Not God with man. But God in man, the Holy Ghost in man. They spake as the Spirit gave them utterance.
At this point the Spirit of God fell on Brother Lake causing him to speak in tongues in an unknown language. The audience was asked to bow their heads in silent prayer for the interpretation of the words spoken in tongues. As they prayed the interpretation was given as follows:
“Christ is at once the spotless descent of God into man and the sinless ascent of man into God. And the Holy Spirit is the agent by which it is accomplished.”
He is the Christ, the Son of God. His atonement is a real atonement. It changes from all sin. Man again becomes the dwelling place of God. Let us now see one of the most miraculous chapters in all the Word of God, Acts chapter ten.
A man, Cornelius, is praying. He is a Gentile centurion. An angel appears to him. The angel speaks. The angel says to send to Joppa for Peter. Peter is a Jew and he is not supposed to go into the home of a Gentile. He has not learned that salvation is for the Gentiles. God has to teach him. How does God do it? Peter goes up on the housetop to pray, and as he prays he is in a trance. Think of it! A trance. He falls into a trance. Suppose I was to fall on the floor in a trance, nine-tenths of this audience would be frightened to death. They would instantly declare that my opponent had hypnotized me. Why? Because of the ignorance among men of how the Spirit of God operates. But listen, listen! As he lays on the roof in a trance he sees a vision, a sheet let down from heaven caught by the four corners full of all manner of beasts and creeping things. And a voice, what voice? The Lord’s voice, says, “Rise, Peter, kill and eat.” But Peter said, “Not so, Lord. I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” But the Voice said, “What I have cleansed that call thou not common.” Peter obeyed. He went with the messengers. Now see the result. As he spake the Word, the Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the Holy Ghost. How did they know? They heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then answered Peter, “Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?” And so it all ended in a glorious baptismal service in water of all who had been baptized in the Holy Ghost.
In Acts 22:12 Paul tells of Ananias coming to see him, but how did Ananias know Paul was there? (See Acts 9:10-19) “And there was at Damascus a certain disciple named Ananias and to him the Lord said in a vision, go into the street called Straight and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus.” Now let us see that as we would see it today. The Lord said, “Ananias, go down to Straight Street to the house of Judas and ask for a man named Saul of Tarsus for behold he prayeth.” And now the Lord tells Ananias what Saul had seen (Acts 9:12) and, “he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hands on him that he might receive his sight.” Here Ananias talks with the Lord. Do you know anything of such communion or talks with God? If not, get the Baptism of the Holy Ghost like the early Christians, and their knowledge and experiences afterward can be yours, and you will see as we do the operation of the Lord upon saint and sinner by the Holy Ghost. Men say to us, “Where do you men get your insight into the Word?” We get it just where Paul and Peter got it, from God, by the Holy Ghost. (Galatians 1:11 & 12)
Beloved, read God’s Word on your knees. Ask God by His Spirit to open it to your understanding. Read the Word with an open heart. It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
Ananias went as the Lord had directed him and found Paul. And Paul was healed of his blindness and was baptized in the Holy Ghost and was also baptized in water and spoke in tongues “more than ye all” (see 1 Corinthians 14:18)
Now see again Acts 22:14. Ananias is speaking to Paul and he said, “The God of our Fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldst know His will, and see that Just One, and shouldst hear the words of his mouth. For thou shall be His witness unto all men what thou has seen and heard.” Say, what about the people who say, “Don’t tell these things to anyone”? “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins calling upon the name of the Lord.” You see, as with Peter at Cornelius’ house, all this work of the Spirit ended in salvation and baptism.
Now God through Ananias promised Paul that he should know “His will and see that Just One and shouldest hear the voice of His mouth” (Acts 22:14) When did that come to pass? Three years after when Paul returned to Jerusalem: “Then after when Paul returned to Jerusalem.” “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem.” (Galatians1:18) “And it came to pass that when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance.” (Acts 22:17)
Think of it, the intellectual, wonderful Paul, the master theologian of the ages, the orator of orators, the logician of logicians in a trance. Bless God for that trance. It was the fulfillment of what Ananias had said to him three years before. “And saw him (Jesus) saying unto me, ‘Make haste and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me.”
Now what is a trance? A trance is the Spirit taking predominance over the mind and body, and for the time being the control of the individual is by the Spirit; but our ignorance of the operations of God is such that even ministers of religion have been known to say it is of the devil.
Let us see where Paul got his commission to preach and instructions about what he was to preach, and what his condition and attitude were when Jesus gave him his commission. (See Acts 26:16-18)
He was lying on the road on his way to Damascus. Now if we were to see someone lying on the road talking to an invisible somebody, no doubt in our ignorance we would send for an ambulance or for the police. But this is where the glorified Christ spoke to Paul and gave him definite instructions about what he should preach. The purpose of his preaching was to be the salvation, not the entertainment of others. “But rise, stand upon thy feet, for I (Jesus) have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee.” Jesus promises to appear to Paul again and that was fulfilled while he lay in a trance in the temple three years later. (Acts 26:16)
Now the object of his preaching was “to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified (present experience) by faith that is in me (Jesus). Where upon, 0 King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.” (Acts 26:18 & 19)
From this we see and are able to understand the operations of God by His Spirit. And now, is the Holy Ghost in the church today? Verily, yes; but you may say, “We do not see Him work in this way?” Why is it? Because you say all these things were for the Apostolic days. You cannot take the Word of God and find one place where the gifts of the Holy Ghost were withdrawn.
The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost are found in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11.
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit (gift two), to another discerning of spirits (gift three), to another divers (different) kind of tongues (languages) not an acquirement but by the Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit. Oh, praise God for the discovery of the gifts of the Holy Ghost and especially for the gift of healing.
May we all learn to know Christ, not alone as our Savior, but as our sanctifier and healer, too!
Now I will go over these gifts on my fingers: lst, wisdom; 2nd, knowledge; 3rd, faith; 4th, healing; 5th, miracles; 6th, prophecy; 7th, discerning of spirits; 8th, divers kinds of tongues; and 9th, the interpretation of tongues.
We have seen that the Holy Ghost came into the Church at Pentecost and the gifts are in the Holy Ghost, consequently, if the Holy Ghost is in the Church, the gifts are, too.
Because of the lack of faith we do not see them exercised in the ordinary church. We stand for the obtaining of the gifts of the Holy Ghost through our personal baptism in the Holy Ghost and the endowment of the Holy Ghost power as promised by Jesus, yea, commanded by Him. (See Acts 1:8) “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you…”
People ask, “What is tongues?”
Tongues is the voice (or operation) of the Spirit of God. In Acts 2:4, the one hundred and twenty spoke in tongues, the external evidence of the Spirit of God within. When the Holy Ghost came in He spoke. Again, in Acts 10:44-48 when the Holy Ghost fell on them, Peter demanded the right to baptize them in water, saying, “Can any man forbid water, that these should be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? How did they know they had been baptized in the Holy Ghost? See verse 46, “for they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.”
Tongues is the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost by which Peter claimed the right to baptize them in water. Again in Acts19:1-7, Paul at Ephesus met twelve men whom had been baptized unto repentance, but now Paul re-baptized them by Christian Baptism. In verse 5 we read that when they heard this they were baptized (water baptized) in the Name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came on them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not. (1 Corinthians 14:22)
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST
(And some of the things it has produced in my life)
By: Dr. John G. Lake
There are as many degrees in God in the Baptism of the Holy Ghost as there are preachers who preach it. Some people are born away down weeping at the foot of the cross. They are still on the earth place with Christ. They are still weeping over their sins, still trying to overcome sin and be pure of heart.
But there are other people who are born away up in the blessed dominion of God, like our Mother Etter. They have resurrection power. All power is given, and it is in our soul.
And beloved, one day there are going to be Christians baptized in the Holy Ghost who are away up in the Throne of God, away up in the consciousness that is breathed out of His Holy heart. Somebody is going to be born a son of God and be baptized in the Holy Ghost, where Jesus is today, in the throne consciousness of Christ. There, they can say, like Jesus said, where they can feel like Jesus feels: “I am He that liveth, and was dead, and behold, I am alive for ever more, and have the keys of hell and of death.” Absolute overcoming consciousness!
You dear folks listen, who are trying to pump up a Pentecost that was worn out years ago. God let it die. God had only one way under heaven to get you to move up into God, and that was to let you become dissatisfied with the thing you have. And if you have not the consciousness you once had, God Almighty understands the situation. He is trying to get you hungry, so that you will commit your Body and your Soul and your Spirit to God forever, and by the grace of God you will be baptized in the Holy Ghost over again, and the Throne of God consciousness, in the power of Jesus Christ, as Jesus is today. “As He is, so are we in this world.”
Why, with most of you, when you were baptized in the Holy Ghost, the Lord had to baptize a whole dose of medicine and pills, and everything that was in you. Well, God never had to baptize that kind of stuff in the Lord Jesus. Jesus came down to the River Jordan, and gave His BODY and His SOUL and His SPIRIT to God forever, and He never took a pill or a dose of medicine. He never went to the Spirit of the world for assistance or the devil for help. His SPIRIT, His SOUL, and His BODY were God’s from that minute, and forever.
Beloved, God is calling men and women to a holier consecration, to a higher place in God, and I am one of God’s candidates for that holy place in God. I want to get to the Throne of God. Oh, yes, God baptized me in the Holy Ghost with a wondrous baptism, according to the understanding I possessed ten or 15 years ago. But I am a candidate today for a new baptism in the Holy Ghost that comes out of the heart of the GLORIFIED Christ, in the lightnings of God; everlasting overcoming on the throne with Jesus.
And that is the experience that is going to make the sons of God in the world. That is the reason they will take the world for Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom will be established, and they will put the crown on the Son of God, and declare Him “King of kings and Lord of lords” forever. Amen.
Chicago Pentecostal Convention
July 16, 1920
Therefore, fear not, for God is able to perform in you even that which he performed in Jesus, and raise you likewise in union with Christ Jesus, and make you reign in dominion over sin, instead of being dominated by the powers of evil and darkness.
Tongues and interpretation
Battle Creek Michigan