Chapter 3 Possessor of the Saints  

"Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth." John 16:13.

Possessor of the Saints

"Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church." The Desire of Ages, p. 671.

Before the cataclysm of the second world war touched off a chain reaction of world tensions and hatreds, man strove to convince himself that he was captain of his fate and master of his soul. Already he had fought a "war to end war," and by the brilliance of his statesmanship and the wizardry of scientific research he proposed to bring about peace, happiness, and prosperity.

Today, with World War III and annihilation breathing down his neck, man still talks grandiloquently about creating life and conquering space; but he does so to create a din that will drown out the frightened pounding of his overstrained heart. He knows that he is rapidly creating in the world an atmosphere unfriendly to progress. He no longer is confident of his relationship with God. Therefore he works frantically to make a way of escape from the intolerable climate. The frightening fact is that wherever he goes he will take with him his own unregenerate heart, and thus re-create for himself the same problems with their inescapable conclusions.

Is it not tragic that man, who has discovered the means to blow the human race to bits, at the same time claims to be on the verge of discovering the secret of life itself? Thus little man completes the cycle begun millenniums ago in Paradise by Lucifer, the creature who aspired to equality with his Creator. The two alternatives which he claims to offer his race--annihilation or immortality--are alike outside his realm. These are prerogatives of God, who alone can create and who alone can permit destruction of that which He has created. The word of God assures us that shortly a large segment of the population of this earth will indeed be annihilated, while the rest will receive immortality; but it will be accomplished by the power of God and not of man.

Should man acknowledge this, he would be admitting his own impotence. This he dares not do, since he has lost his sense of the omnipotence of God. So he blunders on down the road to his own destruction, meanwhile kicking up a cloud of dust to keep himself from seeing the yawning chasm at the end.

In the midst of this floundering generation, the Spirit of God works quietly to bring peace and security and assurance into lives which He is permitted to possess. "For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength." "And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever." Isaiah 30:15; 32:17.

Since man has lost his God-given ability to direct his own steps, betrayed and beset by his heredity and his environment, it is necessary that some power outside himself come to his rescue and take over the burden of leadership. "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Jeremiah 10:23.

To make such an admission is an affront to ones pride. It is becoming increasingly apparent that separated from the Spirit of God, man experiences only frustration and defeat; yet it is not natural for him to yield readily to the Third Person of the Godhead. This is a paradox which man finds most difficult of comprehension--that in submitting he wins, while in resisting he loses. Ever since Lucifer first gained entrance to our planet the battle has been joined between the forces of evil and good. Since the Day of Pentecost Satan has battled relentlessly with the Spirit of God, who has come to lead to victory those willing to follow under the banner of Christ.

"They are to contend with supernatural forces, but they are assured of supernatural help. All the intelligences of heaven are in this army. And more than angels are in the ranks. The Holy Spirit, the representative of the Captain of the Lords host, comes down to direct the battle."The Desire of Ages, p. 352.

"When Christ was on earth, He stood as the representative of humanity. He was on trial in behalf of man, and the test was made in His experience as to the possibility that humanity could overcome through divine power.... Jesus looked forward to the triumph and joy that man might attain through the agency of the Holy Spirit....It is through the mighty agency of the Holy Spirit that the government of Satan is to be subdued and subjected. It is the Holy Spirit that convinces of sin and expels it from the soul with the consent of the human agent."Review and Herald, April 25, 1893.

In these references we find that only by allowing the Holy Spirit to take complete possession of our life can we hope to win the struggle against evil in our own nature. This mighty member of the Godhead is the least known of the Three, undoubtedly because He never speaks of Himself. Yet His power is evidenced throughout Scripture since first He appears as an agent in the establishment of order on the first day of the creation. "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." Genesis 1:1, 2.

During the hundred and twenty years while Noah was building the ark and preaching impending doom from a flood in a land that had never known rain, it was the Spirit of God who strove with the impenitent hearts of the antediluvians. "And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." Genesis 6:3. "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins....being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing." 1 Peter 3:18-20.

The Holy Spirit took temporary possession of the ambitious, greedy prophet Balaam. When this renegade sought to curse the people of God to obtain the fame and fortune offered by the Moabitish king, it was the Spirit of God who restrained him. Speaking through Balaam's unwilling lips, He not only spoke blessing to Israel but prophesied of their coming Messiah and the downfall of their enemies. "And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him. And he took up his parable, and said: How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee. I shall see Him, but not now: I shall behold Him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth." Numbers 24:2-17.

It was the Spirit of God who prepared the man Samson and endowed him with awe-inspiring strength that he might intimidate the Philistines and arouse the national spirit within the breast of defeated Israel. Judges 13:24, 25. Such a hero gave them a rallying point about which they might have assembled to bring victory to the cause of God, now suffering defeat at the hand of their contemptuous enemies. How tragic that this divinely endowed man used his God-given powers only to harass the enemies of Israel, while he allowed his uncontrolled appetites to work his own undoing. And at last, in a frenzy of awareness of his own impotence as a man of God, he accomplished the downfall of the Philistines by carrying them with him to destruction. How pitiful that Samson was the best material God could find at the time of national crisis.

The glorious song-poems recorded for our inspiration in the book of Psalms were the product of the Spirit of God. The Spirit had taken possession of David's tongue, and as he neared the end of a full life, King David himself is quoted as saying: "Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue." 2 Samuel 23:1, 2.

From the archives of Paradise, then, issued the exalted music of the Psalms which have inspired and comforted the church in the long ages since they were composed by the shepherd boy who had been anointed by the Spirit of God.

With the coming of the long-awaited Messiah, whose miraculous descent to the level of mankind He personally supervised, the Third Person entered into a new phase of His relationship to man and to Gods plan for mans redemption.

"And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:35.

"Wherefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." Hebrews 2:17.

The Holy Spirit acted as go-between for Father and Son that He might demonstrate to us the perfection of Gods plan for our ultimate relationship with Himself. With the Father on the throne of the universe, and the Son on earth to represent the lost human race, the Spirit of God served to maintain the needed communion between Them. Then when Jesus Christ gave the ultimate demonstration of divine love by giving up His life for the human race, it was the Spirit who restored to Him the life He had voluntarily laid down.

"But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you." Romans 8:11.

He took over the direction of the earthly phase of our redemption at Pentecost. Henceforth He works to accomplish in our lives redemption, which Christ provided for us on Calvary, and sanctification. Daily He weaves into the fiber of our yielded lives the lovely threads of which Christ's life was woven. These precious threads are seen shining through such passages of Scripture as these:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." Galatians 5:22, 23.

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." James 3:17, 18.

"Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity." 2 Peter 1:5-7.

"It is expedient for you that I go away," said Christ to His incredulous followers, "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 convince the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." John 16:7, 8, margin. And so day by day, even moment by moment, the battle goes on for the possession of the mind and the heart of man. "For the passion of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the passion of the Spirit against the flesh-the two are at issue, so that you are not free to do as you please." Galatians 5:17, Moffatt.

When man recognizes the forces contending to take possession of him, and voluntarily submits his will to the divine Spirit of God, then the transformation of character known as sanctification can take place.

"Having brought conviction of sin, and presented before the mind the standard of righteousness, the Holy Spirit withdraws the affections from the things of this earth and fills the soul with a desire for holiness....The Spirit will take the things of God and stamp them on the soul. By His power the way of life will be made so plain that none need err therein."The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 52, 53.

"When one renounces sin, which is the transgression of the law, his life will be brought into conformity to the law, into perfect obedience. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. The light of the word carefully studied, the voice of conscience, the strivings of the Spirit, produce in the heart genuine love for Christ, who gave Himself a whole sacrifice to redeem the whole person, body, soul, and spirit."Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 92.

"When the Holy Spirit controls the minds of our church members, there will be seen in our churches a much higher standard in speech, in ministry, in spirituality, than is now seen."ibid., vol. 8, p. 211.

While it is the privilege of Gods people to be wholly possessed by the Third Person of the Trinity, so that their every thought will be Gods thought, they are by no means the exclusive recipients of His attentions. "Wherever there is an impulse of love and sympathy, wherever the heart reaches out to bless and uplift others, there is revealed the working of Gods Holy Spirit. In the depths of heathenism, men who have had no knowledge of the written law of God, who have never even heard the name of Christ, have been kind to His servants, protecting them at the risk of their own lives. Their acts show the working of a divine power. The Holy Spirit has implanted the grace of Christ in the heart of the savage, quickening his sympathies contrary to his nature, contrary to his education." Christ's Object Lessons, p. 385.

"God has many thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal, many who long to understand more fully in regard to Christ and the law, many who are hoping against hope that Jesus will come soon to end the reign of sin and death. And there are many who have been worshiping Baal ignorantly, but with whom the Spirit of God is still striving."Prophets and Kings, p. 171.

"There are many who have not yet heard the testing truth for this time. There are many with whom the Spirit of God is striving. The time of Gods destructive judgments is the time of mercy for those who have had no opportunity to learn what is truth."Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 97.

The ugly fruitage of bigotry and intolerance stems not from seeds of the Spirits planting, whether it develops in the heart of civilized man or savage, whether in Christ's church or among atheists. The unspeakable atrocities of the Inquisition were perpetrated by Christians, so-called, and in the name of Christ. The Puritans, fleeing from the spirit of intolerance in the Old World, brought it in their own unregenerate hearts to the New World. Roger Williams, who founded the colony of Rhode Island, had been compelled by fellow church members to flee from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the dead of winter because his theology differed from theirs. He took refuge among the Indians. Later, when offered the opportunity to return, he refused, saying that he preferred the society of the Christian savages of Rhode Island to that of the savage Christians in Massachusetts.

Yet, while man seems bent on barring from the kingdom of God all who do not fit into his preconceived views of its exalted standards, the Spirit of God goes on wooing and winning all who will listen to His teaching, whether it be by formal lessons from the Scriptures for those privileged to live in lands touching Christian culture, or by the more informal book of nature, which, after all, was Gods first textbook. God is bent on bringing people into His kingdom, not on keeping them out. How much more might have been accomplished by God had receptive minds and hearts in non-Christian lands had the benefit of all the light God has bestowed on Christians and commissioned them to share with their less fortunate brothers and sisters, only eternity will disclose. How much more peace and happiness might have reigned in their hearts had they only known all we could have shared with them of Gods love and protection over His own.

But the Spirit has been watching for eyes turned heavenward. If only the heart is teachable, that the divine qualities of kindness and pity and love may be impressed hereon, there will be opportunity enough throughout eternity for the study of doctrine. And the same Spirit detects when the proud and complacent heart, secure in its possession of truth, closes its ears to the revelation of its own weakness and need. For such a one, He can do no more.

"For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another." Romans 2:14, 15.

"He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination." "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." Proverbs 28:9; Luke 12:48.

 Chapter 4 Possession of the Saints  

"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour, out My Spirit upon all flesh." Joel 2:28.  

Possession of the Saints

"All who consecrate soul, body, and spirit to God will be constantly receiving a new endowment of physical and mental power. The inexhaustible supplies of Heaven are at their command. Christ gives them the breath of His own spirit, the life of His own life. The Holy Spirit puts forth its highest energies to work in heart and mind. The grace of God enlarges and multiplies their faculties, and every perfection of the divine nature comes to their assistance in the work of saving souls. Through co-operation with Christ they are complete in Him, and in their human weakness they are enabled to do the deeds of Omnipotence." The Desire of Ages, page 827.

What is this which God designs that all His people have within themselves? How may they recognize beyond a shadow of doubt that they do possess a spirit like Gods? How will its manifestations in yielded lives compare with the life of Christ?

Concerning Christ's possession of the Spirit we read: "For God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him." John 3:34. To us also is extended the gracious offer, "That ye might be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3: 19. With this assurance that Gods method of dealing with His Son is but a token of His plan for the salvation of all flesh, we may go on to examine the results in Christ's life of His possession of Gods Spirit.

The fact that Christ "emptied Himself" (Philippians 2:7, R.S.V.) before coming to this earth necessitated an infilling of the Spirits power. The spotless life of Christ was designed to be a powerful encouragement and incentive to men. If Jesus could in the power of Gods Spirit continue to do the deeds of Omnipotence, then His followers may hope to receive power within themselves to make their lives a blessing both to God and to each other.

The fullness which Jesus received during His earthly ministry must have depended on His capacity to receive. Gods outpouring of heavens riches could benefit Him only as He made room for it. We may be very sure that there was nothing in the character of Christ which needed displacing. It was not a weakness that led Him to make room for an infilling of Gods Spirit. We read that before the creation of this earth Christ satisfied His Father completely: "Then I was beside Him, like a master workman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing before Him always, rejoicing in His inhabited world and delighting in the sons of men." Proverbs 8:30,31, R.S.V.

No, He "emptied Himself" of all that would give. Him an advantage over humanity in its struggle against sin. Only thus could He bring hope to the hopeless and inspire in them a confidence that they, too, could overcome in the strength God held out to them. Without such a convincing demonstration as Christ afforded mankind, none would have dared reach up to lay hold of the hand of God. So cleverly had Satan worked in human minds to confuse and discourage with his insinuations of doubt.

The spectacle of Gods Son, sharing with His creatures their inherent weaknesses, deliberately being cut off from such communion with His Father as was not available to them, living a blameless and power-filled life despite Satan's efforts to frustrate and defeat Him--this was Heavens demonstration to all who could not be satisfied with words alone. Such a demonstration God had purposed to make in the experience of the nation of Israel. They failed Him, but Jesus came to show man the way.

"This experience may be yours if you, too, will accept the infilling of My Spirit," God has been saying to all mankind since that day. Surely no one in full possession of his reason, and with a knowledge of Gods plan and purpose for his life, would turn his back on so wonderful a possession as a spirit like Christ's. What is it that persuades men and women to continue, year after year, so lacking in characteristics that are godlike, content to exist on so low a level, when they might breathe the very atmosphere of heaven? The only answer is SELF. This four-letter word, which is a synonym for an even shorter one, SIN, has been Satan's trump card from the very beginning. A man who is concerned with his own designs and ambitions, or frustrated by his own inability to lead a victorious life in things of the spirit, is incapable of opening up his life to be filled with the fullness of God.

Gods fullness never can be contained in a vessel partially filled with human imperfection. Therefore God, in mercy, does not answer our prayers for the manifestation of the Spirit in the latter rain. He knows that such a manifestation would shatter the earthen vessels still containing selfish designs and considerations, even as the combining of certain chemicals brings about an explosion that wrecks the test tube holding the mixture. Truly there is a solemn work of purging incumbent on every child of God before he will be ready to receive the outpouring of the latter rain.

"In the great and measureless gift of the Holy Spirit are contained all of heavens resources. It is not because of any restriction on the part of God that the riches of His grace do not flow earthward to men. If all were willing to receive, all would become filled with His Spirit. There is nothing that Christ desires so much as agents who will represent to the world His Spirit and character. All heaven is waiting for channels through which can be poured the holy oil to be a joy and blessing to human hearts. The indwelling of the Spirit will be shown by the out-flowing of heavenly love. The divine fullness will flow through the consecrated human agent, to be given forth to others." Christ's Object Lessons, page 419.

"The church members need to know from experience what the Holy Spirit will do for them. It will bless the receiver, and make him a blessing. It is sad that every soul is not praying for the vital breath of the Spirit; for we are ready to die if it breathe not on us.

"Some have treated the Spirit as an unwelcome guest, refusing to receive the rich gift, refusing to acknowledge it, turning from it, and condemning it as fanaticism.

"They are not willing to be deprived of the garments of their own self-righteousness. They are not willing to exchange their own righteousness, which is unrighteousness, for the righteousness of Christ, which is pure, unadulterated truth." Testimonies to Ministers, pages 64, 65.

"As the plant takes root in the soil, so we are to take root in Christ. As the plant receives the sunshine, the dew, and the rain, so are we to receive the Holy Spirit. . . . So the divine Husbandman looks for a harvest. He is seeking to reproduce Himself in the hearts and lives of His followers, that through them He may be reproduced in other hearts and lives." Education, page 106.

On Pentecost, when the apostles gave a great demonstration of the power of the Spirit, their personalities were so different from what they had been before that they were accused of being drunk. Peter explained that they were not drunk, but that their personality change resulted from an infilling of the Holy Spirit, quoting Joel 2:28: "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions."

Contemplation of a last-day fulfillment of Joel's prophecy forces us to consider what our own reaction would be to a genuine infilling or "outpouring" of the Holy Spirit.

The very thought of being filled with a power not his own forces from man the admission that he is not adequate, that his hand alone on the controls is not sufficient to guide his life safely. This is damaging to his natural pride, and its implications are terrifying. Suppose this power to which he surrenders himself should lead into an experience which he would not choose to have. Suppose he is made to appear undignified, even ridiculous, in the eyes of his fellow men. Why was it that Peter felt it necessary to assure his audience that he and his companions were not drunk?

No, the typical twentieth-century Christian is not yet ready for the outpouring of Gods Spirit. There is a humbling which must be completed first. The roughnesses and imperfections of the clay vessels must be smoothed and refined before the rich fragrance of the holy oil will be received gratefully, eagerly. Only when the vessels have placed themselves unreservedly in the hands of the Potter will they be so prepared. Only thus can they cease to be so aware of their innate unloveliness and thus to shrink from contact with purity.

"We have now only a little time in which to prepare for eternity. May the Lord open the closed eyes of His people and quicken their dulled senses, that they may realize that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to them that believe. May they see the importance of giving so pure and righteous a representation of God that the world shall see Him in His beauty. May they be so filled with the Spirit that dwells in Him that the world will have no power to divert them from the work of presenting to men the wonderful possibilities before every soul who receives Christ." Testimonies, vol. 7, pp. 11, 12.

Thus is the human body to become "the temple of the Holy Ghost" (1 Corinthians 6:19) when the spirit which is in man is truly a reproduction of Gods Spirit. Only thus can you "glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are Gods." Verse 20. In the exact proportion that the entire self--body, soul, and spirit--is yielded to Gods possession, will this take place. This truly is the new-covenant experience when God will put His "laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts." Hebrews 8:10. Then only can man be called "the epistle of Christ, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." 2 Corinthians 3:3.

The effect of such a work of grace in the heart of man is truly a miraculous blossoming of the fruitage of the Spirit in his everyday life.

"God will impart warmth and moisture to our souls. As we seek God for the Holy Spirit, it will work in us meekness, humbleness of mind, a conscious dependence upon God for the perfecting latter rain. If we pray for the blessing in faith, we shall receive it as God has promised." Testimonies to Ministers, page 509.

"God can use every person just in proportion as He can put His Spirit into the soul-temple. The work that. He will accept is the work that reflects His image. His followers are to bear, as their credentials to the world, the ineffaceable characteristics of His immortal principles."

"Joy in the Holy Spirit is health-giving, life-giving joy. In giving us His Spirit, God gives us Himself, making Himself a fountain of divine influences, to give health and life to the world." Testimonies, vol. 7, pp. 144, 273.

And what will be the effect upon the world of the presence of such Spirit-filled men and women? Those who have tarried in the presence of God until they receive the infilling of His Spirit will accomplish far more of the work He has set for the church to do than has been done through all the bustle and flurry of activity which occupies the church today.

"As those who have been cleansed and sanctified through a knowledge of Bible truth engage heartily in the work of soul-saving, they will become indeed a savor of life unto life. And as daily they drink of the inexhaustible fountain of grace and knowledge, they will find that their own hearts are filled to overflowing with the Spirit of their Master, and that through their unselfish ministry many are benefited physically, mentally, and spiritually. The weary are refreshed, the sick restored to health, and the sin-burdened relieved." Prophets and Kings, page 234.

 Chapter 5 Power Line  

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." Acts 1:8.

Power Line

"The intellect most powerful in behalf of truth is the intellect that Christ controls, ennobling and purifying it by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit." Testimonies, vol. 9, page 136.

That tremendous energy for which the apostles were instructed to tarry at Jerusalem, that they might be endowed to undertake the gospel commission, is the most crying need of His church today. The eleven left on earth by their risen and ascending Lord dared not venture forth on their mission without it, even in the environs of Jerusalem. Yet today many heralds of Christ's second coming attempt to give their message without the power of the Holy Spirit. The church has been so long bereft of the Spirits power that she seems almost content without it. Strange enchantment, when she is faced with the burgeoning power of spiritistic phenomena to challenge her very truths! Truly the virgins are yet asleep when they think of pitting their own human strength against the combined forces of "spiritual wickedness in high places." Ephesians 6:12. It is high time that the church awoke to her peril and laid claim to the mighty forces manifested at Pentecost.

Yet, if the church is to fulfill her mission of preparing the world for her returning Lord and King, she must give evidence not only of possessing this divine unction, but also of her ability to live with its "everlasting burnings." Isaiah 33:14. Possession by, and also of, the Spirit is not an essentially comfortable experience, at least not while humanity clings to its imperfections. Perhaps this factor may enter into our reluctance to claim Gods promise in its divine fullness.

"The dispensation in which we are now living is to be, to those that ask, the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. Ask for His blessing. It is time we were more intense in our devotion. To us is committed the arduous, but happy, glorious work of revealing Christ to those who are in darkness. We are called to proclaim the special truths for this time. For all this the outpouring of the Spirit is essential. We should pray for it. The Lord expects us to ask Him. We have not been wholehearted in this work."

"The people of God have accustomed themselves to think that they must rely upon their own efforts, that little help is to be received from heaven; and the result is that they have little light to communicate to other souls who are dying in error and darkness. The church has long been contented with little of the blessing of God; they have not felt the need of reaching up to the exalted privileges purchased for them at infinite cost. Their spiritual strength has been feeble, their experience of a dwarfed and crippled character, and they are disqualified for the work the Lord would have them to do. They are not able to present the great and glorious truths of Gods Holy Word that would convict and convert souls through the agency of the Holy Spirit. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. A harvest of joy will be reaped by those who sow the holy seeds of truth." Testimonies to Ministers, pages 511, 512, 175.

In the light of these pointed statements from the pen of inspiration, how can we escape the realization that our powerlessness stems from our lack of Gods divine Spirit? There is no stoppage in the flow of the golden oil from the olive trees into the bowl of the sanctuary lamps. Gods revealed word is brimming with the light of His truth from which we may take an abundant supply. The feeble trickle of the golden oil which the church is experiencing in our days must be due to clogging in the pipes through which our little individual lamps feed from the bowl.

"The presence of the Spirit with Gods workers will give the presentation of the truth a power that not all the honor or glory of the world could give. The Spirit furnishes the strength that sustains striving, wrestling souls in every emergency, amidst the unfriendliness of relatives, the hatred of the world, and the realization of their own imperfections and mistakes. My brethren and sisters, plead for the Holy Spirit. God stands back of every promise He has made. The honor of His throne is staked for the fulfillment of His word to us." Testimonies, vol. 8, pp. 22, 23.

The utter foolishness of attempting to accomplish the gospel commission without this divine assistance is at once pathetic and tragic, from the viewpoint of both the church and the world. Both are losers when man attempts to work without Gods promised aid.

"It is the absence of the Spirit that makes the gospel ministry so powerless. Learning, talent, eloquence, every natural or acquired endowment, may be possessed; but, without the presence of the Spirit of God, no heart will be touched, no sinner won to Christ. On the other hand, if they are connected with Christ, if the gifts of the Spirit are theirs, the poorest and most ignorant of His disciples will have a power that will tell upon hearts. God makes them channels for the out-flowing of the highest influence in the universe."- Ibid., pp. 21, 22.

The experiences of the apostles and of the infant church, following Pentecost, have been set forth for our enlightenment and encouragement. Just as the apostle Paul could say of the Old Testament writings in his day, "For whatsoever things were written afore time were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4), even so may we in the twentieth century say this of what is written in the New Testament Scriptures. The mighty change which Pentecost made in the testimony of the little band of Christian believers could be repeated today, if the remnant church would demand it and prepare to receive it.

"Why has the history of the work of the disciples, as they labored with holy zeal, animated and vitalized by the Holy Spirit, been recorded, if it is not that from this record the Lords people today are to gain an inspiration to work earnestly for Him? What the Lord did for His people in that time, it is just as essential, and more so, that He do for His people today. All that the apostles did, every church member today is to do. And we are to work with as much more fervor, to be accompanied by the Holy Spirit in as much greater measure, as the increase of wickedness demands a more decided call to repentance. From all believers, light is to be reflected in clear, distinct rays. Should not the power of God be even more mightily revealed today than in the time of the apostles?" Testimonies, vol. 7, p. 33.

"Strengthened by the endowment of the Holy Spirit, they went forth filled with zeal to extend the triumphs of the cross. The Spirit animated them and spoke through them. The peace of Christ shone from their faces. They had consecrated their lives to Him for service, and their very features bore evidence to the surrender they had made." The Acts of the Apostles, page 46.

What the Spirit of God accomplished in and through the apostles and early believers in the Christian Era, God intends to accomplish in and through us in our day. To an even greater degree is such consecration to be witnessed now, even as the need in the last days will be greater than it was in the first century. Let us notice the source through which such power was made available to Gods men and women in those early days.

"The word of God--the truth--is the channel through which the Lord manifests His Spirit and power. When by the Holy Spirit divine truths are impressed upon the heart, new conceptions are awakened, and the energies hitherto dormant are aroused to cooperate with God. When, after His ascension, the Holy Spirit brought His teachings to the remembrance of the disciples, their slumbering senses awoke. The meaning of these truths flashes upon their minds as a new revelation, and truth, pure and unadulterated, made a place for itself. Then the wonderful experience of His life became theirs." Ibid., p. 520.

This miracle did not take place in the lives of those with whom Christ had associated most intimately until after He was no longer with them. The beautiful symmetry of His daily life, while it impressed them to the extent that they had already left all to be with Him in constant companionship, could not awaken in them a proper comprehension of its significance while it remained a thing apart from themselves. Nor could the Spirit of Christ become theirs while they were harboring ambitious longings for personal advantage, and the little jealousies of those who felt that others were seeking precedence over them unfairly. To men with such thoughts in mind, the perfection of Christ's character must always be a thing to be admired and longed for but not to possess--a museum piece, as it were, beyond the hope of personal acquisition.

After Christ's ascension and the experience of the ten days preparation in the upper room, things changed. Personal ambitions were relinquished, that Christ, and not they, might be exalted. No longer able to bask in the protection of His perfection, the eleven took a candid look at themselves. In fact, they spent ten days in taking stock of the resources with which they must begin the conquest of the world for their risen Christ. They must have come to the conclusion that they owned pitifully little with which to attack the strongholds of unbelief. This conclusion was exactly what the Holy Spirit wanted them to reach. Only then would they be prepared to admit their emptiness and turn to Him for the heavenly infilling.

Judas's defection and Peter's momentary weakness must have shaken them to the core. If these two stalwarts could be so sorely defeated by the enemy, what hope had any of them of holding out when pressure was applied? And well they knew that in the days ahead strong pressures would be applied to destroy the infant church. Had not their Lord warned them, Yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service"? John 16:2.

From self-distrust developed their preparation for the mightiest infilling of Gods Spirit yet witnessed by this world--Pentecost. And this, says the spirit of prophecy, is to be available to our generation in as much greater intensity as the closing crisis will demand. It is high time to seek such an upper-room experience, that we may come to a full understanding of the Lords plan. We can never accomplish our commission by committee meetings, denominational campaigns, and Ingathering dollars alone. Our men and women are shortening their own lives and limiting their effectiveness by the tensions built up through this very busyness. When will we learn to do as did the eleven before Pentecost? They pushed aside the pressing details of campaign planning to attend to the more necessary tarrying together in prayer and in mutual confession of old grudges, irritations, and all those niggling little inconsequentials which can mar the perfection of our working together. This was work of the first importance and had to be attended to before the Spirit of God could get on with the campaign.

"We are to come in touch with God, then we shall be imbued with His Holy Spirit, that enables us to come in touch with our fellow men. While you look higher than yourself, you will have a continual sense of the weakness of humanity. The less you cherish self, the more distinct and full will be your comprehension of the excellence of your Saviour. The more closely you connect yourself with the source of light and power, the greater light will be shed upon you, and the greater power will be yours to work for God." The Desire of Ages, page 493.

"If the fulfillment of the promise is not seen as it might be, it is because the promise is not appreciated as it should be. Wherever the need of the Holy Spirit is a matter little thought of, there is seen spiritual drought, spiritual darkness, spiritual declension and death. Whenever minor matters occupy the attention the divine power which is necessary for the growth and prosperity of the church and which would bring all other blessings in its train, is lacking, though offered in infinite plenitude." The Acts of the Apostles, page 50. Lest we be disheartened by this clear description of our lethargy, let us turn our attention to the promises given those who avail themselves of this divine energy. The recipients of this promised power need not be only General Conference officials, nor need they be only ordained ministers, or conference employees. God is no respecter of persons. He could make as effective use of Peter, the fisherman, as of Saul, the Pharisee.

"God will move upon men in humble positions to declare the message of present truth. Many such will be seen hastening hither and thither, constrained by the Spirit of God to give the light to those in darkness. Many, even among the uneducated, will proclaim the word of the Lord. Children will be impelled by the Holy Spirit to go forth to declare the message of heaven. The Spirit will be poured out upon those who yield to His promptings. Casting off mans binding rules and cautious movements, they will join the army of the Lord." Testimonies, vol. 7, pp. 26, 27.

"Those who are under the influence of the Spirit of God will not be fanatical, but calm and steadfast, free from extravagance in thought, word, or deed. Amid the confusion of delusive doctrines, the Spirit of God will be a guide and a shield to those who have not resisted the evidences of truth, silencing every other voice but that which comes from Him who is the truth. When we are endowed with the Spirit, we take hold by faith of infinite power." Gospel Workers, page 289.

In closing this chapter on the Source of that power of which Gods church stands in such need in these days, let me cite three more quotations from the pen of inspiration. They turn our thoughts to encouraging results in lives possessed by this divine influence and to the impact of such lives on the world about them.

"Christ Himself calls our attention to the growth of the vegetable world as an illustration of the agency of His Spirit in sustaining spiritual life. The sap of the vine, ascending from the root, is diffused to the branches, sustaining growth and producing blossoms and fruit. So the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Saviour, pervades the soul, renews the motives and affections, and brings even the thoughts into obedience to the will of God, enabling the receiver to bear the precious fruit of holy deeds." The Acts of the Apostles, page 284.

"When the Holy Spirit operates upon the mind, the human agent will understand the statement made by Christ, He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you. Subjection to the word of God means the restoration of ones self. Let Christ work by His Holy Spirit, and awaken you as from the dead, and carry your minds along with His. Let Him employ your faculties. He has created your every capability that you may better honor and glorify His name. Consecrate yourself to Him, and all associated with you will see that your energies are inspired of God, that your noblest powers are called into exercise to do Gods service. The faculties once used to serve self and advance unworthy principles, once serving as members of unrighteous purposes, will be brought into captivity to Jesus Christ, and become one with the will of God." Testimonies to Ministers, page 396.

"Every worker who follows the example of Christ will be prepared to receive and use the power that God has promised to His church for the ripening of earths harvest. Morning by morning, as the heralds of the gospel kneel before the Lord and renew their vows of consecration to Him, He will grant them the presence of His Spirit, with its reviving, sanctifying power. As they go forth to the days duties, they have the assurance that the unseen agency of the Holy Spirit enables them to be laborers together with God." The Acts of the Apostles, page 56.