But Ye Shall Receive Power 2

By Ray Foster

 

Studying about the Holy Spirit is a subject that gives great joy to God. God wants with longing desire to see the reproduction of His character is you and me. He created, redeemed and adopted us to be His children. God has made every provision that we shall reflect His character. We are all developing character day by day. The issue is whose character are we developing. Each day we develop a character like Jesus or a character like Satan. Whose character we develop is whose children we are. That is why Jesus likened the judgment to a shepherd separating the sheep from the goats. And we are now in the day of Atonement. We are to be asking ourselves whose character am I developing day by day.

The gift of the Holy Spirit is a gift that contains every other gift from God. That is why the subject of the Holy Spirit is of great importance. We saw last time that all who are willing, will be filled with the Holy Spirit. "The lapse of time has wrought no change in Christ's parting promise to send the Holy Spirit as His representative. 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 the fulfillment of the promise is not seen as it might be, it is because the promise is not appreciated as it should be. If all were willing, all would be filled with the Spirit." AA50 It is willingness that God is waiting for in His people. "Thy people [shall be] willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth." Psalms 110:3

There are five questions we are addressing in this series of studies on the Holy Spirit:

  1. What does it mean for the Holy Spirit to come upon me and upon us?
  2. How can I cooperate with Jesus’ desire that I and we be baptized with the Holy Spirit like He was?
  3. How can I tell if I have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
  4. How can I tell if the power I have received is from God or from the Devil?
  5. What about the outpouring of the Latter Rain – what is the relationship between being baptized now with the Holy Spirit and receiving the outpouring of the Latter Rain?

Last time we studied the question: What does it mean for the Holy Spirit to come upon me and upon us?

Who can answer that question? What does it mean for the Holy Spirit to come upon me and upon us?

We saw that it meant that we were willing to choose every time what the Holy Spirit suggests and tells us for our thoughts and feelings and decisions. We were willing through the power of the Holy Spirit to be completely done with sin and sinning. No more doing my own thing and my own will. I am willing every day to do God’s will and God’s will only and always with joy and gladsome consent.

Now at this time we want to deal with the second question:

How can I cooperate with Jesus’ desire that I and we be baptized with the Holy Spirit like He was?

First of all you must chose to believe and love God. "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:5.6

So those are the three things that make up my part to be baptized with the Holy Spirit:

  1. Chose to believe God.
  2. Chose to love God supremely.
  3. Chose to diligently seek Him because I know that He is the great reward, the great goal of life.

The way we diligently seek Him is to open the door of your heart to the knocking of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20

Jesus knocks on the door of our heart and mind in many ways. We have all heard Him knock because He knocks on the heart door of everybody. It is written:

"[That] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

"He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

"He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:9-13

We need experience to recognize His knocking and experience in responding quickly and positively to His knocking. Then Jesus will come in and advise us and counsel us and comfort us with His presence. We need to recognize the knock of Satan and ask Jesus to answer the door when we hear Satan knock and Satan will flee from us in terror when Jesus answers the door. Enoch walked with God 300 years on earth. We are told that Enoch educated himself to be conscious of God’s presence.

 

"It was through constant conflict and simple faith that Enoch walked with God. He realized that God is "a very present help in trouble." When in perplexity, he prayed to God to keep him, and teach him His will. What shall I do to honor Thee, my God? was his prayer. His will was submerged in God's will. His feet were always directed in the path of obedience to God's commandments. Constantly his meditations were upon the goodness, the perfection, the loveliness, of the divine character. His conversation was upon heavenly things; he trained his mind to run in this channel. As he looked to Jesus, he became changed into the glorious image of his Lord, and his countenance was lighted up with the glory that shines from the face of Christ."{ST, October 12, 1904 par. 3}

 

"Enoch walked with God three hundred years previous to his translation to heaven, and the state of the world was not then more favorable for the perfection of Christian character than it is today. And how did Enoch walk with God? He educated his mind and heart to ever feel that he was in the presence of God, and when in perplexity his prayers would ascend to God to keep him." {LDE 71.1} Last Day Events

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

"Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." Matthew 16:24-8

Peter, James and John saw Jesus glorified in the mountain. I believe that many of us will see Jesus glorified – not on a mountain apart – but in the skies of heaven for all to see in His second coming. I believe that we have come to the time of the full and final fulfillment of this statement of Jesus.

The cross of Jesus is where our will and the will of God crosses. That is the cross of Christ for me and for you. What we do at that decision point determines our destiny. If we deny ourselves and do what Jesus wants us to, we have taken up our cross. If we do our own thing in opposition to the will of God we deny Jesus and have not taken up our cross.

It is the power of the Holy Spirit that gives us both the desire and the power to say no to self where it conflicts with the will of God and yes to Jesus. We cannot say no to self and yes to God in and of our own selves. Whenever we deny self and do the will of God we are living by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The thing for us to understand is this. Satan would have us think that it is slavery to do God’s will and freedom to do what is against God’s will. That is a lie. Satan would have us believe a lie. The truth is just the opposite from the lie that Satan would have us believe. To do God’s will is in the highest sense freedom. To do our own will in opposition to the will of God is slavery to Satan. The reason for this is simple. God never asks us to do anything that is not for our own best good. God is love. All His biddings are enablings. All that God asks us to do is good and right and in our own best interest. To go against the will of God is to seek death.

Proverbs 21:6 "The getting of treasures by a lying tongue [is] a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death."

Proverbs 8:36 "But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death."

 

What you believe to the point of action changes you. If you believe that it is impossible to live the Divine Life, that belief will make it impossible for you. If you believe that living the Divine Life is possible and necessary to please God, the promise is "according to your faith, be it unto you" Matt. 9:29

 

"Through belief in Satan's misrepresentation of God, man's character and destiny were changed, but if men will believe in the Word of God, they will be transformed in mind and character, and fitted for eternal life. To believe that "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16), will change the heart, and reproduce in man the image of God." {1SM 346.1}

 

"As soon as your minds harmonize with the mind of God, you will be brought into touch with an intelligence that will communicate to you lessons that will be of invaluable help in your work of teaching. As you tell the children the story of the cross, your own souls will be lifted above gloom and despondency. In considering the Redeemer's infinite sacrifice, you will lose all desire for the things of this world."{CT 184.3}

I was less than five years of age when I struggled with a question for days in my mind. The question was – shall I lie down and die or shall I agree to work? That is how I saw the choice in life as a five year old. My heroes in life as a five year old were the Bushman I knew. I had gone with my Dad into the Kalihari and seen the Bushman. They were my childhood heroes. I wanted to be a Bushman. Being a Bushman meant that I could go where I wanted to go and do what I wanted to do all day and play and play and play every day. I wanted to be a Bushman. But I knew very well that my parents did not agree with this plan. My parents wanted me to work, work, work! And I knew that I could not resist my parent’s plan for me in life. So the choice seemed to me to lie down and die or work, work, work! And I struggled with this question for many days. Finally I came to the decision that it would be better to work and to agree with what my parents wanted me to do than it would be to lie down and die. I have never regretted that decision. Today I would rather work, work, work than to play, play, play. In fact I don’t know how to play – but I do know how to work – and work is better than play!

Listen to this quotation from Our High Calling page 106

"We are to cultivate the talents given us by God. They are His gifts, and are to be used in their right relation to each other, so as to make a perfect whole. God gives the talents, the powers of the mind; man makes the character. The mind is the Lord's garden, and man must cultivate it earnestly in order to form a character after the divine similitude." {OHC 106.7}

The talents God gives us are the powers of the mind. What we do with the powers of our mind determines our character. The mind is God’s garden. Man must cultivate it earnestly in order to form a character after the divine similitude. The constant conflict that Enoch had was saying no to the weeds that wanted to grow in the garden of his mind. Keeping God in mental sight is cultivating the garden of our mind. It is as we behold God by faith that we are changed into His image.

2 Corinthians 3:18 "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord."

So those are the three things that make up my part to be baptized with the Holy Spirit:

Chose to believe God.

Chose to love God supremely.

Chose to diligently seek Him because I know that He is the great reward, the great goal of life.

The greatest joy in life is the consciousness that I am where the Lord wants me doing what God wants me to be doing. The reason for joy is that there is where Jesus is. And Jesus is the fountain of life and joy and happiness. It is impossible to please self. It is impossible to find joy and pleasure by seeking joy and pleasure. Joy and pleasure is found only in seeking and doing the will of Jesus.

Psalms 16:11 "Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence [is] fulness of joy; at thy right hand [there are] pleasures for evermore."

Then like Jesus and like Enoch at each step in life’s pathway ask: "Is this the way of the Lord?" "Lord, what do you want me to do?"

Call: Who are willing to deny self and take up the cross of Jesus and follow Jesus day by day?