Who Can Make My Heart Clean?
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The Holy Spirit Cleanses Our Heart
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Let us pray, dear ones. Father, we trust you in the name of Jesus and for his sake and for his glory, and for the exhibiting of him in all our lives. We trust you our Father, tonight to expose the lies of the Devil. We trust you our Father, to expose his lies that we cannot live a conquering victorious life. Father, we trust you to dissipate all the grey area. We trust you to make things black and white for us so that we can glimpse the victory that you are able to bring about in our hearts. Father, we trust you to lead us to throw away all belief in past experiences, all belief in an experience and to look at you and know that you are able to accomplish what you have promised. And that in Christ we are able to be more than conquerors through him that loved us. We trust you for this, our Father, that we may be your sons in spirit and in life. Amen.
I don’t know if you can see from there but you can tell by the smell. It was good cream at one time and I left it too long and it got a bit sour. And it smells sour. And dear ones, it doesn’t matter how often I put good milk into it. It keeps going sour faster than the original stuff did. And I can fill it up again, and again, and again. And maybe a day later the whole jar of milk is sour. And while that sour stuff remains at the bottom you can do nothing. And you’ll continue to sour even the sweet milk that goes in.
And many Christians are experiencing that. They go to a conference like this, and some of the sweet milk of the Holy Spirit pours in. And there’s something sour deep down that makes it all sour two days after the conference has ended. And they’re up on that peak at the conference but two days later the old sour stuff that has never been cleansed away has soured all that has come in. And dear ones, many Christians are living like that. Many Christians are living that up and down existence because they still have something sour at the bottom that they have never had cleansed out. And you know, the only answer to this is for me to put it under the hot tap and to wash it thoroughly and clean out all the sour stuff. And then I can put sweet milk in it and it stays sweet.
And that’s exactly what Peter meant. He said, “You know there came a day when the Father gave us the Holy Spirit. And he cleansed our hearts by faith.” But many Christians are living defeated lives because they have never gone that deep. You know, they came as all of us have done, where they felt that God was condemning them. They saw that angry words were wrong. They saw that dishonest words were wrong. They saw that their actions were all built on building their bank account and on making themselves successful. And they saw that they were under condemnation of death, that the Bible said that the wages of sin was death. And they didn’t know what to do. They felt they had to die. And then the Holy Spirit revealed the blood of Jesus to them. And they suddenly realized that they could present the blood of Jesus on behalf of their sins. They realized that the Father looked down on them. And where he had said before, “I demand your life,” now he was ready to say, “I accept my son’s life on your behalf.” And so when Satan the accuser of the brethren would say, “You haven’t had such a good day today. You haven’t been up so much as you were yesterday,” they got used to saying, “Well no, but that’s not the basis of my acceptance with God. It’s the blood of Jesus. The outpoured life of Jesus pleases my Father.”
But then they began to find that more and more they were needing the blood of Jesus where they hadn’t before. And though all of us, even if we were as saintly as God is able to make us, all of us need the blood of Jesus to be acceptable to God, they found that their life was becoming a series
of hills and valleys. And they began to discover that they were on the top at a conference, or they were at the top at Easter time, or they were at the top when church began in the fall. But there were long, long dry valleys when they began to feel that they were not in grace at all.
In other words, they began to feel great depression in their spirits. And the depression of course was brought by guilt because they could see that certain things were wrong. They could see that they should not break out in bad temper with the children. They could see that that was wrong. And they would pray to Jesus at the beginning of the day that he would control them in this very regard. And then the children would do something and before they knew it the temper was out. And they would go to the Lord Jesus at night and they would plead again his precious blood. And they would confess the sin. And then they would come to repentance. And they would remember the words of some preacher who said, “Repentance is a godly sorrow to Jesus for your sins and an absolute turning from the sin.” And they would remember the words of John when he said, “If we walk in the light as he is in the light then the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.”
But they realized they were not walking in the light because they had confessed this sin yesterday. And so they would walk the next day, and they would walk that day victoriously. And the next day they would lose their temper again with the children. And the guilt would settle on their conscience. And when they tried to plead the blood of Jesus again for that, the words would come in, “If we walk in the light as he is in the light.” And they realized that they had confessed this sin so often to the Father that they were now becoming immune to what even the blood of Jesus could do for them.
And dear ones, there are many I think, dear Christians and many who are even baptized with the Spirit and experience some of the gifts of the spirit who live this kind of up and down life. You remember that Jesus gave the gift of casting out demons and healing to the apostles when he sent them out, the mission of the 70 you remember. And yet even after that James and John will still arguing about the place they were going to get in heaven. Even after that Peter denied his Lord for fear of the little maid and his reputation. And many Christians who seem to have gone on in the Lord in many might ways are experiencing this up and down life.
Now dear ones, you know what that brings. It brings eventually a sense of condemnation that you are a hypocrite. Bit-by-bit you begin to feel that what the people say at home is right. You know, “I wish the church people could see you.” And bit-by-bit you begin to realize that you seem to be leading a double life. You’re one person on the outside, you can control your acts and words at times. And to some people you make a good impression but inside there is a mass of what Jesus said was in the heart. For he said, “It was out of the heart that adultery comes and the jealous comes and envy.” It’s out of the heart that that comes. And bit-by-bit you began to realize that there was something down there that you had never allowed God to touch.
Now dear ones, the Bible has made provision for all that and God has. The Bible has made a clear distinction between sins, your acts and words over which you get victory at the beginning in your converted life and sin in the singular which is the attitude within you that still wants to be a little independent of God in some things. If you read, you see, the book of Romans carefully, you find that the first four and a half chapters are concerned with sins. You very rarely find the singular word sin in the first four and a half chapters of Romans. It talks about sins. And it talks about the blood of Jesus.
You might like to look at one of these places now. In Romans 3:25 you find an example of this. And
if you go through the first four and a half chapters of Romans I think you’ll find that on the whole those chapters talk about sins and the blood of Jesus. You see it says there, taking part of 24, “Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.”
In other words, the first four and a half chapters give us the message that you can be forgiven your sins by God because he looks upon the blood of Jesus, the outpoured life of Jesus, the death of Jesus that has been offered in your place. And therefore you see, there is nothing between you and God. Before, there was death between you and God. Now there is nothing because Jesus has died for you. And he is able to reach right over Jesus and to grip you and draw you to himself. And he forgives you. He restores the relationship that he wants with you.
In other words, the blood of Jesus deals with the forgiveness of our sins. And it refers to the standing we have before God. And so we can go before God in confidence because of the blood of Jesus. But it refers to our standing before God. It refers to our justification. To justify you means God treats you as just for the sake of the blood of Jesus offered on your behalf.
But the second three and a half chapters of Romans deal with another subject completely. There you find the word sins, rarely occurs. But the word sin in the singular occurs often. And there you find the emphasis not so much on the blood of Jesus but on the death of Jesus and on the cross of Christ. And there you find the emphasis is not so much on our standing with God or the state of our own conscience. But you find the emphasis is on our walk with God and our life.
Now dear ones, you can see that yourselves if you look at Romans 6. And these are the second three and a half chapters in Romans. And I’m just taking this one example but you can read through them all and you’ll find this emphasis. Romans 6:4, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death,” no mention of blood but, “Into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
In other words, the emphasis there is on our walk with God. And I suggest to you dear ones, that it’s at that point that many dear Christians who are converted but have had no experience of the death to self, or the deliverance from sin, it’s there that many of us are failing. We are failing to walk in the light because we have taken one truth of Christ’s death for us, and we have utterly forgotten the other side of that truth. And so dear ones, the blood of Jesus is for the forgiveness of our sins but the cross of Jesus and the death of Jesus are for the deliverance of us from sin, in the singular.
In other words, there are two sides to sin. There’s the inward sin in the singular, the inward attitude of independence to God. And there are the outward sins that that begets in our life. There is the inward “dis-ease” where we are at “dis ease” with God’s will. And there are the outward symptoms of that “dis ease”. And, as with the doctor when you come to him, he sees your symptoms first. And so when we first come to Jesus he points to the symptoms on the outside and he says, “Those must first be forgiven.”
But then if we will stay with him and if we will open our hearts to all the Bible demands of us in a victorious life, we will see that Jesus is pointing to the “dis ease” and he is saying, “Listen, that is no use being forgiven. I am not going to forgive you that rebellion which lurks in your heart. That rebellion has to be removed. The disease has to be cleansed. The disease has to be cleansed from the bottom of your heart. Otherwise, every time I pour your spirit in your “dis ease”
with me, will contort what I give you. And you’ll pervert it.”
Now dear ones, do you see that this was the emphasis all through the Bible? That again and again, even the Old Testament while it talks of the need to have our sins forgiven, again and again it says, “I will put a new heart within you. I will take away your old heart of stone and I will put a heart of flesh within you, a heart that can feel me and wants me.” Again and again the Old Testament emphasis, “I will put a new spirit within you.” And dear ones, many of us are trying to walk without entering into the second blessing of Christ’s death. And it is there for us. We can enter into it.
The Bible calls sin by several names. First of all it talks about sin in the singular. And it doesn’t matter what creed of which church you read, the creed will state “We believe that there are the remains of sin even in the born again believer.” Even if you looked at the Baptist church statement of belief, you’ll find that it says that. If you look at the Methodist church statement of belief you’ll find it says that. The Lutheran… They proclaim plainly that even after you’re converted, there remains within you some of this sin.
Now the easy way to see what the sin is, is to take the center letter of it. And many of us come to Jesus and tell him that we want to get into heaven. We tell him that we want our sins forgiven and we want to be accepted by his Father. And we receive forgiveness. But the “I” is still central. And we still begin to rub our hands and tend to say, “I’m glad I’m going to heaven. I’m glad of what Jesus has done for me. And now I want to get on with my life and I want to live it the way I best possibly can, and then be accepted by him, at the end, in heaven.”
But the “I” is central. “It is not for his purposes that I’m living. It’s primarily for my own purposes that I’m living. I want to help with the missions. I want to be a good church member. I want to do as much as I can for Jesus. “I can” for Jesus.” But the “I” is central. And everything in my Christian experience is still being referred to myself. And if someone asked me to do something in the church, I find out whether it’s convenient for me first. And then I may do it. And even when I do-do it if they ask me to sing, I sing. And I sing for the glory of Jesus. But there’s something inside that creeps up and says, “Look at what these people are thinking of you. And look at some of the glory that you’re getting for yourself.” And so this “I” begins to have a greater and greater place in many Christian’s lives until it comes to the place where it begins to break out in outward sin again.
See you know dear ones, it stays for a while where no one can see it. It does stay for a while in the inward part of man’s life. It stays in the realm of the attitudes. It stays in the realm of the motives. You know, you preach. But there’s a voice says, “Look at what they’re thinking of you. Look at what they’re thinking of you.” And the self rises up within. And you don’t want it to rise up, but it rises up. And sometimes you can’t control it. And before you know it you’ve said something that obviously express pride. And you’ve committed an outward sin and then you have to go back and plead the blood of Jesus. And there’s that continual list of confessions and forgiveness’s.
It’s found in the realm of the reactions and the responses. You’re alright while it’s the pastor that’s coming to the house because you know he thinks you’re a Christian and feels you’re a Christian and you ought to be on your best behavior. So you get prayed up so that you will be in good form. And he comes in and everything is right and the kids are in the right place in the other room and the wife is organized. And you’re ready to receive him. And you witness well for Jesus.
And then he goes out and the kids come in and the wife comes in and says, “I forgot that thing you wanted me to get today.” And you say, “You forgot?” And before you know it you’ve responded in a way that shows that what is in will always come out. And dear ones, sin will always come out.
The tragedy is it comes out with the ones whom you ought to love best. Not the ones you love best, the ones you ought to love best. It comes out with them. There you’re relaxed, there you go off your guard. And before you know it the sin is out. And it’s out in the responses and the reactions. Brother Elmer said the same thing, “You know, it’s not the actions that are the trouble to a converted Christian it’s the reactions.” And that’s what shows what’s inside you.
So it’s in the realm of the attitudes and the motives, the reactions and responses, the intentions and the desires. It’s there where we have trouble. And you know what it’s like at times, it’s like a great Alsatian dog–and I think maybe I said this to you before– and it’s running around the room, it’s bounding everywhere in chaos. And you can’t get talking to the pastor. So you take that big Alsatian dog that’s so obvious to everyone, those sins, and you put it in a box. And then you sit on it and you start talking to the pastor. And then after six months or so the dog begins to jump and the box begins to lift and you begin to go up and down and say, “Yes, yes, yes.” And the lid is lifting and you’re having trouble keeping it down.
And you know dear ones, I needn’t tell you because we know what it’s like. You pray for patience. And God doesn’t give you patience. Maybe he gives you a temporary patience but he allows it to break out again. Do you know why? Because you don’t put cosmetics on somebody that has cancer, you see. And he wants you to see your real state. And so he refuses to take away one of the symptoms that show the deadly disease that is within. And he wants you to know that it is possible to remove that, to remove that completely.
How do you know it’s there, dear ones? Well you can do it in many ways. I’d ask you to listen faithfully and honestly as I read these words. “Are you ever conscious of a secret spirit of pride, an exalted feeling in view of your success or position, because of your good training or appearance, because of your natural gifts and abilities? Are you ever conscious of an important independent spirit? Are you ever conscious of a love of human praise, a secret fondness to be noticed, a love of supremacy, a drawing attention to self in conversation, a swelling out of self when you have had a free time in speaking or praying? Are you ever conscious of the stirrings of anger or impatience which worst of all you call nervousness or holy indignation?”
“Are you ever conscious of a touchy sensitive spirit, a disposition to resent and retaliate when disapproved of or contradicted, a desires to throw sharp heated flings at another? Are you ever conscious of a disposition to criticize and pick flaws when set aside and unnoticed, a peevish fretful spirit, a disposition that loves to be coaxed and humored. Are you ever conscious of a jealous disposition, a secret spirit of envy shut up in your heart, an unpleasant sensation in view of the great prosperity and success of another, a disposition to speak of the faults and failings rather than the gifts and virtues of those more talented and appreciated than yourself? Are you ever conscious of a dishonest, deceitful disposition? Are you ever anxious about whether everything will come out alright?”
Dear ones, all those are symptoms of the self inside you that you have never allowed God to deal with. The teaching of the Bible is that we can live the exchanged life. As Jesus exchanged your position on the cross, as Jesus died on that cross for you now he calls you to die on that cross with him. Now many of us fail to see that. Many of us say, “He’s died the death for me now I’m
free to live my own life.” You’re free to live your own life under the tyranny of self. But he has called you to die on that cross with him. He has said to you, “I can bear your sins but I want to bear you to the cross with me.”
Now you can see this, dear ones, in Romans 6 very plainly. “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death.” Now I ask you, do you know that experience? Do you know that experience of being baptized into Jesus’ death? Because that’s the truth that the Bible proclaims. You cannot tame that old self, you cannot train it. That old self has to be destroyed on the cross by Jesus. And he has done it. It says in Romans 6:6, “We know that our old self, our old man was crucified with him.” Why? “So that the sinful body might be destroyed and we might no longer be enslaved to sin,” we might no longer have to cry out, “The good that I would I cannot do and the evil I do not want that’s the very thing I do.” The next verse says, “Who is free from sin?” “Those of us who have died are free from sin.”
In other words Jesus calls you as a converted Christian to come to him on the cross and allow yourself to be crucified with him. And no more of this business, “Thank God that he has forgiven my sins, and now I can get on with my life. And I can have my own way, and insist on my own rights, and stand up for myself, and assert myself, and defend myself.” But, “Now, I can join him on the cross and I can die to this old self within.” But dear ones, do you see that it’s Jesus that has crucified that old self and all you can do is enter into this victory?
So the Bible makes a clear distinction between being born again and dying. It says at the beginning in John 3:3, “You must be born again.” You have to be born again. You have to come into the life of Jesus. But when that life comes into you it will soon begin to tackle another life that’s within you already. And in Galatians 5:17 Paul stated it plainly. He said, “This life of the spirit fights against the life of the flesh within.” And is another word the Bible gives to sin, the life of the flesh, the independent spirit of a man.
Now do you see that it shows itself only slightly in all of us? You know, the Devil is clever and the Devil loves religion. And Christians in whom the old self has not been crucified usually love religion. And they especially love to do a whole lot of work in the church. And they love to get leading positions in the church. And so the Devil loves religion and the old self loves religion. And it really enjoys being looked upon as a Christian worker. But inside all the time it’s perverting everything to its own glory. And the old self takes all the victory out of the Christian life. It destroys your victory.
You come to a time when you know you should have love for the wife and she comes in and she has bought a new dress and she says, “Do you like it?” And the bank account isn’t in too good shape and you say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah it’s alright.” That’s the old self. Do you see? See? Don’t say dear ones, “That isn’t a sin.” That’s a sin of a lack of love. That’s not perfect Christian behavior. That’s not the victory that Jesus has wrought in us. And you know why it’s not, because you’re thinking of the bank account. You have not committed it to God. You’ve said you had, but you haven’t really. And she’s affected the bank account. And you know you are the guardian of the bank account. And it’s your responsibility to take charge of it. And the only way you can take charge of it is by showing her what you think of the new dress. And it all comes from self. Self is in charge of the bank account. And self must up and show its ugly head to the dear one. And it takes all the joy out of the new dress.
Do you think Jesus could organize that bank account even though she bought the new dress? Dear
ones, I know he can. I know he can. Really! But we don’t believe it and we take control. Or, the kids are running around the house and they’re tearing the place apart and somebody is coming. And we don’t know what to do because we are mother. And this is our home. And it’s our responsibility to keep it right. And we want to be like Eve. We want to be as gods. And we want to have this place right. And we are the mother of these children. And it’s our responsibility. And we have never died to our motherhood. We have never died. We have never allowed the mother of that home to be placed on the cross. And so we don’t know what to do and we tell them gently. And we try to be Christian. And then we lose our temper and we’re angry. And then the words fly. And the peace of Jesus rules no one’s heart.
And all the time the Lord Jesus is waiting in the power of the Holy Spirit to cleanse out all that from you. And dear ones, it can be. The Holy Spirit can cleanse all those reactions out of your heart.
Now do you understand that? I don’t mean fight them. You’ve fought them, I know you have because I fought them. You can fight them. And you can call it the fight of faith even though you’re not being biblical. But you can call it the fight of faith. And you can try to pray them down. But there is no victory. There is no victory until Jesus comes in and cleanses those. And in this experience of Jesus’ death on the cross, the Holy Spirit is able to cleanse those things from you.
I don’t know how I could make any more plain the victory, dear ones. Do you see that even if it’s within you, and you don’t express it, that is sin rising up? Do you see that? You come into the church and you see someone whom you know isn’t living a right life and you don’t say a thing. Your face doesn’t even change, but a critical attitude rises inside you. And you just look at them without the pure love of Jesus. That is sin. That is a lack of victory.
I think I told you what I did as a pastor. They would come in to me in the office, and makes some slick comment about the sermon which wasn’t very complementary. And I would grip the chair and smile because a pastor always smiles. And I would smile. And inwardly the old self rose up and said, “What right have you to criticize my sermon? They don’t know any Homiletics.” And dear ones, again and again it’s this reaction within.
It doesn’t show itself outside except that the eyes begin to get a grey look at the back of them. There becomes a defeat into the eyes of Christians who live with the old self alive inside. There comes that defeated look, there comes that strain to the whole face. You know, when you hold a disease down that brings a strain to the face. And these Christians live strained lives. They carry the burden of Christianity on their back. They do not look into the heavenlies in Jesus. But they struggle along.
And you know, they draw up their car to Jesus and they ask him to step in and he steps into the passenger seat and they drive along in their life for six months. And he says, “Turn left.” They turn left. “Turn right.” They turn right. “Go down the hill.” And they go down the hill.
Then he says one day, “Go down through those slums.” And they say, “Father, Lord Jesus, I don’t want to spoil my reputation by going down there and doing that kind of thing. No.” And then they do that a few times. And they turnaround one day and Jesus is not there any longer. And the whole assurance of his presence has gone from their hearts.
Dear ones, there comes a day when you have to stop the car, and get out, and walk around and let
Jesus into the driver seat and then keep your hands off the wheel. Keep your hands off the wheel and say, “Lord Jesus, whatever this means for me, whatever it means, a loss of reputation, it doesn’t matter. I’m dying now with you. I’m willing to die to self. I’m willing to be anything for you.”
How do you enter in dear ones? First of all acknowledge the Holy Spirit as a person. First, do that. Don’t treat him as a force or an influence. Start praying to the Holy Spirit. Now would you do that? A lot of people say, “I know what you mean, I know what you mean. Now Lord Jesus, will you help me here?” Jesus has said, “It is to your advantage that I go away because if I did not go away the Holy Spirit would not come unto you. And he’s the counselor. And when he comes he will lead you into all the truth. And he will convict you of sin.”
So begin to pray to the Holy Spirit. And if you do this tonight, do it this way, dear ones. Address the Holy Spirit in your prayers and say, “Holy Spirit, will you search my old self and see where it’s still alive in me?” And he’ll take you deep down. And he’ll begin to show you the pride that is deep within you. He’ll begin to show you the irritability that is deep within you. He’ll begin to show the root and the source of these things that you really want to be God. You want your own way all the time. You want to rule your own life and everybody else’s. And the Holy Spirit will reveal this to you.
But only he can do it. You can’t do it through introspection. Nee says that introspection is no good to Christians. Introspection does harm because you only look at what you’re prepared to look at. The Holy Spirit will take you into the very heart of yourself where you’ve never seen the evil that is within. Now dear ones, you need to deal with the Holy Spirit in this regard. You know? That’s why at the altar it’s so good to leave your seeking with the Holy Spirit. He is the counselor. He can counsel you. He can reveal to you where this still exists in you.
Secondly, it’s necessary to see the sinfulness of that old self and to see that it isn’t just a shortcoming. And it isn’t just a higher realm in the Christian life you’re concerned with but it’s what Romans 8:7 says it is, “The mind of the flesh, the mind of the old self, the mind of sin, the mind of the eye is enmity against God. It is not subject to God’s law neither indeed can it be.” And dear ones, do you see why it’s so silly to struggle? Do you see why it’s pleasing the Devil tonight if you say, “I have some of those things but I’m not going to come up there and deal with them?”
It pleases the Devil. Because while you’re a Christian with the old self alive you’re at enmity against God. And that is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be. That’s why when you try to get patience or you try to pray anger down you can’t. Because those things are not subject to God’s law. They’re subject only to the power of the evil one within you. And that’s why they need to be crucified. And it’s necessary to see the sinfulness of that.
And then to see thirdly, that Jesus has done something for it. You cannot crucify it. You can’t strangle it. But Romans 6:6 says, “That our old self was crucified with Christ.” Do you realize that’s every one of you? Dear ones, all your pride, all your desire to have your own way, all that strong, stiff necked attitude that you have towards God: That has all been destroyed on the cross of Calvary. It has been destroyed on the cross of Calvary. It is dead already. That old self is dead. And that can be made real in your heart because the Holy Spirit can take of the things of Jesus and impart them to you. By a miracle you can receive the application of that victory to your heart. Romans 6:6, “Our old self was crucified with Christ.”
And lastly, you need faith. You need faith to allow the Holy Spirit to come in and cleanse out all this and displace it with himself. And what is faith? Some people say, “Oh, if I had only faith. I want to pump up faith.” And they pump up faith. And they say, “Our old self was crucified with Christ. Our old self was crucified with Christ.” And they try auto suggestion instead of faith.
Faith is the gift of God. In other words, faith has two sides. It’s first of all a vote of no confidence in self. It’s a readiness to say, “Father, there is no good in me. The anger comes out because that is me. That is what I am. I am anger. It’s not something I do. I am pride. It’s not something I feel. I am envy. It’s not something I show or express. I am envy. I am anger. I am pride. I am a man of unclean lips. Not, I speak unclean words. It’s me that’s wrong. It’s me that has to go to the cross with you. Father, I accept. Holy Spirit, I believe. There is no good thing in me. Even the good things I’ve done in church have been tinged with self and have stolen the glory from God.”
In other words, the first part of faith is not a circling to believe dear ones, but a readiness to accept that there is no good thing in me and a readiness, therefore, to consecrate my whole self to God and a readiness to say, “I’m ready to be anything for you Father.” And the Holy Spirit will come into you tonight and he’ll begin to say, “Are you ready to be anything? Are you ready to fail financially for me? Are you ready to fail financially? Are you ready to sell that house and buy one that I want you to buy or to live in rented accommodation? Are you ready to do without that davenport forever? Are you ready to be a failure in your business? Are you ready to do without your own way at home tonight? Are you ready to do without your summer vacation that you’ve planned? Are you ready to die to your own plans, to die to your future?”
Ah young brothers and sisters. That’s us, you know. We carry the future on our back. We want to be gods in our future. Jesus says, “He who is crucified has died to the future. He has no future.” Are you ready to be dead to your future? And the Holy Spirit will come down and down the line. And then he will say, “Are you ready to be nothing for Jesus if he wants you to be? Are you ready to be nothing? Someone with no reactions, no responses, no opinions? Are you ready to be nothing for Jesus?” And then there comes a blessed moment when the Holy Spirit witnesses that you are ready to be nothing. And he witnesses that you’re at the place of full consecration.
Now the Holy Spirit will tell you that dear ones, you don’t need to struggle to believe that. The Holy Spirit will witness you have reached the ground of your heart. You have seen all that God wants to show you.
And then there will spring up in your heart faith. It will spring up in your heart. You don’t grasp it. You don’t work it up. It springs up in your heart when you’re at the place of full consecration.
But what many of us do is we try to have faith for the death of self over a partially consecrated life and it’s impossible. We work up a human faith and the thing, as we say, doesn’t take or doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because it’s human faith. When you come to the ground of your heart and you’re ready to be anything that the Holy Spirit wants you to be, then faith springs up in your heart and receives the blessed Holy Spirit in. And he comes in. And I don’t know what he’ll do with you. I don’t know how he’ll manifest himself in you. But he will cleanse all that mess out. And he will displace all that unholy spirit that rules your life, and all those unholy desires that you have and those unholy motives. And he will fill you with the very beauty of Jesus.
And dear ones, I can’t tell you the victory that comes into your heart when you find the envy does not rise, when you find the anger is not there, when you find the pride does not rise in that situation, and when you find the motive is clean. And the Father is pleased completely with what he sees in your heart. Ah that’s a joy and a victory that is for each one of us, for every one of us.
What is it to die to self? You die tonight. My mother is lying, her corpse, in our home in Ireland now. You’re dying and you lie here tonight. And you lie there. And what have you died to? You’ve died to your possessions. It doesn’t matter about those possessions they belong to somebody else now. They’re not yours. You’re not concerned with whether that house ever gets painted. You’re not concerned with all that. Your mind is not burdened with all the things that you’re going to do tomorrow. You’ve died to your possessions.
You’ve died to your affections, too. You know, your loved ones may still love you in some sense, but you cannot love them. And it’s a good thing to die to your natural affection, because at times it binds us from doing what we need to do with our dear ones. You die to your natural affections. And you die to your future. You have no future. And you’re called to die tonight to all that. To be as if you were now with Christ in the heavenlies and as if your body belonged to him.
And then tonight, let’s say, we all go out of this auditorium, and during the night Jesus comes in and he sees your body lying there. And he gets inside it and he stands up straight. And then he walks out in your body and walks to your work tomorrow and your friends say, “Good to see you. You’re looking well today.” And you say, “Well no, actually I died last night. And this life, this life that I live is not I that am alive but it is Christ that lives within me. And this life I’m living now I live by the faith of the son of God.” And dear ones, that can be your experience tonight. So that only Jesus, only Jesus thinks and feels in your heart.
The Holy Spirit is able to do that for you. He is able to do that this very night for you. And I testify that he did it for me and that the Holy Spirit is able to keep you clean. He’s able to keep you clean every day as you trust him and obey him. And it need not be a battle. It is victory, victory all the way, inside and out with no “ifs” and no “buts,” and no qualifications. And it’s available for you.
Dear ones, you know you’ve heard God’s word and I trust you now just to respond to the Spirit as he tells you. I wouldn’t stay in my seat if I was defeated. I tell you that. Because the Holy Spirit is present tonight and is able to cleanse you completely and give you victory. So I trust you just to do what God tells you. And if you all have victory then you need to stay in your seats or you need to stay standing. But if you haven’t victory, don’t struggle further. And don’t keep compromising. Don’t keep compromising. Come and receive the Holy Spirit to cleanse your heart from inward sin and give you victory.