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Description: To live fully alive to God means that we must be baptized with the Holy Spirit. What does this mean and what will be required of us?
Spiritual Life #61
The Baptism with the Holy Spirit
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
We’ve been talking the past few weeks about how many of us suddenly discover that our lives are
almost dictated by other people and by other things, and often by the standards that other people
have set before us. That’s why I think so many of us talk about being “under the law” at times,
because we enter into all kinds of silly laws. Laws that people think we should follow if we’re
going to be spiritual people. Laws that people think we should follow if we’re going to become good
children of our parents. Laws that other people think we should follow if we’re going to become
good husbands and wives. And laws yet again that other people think we should follow if we’re going
to be balanced, psychologically right people.
And we’ve shared how many of us get so under this kind of law governed life that we hardly know who
we are. And that there is only one way to find out who we are; and that is to go back to the one
who has made us, and to begin to relate to him, and communicate with him, and to begin to allow him
to tell us why he put us here, and to begin to show us what we are to do in our lives. We talked
about how that was really the new birth — and you can see what a farce we have made of the new
birth. We’ve turned in into some kind of religious magic spell to take away all fear from our lives
when really the new birth is a beautiful coming into fullness of the person that God originally made
but that has been covered for so long by all kinds of demands that our society, and we ourselves,
put upon it.
There is a beautiful spontaneous “you” inside that Jesus can make alive if you will establish a
relationship with him. But if you don’t, and you try to make that “you” come alive, it will grow
into a monstrous self that is so ugly that you will be sick of it yourself and everybody else will
be sick of it, and you’ll have to fall back into the old, law governed life, just in order to exist
in this world with other people.
So loved ones, the only way to really find yourself is to deal with Jesus honestly in your own times
of quietness at home and I would encourage you to do that — that’s what an alter call is all about,
you know. We’ve lost the meaning of alter call, and we’ve lost, so often, the meaning of
confirmation and coming into church membership. All of those things are concerned with us finding
out what our Maker put us here to do and at last beginning to say, “Thank you; yes Lord, I know
that. That feels right to me. Yes, it’s different from what everybody else is doing, it’s
different from what my brother, or my sister is doing, or my parents, but it feels — that’s what
you made me for. And now Lord, what do I do in this situation? What’s the next step for me?” And
you begin to walk a life of direction and a life of certainty. That’s what coming alive in your
spirit is. Your spirit is the real you.
Now what happens with many of us is we’re delighted when we find that experience and we sense that
it is what life was meant to be, and we are happy every day in suddenly following this Lord inside.
Because the amazing thing is he doesn’t dictate to you, he doesn’t dominate you, he doesn’t make you
a slave; he works with you through his love and he woos you as a dear friend so you are willing —
you’re a willing slave, if you like. You find that it’s a joyful thing. You find that it fulfills
you. You don’t feel that you’re following some Master who is dominating you and forcing you; it is
a labor of love and a service of love and suddenly you feel at last free.
Many of us walk that way and then sometimes we look at other people and we begin to think, “Well,
that would be quite nice to do that. And actually they’re not bad things. I haven’t got them
particularly from the voice within, but they’re not bad things and I think I’ll do them.” And we
ease out a little without that slavish, loving servant- relationship to the Master within. We just
move out a little on our own after something that somebody else is doing. And then the next step is
easier because there’s a voice within us that says, “Now the Master told you to get up at this time
every morning for prayer.” And the voice says, “Yes, but it isn’t essential to walk under that kind
of legalism. I can vary it a little.”
And as soon as you begin to listen with your outer ear to other people, other things, other
circumstances, your inner ear of your spirit that has come alive begins to get dull and you get hard
of hearing inside so the way becomes a little vague to you where before, when you were first born of
God, it was clear and clean. Now as you begin to listen to other voices, the way is harder to find
and it’s so subtle because you think you’re finding greater freedom and you think you’re coming into
greater maturity; “Ah yes, at last I’m not just like that simple little babe that was just born of
God yesterday. Now I’m able to discern a little — well, there’s that voice inside that led me and
then there’s this other voice to be considered and then there are the other things I’m reading in
And it all sounds very reasonable and plausible and that’s the way Satan is; very plausible, very
reasonable. You begin to find that you think you’re entering into a new maturity and you begin to
walk that way and then the other calls come very easily. “Well that’s true; I couldn’t walk that
other way throughout my life that’s obvious — it would just destroy you. There are sensible
arrangements to be made for your own physical health, your own wellbeing, your own comfort.” In my
case, I looked at the others in my church in Ireland and I saw they weren’t giving everything to
that voice within, so what was I doing it for? Nobody else was doing it.
I began to feel, “Well, I ought to get on with my life and get into my career, and get into line
with my plans for my married life, and get into line with plans for my family life, and my financial
life.” And loved ones the tragedy is that so many of us begin to slip out of the aliveness and the
individuality that we’ve come into in the new birth, and we begin to fall back under the guidance
that comes from outside.
We begin to look around at other people and decide, “Well, they’re doing it this way. They’re
praying that length of time. They’re reading the Bible this way. They’re going by those books.
They’re going into this kind of business, or into this kind of finance. They’re doing this kind of
thing with their money. They don’t put themselves out for Jesus’ gospel the way we’re doing.” And
we begin to become a little more sensible; in other words — we fall back into slavery to the world.
And the strange thing is, it isn’t a world the way we all painted it; great drunkenness, and
gambling, and terrible sexual immorality it isn’t — it’s just we come back under the world of
events and circumstances, the things in the world, the people in the world. We begin to listen to
them, and it’s not long before we’ve sunk back into a stereotype life again, a life that is governed
from the outside; but this time our situation is worse than it was before because we think we’re
Christians. We’re with religious people, we’re in a good church, and we’re looked upon by everybody
as an enthusiastic follower of Jesus — but we’ve lost our own individuality.
Indeed we have real trouble when we have to give a testimony or we have to give a teaching. We go
to the books and we get an insight that Nee had, or that Andrew Murray had, or somebody else had and
we deliver that. And we begin to find that our prayer lives are pretty dead, pretty cold, we don’t
get much out of them. And actually if this kind of service has not life in itself, we don’t get
much life from it because there’s nothing alive inside us — something has died inside us.
Now we all play the same game; we say, “Well, it couldn’t last forever — there’s a honeymoon time
in everything; it lasts for a while and you’re full of enthusiasm and zeal but you have to get back
down to ordinary life.” Loved ones, that’s where most carnal Christians are. I know it may sound
discouraging to you, but that’s where most of this great spiritual revival — it’s hardly a revival
— this great spiritual moment that is taking place in our nation is; it’s already peaked and
they’re beginning to slide back down into carnality. And the majority will slide right back down,
except that the last state will be worse than the first because they’ll keep using the language of
Zion and they’ll keep talking as if they know the experience, but they’ll have the form of Godliness
without the power of it.
Now loved ones, that’s why you are in danger unless you’re baptized with the Holy Spirit. Unless
you’re baptized with the Holy Spirit you will assuredly fall back into that domination of other
people and other things in your life, because the baptism with the Holy Spirit is going fully and
completely into the Lordship and leadership of that inner voice of the Holy Spirit within you.
That’s what it is.
You’re in your car, you’re going along, you stop and you invite Jesus in. He comes in and sits in
the passenger seat and that’s the new birth. And he tells you, “Drive straight on, drive at this
speed, turn right at this corner.” You turn. “Turn left at this corner.” You turn. “Go up this
hill.” And you look at it and you think, “But Lord, that’s a steep hill.” And he says, “But go.”
You go this time, but then you get over the hill and you go down into a muddy, muddy lane and you
say, “No Lord, I’m not taking my life through that.”
And some of us do that: Jesus says, “Go” and we say, “No,” and we turn the car around and we go the
other way. And we say, “I can’t hear you — what did you say? I can’t hear you” because he’s not
there any longer. But we keep on, “I can’t hear you.” The only way, loved ones, is when you come
to the muddy lane you say, “Lord, if I have to go through this, I obviously have to do whatever you
tell me if you’re going to stay in this life of mine. So Lord Jesus, I’m getting out and you walk
around and get in behind this steering wheel and you take my life wherever you want to.”
Now loved ones, that’s the baptism with the Holy Spirit — that’s the heart of it; it’s giving up
your right to do anything but what that precious voice of the Holy Spirit tells you to do. What it
is, is giving up your right even to debate, that’s what Jesus getting in behind the steering wheel
means; it’s giving up your right even to debate — that’s where the freedom comes. You actually
lose your own life; you actually step out of it. But suddenly you find it — because suddenly you
find that this Savior knows you because he made you. He knows you intimately, knows what freedom is
and what liberty is — for you. Do you see; he’s the only one who can live your life better than
you can because he made you — he knows everything about you.
That’s why you feel things are so natural when he’s guiding you, that’s why you feel such an
individual. That’s why it feels so right; because he’s guiding something that he has designed with
great care, and with great detail. And that’s what the baptism with the Holy Spirit is.
If you’d like to look at just a couple of versus loved ones. There’s John 21, where Jesus
prophesied Peter’s death, or the kind of death he would suffer: John 21:18, “Truly, truly, I say to
you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you
will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.
(This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.)”
And you remember, Peter died by crucifixion. But do you see the words, “and another will gird you
and carry you where you do not wish to go” — that’s what it is to be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
That “another” is the Holy Spirit and it’s to allow him to gird you and carry you, even where you
do not wish to go. It is totally giving up your own right to do what you want when you want to. It
is. It is absolute obedience to the Holy Spirit.
But do you see that anything less than that gets you back into the old, world dominated and society
dominated life? There is only one way to stay in Jesus and that is to cast yourself upon the Holy
Spirit and say, “Whatever you want to do with my life I’m willing for that. Whatever you want, I’ll
do it.” And loved ones, that’s the way it’s worked out.
Acts 16 is one of the examples of the way it’s worked out. Acts 16:6, “And they went through the
region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.
And when they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus
did not allow them.” And that’s the way their lives went; they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to
speak the word in Asia so they didn’t go there. They attempted to go into Bithynia but the Spirit
of Jesus did not allow them, so they didn’t go. So their lives were lived in absolute submission to
the Holy Spirit and you see — he’s inside you.
In a way, the baptism with the Holy Spirit is as much yielding fully to the one who is within you
now at this moment, as it is receiving something new of him. It’s really allowing him, as the Bible
says, to fill you completely; to have his full way in your life; instead of regarding him as an
advisor and consultant, regarding him as your absolute Lord so that you obey him more and more each
day. And as you obey him more and more each day, he leads you into exciting, difficult situations
that you cannot handle yourself, and he provides the gifts of knowledge, and discernment of spirit,
and words of prophecy, and power to heal, and power to praise. That’s it.
There’s no mystery loved ones; no mystery in the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Talk to any of us
who have had the joy of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and we’ll all say the same thing, “The Holy
Spirit overflows your life if you submit absolutely to his directions.” You don’t have trouble with
faith, you don’t have trouble with tongues, you don’t have trouble with gifts of healing, you don’t
have trouble with discernment of spirits; those are all his gifts that he gives when you need them,
to those who submit completely to him.
And it runs throughout this dear book (the Bible), you know. If you look at Acts 8 you’ll see
Philip’s experience and it’s the same experience exactly as the other apostles – the Holy Spirit was
his Lord. It’s Acts 8:26, “But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Rise and go toward the south
to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’” This was the time when the Holy Spirit
dispensation was just beginning, so you get the angel of the Lord, at times, speaking, and then of
course it’s obvious that he is the Holy Spirit. “This is a desert road. And he rose and went. And
behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minster of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of all
her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning; seated in his chariot, he was
reading the prophet Isaiah.”
And then you see, not the angel, but, “and the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go up and join this chariot.’
So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, ‘Do you understand what
you are reading?’ And he said, ‘How can I, unless some one guides me?’” And the Holy Spirit of
course knew that and had brought Philip there. And then you see what happens in Verse 38, “And he
commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he
baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught up Philip; and
the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus, and
passing on he preached the gospel to all the towns till he came to Caesarea.”
That’s the way a man or a woman lives who is baptized with the Holy Spirit; they are guided every
moment by the Holy Spirit and they do what he tells them to do. Loved ones, that’s what it is.
Really in a way the best expression of it is Jesus’ expression to Peter, “Another will gird you and
carry you where you even may not want to go.” And it is like that — it is like laying yourself on
Jesus’ cross and saying, “Wherever you want to take me there I will go.” And the more you yield and
submit to the Holy Spirit in that inner life, the more he fills you, the more gifts he gives you,
the more graces he gives you, the more wisdom and maturity comes into your life, and the more that
Spirit of Jesus shows through your soul and your body to others. It’s an ever increasing fullness
as you yield more and more to the Holy Spirit.
And of course, the great reason for that is in Jesus’ explanation in John 16:12, “I have yet many
things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide
you into all the truth.” Now there’s no one can guide you into the truth but the Holy Spirit; there
isn’t loved ones. You may think, “But you could pastor, or some other writers could.” No loved
ones, they cannot give you eyes to see the truth. When you hear the truth from my lips, or you read
the truth in a book you just read the framework of the truth, the intellectual expression of the
truth. But unless the Holy Spirit guides you into the truth, you never receive it.
That’s why so many of us can listen to the same things and we aren’t liberated by them at all.
Indeed, they come as burdens and heavy weights to us whereas to others they seem to liberate them,
because they are being guided into the truth by the Holy Spirit. Now, he can only guide those who
obey, those who submit completely. “For he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he
hears he will speak.” God whispers to the Holy Spirit, “Tell Bob that’s what he’s to do. Tell Jeff
that’s what he’s to do. Tell Sue and John, that’s what they’ve to do. Tell Clyde, that’s what he’s
to do. Tell Ernest O’Neil that’s what he’s to do.” That’s the beauty of it.
It’s amazing, but that’s the way it works so that you can actually know what your Maker wants you to
do at the actual moment he wants you to do it so that your life changes from a life of “betters and
less bad” to the best. It changes from a life of guessing, and “I feel that’s what I should do” and
“I think that’s what I should do” and “that’s what appears to me to be the right thing to do” to a
guided life; a life of certainty, a life of confidence. Loved ones, that’s the way it works. The
Holy Spirit doesn’t speak on his own authority; he speaks within you what the Maker wants you to
know at each moment so that you don’t depend on some body like this (indicating the church
congregation) for stability.
You remember I shared that with you that we’re not together to help each other; we’re together for
ministry. But suddenly you are stable as a rock yourself. Why — because you’re hearing the voice
of the rock. The Holy Spirit does not speak on his own authority but, “Whatever he hears he will
speak, and he will declare to you the things that are come.” That’s why your life suddenly becomes
a life of rest. That’s why before you’re baptized with the Holy Spirit you’re repeatedly in panic-
stricken situations and worried anxious situations. But now the Holy Spirit tells you the things
that are to come ahead of time, warns you of the temptations, gives you a sense of where you are,
and so you walk with quiet certainty. There is no panic, and no anxiety in your life and he tells
you the things that are to come ahead.
How does he do it — beautifully. Not always by giving you the worry of having to think of
tomorrow, but he knows what’s coming tomorrow and he gives you certain commandments for today that
prepare you for tomorrow so that your life becomes a magic life. Your life becomes a life of quiet
peace and confidence. You suddenly find things falling into place and at last you begin to realize,
“This is the normal way.” The abnormal way is finding yourself tripping up over things, or being in
the wrong place at the wrong time, or not being at the place at the right time.
The normal is this charmed life where the Holy Spirit knows what’s coming and he prepares you today
for it. But do you see he can only do it if you submit to him, really in a way, with a fear of ever
missing his voice. It’s not a terrifying fear but it’s, “I don’t want to miss him; this is the
right way and I wouldn’t dream of missing it. I’m afraid not to fulfill exactly what you tell me to
do.” That’s what it is loved ones.
“He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” And that’s how your
character becomes more like Jesus, because the Holy Spirit takes what belongs to Jesus and declares
it to you. Now that word “declare” in Greek has the same meaning as the word in Genesis where God
said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. It’s that kind of thing; the Holy Spirit declares
it to you by making it real in you. He says it, and the love of Jesus is in your heart. He says
it, and the long suffering of Jesus is in your heart at the moment you need it. He says it, and the
patience of Jesus is in your heart at that moment.
The Greek word is better translated “shares with you all that Jesus has” and your life becomes
increasingly like Jesus — not through a lot of tired effort full of straining and trying, but
through the Holy Spirit automatically making these things effortlessly real in you. And that’s what
it is to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. And loved ones, the only need is an absolute dying to
what you yourself want to do. That’s it. But it does mean that. There’s no one who’ll be baptized
with the Holy Spirit while you’re still looking for something for yourself.
You’ll notice that the Holy Spirit, Jesus says, “When he comes he will glorify me.” He will glorify
Jesus and that’s who he’s come to glorify. He hasn’t come to glorify you and if you’re still after
some glory, or some gratification for yourself, the Holy Spirit cannot abide in your heart and dwell
there and you will not hear his voice. That’s why I push you so hard on the marriage thing and on
the success thing and your career thing and on having your friends like you, and on having
circumstances the way you want them; because you can’t get anything for yourself and have the Holy
Spirit as well. You can only be baptized with the Holy Spirit if you are willing to live for Jesus
and for his purpose in the world and that only.
As long as you keep caviling; arguing and protesting “My wife will suffer”, or “my husband will
suffer,” or “my child will suffer,” or “my friends will suffer,” you’re still on the wrong side of
Calvary — you’re only protecting yourself. Because do you really think God is going to give
directions to the Holy Spirit for you that will harm your loved one, or will harm your husband or
your child or your friends or your mother or your father? Does he not love them all far more than
In other words, its absolute trust that the Holy Spirit, the boss inside, the Master that is alive
within you, has the right to tell you whatever you’re to do in your life. And when you do that, the
Holy Spirit anoints you with the power that is needed to live the life that God has for you. But it
does mean everything. And unless you settle that, you’ll be like the Christians that we talked
about; the cares of this world and the anxieties of society will absolutely overcome you, they’re
bound to. You will have nothing left, nothing worth calling real salvation, unless you go all the
way with the Holy Spirit.
Now could I bring to your mind a serious verse in Psalms 127:1-2? And this applies particularly to
those of you who are in this body here, but loved ones, it’s to all of us who are in living churches
that have a ministry. “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless
the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up
early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”
Some of you might realize that this is near the end of 10 years of us sharing together,
continuously, about this very subject.
For 10 years loved ones, many of you here have listened to me preach to you, encourage you, testify,
recommend books to you, outline in diagrams to you, tell you of the benefits of the baptism of the
Holy Spirit. Now do you know that we in our body, I believe, are at a new stage of development?
The house is pretty well set up — it is; we have a church here that is known throughout the Twin
Cities for various reasons, but it’s known. We have large numbers of loved ones such as are here
tonight who love what God has done among us. So the church is established.
We have family groups, we have seminars on Sunday morning, we have prayer time on Sunday morning, we
have prayer time on Sunday evening, we have prayer time on Friday nights, and we have fellowships in
our houses on Wednesdays. We have an eldership, we have all the money that God wants us to have;
the church is established.
And incredible though it is, we have businesses here in this building that minster virtually 24
hours a day. A great advantage that we have over loved ones here that are from other churches, we
have a ministry going on in this building to the public through 80 or 90 of us everyday of the week
and the businesses are solvent and are alive financially.
We have the beginnings of a missionary outreach abroad. We have a station in London, and we will be
moving into Mexico next month. The world missionary movement has begun. But, on top of all that,
we have a seminary offering more subjects than many of the established seminaries in these cities.
And on top of that, we have probably the most striking and the most powerful witness on the
university campus in the midst of fraternity row with the Colony Inn Cafeteria, and with the whole
connection with the frats that we have through Colony Inn.
So the whole thing is set up except that, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it
labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in
vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to
his beloved sleep.” In other words, the only way any of all of this will count for Jesus, the only
way any of it will bring one person into the kingdom, the only way any of it will avoid being burned
up on the day of judgment, the only way any of it will be used for eternal benefit is if you operate
That is if you do all the things that we’re doing, then realize at the end you are unprofitable
servants because serving the meals in the restaurant, producing the plaques in the basement,
teaching the classes, running the fellowships, leading the services produce nothing; they are human
actions — unless you do them by faith that the Lord will add his blessing. Without the blessing
of the Lord, all of this is foolishness.
And here’s the interesting time we’ve come to. From ages 33 to 36 I was on the campuses — that’s
where I was. I took my amplifier on to the mall and I spoke there at lunch times. I witnessed on
the campus, I walked through the halls and I talked to people. I did that until I was 36 and then I
started to do it with all of you. So for 10 years I’ve done it but I’m 46 now, and apart from the
color of my hair which is turning gray, it’s not my time any longer to do that. There are other
things that I’ve to do. But the mantel is falling on your shoulders. You’re in your 30s; you’re
where I was 10 years ago — it’s now your responsibility.
God has opened out to us the campuses of these Twin Cities and we are called, by Jesus’ guidance,
“Campus Church” because that is our ministry. And the Father has given us an incredible opportunity
in those campuses, but unless you begin to labor by faith you’ll eat the bread of anxious toil and
you’ll rise up early and you’ll go late to rest, and the Lord will not give to his beloved sleep,
unless you begin to be mighty men and woman of faith. And faith, working faith, is a gift of the
Holy Spirit whom he gives to those who are baptized with himself.
Loved ones, you can’t go on without being baptized with the Holy Spirit, you can’t. Because, I’ll
tell you — my ministry changed after I was baptized with the Holy Spirit and you’re not going to do
anything with all this that is handed over to you. It’s going to be an empty shell that will become
the kind of byword that you remember, that God talks about in 2Chronicles 7:20-21 when he says,
“(cid:160)and this house, which I have consecrated for my name,(cid:160)I will cast out of my sight, and will make
it a proverb and a byword (cid:160)among all peoples. And at this house, which is exalted, every one passing
by will be astonished, and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this to land and to this house?’”
Loved ones, that’s it; unless you are baptized with the Holy Spirit, unless you are prepared to
give your whole life and everything you’ve got to doing what Jesus came here to do, unless you’re
willing to put that first, and to get up at five in the morning if he tells you to get up at five in
the morning, or whenever, and unless you’re prepared to go when he tells you to go, you will become
boring old miserable stereotype carnal Christians who are absolutely paralyzed. And I’ll tell you;
the only kind of people that will make a difference to these Twin City campuses is mercurial people
— people who move with the speed and agility of mercury, and who are willing to move to this
person, and that person, call at this person’s house, go to this person’s apartment, check on this
person’s frat house, speak to this person on campus; go when you’re told to go. But if you’re going
to become a group of goose stepping, militaristic, communist, stereotype soldiers nothing will be
done by God through you. That’s true.
So you can all think, “Oh this is a great thing we’ve got.” Some of us here remember those days in
the dance theater on Cedar Avenue and the excitement of those days because if the Holy Spirit said,
“Go” we went. And now that God has given us such advantages and such seeming power — but the only
real power is in the heart that is submitted to the Holy Spirit — but God has given us such
advantages now — are we too rich? That is, do we have too many advantages now? Are we preoccupied
with the institution that we’ve now become? Are we preoccupied with the power of being on
television and trusting it to do this or that, or the power of a preacher to influence this way or
that way? If you are, you’ll never be baptized with the Holy Spirit because you’re depending on
other powers rather than the one power that God has given to you and that is the Holy Spirit.
I am not a power in your life. I am not a power for your life. This body is not a power for your
life. All the rest of us will not enable you to do one thing for Jesus. But you have a greater
being within you than all of those things; you have the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity
within you. And if you will begin to yield to him completely, he will make you the kind of
mercurial, flexible, anointed person who can begin to bring hundreds into his kingdom.
Now loved ones, I do believe that you are facing what I faced 10, 15 years ago; it’s being handed
into your hands. I’ll be preaching here, I’ll be trying to guide the writing and the production of
video, and the international work, and try to continue to open new stations but it’s up to you, now,
to begin to fill this house with the loved ones from the Twin Cities campuses. Because those are
the ones that will primarily be the 10,000 who will go abroad for Jesus.
And of course you loved ones who are from other bodies, the same applies; you simply substitute your
own church because it all is the same — the only power that you will ever be in this world, the
only hope you have of living an individual life that when you come to the end of you can say, “I
have fought a good fight. I have finished the race that was set before me,” the only hope you have
of doing that is if you will yield completely and utterly to the control and the leadership and the
commandership of the Holy Spirit.
Its easy where you start; you deal immediately with the things that come to your mind as we share
tonight. And loved ones, if you’re going to argue, “Well I can’t, I can’t” God knows you won’t.
God knows it’s not you “can’t”, God knows it is you won’t. We can bluff each other and we can talk
each other into sympathizing with each other — but I know you can if you but will. You can if you
will in Jesus — just on the basis of the promise alone, “I can do all things through Christ who
strengthen me.” That is both true and right and applies in every situation, or it’s wrong and it’s
just a false promise. But you can stop doing whatever the Holy Spirit has begun to check you about
in your life, and you can start doing whatever he has told you to do. You can.
Here’s the tragedy; that hell is filled with people who saw what they should do and said, “I can’t,”
but really meant, “I won’t because I’d rather do the other and I’d rather have the kind of
comfortable and safe life that I can control myself.” Loved ones, hell is full of people who have
come this far and have not gone on with Jesus, so it is serious. And there is no easy way, there
isn’t. If you ask me how I came into the baptism of the Holy Spirit — by violence. The kingdom of
God is taken by violence; there is no easy way.
It was never any easier to stop the sins that he had shown me in my life. It wasn’t. It was just
as hard at that moment as it was before. Indeed, it was harder because I had persisted in them so
long. But there has to come a time when you are willing to sell all the pearls that you posses to
buy the one pearl of great price. There has to come a time when you are willing to deal with Jesus’
command to the rich young ruler, “Sell all that thou hast and give it to the poor.” When Jesus
speaks to you about your most precious possession, what you most want to hold on to, then you will
have to decide whether you’re ready to do that or not.
Could I remind you of those melancholy words, “The harvest is passed, the summer is ended and we are
not yet saved.” Now this is 1980, many of us came together in 1970 and some of us even before that.
Another winter of evening services is coming to an end. Now I haven’t talked this way to you
before because I felt we’re all young and we have years to live. Except that now we’re beginning to
realize that it isn’t going to go on forever and unless you enter into the baptism of the Holy
Spirit it’s going to be one or two of us baptized with the Spirit with a lot of grown up children
Loved ones, the summer is past and the harvest is ended and we are not yet saved. How long are you
going to wait? When are you going to be baptized with the Holy Spirit? If you’re ready at the
moment to surrender all, then go by faith and receive the Holy Spirit by faith tonight and go out a
slave of the Holy Spirit, obeying him in everything that he wants. And if you miss it once get back
to him and say, “I’m back, I’m with you, you’re my Lord and my commander.”
If you’ve come to the place where you’ve examined your life and you’ve dealt with the sins and
you’re ready to surrender all, then simply come up at the end of this service and receive the
baptism with the Holy Spirit by faith to anoint you with the gifts, as he wants you to have them,
and to cleanse your heart, and to keep it clean by your absolute obedience to him. And then walk
out of here in that faith, which is simply believing that he is with you, and obeying everything he,
tells you to do. Then walk on higher and higher through the rest of this week and through all the
And those of you to whom this has come home for the first time, deal tonight. There are plenty of
people who have been baptized with the Holy Spirit on the same night that they heard of the baptism
with the Holy Spirit. But many of you have already been seeking for many months, if not years.
Loved ones, there has to come a time when you’re so desperate that you cannot do without him. And
actually, I’ll tell you, that’s the secret. That’s why I came. That’s why I came. It wasn’t
because the thing was suitable; it wasn’t even a service like this. It was at my own parsonage in
North Minneapolis, in my own bedroom, on a Saturday morning. I had nobody by me and I hadn’t read
as many books as most of you have on the subject. I certainly hadn’t had a fraction of the
preaching that you have had. Loved ones, you don’t need lots of knowledge, you don’t need all kinds
of people around you slapping you on the back and praying for you, you simply need to be so
desperate that you cannot take another step in this self dominated life that you’re living, in this
half life that you have. That’s all it takes. The Holy Spirit meets, graciously, anyone who is
willing to surrender all. And that’s – there is no other way to go actually.
When you’ve come as far as you’ve come, you’re spoiled for the world and there is actually no other
way to go. In your heart you know that, and yet loved ones, do you realize that you can
procrastinate and procrastinate and procrastinate until you begin to be able to face this kind of
message with no trouble at all? Until eventually you begin to so grieve the Holy Spirit that you
don’t even any longer believe he is the Holy Spirit. You can get yourself into a place where there’s
nothing that you can hear anymore.
I do think you have a great responsibility. I don’t think there’s any need for me to do a lot of
counseling with you. I think it would be good if the elders would stay and pray, and put a shelter
of protection around those of you who seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit. But unless you’re very
anxious for somebody to counsel you, I think the counseling can be an excuse for not yearning your
way through in desperation to God the Spirit.
And I would suggest to you that if you know your Savior, and you know what he’s done for you, and
you know that it’s the only meaning of life that there is, and you know that there’s nothing else
worth giving your life to, then I would suggest to you that you settle things with your Lord
face-to-face, and you settle things with his dear other self and counselor, the Holy Spirit, and you
bind yourself together with him in a solid covenant from this day forward to obey him absolutely
whatever it costs.
Whether it cost you money, or comfort, or sleep, or pain, or failure in other people’s eyes, whether
it costs you a lost reputation or criticism or opposition, whatever it costs; make a solemn covenant
with him that you will obey him absolutely from this moment on. And then a new life opens before
you, just a new life; a life of liberty, a life of freedom, a life of power, a life that is
endlessly interesting because you’re no longer in those old stereotype habits that you find your
days filled with now, because you’re at last ready to go. He tells you to go to McAllister, you go
to McAllister, you don’t know who you’re going to meet there, but you go and you trust him to tell
you. He tells you to go to the mall and you go to the mall. You don’t know who you’ll meet but
Suddenly your life is freed from the boredom of the stereotyped existence where you go home every
night and have your supper and then you watch TV or you read and then you go to bed. What a half
life, not worthy to be called a life loved ones, but that’s what the life filled with the Holy
Spirit would mean; it would mean that kind of flexible anointed life that is ready to move when the
Spirit within you tells you to move — and oh, that’s liberty. That is liberty.
Suddenly when you’re on your own, you’re not on your own; there’s this Master within you and you’re
at his beck and call. Uncomfortable in many ways, but livelier! Not the death of self simply
getting what it wants, but the aliveness of a Master within you who knows the whole of the universe
and knows what you’ve to do in it. Loved ones, that’s real life, and it can be yours — it can be
If you feel you shouldn’t stay any longer tonight, it’s very important then to go down to the
restaurant and join in what everybody is doing down there, or to go home. But if you sense you
should seek the Holy Spirit and mark this: don’t seek the Holy Spirit because you think I would
like you to seek the Holy Spirit. Don’t get into that, because if you get into that sort of stuff
right off, there’s no chance of coming to the baptism with the Holy Spirit. You have to at least
begin seeking him because he’s moving you to; not because you’re wondering what everybody else will
To help you, I myself am going home, because I think the Holy Spirit is able to bring you through.
I would ask the elders to stay to provide that shelter, but I want to be out of this thing
completely because we don’t need more people who are following somebody else, we need more people
who are following the Holy Spirit and we need soldiers by our side who will stand when we fall, not
soldiers who will fall when we fall.
So loved ones, it’s really up to you. Be wise; maybe the Holy Spirit is telling some of you to go
home and do this — that’s okay. Let’s have real freedom, a real freedom to go or stay as we want.
You can pray where you are at your chair, or you can come up and pray here. You can go up to the
lounge as well, you can go anywhere in the building, and you can seek the Holy Spirit.
I have often sought the Holy Spirit with loved ones until one or two o’clock in the morning. You
can seek him as long as you want. And those of us who have to close up the building, we can just
come in late tomorrow morning. But do what has to be done. Some time you’re going to have to make
a stand, do you realize that? Some time you’re going to have to put yourself out if you want God’s
So I would suggest loved ones, that after the closing song that those of us go who are to go. And I
would ask the elders if they wouldn’t mind staying to help those who need help and then the rest of
us do what we need to do. The important thing is; do what you know in your heart you should do. Not
what I think you should do, but what you think you should do.
And loved ones, I will pray that hundreds of you would actually come through, because the world is
fast going the wrong way and unless there are people in power like the apostles, there will be no
turning it back. Now, what I would suggest is we sing the last hymn “Dear Jesus, Thou art
everything to me” and then I’ll pronounce the benediction. after that loved ones, and then just do
what you want at that point.