Baptism of the Holy Ghost & New Testament Reality (Part 2)
Continued from the previous issue...
I guess the burden that I have this morning is simply this: Here we have this New Testament, and all of the beautiful things that are written in it. But what does it do for us if we’re not going to walk in the anointing of the Spirit of God? What does it do for us? The New Testament becomes a book full of dreams, that’s all.
It becomes a book of heavy reminders of unreality in our lives. It can be a book if discouragement as we look again, and again, and again. We open the Bible read what it says and then confess, “I’m not there…I’m not there…I’m not there…and I’m not there. I read those words about spiritual weapons, but I don’t know what spiritual weapons are in reality. I read about the armor, but I don’t understand what that means in reality. I read about a ‘spiritual ministry,’ but what is spiritual ministry to me?” The New Testament becomes a book full of dreams to us.
Just a few thoughts and meditations from the heart of a pastor. My heart is soaring in the lofty revelations of the New Testament. I’m thrilled with the New Testament. When I read in the New Testament, it exists in my heart. I see, and I want to say, and I want to tell, and I want to preach, and I do.
God began to lay all of these things on my heart. I don’t know if I can tell you when, but I began to give them to the people, week after week, not in condemnation, but to lay them out and say to the brothers and the sisters, “Brothers, this is it! Look at it! Look what the Bible says! Look what the New Testament says! Let’s go for this! Let’s go for this kind of life! Come on, let’s go!” But all the while doing that and saying those words, as the weeks and months go by and turn into years, it takes a while to get through, realizing that so many of the people do not live anywhere near this. They don’t live anywhere near this, and if you’re a minister in this room, you know that’s the way it is. You know it.
Slowly it dawned upon me as I prayed. You know, when you minister to your people, and you know you’re giving them solid meat, good stuff, things that could change their life, and you don’t see them changing, you have to then say, “What’s wrong, here? Is there something wrong with me?” And I’m sure that there’s something wrong with me. But slowly it dawned upon me as I prayed about it (I pray about it much), that these people can’t do this stuff. They’ve never been empowered by the Holy Ghost. They can’t do this stuff.
I’m getting up on Sunday morning, preaching out of Ephesians, Chapter 3, “Strengthened with might by His spirit in the inner man.” I would finish my sermon, and go sit down and everybody just sat there, and they didn’t even say anything. At first I thought, “Hey, maybe I didn’t do that right.” No one’s saying anything. I try to figure it out, but I think I figured it out. They’re just sitting there thinking, “Oh! I am no where near that! I have nothing to say! I’m just going to sit here.” It began to dawn upon me: These people can’t do this. They’ve never been empowered with the Holy Spirit! They’ve never been overwhelmed with the Spirit of the living God. They’ve never been strengthened with might by His spirit in the inner man (Ephesians 3:16). They don’t know the reality of Christ dwelling in their hearts by faith. They are not comprehending the breadth and the depth and the lengths and the height. They do not know the experiential knowledge of the love of Christ which passes knowledge and can’t be explained! They need the Holy Ghost to make it a reality, and, brothers, so do you. To make it a reality, you need the Holy Ghost.
You ministers, you preachers, you know what I’m talking about. You know it’s that way. If at all, in the sincerity of your heart you’ve examined the reality, and so many that are in the flock, you will know they just hardly know anything about all of this. What a miserable way to go to church, Sunday by Sunday, hearing all of these lofty things lifted up before your eyes, and going home, not being able to live in the reality of any of it. It’s kind of miserable, isn’t it? When instead we should be going home thrilled! “Praise God for the reality that is in the New Testament! Praise God for the reality of the New Covenant. Praise God we listened to the reading of the will again, this morning, and I found out I was richer than I ever thought I was! Praise God I’ve got I’ve got money in my pocket! I went to Church Sunday morning and now my pockets are full. I found out I had so much more wealth than I thought I did!”
But dear brothers, it’s not wealth just because it’s written in this Book. It’s only wealth after you’ve been to the bank and picked up the check. If it’s only wealth that’s in this Book, that’s a miserable way to live, standing outside the bank, looking inside of all of the money stacked up inside of there, living in poverty, not knowing how you’re going to take the next step that you’re supposed to take in your New Testament life, and you’re looking inside the door of the bank and all of the money stacked in there, but the door’s locked and you can’t get any of it! What a miserable way to be a New Testament Christian!
But that’s reality in many, many people’s lives. They’re just kind of gazing in there, “Oh, that’s beautiful. My, yes. Look at all of it! Wow, that’s glorious, but we can’t get it.” Dear brothers, these things are made real in the life of the believer by the power of the Holy Spirit and there’s no other way—no other way!
Here are the words of the New Testament, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet not I but Christ liveth in me.” Isn’t that a beautiful verse? Wouldn’t that be a beautiful life, to walk through life in the reality of that? “I am crucified through Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet not I but Christ liveth in me, the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” Do you know what that verse means, brethren? That’s talking about the spiritual revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ! It’s talking about a spiritual revealing of Christ and His glory, and His majesty, and His character, and His beauty being imparted to my heart and my life, but it won’t be imparted if I don’t see it, and I won’t see it if I don’t live in the unction of the Holy Ghost. It’s just some nice story, otherwise. Just some nice story about a nice man.
Listen to the words of the New Testament, “Changed from glory to glory…” Oh, you want to be changed this morning, brethren? You want to be changed? “Changed from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” See these verses? They’re the New Testament! We read them all of the time! God wants them to be a reality to us. That verse, if I understand that verse at all, what that verse is saying to me is this: That I should be living in the unction of the Holy Ghost, and under that unction, I should open up this Bible with an open face beholding as in a glass, the glory of the Lord in the pages of this book. And as I gaze by the Spirit on the glory of the Lord in the pages in this book, I am changed into this very image. Isn’t that a right interpretation of those verses?
You might say, “Well, Brother Denny, you’re going way over our heads today.” I may be going over our heads, but this is normal New Testament Christianity, and if it’s going over our head we need to come to grips with he fact that we’re anemic. I mean, we sing the song, “Oh, to be like Thee, blessed Redeemer, Oh, to be like Thee.” That song doesn’t become a reality in our life. We aren’t changed into the image of Christ if we aren’t going to live in the power of the Spirit of the Living God. And that’s why men can go for twenty years, and still there’s not much about them. Twenty years? Why? Well, they read their Bible, they go to Church, you know, all of that stuff. But there’s not abiding anointing in their life, and because there isn’t, they don’t have much imparted as the weeks go by and the years go by, they stay relatively the same.
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” That is the power to do God’s will. Beautiful verse, that verse speaks victory. That verse speaks of being more than conquerors. Amen? Where the Spirit of the Lord is, we are more than conquerors. Christ in you, the hope of glory. See these verses. Oh listen, I could do this for a long time, I mean my heart is full of all of these verses. I’ve been reveling in the revelation of the new covenant. But, how about it—theological statement or living reality? Christ in you, the hope of glory. Paul says, “It is a mystery that has been hidden from the foundation of the world, but now it’s being revealed in these last days, through His holy apostles and prophets.” A mystery. Christ can live in you, and that is the hope of glory. You want your one-way ticket to heaven in your back pocket? That’s how you keep that one way ticket in your back pocket. Christ living in me, in reality, the hope of glory.
“But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you….” That word “dwell” means to make a home. It doesn’t mean to visit every now and then. “…dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies. How is the resurrection going to take place? By His spirit that dwelleth in you.” Christ in you, in reality, is the hope of glory. That’s the reality of the hope of the resurrection. “It is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure!” What a beautiful way to live! With God living inside of me, motivating me, inspiring me, empowering me, leading me to be motivated to want to do, and empower me to do His good pleasure. That’s beautiful! I can handle that kind of Christian life, how about you? Amen! Lord, I’ll vote for that one! “Dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God”—and I could just go on, and on, and on. There are so many of them. It’s the reading of the will, brethren! It’s what Jesus bought and paid for by His death, and through the resurrection. It’s the will and testament of Jesus Christ.
This is the in-Christ experience in the life of a believer that we are talking about here. The in-Christ experience in the life of a believer. You know all of those verses in he Bible, “in Him.” In whom? “In Christ.” This is the in-Christ experience in the life of a believer. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is the in-Christ experience in the life of a believer. That’s it. To be in Christ is to be in the anointing. To be in the anointing is to be in Christ. Why? He is the anointed. That’s what His name means. He is the anointed. He is anointed now, brethren. To be in the anointing is to be in Christ. We are the body of the Anointed One. Can I say it that way? That’s right, isn’t it? “Now ye are the body of Christ in members in particular.” Paul says, “Ye are the body of the Anointed One.” You can stay on that verse for about two weeks. “Ye are the body of the Anointed One.”
Or, let me say, “Are you the body of the Anointed One?” He has no hands but our hands. He has no body to live out His glorious holiness through, but our bodies. Are you the body of the Anointed One? These are good questions to consider this morning. These are good questions. I mean, it changes things quite a bit. We can’t sit in here this morning and say, “Yeah, the worldly Church out there—it’s apostate. And they’re this, and they’re that, and they’re worldly, and they’re departing.” We can’t sit here this morning and throw any stones, brethren.
I thought about it this morning. I thought about the dear Charismatic people and the Charismatic movement all around the United States as I was meditating on all of this, and their interpretation on what we’ve been speaking about this week is, you know, you go to an altar, and you have this ecstatic experience, and like I said yesterday, I’m not saying that all of that is wrong. There is a reality there in some, but with so many of them, it is an emotional, ecstatic experience that they go through on Sunday morning, and they live in unreality the rest of the week long. But the greatest burden of that is that they’re so utterly deceived that they think that because they have that ecstatic experience on Sunday morning…I mean, you meet some of those people and they hit right between the eyes as soon as they meet you, “HEY, DO YOU SPEAK IN TOUNGES? WELL, I’VE GOT SOMETHING YOU DON’T HAVE!” And I have to tell myself, what a deception! No reality. No blessing. No holiness. No victory. None of these beautiful things that we’ve been speaking about. But yet this puffed up idea in their mind that because they had an experience at the altar call and everyone “got with it in the Lord,” that they are the spiritual elite upon the earth. My heart just broke for them. My heart just broke this morning. I thought, Lord—so deceived.
Then I thought about this: we have ours too, you know. If we’re living in the natural, then we have our own natural interpretation of the Remnant, you know, “We’re the Remnant! Oh, we look different, and we this, and we that—but if we don’t have the anointing on our hearts and our lives, we’d better shut our mouth, too.”
Are ye the body of the Anointed One? These are probing questions this morning. Probing questions. These are deep realities we’re speaking about, brethren. Realities. You begin to see them rising up out of the Book of Hebrews if you read it about thirty times. You know the Book of Hebrews? You know, our High Priests are more excellent priests with the mediator of the new covenant, a spiritual priesthood? The minister of the heavenly sanctuary? That’s our Christ. The ministry of the heavenly sanctuary. Have you been into the throne room lately? Don’t you know you have a minister of the heavenly sanctuary? We have our Aaron, bless God! We have Him! Paul said to the Hebrews, “There are many, many things I would like to speak to you concerning these things, but you are dull of hearing, you cannot hear them—you cannot hear them!”
Dear brothers, what I’m speaking about here is not a New Testament option. This is a New Testament imperative. It is not an option. Sometimes, somehow, I think that we have gotten that in our mind. “Oh well, the preachers must have this—they need to be anointed. Yes, they need to be men of God, they’re our preachers.” No, this is a New Testament imperative for every child of God. I think we skipped the Book of Acts and moved—ran into the Epistles, and we’re miserably stumbling around in there, trying to figure out what this Christian life is all about. We skipped the Book of Acts, brethren, and the New Testament is just kind of a phase to us. We bounce around in there, and try over here. “That’s not the way,” so you try over this way. We’re just bouncing around in there, and we’ve skipped the Book of Acts. We cannot simply go our way living a carnal, subnormal Christian life anymore. We can’t do it. It’s time to have Judgment Day early.
Have you been immersed in the overwhelming presence of the Living God since ye believed? Remember I told you the other day that interesting little bit of information about the word Christ—sixty times in the Gospels. Five-hundred times from Pentecost, onward. Christ, the Anointed, all through the New Testament, five-hundred times. That phrase is used in the New Testament from Pentecost onward five-hundred times: The Anointed!
Yet the people of God are not anointed! How can this be? Christ was anointed with the Holy Ghost for His earthly ministry. (Luke chapter 3, Mathew chapter 3) But Christ is also anointed with the Holy Ghost for His heavenly ministry. Turn to Acts 2. Hold your place there, and turn to Psalm 133 for a moment. Psalm 133 says, “Behold, how good, and how pleasant for brethren to dwell together in unity.” And may I put it into the New Testament context, for brethren to dwell together in the unity of the Spirit. The word behold means, “Stop, and gaze upon that.” Now verse 2, “It is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, that went down to the skirt of his garment.”
You get that picture? Aaron was anointed with the precious ointment. They poured it on his head, and I think it’s very clear just from looking at that scripture that they didn’t do it like this. What do you think? They dumped it on him, and it went down onto his head, and went down over his beard, and stared dripping down off of his beard, and started landing on his shoulders, and flowed and ran down all the way to the hem of his garment. Get the picture?
Now let’s look at the heavenly Aaron for a moment. Acts Chapter 2, verse 33. Peter must have got this in the spirit of revelation, because I know he did didn’t study for that sermon that he preached on the day of Pentecost. He didn’t meditate on that one ahead of time, but in his explanation to all of these people that are trying to figure out what is going on and why these men, these women, these one-hundred and twenty that came out of the upper room seem like they’re drunk in the middle of they day, speaking all kinds of languages and all these people from all different countries form all over the known world are hearing these words in their own language.
Peter stands up to try to explain to them what’s going on, and of course he begins by telling them “This is that which is spoken by the prophet Joel…” and he quotes the verses there out of the Book of Joel. Then he goes on to preach about Christ, the Christ. And he says in verse 32, “This Jesus hath God raised up whereof we are all witnesses, therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost.” Received? Same word. Same thing. Received, baptized, filled, fallen upon—all of those are the same word. “Jesus received the promise of the Holy Ghost, and He hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear.”
Now just picture our heavenly Aaron. He’s been to the cross, He despised the shame, He shed His blood for the sins of humanity, He bore our sins in his own body on the tree, He died for you and I, they laid Him in the grave, three days later he came up from the grave, He was raised form the dead according to the Spirit of Holiness, He walked with them for forty days, then He ascended back up to the Father, and only told them, “Wait for the promise of the Father—it’s coming.” So, the head of the body is in heaven, and the Father pours the oil upon the head of the Son in heaven. And the oil runs down over His head, down upon His beard, and it begins to drip down upon the rest of His body. “And suddenly, there was the sound of a rushing, mighty wind, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,” and the body of Christ was baptized with the Holy Ghost. That is the Christ which is mentioned five-hundred times from Pentecost to the end of the Bible.
Yesterday, we finished our meeting encouraging you in a waiting, believing, faith-filled expectancy. Remember, I warned you that you can get off and go into extremes and all of that, and I encouraged you yesterday that this whole matter is a matter of faith. It is the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is the promise of the Father. And may I say today, it’s already given; believe it! The Christ is anointed. Believe it, receive it! By grace through faith, it’s done! And I say that, having said everything that I said yesterday, having agreed with everything that Brother Manny said last night that, yes, we need to be clean, yes, our heart needs to be yielded if we’re going to move in the flow of the anointing of the Christ. It’s absurd to think that we could if we’re full of selfishness. But if our heart as we sit here today is clear… I’m not saying you have to be a perfect person. You just have to have your heart clear, and your will yielded, saying, “God—anything.”
Brother, it’s yours. It’s there. It’s here. It’s a reality. But like everything else in the Christian life, if you don’t believe it, you won’t enter in—a waiting, believing, faith-filled expectancy. Do you believe it? [Amen!] We’re really accountable now, aren’t we? I mean, the Lord is just saying to each one of us this morning…
Let’s kneel together for prayer. Can we do that?
“He is here, Hallelujah, He is here, Amen,
“He is here, Holy, Holy, I will bless His name again,
“He is here, listen closely, hear him calling out your name,
“He is here, you can touch Him, you will never be the same.”
Ah, brethren, do you believe that little song this morning? “He is here, you can touch Him.” By faith, by grace through faith, you can touch Him. I want you to pray this little prayer this morning if your heart is clear. If it is not, I plead with you, let it go. But if you heart is clear, I want you to pray this prayer with me:
My dear Heavenly Father, I am your son. I know that you love me. My heart is clear, washed in the precious blood of your Son. My will is yielded. I’ll do anything you say. My dear Father, I am your son. By faith this morning, fill me with your Spirit, Lord. I receive the anointing which is already given. By faith, I receive the anointing, and I thank you for it, Father. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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