THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, #10
"And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." (JOH 1:32-33)
There are some very remarkable truths contained in these verses. John the Baptist confesses, "I knew him not." The Lord Jesus Christ was not to be identified by His stature, His physical features, or anything about Him as a man. He was identified by the Holy Spirit that was upon Him. The Holy Spirit descended upon Him "like a dove."
John the Baptist says, "the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." Thereby He shall be identified. He shall be identified by that Spirit which is upon Him. The thing that you and I must learn to understand is this: when it says, "the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost," how are you and I identified by the world, except by that same Holy Spirit which is upon us? That mental disposition, that attitude, is what identifies us in the eyes of the world.
As we consider our text in its context, we recall how John the Baptist had just declared Our Saviour to be "...the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (JOH 1:29)
After reaffirming Christ's pre-eminence, saying, "This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me," John went on to say, "And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water." (JOH 1:31) The baptizing is that which identifies.
Johns statement "I knew him not," must be taken to mean after the flesh. We are not going to identify Him by a picture on the wall; we are not going to identify Him by physical features. We are going to identify Him by the Spirit that was upon Him.
Look at what we read in LUK 1:41, "And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb [Who was this? This was John the Baptist.]; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost."
What was it that identified her as the mother of Our Lord? The filling of the Holy Spirit. It was the identification of the Holy Spirit that brought John to leap in his mothers womb. It was not that he had seen Jesus after the flesh, because he was still in the womb.
Even though Johns mother Elisabeth was a cousin to Jesus mother Mary, there was no acquaintance between John the Baptist and Jesus as the carpenters Son. John the Baptist was not brought up in the same vicinity, and he was not brought up with Him as a playmate. He did not know Him after the flesh. The Lord Jesus was brought up in Nazareth, and John the Baptist was brought up in the wilderness. He did not know Him physically.
Why is this important? Johns declaration of Jesus as "the Lamb of God," was not motivated by any partiality as a friend or a relative; John confessed, "And I knew him not." He wouldnt have recognized Him in the flesh.
Johns calling in his ministry and baptism was to introduce Jesus as the Lamb of God, that great sacrifice whereby He came to take "away the sin of the world." He was sent forth as a witness and forerunner of the Lord Jesus Christ, to run before Him and introduce Him as the Lamb of God.
Im going to tell you why this was important. You and I may not introduce ourselves as though we are claiming to be something. The Lord Jesus sent His servant John to introduce Him and to give witness to the identity that He bore: that He was the great sacrifice that was sent forth to take away the sins of the world.
In the baptism by John in the River Jordan, sinners confessed that death was their just due. The name Jordan signified death. When they came to be baptized of John, they stepped into the Jordan confessing that they justly deserved death. They came to confess their sins. As we see in MAT 3:5-6, "Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins." As they stepped into the Jordan, they were confessing their sins. What is this telling you and me? They were confessing they justly deserved to die, justly condemned under the law.
In baptism, the believer does not confess that death is his due. There is a distinction. When you are baptized as a believer, you are not going in to confess that you justly deserve to die. What are you confessing when you step in to the waters of baptism? What you are confessing is that you are dead, that you have died. You have died unto sin, unto self, unto the world. You are making public profession that you have already died in Christ.
Where is the distinction? John was baptizing before the atonement was made. You and I, when we become baptized are baptized with Christ. "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (ROM 6:3-4)
What were now doing, when we come to be baptized, is coming to be buried. Were coming to confess that we are already dead, that we have died in Christ. What we are confessing is that we have become dead to self, to the world, to sin. We have now been buried with Christ in baptism. We are brought back up out of the water to symbolize being raised again unto a newness of life. We are now baptized into Christs death.
The water baptism of John made way for the introduction of "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." When the Lord Jesus Christ stepped into the waters of Jordan to be baptized by John, He was marked to be slain, to die, to step under the wrath of the Father, to take the penalty of sin. He was marked for death.
John was introducing Him as the Lamb of God who was to come to make that atonement, to make that sacrifice for sin. "In that He died, He died once unto sin." (ROM 6:10) When He stepped into the waters of Jordan, it was to symbolize that He was dying unto sin on behalf of His church, thereby taking away the sin of the world.
The baptism of John could only be administered to those who confessed their sins and corruption. It signifies our cleansing by Him. When you and I become baptized, we are confessing that we have become dead to sin and corruption, and that we are being cleansed by Him who is the fountain opened for all sin and uncleanness. This is the cleansing that is being confessed, that is being professed. It is a public profession.
When the Pharisees and the Sadducees came to be baptized, John the Baptist turned them away because they were not confessing their sins. The Pharisees and the Sadducees professed to be spotless; they professed to be blameless, having perfectly kept the law. There was no place for baptism. "But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" (MAT 3:7-8)
Do you see what they were doing? They were looking for a legal baptism. They had only one thought in mind, and that Baptism was going to deliver them from the wrath to come. They had a legal religion. They had no desire to be cleansed from sin. They only had a desire to escape the consequences of sin.
Verse 8 continues, "Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance." In other words, "Let me see in your attitude, let me see in that Spirit of Christ, let me see in that change of mind the fruits meet (that is, fit in character) for repentance."
John the Baptist made a definite distinction between baptism with water and the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The baptism of water and the baptism of the Holy Ghost are very separate and distinct. In JOH 1:33, "And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost."
I want you to notice there was a distinction. John was sent to baptize with water, but the Lord Jesus was to baptize with the Holy Ghost. Today, when the believer is baptized with water, he is professing publicly that he has been baptized with the Holy Ghost. The water baptism is our public profession that we have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. We have received the work of regeneration through the sanctification of the Spirit. We professed that we have received the work of regeneration, that we have been made dead to sin, that we have now, through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, been delivered from our sin.
"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience [See how the baptism of the Holy Spirit is placed ahead of the cleansing of the body, which is the water.], and our bodies washed with pure water." (HEB 10:22-23)
"Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience ." We are now confessing that we have that baptism of the Holy Spirit, that our hearts have been sprinkled from an evil conscience, "and our bodies washed with pure water." The baptism of water is the outward symbol.
Verse 23 continues, "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised.)" The baptism of water is our public profession of our faith.
Water baptism symbolizes "having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water," is the vehicle symbolized by water baptism that the Holy Ghost uses to convey salvation unto us.
You and I are saved by faith. That word by is a preposition and has two totally different meanings as used in Scripture. ROM 4, speaking of Abraham, says that he was not justified by works, but by faith. JAM 2, says that he was justified by works.
Look at ROM 4:2. "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory." That word by there, in its proper meaning, means on account of, on the basis of.
JAM 2:21 says, "Was not Abraham our father justified by works ?" Is this contradictory? No. The word by here is a totally different word. The word by here means as a vehicle or instrumentality: in other words, that instrument whereby it was conveyed to you.
This is what we have to understand about baptism. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the vehicle, the instrument, whereby salvation is conveyed to you. When we talk about the baptism of water, we are using it symbolically: it is the symbol of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit baptism is the vehicle whereby salvation becomes ours. It doesnt purchase it: the blood of Christ purchased it. It is by this working of regeneration, through sanctification of the Spirit. It means that salvation comes to us through sanctification.
"But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 TH 2:13-14)
That word through, in the original, means instrument. Sanctification is the instrument that is used to convey salvation to you.
We are called unto sanctification by the gospel. We are called unto the truth by the gospel. We are called unto believing the truth, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, whereunto we are called "by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the instrument whereby salvation is brought to you. The Lord Jesus Christ baptizes with the Holy Spirit. This is the vehicle He uses to make salvation yours, to bring it to you, having "Chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth."
Upon Christ's baptism with water, whereby He was marked for death to die unto sin, He received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It was glorified by all the Persons of the Great Trinity being revealed on Jordan's bank.
God was so pleased with the obedience of Christ unto the death of the cross. By His baptism, He pledged to take upon Himself the penalty of our sin. In His circumcision, the Lord Jesus Christ took upon Himself to keep the whole law on our behalf. When He was baptized He took upon Himself our debt that was placed on His account. He took upon Himself to pay our penalty. Thereby the pledge brought forth the full atonement symbolically. As a result of this, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, all met together on Jordans bank.
"And Jesus, when he was baptized [when He came up out of the water], went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him [There we see God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit]: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (MAT3:16-17) The Father spoke from heaven with an audible voice. There we see the Trinity revealed on Jordans bank.
Why? Because the Father was so pleased with the pledge of His Son that atonement would be made: that perfect atonement taking away the sin of the world, that perfect sacrifice which Hed come to perform.
JOH 1: 32 says, "And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him."
Two things are very relevant in this verse, very important to understand. First, the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be seen. When the Holy Spirit baptized the Lord Jesus Christ, it was visibly seen with the eye. When the Holy Spirit baptism is upon you, it can be seen with the eye.
This is the gospel of the Old and New Testament. In EXO 12, the Lord gave His people the Passover, and they were to put the blood on the two side posts and on the top of the door. "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt." (EXO 12:12-13)
It was to be seen. The world is able to see that Spirit upon you. They can see that mental disposition. They can see that attitude. They can see that Spirit of Christ.
The profession that we make is not to be trumpeted with our mouth, but it is to be seen with the eye. Look at 1 PE 2:25 through 3:1-4. Were looking at how the wife, the woman, is the symbol, or the type, of the church. "For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. Likewise, ye wives [The wives are brought in as a symbol and a type of the church.], be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation." Not only while they hear it, but while they behold it. That word conversation means your walk of life, and your thinking process as well as the words you speak. They see that meek and quiet spirit.
Verses 3 and 4 continue, "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold [nothing that is to be seen physically], But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."
Baptism of the Spirit can be seen, and if it cant be, dont claim it. If you have a heart filled with bitterness, and youre running around living in hatred and malice and bitterness, claiming that you have the baptism of the Holy Spirit, youre deceiving yourself. The Holy Spirit baptism can be seen in your attitudes and actions!
Secondly, I want you to see the abiding nature of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. JOH 1:32 says he "saw the Spirit descending from heaven." He saw it physically, literally, with his own eyes, and "it abode upon him." It has an abiding nature.
When Christ was baptized with the Holy Spirit, it was accompanied with a visible sign. It was visibly seen. Outside of that visible sign, John the Baptist would not have known Him. How are you and I to identify those who have the baptism of the Holy Spirit if you cant see it? There wasnt one physical feature in the Lord Jesus Christ that identified Him to John. The thing that identified Him was what John saw of the Holy Spirit upon Him. "That was His identification. That is our identification." We have to be able to see the Holy Spirit upon us.
JOH 1:33 says, "And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." We need to have the ability to see that attitude, that Spirit of God, upon us.
This visible sign can be seen in all who have received the baptism of the Spirit, by the "divine influence upon the heart which can be seen in their life." Thats grace. If it cant be seen in their life, they cant claim it in their heart.
The dove as the symbol of the Spirit baptism is a visible sign of the purity in all that have received the baptism of the Spirit. The visible sign can be seen in all, the dove is also the symbol of sanctification. The dove that descended upon the Lord Jesus Christ is the symbol of His purity.
Look at Song of Solomon 6:9. "My dove, my undefiled is but one ." The dove is representing the purity of the Lord Jesus Christ. When a lamb was chosen as a sacrifice, it had to be without spot and without blemish, which is the symbol of the purity of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is without sin. In the Old Testament times, people who were poor and not able to bring a lamb, could bring a dove. Why? Because a dove was also a symbol of purity.
Verse 9 continues, "My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her." Why? For her purity.
These fruits of the Spirit, which reveal the baptism of the Spirit, must be visible in any proper candidate for water baptism. I want you to see why Im saying that a proper candidate for water baptism is making an open profession that he has received this baptism of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit has worked the work of regeneration through sanctification of the Spirit, through the purification, symbolized by the dove.
GAL 5:22-26 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." These fruits of the Holy Spirit deal with the mental disposition. Each one applies to the mental attitude.
The dove points to the purity or the sanctification. Do you see how the Spirit of Christ has to be seen upon you for you to profess to be a Christian? "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering ." These fruits must be seen by the world. They must be seen by your fellow man. The Spirit of Christ must be resting upon you, if you profess to have the grace of God. It is the Divine influence of the Holy Spirit that is upon you. ROM 8:9 says, " Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his!"
Verses 24 and 25 say, "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." We walk in these fruits of the Spirit. We walk in love, in joy, in peace, in longsuffering, in gentleness. The dove rests upon us: this Spirit of sanctification, this Spirit of Christ.
The humility that accompanies these fruits is dynamically opposed to our old nature, which is evident in the very next verse, "Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another." What hes saying is that theres no place for pride, theres no place for envying, theres no place for covetousness, theres no place for provoking one another, if you have that Spirit of Christ. If you know love, peace, joy, and longsuffering, if you have the fruits of the Holy Spirit, if the dove of the Spirit is resting upon you (that sanctification of the Spirit), then theres no place for being "desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, or envying one another."
Let's consider the abiding nature pertaining to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in JOH 1:32, "And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him."
This word abode comes from the same Greek word meno as the word remaining in JOH 1:33. JOH 1:32 says, "it abode upon him," and JOH 1:33b continues, "Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him ."
That word remaining, or that word abode, are both from the Greek word meno. This word meno means, to stay in a given place, to remain, its a state of relationship, or of expectancy. A good example of what it means comes through in the word remain (also from the word meno) as used in LUK 10:7, where the Lord Jesus Christ sent His disciples out to preach. He says that when they come into a place to preach, "And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house." In other words, when you come into a house you remain there, and you dont go from house to house.
Remaining means that something comes, and it is a permanent fixture. The Holy Spirit, when He comes in the heart and works the grace of sanctification in your soul, is permanent. He (the Holy Spirit) remains, it is abiding, because it is of the Lord. He has worked it, and it remains throughout; there is no coming and going.
The history of Samson teaches us that the Holy Spirit moved the prophets of old at times. The life of Samson was very irregular. Look at JDG 13:25. "And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol." The LORD, the Spirit of God, would come upon Him at times.
We read that when the Holy Spirit came upon the Lord Jesus Christ, "it abode upon him." It remained. It was not by fits and starts. It was there, and it remained upon Him without measure.
The other three gospels teach how Jesus was anointed with the Holy Ghost, but this fourth gospel teaches the abiding nature of the fellowship of the Spirit of Christ. The word fellowship means that we have His mental disposition. When we fellowship in His sufferings, we are suffering with the same mental attitude in which He suffered. That is fellowshipping in the suffering of Christ. When we have the fellowship of the Spirit of Christ (meaning that we have the mind of Christ), it has an abiding nature.
Look at JOH 14:10. I want you to see the abiding nature of the Spirit that comes upon you. "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth [also meno in the Greek] in me, he doeth the works." So the Father dwells, or remains, in Him. That principle carries over into the church.
We must see the consolation of this abiding fellowship: the fellowship that He has with the Father. "The Father that dwelleth in me [or abides in me], he doeth the works." I want you to see the consolation of this abiding fellowship which we have in the baptism of the Spirit of Christ which we see in JOH 15:9-11. "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." See the abiding nature: this abiding in the fellowship of Christ.
The Father "dwelleth" in Him, or abideth in Him. Hes showing the harmony, the fellowship, between His church and Himself. The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit abide in you. Verse 11 continues, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." Again, the word remain is from the word meno. The abiding nature remains: its not a temporary blessing, it is an eternal blessing. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. It is a remaining fellowship. It has an abiding nature. The Spirit descended and remained upon Him.
After our blessed Saviour spoke of the abiding nature of our fellowship with Himself, He pointed out the fruits of the Spirit of Christ, which flow from that fellowship. The fellowship comes from keeping His commandments and abiding in His love.
"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." (JOH 15:12-15)
Do you see the fruit or the evidence of the baptism of the Spirit? Do you see the blessed fruit of that abiding in Christ? Abiding how? "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love." (JOH 15:10) Can you separate your works from your salvation? Are we going to earn salvation by our works? No. Our works are our evidence that we have salvation. That is without doubt.
The baptism of the Holy Ghost came upon our Saviour in a visible form. Unless these fruits of obedience reveal themselves in our daily walk of life, we have no claim of being on the Solid Rock. Are you and I claiming that we are upon the Rock, that the Rock is our foundation, that we have hope in Christ as the Rock of our salvation? Our daily walk reveals it. Our mental disposition is our evidence. Do we serve the Lord because it is our greatest delight, or do we serve Him out of compulsion? Do we have that Spirit of Christ, that Spirit of unconditional surrender to the will of God, so that in fact it is our greatest delight to know and do His will? Our daily walk of life is our evidence that were building upon the Rock.
Look in LUK 6:46-49. "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? [Can we confess Christ as our Lord while disregarding what He says?] Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like."
Throughout my life Ive heard those verses referred to in different sermons about ones foundation - building upon the Rock, or building upon the sand - but do you know whats strange? Throughout my upbringing I never one time heard it connected with the verse before: he that "heareth my sayings, and doeth them." The Spirit of Christ is our evidence that the Spirit of sanctification rests upon us that is, purification symbolized by the dove, indeed has rested upon us.
Verse 47 continues, "Whosoever heareth my saying and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock." [These are the words of our Saviour. Is there no relationship between our walk and our resting upon Christ? Christ says that if we hear His sayings and do them, were like a man that built on a rock.] "And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great."
Our blessed Saviour died as "...the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world," as we see in JOH 1:29, but He also lives as the anointed of the Father, "which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." (Verse 30)
We have to look to Christs death and resurrection. He liveth to give us this baptism. He took away our sins by His death, but it is in His resurrection that we receive justification. It is by His resurrection that it is conveyed to us, that we receive it. It is in His resurrection we see that we have the baptism of the Holy Spirit from Him.
There is no salvation by the atonement alone. It is so important that you and I understand this. By the atonement alone, without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, there is no salvation. There are many, many souls that are going to spend eternity in hell, even though Christ has died, even though Christ has made the atonement and God was reconciling the world unto Himself. Do you know why? They never received the baptism of the Spirit. They never received the work of regeneration. They never had their hearts reconciled unto God. They died and perished as enemies of the truth. They had no love of the truth. Do you see why the baptism of the Holy Spirit is equally as important as the atonement? It is in His resurrection that we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
In JOH 3:5-6, we read, "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." You cannot enter into the kingdom, you cannot enter into His service, without that baptism of the Holy Spirit, without that work of regenerating grace.
Verse 6 continues, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Being born of water and of the Spirit is not only for cleansing, but also for our spiritual refreshment.
"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst [It is for the quenching of that thirst, it is for the refreshing of the spirit], let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (JOH 7:37-38)
Do you see the blessed refreshment that also comes with the baptism of the Spirit? Not only the sanctification, not only the cleansing for salvation, but that refreshment, that enlivening of the Holy Spirit, which gives us the vitality of life. Out of your belly flow rivers of living water. We overflow with the Spirit, and we share it with everybody.
Many times, as we make this wilderness journey, we find the truth of what David said in PSA 63:1. "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is."
If you understand what that is to hunger and thirst after righteousness you start to understand what it is to see that old nature within, and how we have to battle against that old nature. We see that the flesh is striving with the Spirit and the Spirit with the flesh. Sometimes we become so weary, it seems as if the flesh has the upper hand. Then we cry out with David, "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is." Then we have to hear what Christ says, "if any man thirst let him come unto me." (JOH 7:37)
When our souls thirst after the imparted righteousness of Christ, then our Heavenly Father sends the Spirit of Truth. The Lord Jesus said, "He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." (JOH 16:14)
See in ISA 41:17-18 how the Holy Father sends that Spirit of Truth: "When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water."
This barren wilderness can become a pool of living water. That blessed Spirit of Christ can come in such great measure that we just overflow. Our belly shall flow with rivers of living water. There are times that we come to that place of refreshing, then that hungering and thirsting after righteousness, that delight in doing His will, that blessed Spirit of Christ comes with such great measure.
Christ, the Word, is that blessed fountain which opens all those refreshing springs. It is by the Word of God. The Holy Spirit comes and He takes the Word of Christ and shews it unto us. He gives us that blessed revelation of Christ in His Word.
There are refreshing springs with the blessed baptism of His Spirit. "My doctrine shall drop as the rain [the doctrine, the Word of God], my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God." (DEU 32:2-3)
Sometimes our souls are so thirsty, and then we receive the Word distilled as the dew. Do you know what that means? You walk sometimes in the early morning, and you get dew on your shoes, and the water will run off your shoes, but you could walk through that same grass an hour later, and the water is gone. Sometimes the Word is distilled as the dew. Sometimes its as the small rain. Sometimes it comes with a little more refreshing, a little more lasting, effect. Sometimes it comes as showers upon the grass. Sometimes it comes like a pool of water upon the dry ground. Sometimes we have a refreshing of a greater nature, and it has a more enduring effect. The Holy Spirit comes and He gives that refreshing, but it comes with doctrine; in other words, the Word of God distills as the dew.
As we experience the fullness of that baptism of the blessed Spirit, who is taking those blessed things of Christ and showing them unto us, we find such refreshment from being born of water and of the Spirit.
EZE 34:26 says, "And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing."
These showers are showers of blessing. The soul that has a true hunger and thirst after righteousness will experience the time of which David spoke in PSA 61:2, "From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
Thats the place of our dwelling. Thats the place of full satisfaction. Thats the fountain where we receive those showers, that pool, that fountain for all cleansing. All these blessings flow from the Holy Spirit with which we are baptized.
"He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." (JOH 16:14)
It is from the precious baptism of the Holy Spirit that we receive these showers of blessings! Amen.
These on-line sermons are a ministry of Gospel Chapel located in Conrad, Montana. We also have a daily devotion. For a list of sermons on cassette please visit our on-line tape catalog. See also, our sermon notes.
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