Pastor Harold Brokke and his wife Cathy Brokke have served the Lord Jesus as counselors to countless missionaries all over the world. Harold is a former President of Bethany Fellowship International, the community that established and runs the renowned Bethany House Publishers. Presently Pastor Brokke serves the Bethany Missionary Church as Senior Pastor Emeritus. Cathy was the Director of Bethany Fellowship Missions for many years. Both live in Minneapolis. God has called Harold to minister to people and communities around the world on Bible Prophecy and sanctification through the Message of the Cross.
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IF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS IN ME, ISN'T THAT ENOUGH?
Pastor Harold Brokke
1. THE HOLY SPIRIT AND D. L. MOODY
"Young man, when you speak again, honor the Holy Ghost."
This was the advice an old gentleman gave to Moody when he spoke at a Sunday school in 1875. Later on two women, concerned that the young preacher receive the power of the Holy Spirit, spoke frankly to him.
"Lad, Jehovah is dealing with thee."
The day came when Moody saw his need of "power" in his Christian witness. He received this anointing, and he was then able to preach in a way he never had before. His talks were based, not on his practical zeal, but on the Holy Spirit who rested upon his life. If D. L. Moody had refused to see his need, if he had said, "The Holy Spirit's in me, isn't that enough?" we might never have known about Moody's work.
2. THE QUESTION IS LOGICAL
The question "If the Holy Spirit's in me, isn't that enough?" may sound logical, but it leaves out other aspects of the Holy Spirit's work. To answer this question let us think about the life of Jesus. What about His experience?
The Lord Jesus lived as a man on earth. He was conceived, controlled, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit all His life. This fact is so plain that we don't have to prove it.
3. WHAT HAPPENED TO JESUS?
The question is: "What happened to Jesus at the Jordan when He was baptized by John?"
Jesus there humbled himself by being baptized in the river with the publicans and the harlots. He set himself apart to go the way that would lead to His death on the cross for all sinners. At this time the Father anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power to do the work of redemption. The fact that the Spirit indwelt Jesus for the first thirty years was one aspect of the Spirit's work in Him. But the fact that He was anointed by the Holy Spirit was quite another. He was indwelt by the Spirit who led Him as a sinless man. At the age of thirty, He was anointed by the Spirit to lead Him in the paths of ministry. He told the people of Nazareth about this anointing, quoting from Isaiah 11 to back it up. "The spirit of the Lord is upon me. He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel . . ."
Peter later told the household of Cornelius about this experience of Jesus. "You know about Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with him."
4. INDEWLT BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, BUT NOT ANOINTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT?
I am aware that when we use Jesus as our example someone is likely to ask, "Why are you comparing us with Jesus? He was holy and perfect. We're not to be compared with Him."
But let's keep to the first question, "Can a man be indwelt by the Spirit and yet not be anointed with the Holy Spirit?" The life of Jesus proved that these two works of the Holy Spirit do not have to come at the same time. They did not come at the same time in the life of Jesus.
Neither did they come at the same time in the lives of the apostles. The first chapter of Acts shows us how well off the souls of the disciples were before they were baptized with the Holy Spirit.
First, we know that some of them had repented under John the Baptist's ministry. Then, they had followed Jesus for three years and confessed their faith in Him as the Son of God. They had faced the meaning of the cross and later knew that He arose from the dead. After this Jesus breathed on them and said, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." We have good reason to believe that they were indwelt by the spirit of Christ. These disciples confessed Jesus of Nazareth as their Lord and Savior. These men and women believed and behaved as Christians. These were the men who waited ten days in the upper room in Jerusalem. It was on these believers that Jesus Christ poured for the promise of the Father. The blessed Holy Spirit filled the room where they were sitting. At this time Christ baptized them with the Holy Spirit. They drank of the Spirit's presence and thus were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began to glorify god in other tongues. The Holy Spirit turned these disciples into witnesses who spoke of Jesus Christ with power.
5. THE EXPERIENCE OF PENTECOST
This experience of Pentecost points to a fact that is often ignored. It is possible to have the first experience of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit without the second. Jesus called the experience of Pentecost "the baptism with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 1:5). He compared it with John's baptism with water. The Holy Spirit can be compared with water in two ways. We can drink water, but we can also have it poured over us. We can "drink of the Spirit," but we can also have the Spirit poured out upon us. The Holy Spirit can be in us, but He can also envelop us with special power.
6. THE TWOFOLD WORK OF THE SPIRIT
In Acts, chapter 8, we get another example of the twofold work of the Spirit, this time in the life of the Samaritans. Philip preached the Word of God to them; they believed the gospel and then were baptized. When Peter and John heard that the Samaritans had received Christ they did not say to themselves, "They don't need to receive the Holy Spirit." Rather they prayed for the believers, laid their hands on them, and the Holy Spirit came upon them.
Someone may say, "You are getting your examples from the book of Acts. Acts is not a book that teaches doctrine. It is just a record of spiritual events."
7. DOCTRINE FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS?
True! We would not choose to use the book of Acts as a doctrine book. On the other hand, we have a right to use the book of Acts to show how a Bible doctrine works in lives. Paul said to Timothy, "All scripture is given by the inspiration by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine" (2 Timothy 3:16).
Also, what kind of doctrines do we have that keep us from doing what the disciples did in the book of Acts? What kind of doctrine keeps pastors and elders from laying their hands on believers so that they may be anointed with the Holy Spirit?
8. SEEK FAR MORE THAN THE INDWELLING OF THE SPIRIT
According to the Scriptures (see Romans 8:11) none of us can be Christians if we have less than the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ. But, on the other hand, have we any scriptures that say we should not seek for more than this indwelling? What should believers, born of the Spirit, expect? What do the Scriptures teach? As you read the following scriptures, keep in mind the fact that these words are about those who had already received Christ and were quickened by the Spirit of God. The pronoun "you" in each case is directed believers.
Behold, I send forth the promise of my Father upon you. (Luke 24:49)
Ye shall receive power when that the Holy Ghost is come upon you. (Acts 1:8).
Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? (Acts 19:2)
In whom also after you believed you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. (Ephesians 1:13)
That Christ may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. (Ephesians 1:17)
That you may be filled unto all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)
These promises are given to those who are the sons of God by faith in Jesus Christ. The gift and power of the Holy Spirit is the pledge, the evidence that the vast inheritance in Christ is going to be ours as God's sons.
9. TAKE THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT BY FAITH
These promises and blessings become ours when we are willing to take up the cross of complete commitment to the will of God and take the promise of the Spirit by faith. We, as children of God, show by our prayers that we want victory in the cross and power in the Spirit. We pray both to receive and to keep these blessings. When we get hungry for righteousness and power we pray, "Lord, give me victory over sin. Lord, give power to serve You."
God wants to answer these prayers. If they cannot be answered in one's home church, the prayer may have to be answered outside the regular meetings of the church, perhaps at a house meeting, a conference, in another church group, or by the prayer of another Christian with a deeper experience.
Now, let's say that a Christian gets victory over sin, is baptized with the Holy Spirit and comes back to his pastor and friends. They may say to him, "Nobody can be victorious over sin in this life," or "You got the Holy Spirit when you were saved. Isn't that enough?" What will the one with a new blessing do? He can't say God didn't give him this blessing if God did.
10. THE NEW GRACE AND POWER OF THE BELIEVER, AND HIS PASTOR
The Christian who is thrilled with new grace and power may not feel at home in his own church. He may have to get encouragement in other groups that think as he does. He may even start a meeting of his own. But, there is another alternative. His pastor could start to think this way, "This member of my church says he has received victory over sin. He says he has been anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps god has given him a new blessing. After all, the apostles, the Samaritans, and the Ephesians received blessings after they became Christians, too. D. L. Moody, Charles Finney, and John Wesley had similar experiences. If this new blessing makes my member grow in faith, glory in the cross, and love Christ-if he is a stronger testimony for Christ-then why should AI be against it?" Many pastors in our day do think this way. They are Spirit-filled themselves and help keep the people in their charge spiritually useful and free from error in doctrine. In the light of the Scriptures we have shared, church leaders should humble themselves and study the Word to see what the early church practiced and experienced. Calvary and Pentecost are just as available to us as it was to them. If these blessings were good for the early church, they should be good for us, too.
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