From the Pulpit of a Holiness Preacher
An email newsletter ministry of Richard D. Swift, publishing the sermons of Rev. Reed A. Swift (1899-1973), a Holiness Preacher
The following sermon was preached in the Free Methodist Church of Mira Loma, California in 1953. It is handwritten on the backs of six type written business letters, the last dated, July 28, 1953. Four are from "Southern California Conference Sunday School Board Free methodist Church of North America", one is from "Wesley E. Nordfelt" of the American Milk Goat Record Association, and the other is from "Young Peoples Missionary Society Free Methodist Church". Very interesting letters, I might say! But the sermon is of utmost importance. Hopefully the reader will remember that this Sunday, the 19th is Pentecost Sunday.
"Be filled with the Spirit"
The Spirit shall be in you a well of water springing up into everlasting life in you now. "Be ye filled with the Spirit." Each Christian has a great need and an absolute duty to be filled with the Spirit.
First, you must have a B.A. degree or experience before you are a candidate for the fullness of God's Spirit. B.A. means Born Again. The born again Christian's spiritual birthright is to be filled with the Spirit. There will be no marked advancement in the church until we recognize that this is our need and go in to have this need supplied. Otherwise, we are going backward instead of forward. Peter was filled with the Spirit. Stephen was filled. The one-hundred and twenty men and women in the upper room were filled. Acts 1:14,15 and 2:4. Those in Cornelius' house were filled. Acts 10:1-47. Read Acts 2:38,39; especially, "And ye shall recieve the gift of the Holy Ghost, for to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off." Are you this moment in possession and enjoyment of this full heart
experience? It is a glorious experience.
It is our privilege and our duty to be filled with filled. We may and should be filled with the Holy Spirit. God made provision and has commanded Christians to be filled with the Spirit. God commands, "Be not drunk with wine but be filled with the Spirit." Both are binding. It is a sin to get drunk, and it is a sin to not be filled with the Spirit. The unsaved go to hell because the professed Christians aren't filled with the Holy Ghost. I believe it. It is one thing to have the Spirit with us in saving power, and another thing to have Him in us to overflowing.
The disciples had the Spirit in saving power before Pentecost, but they were not filled with the Spirit until Pentecost. The Spirit was not given until Pentecost. John 7:39. Read Acts 8:5-17. Peter and John came and prayed for them [Samaritans] and they were filled. Acts 9:17; Saul [filled with Spirit]. Acts 19:1-6 Paul asked the Ephesians, "Have ye recieved the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" So, we have the record of (1)Apostles, (2)Samaritans, (3)Saul or Paul, and (4)Ephesians who were all actually Christians but didnot have the Holy Spirit filling them. The fullness of His Spirit is for us now!
Many banks have millions of dollars of unclaimed money, while the ones to whom it belongs may die in poverty. Spiritually, it is that way too. Heaven's bank is for us, and yet we may die in spiritual poverty.
We are here on earth to glorify Christ. There is only one who can glorify Christ and that is the Holy Spirit. He will come into us and fill us until we can glorify Christ. Mothers and fathers need to glorify Christ in their homes to see their children saved. Pastors and evangelists should be filled with the Spirit to glorify Christ and see souls saved in the church. All must glorify Christ together to see His work advance, and the way to do it is to be filled with His Spirit. Acts 8:15; 9:17; 19:12. The early Christians, you will notice in reading the scriptures, were anxious that the newly converted should be filled with the Holy Ghost. We should be as anxious today. No backsliding or discouragement when filled with the Holy Ghost.
God is not pleased for us to wait 40 years in the wilderness after being released from Egyptian bondage before entering the promised land of Perfect Love or Fullness of His Spirit. Time is no factor with God between being born again and filled with the Spirit. He is willing to and able to cleanse and fill us as soon as we are born again. If we feel the need for it, ask Him for it and believe! We must die out to carnal selfish desires, and He will fill us with the Holy Ghost. Were you filled with the Holy Ghost since you were born again/ Are you filled now? You must be to have abundant life. Joel 2:28,29; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5,8.
If we don't have any power to see our children saved or anybody else, I think we need to tarry until the Holy Ghost is poured out upon us. What do you think? The disciples waited for Pentecost. I think we need to wait on God for our personal Pentecost. We need to obey God and tarry until endued with power from on high. Read John 7:38,39. Do you experience such as this? I am afraid not. Then we must tarry until we do! Any believer is eligible. "He that believeth on me." God has spiritual life abundant for every believer. Not a trickle or a stream, but bubbling up springs of and rivers of spiritual blessing for each believer. Oh the freshness and freedom and spontaneous outbursts of such a full experience!
It is possible we can have it and we must have it. If others are thirsty for spiritual life, will they come to you for a spiritual drink if they know your well is choked up and filled with rubbish rather than the Spirit of God or the Fullness of Godd. We need to wait for the promise of the Father. And in waiting, search our souls. Would we want to be ushered into the presence of God with all that we have in our hearts that is not heavenly? Now is the time to have the unheavenly removed and the heavenly planted in us. Wrong motives, selfishness, self pitty, anger, jealousy, and any carnal thing will keep Christ in His Fullness out of our hearts. "Search me oh God."
We are known by our fruit in daily life, and even the worldling knows when our fruit is sour, gnarly, or wormy; let alone a Christian. As a rule you don't fool anybody, but yourself. The need is Acts 1:4-"Wait for the promise of the Father." Acts 2:17-Whose fault is it if we are not full? (The same as taken from Joel: "In the last days, His Spirit outpoured.") A promise never made use of is like a check never cashed. Can we afford to have it lay around and never use it? Isaiah 44:3; John 20:22; Galatians 3:14
Then we are sealed as His. Eph 1:13; 2nd Cor 1:22 When we are made holy, God stamps us with His Heavenly seal. Until one realizes there is such an experience as being filled with the Holy Spirit, he is not likely to be seeking it and therefore will never obtain it. It is when you feel the need of it and realize Christ purchased it for you on the cross that you want it and get it. this is what we need and can have. for our own good and God's glory.
"Having these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." Read Acts 15:8,9. Forgiveness is one thing but cleansing is another. We are saved from the guilt of sin, the stanin of sin, and the power of sin. One man said in this very church that we will be saved from the power of sin when we get to heaven. We may be saved from the power of sin here and now until it has no more dominion over us! Praise God! 1st Thess 5:23,24; Eph 5:27; 1:4; Col 1:22. "We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us and redeemed us with His own precious blood." Acts 15:8,9 "Cleansing their hearts by faith." "We present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable unto God which is our reasonable service." Cleansing is an act, a crisis, something done in a
moment. We put away all uncleaness, but God does the cleansing. We must pray like the Psalmist, "Create in me a clean heart, oh God." No sour, bitter, grumpy, stubborn self left when God burns out the dross and comes and dwells in a clean temple. 1st Peter 3:15; Eph 5:26; Hebrews 10:10; 13:12. Read Romans 12:1 "Present your bodies a living sacrifice." Romans 6:13 First God forgives our transgressions, then we yield our bodies and aspirations all to God's divine will and ask Him to purge away the dross. He will take abode in a clean temple, and that only. Some hold onto the trifles of earth in spirit. (Illustration of a small boy- could have a valuable vase but held a penny tight in his hand.) Spiritually, we do! Now, believe that God will cleanse you. "Him that cometh unto God, I will in no wise cast out." All for the glory of God! Our service to God amounts to
very little until we tarry and recieve our personal Pentecost.
We find the treasure or pearl of great price in giving up our last idol. Say yes to all God shows you and yes to all that He will show you. You must trust Him in all things! It is told that when Mahmoud, the conqueror of India had taken the City of Gujarat he proceeded, as was his custom, to destroy all the idols. There was one 15 feet high which the priests begged him to spare. He was deaf to their entreaties, and siezing a hammer, he struck it one blow when, to his surprise and amazement, out from the idol poured gems, pearls, and diamonds of fabulous wealth. They had been hidden there. We must demolish the last selfish idol, and we will find fulness of spiritual wealth right there. Glory! Luke 11:13 You ask and God gives. Acts 4:31.
In Acts 2, "They were all with one accord in one place", praying and waiting on God, and suddenly the Holy Ghost was given. If we fast and pray and wait on God for anything in God's will, it will come if we believe. God says, "This is the will of God, even your sanctification." Full salvation for the saints consists of salvation from sin and sanctification of the believer and being filled with the Holy Spirit. He will witness to both experiences! Christ died that we might be made the righteousness of God and filled with God. Stephen was a man full of faith and the Holy Ghost. We need that kind today. He showed a good spirit even to the end. We need it too. We need to be filled with all the fulness of God. May we fast and pray until we are. 1. This gives courage. Acts 2:14-18. Vacellating Peter now filled with the Holy Ghost! 2. It gives forth the fruit
of the Spirit when filled with the Spirit. Galatians 5:22,23 We will have a singing heart Ephesians 5:19. A thankful heart Ephesians 5:20. A submissive heart Ephesians 5:21 Philippians 2:3. Let any church find her way back to the upper room and Pentecost. Let the pulpit and the pew be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire and people will come running to that church. They will be like Zacchaeus climbing a sycamore tree to see Jesus. People would like to see Jesus today. We cannot improve on Pentecost's methods for reaching the unsaved today. Three thousand converts in one day is a good start. 3. Persecutions will follow. "They that live godly shall suffer persecutions."
We may even lose this blessed experience by not attending to the reading of God's Word, prayer, and communion with God. Trust and obey. We start losing out spiritually right where we start disobeying God. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Jude 24,25 "But now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory, and majesty, dominion, and power both now and forever." Amen!
"Shall we gather at the river that flows by the throne of God?" "I believe that is this beautiful River of Holiness, that flows out to man today, fresh from the throne of God."
This concludes my grandfather's sermon.
Yours for Radical Holiness,
Richard D. Swift
505 Hickory Hills Dr
Dexter MO 63841