We must now give consideration to another all- important aspect of the Christian message, making it a
Glorious Message indeed. It is a message, which tells of the Glorious Provision God, has made for His
redeemed people, as they make their pilgrimage through this alien world. He does not take us up
immediately to our heavenly Home,- but leaves us here as His witnesses (Acts 1 :8), - His ambassadors (2
Cor.5:20). But He said He would not leave us here "un helped", -but He would come to us (John 14:18).
He was referring, evidently, to the Blessed Holy Spirit, -God's perfect provision for His pilgrim people,
-the Very Spirit of their Exalted Master. And, all through this present church -age, our Ascended Lord
has been keeping that promise, -the Superb Provision for every responsibility we carry.
The age in which we live has frequently been called the age of the Holy Spirit. That Heavenly Helper, of
whose descent we read in Acts two, has not been withdrawn, but flows on like a mighty river. The
Saviour said He, -the Holy Spirit, would abide with us for ever (John 14:16). We believe He is always
"hovering" (Cp.Gen.1: 2) near us, and, once the government of Christ is accepted, HE flows in. As soon
as we trust from our side, He enters our hearts, and "seals" us as God's own property, (See Eph.1: 13; RV,
NIV! etc.), -and, from that moment, He is prepared to "keep on filling us and overflowing us (Eph.5: 18;
John 7:37-39). With some of us that first entrance is "quiet as a whisper", -with others of us it is
something quite dramatic, -but the Same Spirit .in, both cases. Probably very few of us actually
understand what has happened until someone, -Bible in hand, explains it to us; -we are actually "temples
of the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor.6: 19; 2 Cor.6: 16). All that however is our basic Christian heritage, and it will
also be our blessed experience as we maintain right relationships with our Living Lord.
All of us must surely agree that this is, indeed, a GLORIOUS PROVISION. But it is all part of the
Christian Gospel, -making the Gospel itself a Glorious Gospel. The world has never heard a message that
can compare with it. All else is dull and lifeless, May God help us to preach the true Gospel, and to
preach it in its fullness.
That provision of the Holy Spirit is a most important part of the Christian Gospel, and we have not fully
preached that Gospel unless and until we tell our hearers of it.
As we said before, the initial experience of the Gift comes to us at the time of our conversion. We may
not fully understand it at the time, but someone will explain to us later; -"This is THAT". That was
certainly so in my own case. I knew that something deep had happened, -but thought it was some
marvelous "feeling of joy", or "sense of peace", a kind of "unprecedented ecstasy", Then someone told
me, "This is THAT"! My young body had become a temple of the Holy Ghost; -I had become a container
of Deity; -God's Shekinah was shining within!
In these notes, I have been trying to be as concise as possible, but I find my heart "running away with
me", Perhaps it may suffice if I now just comment on two aspects of the Great Provision, - and trusting
the same Holy Spirit to "fill in" the SO- much -more that could be said.
First, -regarding the ABUNDANCE of the Provision. When Paul wrote to young Titus, and spoke of
God's saving mercy, he said, -". He saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy
Ghost; -which He shed on us ABUN-DANTL y through Jesus Christ our Saviour" (Tit, 3:5,6).
wording there is very rich and one translator has rendered it, "The Holy Spirit, -which He has so
generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our Saviour".
I was reminded of those words when I first stood and watched the Niagara Falls; -what a deluge; -what a
torrent; - what a picture of the wonderful Day of Pentecost! when God Himself came down in power and
glory, and taking fresh hold on His infant Church. Certainly our God knows nothing of stint, and the Lord
Jesus Himself said, "God giveth not the Spirit by measure", -or "with reservations" (John 3:34). He also
said that if we also would learn to give, we would receive "good measure, pressed down, and shaken
together, and running over" (Luke 6:38). The Provision we are now thinking of (The Holy Spirit), is
always a full provision, and "without measure". If there is any lack, it can only be from our side.
Someone has rightly said, "God 1s a Great Giver; -He only needs great receivers"!
Our second comment must be about the CONSTANCY of the Provision of the Holy Spirit, -the never-ending flow of God's River! When Paul wrote to the Philippians from his prison in Rome, he assured
them that his difficulties would not spoil, or limit, his witness, because he was continually being helped
by what he called, "the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ" (Phil.1: 19). The word he uses for "supply" is
again the richer word (EPICHOREGIA). It reminds us of the promise made by Moses to Asher, "Let him
dip his foot in oil, and as thy days, so shall thy strength be" (Deut. 33:24,25). That promise may be ours
too, and it shall be ours, if we will but dip, not only our foot, but our whole being into the Oil of God's
Spirit. How sad, indeed, it would be if we had to try to live the Christian life in our own strength, -as if
God started us off in the Way, and then left us to fend for ourselves! Thank God the River of Supply
flows on, and we may be freshly filled day-by-day, and even moment -by -moment. As an empty cup may
be continually filled if held under running water, so may we be continually FILLED WITH THE HOLY
SPIRIT IF WE WILL KEEP OUR PLACE UNDER THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST. In that way,
will not stop blessing us. In fact, He will daily LOAD us with His benefits (Psa.68: 19). The "SUPPLY"
is both abundant and constant!
As we have been writing these lines our thoughts have gone to Joseph, -alive, and "highly exalted" to the
very throne of Egypt. In Genesis 42, we see him sending off his brethren on their journey from Egypt to
Canaan. In verse 25 we read, " Joseph commanded to FILL THEIR SACKS with corn...and to give them
PROVISION FOR THE WAY". Thank God, our Greater Joseph has done the same for us, -He has made
PROVISION for our journey; -He fills our sacks with the Blessed Holy Spirit, and sets us off for
There, then, we have our third reason why the Christian Gospel is a Glorious Gospel; -it tells us of a
Glorious Provision, -"Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:3, 18; Luke 11: 13). What a
Perfect Provision for the way; -the Very Spirit of Him Who is the Way! May God make us great receivers
of His great mercies!
YE ARE MY WITNESSES -12
We have to give God's word to all people. But some people want to have special ministries. They want to
work only among the students of universities. Others want to work among educated people or people in
high positions. Others want to work among the poor. That is how they become limited. If you think only
of a special class of people and spend more time on them you will be limited in God's sight. In God's
work we cannot make distinctions or difference. We have .to give God's word to all people, whether they
are rich or poor, high or low, educated or uneducated. Then we will find uniform growth among the
No doubt, the Gospel was preached by the apostles with power and wisdom, but they were giving it only
to the Jews. That is why the center was shifted from Jerusalem to Antioch. From Antioch the Gospel was
taken to Asia and other parts of Europe. "And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the
region. And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily" (Acts 13:49;
16:5). Apostles like Peter and Paul, and Barnabas, went from Antioch and other places. If you want your
ministry to be effective, you have to serve all people equally with no distinction of caste, education or
riches. We should not be governed by education or position. After all, they receive the same salvation.
We have to be very careful and not show any partiality in the Lord's work.
In Acts 11: 23 we see that God brought His servant Barnabas from Jerusalem to Antioch. "Who, when he
came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they
would cleave unto the Lord". Barnabas then went to Tarsus in search of Paul. "And when he had found
him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves
with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch"
(v.26). They preached and the believers were strengthened. That was how God was showing that for
spiritual growth we need His servants from different places. He Himself will send His own servants: from
various countries. That is how the early believers began to grow and God's servants were sent to different
"And in those days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch" (Acts 11: 27). Even though believers in
Antioch were multiplied greatly and God's word was preached to them, they could not say that they could
manage without the believers at Jerusalem. They depended upon others too. God in a sovereign way sent
His servants to minister unto them. Then Agabus, the prophet, prophesied that there would be a famine in
Jerusalem. The believers of Antioch felt sad for the believers of Jerusalem. They sent help from Antioch
to Jerusalem through Barnabas and Paul (vs.28- 30). That is how believers are supposed to help one
another without any worldly organization, but by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
When these men came to Jerusalem they came just in time for the prayer meeting. "Peter therefore was
kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him" (Acts 12:5). See
how in a sovereign way both the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, were brought to Jerusalem. When they
returned to Antioch they came with the burden of prayer for Jerusalem. Though the believers at Antioch
were taught mightily from God's Word now they were learning to pray for the suffering believers at
Jerusalem. In Acts 13: 1-3, we see how they began to pray and as they prayed God separated Barnabas
and Paul to take the Gospel to Asia and Europe. As they prayed, God's heavenly plan was shown to them
by the Holy Spirit. Unless there is a burden for prayer God cannot show us His plan.