I SUPPOSE if I could put the question and ask those who are filled with the Spirit to respond, very
few if any would be heard from. And yet we read in Ephesians 5:18 that this is a command: "Be ye
filled with the Spirit." God commands us to be filled with the Spirit; and if we are not filled, it is
because we are living beneath our privileges. I think that is the great trouble with Christendom today:
we are not living up on the plane where God would have us live. In the 20th chapter of John's
Gospel, and the 22nd verse, are these words: "And when He had said this, He breathed on them,
and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." Now, those men had already the Holy Ghost
dwelling in them. They would never have left their fishing smacks and followed Christ during those
three years of humiliation and suffering if it hadn't been for the Spirit of God working in them. But
almost the first thing after the resurrection, when our Lord appeared to His disciples and showed
them His pierced hands and His wounded side, He breathed upon them and said: "Receive ye the
Holy Ghost." Yet again, after that, as we see in Luke 24:49, He said: "Behold, I send the promise of
My Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on
high." If those men needed to be endued with power, do you think we are going to be used without
it? The great trouble with many of us is, that we are working for God without power. We are sons of
God - no doubt about that - and daughters of God. We can "read our titles clear to mansions in
the skies," but we are sons and daughters without power. That is the trouble.

Now look at Acts 1:8: "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you."
Notice, Christ said that to the Apostles after they had been with Him three years, and after He had
breathed upon them and said: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost." There are two ways in which the Holy
Spirit comes to a man. The Spirit dwelling in him is one thing, and the Spirit on him for power is
another thing. I think that is where Christian people are misled. The trouble is, they are not looking
for the Spirit of God for service. When the disciples were about to begin their great work, our Lord
said: "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." How many, do you
suppose, would have been converted on the day of Pentecost if Peter had gone and preached
without this power? Not one. The disciples were commissioned to go and preach, but they were to
wait till they were recommissioned and endued with power by the Holy Ghost. "Ye shall receive
power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me, both in
Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." How quickly
this whole world would be reached if we were just looking to God for this same Apostolic power!
Turn to the second chapter of Acts and see how the promise was fulfilled. They tarried as they were
bidden, waiting and praying for the Holy Ghost, when suddenly the power came, and they were
ready for work. And there was more work done in one day than in all the three years while they
were with Christ. The Lord had said: "He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also;
and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father." "If I go not away, the
Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you." When the power came
upon the Apostles, they did greater things than the Master ever did. There was a time when I thought
the raising of Lazarus was the greatest work ever done on this earth. But I think the conversion of
those 3,000 Jews on the day of Pentecost was more wonderful still. Those hard-hearted Jews were
full of hatred and unbelief; many, no doubt, were the same men who murdered Christ. And yet they
were swept down by the mighty power of the Spirit. We have got the same obstacles to contend
with as the Apostles had. Our Gospel that we are preaching is a supernatural Gospel, and we have
got to have supernatural power to preach it.

There is a class of people who say: "Yes; I know the Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, but He
came in miraculous power; and we are not warranted in looking for anything like that today." If you
turn to the fourth chapter of Acts you will find that this wonderful work went right on after the day of
Pentecost. Peter and John were cast into prison, and brought before the Sanhedrim. The Council
didn't dare to stone them to death because there were so many young converts. So they gave them
this order: "Now, you can preach in the Temple or wherever you like, but upon one condition -
don't you preach any more in this man's name." The Apostles went forth from the Sanhedrim to the
other disciples, and they had a little prayer meeting. What was the result? "The place was shaken
where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake
the word of God with boldness." In the second of Acts it says that "they were all filled with the Holy
Ghost," and here, in the fourth of Acts, it says again, "they were all filled with the Holy Ghost." They
had either lost their power or had got greater capacity - I don't know which. There are a great
many men who had power five years ago that haven't got it now. They are like Samson robbed of
his strength, or like fishermen working with old, broken nets. Notice, again, that about ten years
after, Peter went out to Caesarea and told Cornelius the words whereby he and his house were
saved. While he was speaking, what happened? "The Holy Ghost fell on all them that heard the
word." That was about ten years after the day of Pentecost, and yet they received the special gift of
the Holy Ghost. I firmly believe that if we had this building filled with men and women expecting the
Pentecostal power, we would get it. I believe if this building was filled with men and women hungry
for the Spirit of God, we would have this place shaken, and there would be an influence felt not only
in this land, but in foreign lands. It wouldn't take long to reach the whole world. Talk about twenty
years. It needn't take twenty years if the Church of God is baptized and quickened.

Notice that those who are filled with the Holy Ghost immediately begin to testify of Jesus Christ.
Elisabeth, when visited by the Virgin, was "filled with the Holy Ghost," and spoke of the coming
Lord. Zacharias also was "filled with the Holy Ghost," and quoted Scripture in reference to the
Messiah. Stephen was "filled with the Spirit," and received such unction that the men of the
synagogue "were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake." He was able to
stand before the whole Sanhedrim, and the power of God was on him in a wonderful degree while
he testified of Christ. When Peter was "filled with the Spirit" he went out to preach Christ - he
couldn't help it. All through the New Testament we are told that the Apostles were again and again
filled with the Spirit. And as they preached "much people were added to the church." That always
follows. There will be conversions breaking out in all the churches if we are filled with the Spirit. Let
us pray that we may receive power for service. Let us not be satisfied with only the power by which
we are "sealed unto the day of redemption;" but let us pray that we may be baptized with that power
from on high by which we can do great things for the Master.

It is important to know whether the work we are doing is the work God would have us do. I
remember that one time when Dr. Kirk came to Chicago, his old power came back upon him, and
he just shook that city as I had never seen it shaken. I suppose if he had stayed, there would have
been thousands and thousands converted. The Mayor of the city and the leading men all came to
hear him, and they said: "If we could have that kind of preaching we would be glad to hear it." But
he went back to his pastoral work. I believe that man was meant for an evangelist; yet he went back
to visit the widow and the fatherless. That was an important work, but others could have done it.
Some men are gifted one way and some another. One man has got gifts as a pastor, and another has
got gifts as an evangelist, while another is specially qualified to stir up Christians. Let every one ask,
"Am I in the right place? Am I where God wants me to be?" If we would do that, it might break up a
good many pastorates. Are you ready - ready to cut the tie? When I was in Chicago I used to take
a circuit out in the country, and preach during the week evenings; but I think I made a great mistake
in binding myself too closely to my regular work. There was time after time when there would be a
hundred inquirers in the country, and yet I would hurry away so as to preach in my own place in the
city on Sunday night, and then perhaps only find myself beating against the air. Let us be ready to go
anywhere - to go wherever the Master calls.

If you want this power for service God will give it to you. Just say: "Here I am, Lord. Send me
where you please - only give me souls. Give me power to win souls for Jesus Christ." When that is
the uppermost thought in our hearts He won't disappoint us. "He that spared not His own Son, but
delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things." If He gave us
His Son, will He withhold the Spirit? "Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." Are
you toiling all night and catching nothing? Cast the net on the right side. Come, my friend, are you
ready to go anywhere? Can you say: "Lord, send me to whom you will - only send me. Let that
power come upon me, that I may win souls for Jesus Christ?" May we have no will but God's sweet
will. Oh, that our wills may be swallowed up in God's will. I believe if Gabriel should tell me that for
the rest of my days I could have my way, I wouldn't have it. I don't know enough about the future. I
want to pray: "Father, not my will, but Thine." May we all be ready to run if He wants us to run, or
to stand still if He wants us to stand still. May we say: "Here we are, Lord; take us - take us - fill
us - use us." I think, if I know my own heart, I would rather die at once and be buried right off than
to live without power. Oh, it is an awfully sad thing for a man to outlive his usefulness - to be laid
aside as a vessel no longer meet for the Master's use. There are a good many Christians God can't
use as He used them once. He has got a good many children that were full of power a year ago or
five years ago, but they are not right now. How He wants to use them! Oh, I pray from the depths of
my soul that as long as I live I may be filled with the Holy Ghost. Let us pray that we may be filled
with this power from on high; and that we may be always ready - ready for anything.