Lightnings of God
(Taken from a sermon by John G. Lake - Born in St. Mary's, Ontario, 1870 and died in Spokane, Washington, 1935.)
While yet a justified man, even without an experience of sanctification, the Lord committed to me in a measure the ministry of healing in as much that many were healed and, in some instances, real miracles of healing took place. Yet I did not know God as my sanctifier. Ten years later, after sanctification had become a fact in my life, a great and wonderful yearning to be baptized in the Holy Ghost and fire came into my heart.
After seeking God persistently, almost night and day for two months, the Lord baptized me in the Holy Ghost causing me to speak in tongues and magnify God. I had looked for and prayed and coveted the real power of God for the ministry of healing and believed God that when I was baptized in the Holy Ghost that His presence in me through the Spirit would do for the sick the things my heart desired, and which they needed. Instantly upon being baptized in the Spirit I expected to see the sick healed in a greater degree and in larger numbers than I had before known, and, for a time, I seemed to be disappointed.
How little we know of our own relationship to God! How little I knew of my own relationship to Him; for, day by day, for six months following my Baptism in the Holy Ghost the Lord revealed to me many things in my life where repentance, confession and restitution were necessary, and yet I had repented unto God long ago. Oh! the deep cleansing, the deep revelations of one's own heart by the Holy Ghost. It was indeed as John the Baptist said, "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire" [Matthew 3:12].
Results of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
First, then, I will say the Baptism in the Holy Ghost meant to me a heart searching as I had never before known, with no rest, until in every instance the blood was consciously applied, and my life set free from the particular thing that God had revealed. As I say, this process continued for six months after my Baptism in the Holy Ghost.
Second, a love for mankind such as I had never comprehended took possession of my life. Yea, a soul yearning to see men saved, so deep, at times heart rending, until in anguish of soul I was compelled to abandon my business and turn all my attention to bringing men to the feet of Jesus. While this process was going on in my heart, during a period of months, sometimes persons would come into my office to transact business and even instances where there were great profits to be had for a few minutes of persistent application to business, the Spirit of Love in me so yearned over souls that I could not even see the profits to be had. Under its sway money lost its value to me, and in many instances I found myself utterly unable to talk business to the individual until first I had poured out the love passion of my soul and endeavored to show him Jesus as his then present Savior. In not just a few instances these business engagements ended in the individual yielding himself to God.
That love passion for men's souls has sometimes been overshadowed by the weight of care since then, but only for a moment. Again, when occasion demanded it, that mighty love flame absorbing one's whole being and life would flame forth until, under the anointing of the Holy Ghost on many occasions, sinners would fall in my arms and yield their hearts to God.
Others have sought for evidences of the Pentecostal experience being the real Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Some have criticized and said, "It is not a delusion?" In all the scale of evidences presented to my soul and taken from my experience, this experience of the divine love, the burning love and holy compassion of Jesus Christ filling one's bosom until no sacrifice is too great to win a soul for Christ, demonstrates to me more than any other one thing that this is indeed none other than the Spirit of Jesus.
Such love is not human! Such love is only divine! Such love is only Jesus Himself, who gave His life for others.
Again, the development of power: First, after the mighty love, came the renewed, energized power for healing the sick. Oh! what blessed things God has given on this line! What glorious resurrections of the practically dead! Such restorations of the lame and the halt and the blind! Such abundance of peace! Verily, "Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses!" [Matthew 8:171.
Then came as never before the power to preach the Word of God in demonstration of the Spirit. Oh! the burning fiery messages! Oh, the tender, tender, loving messages! Oh, the deep revelations of wondrous truth by the Holy Ghost! Preaching once, twice, sometimes three times a day, practically continuously during these four years and four months. Oh, the thousands God has permitted us to lead to the feet of Jesus, and the tens of thou¬sands to whom He has permitted us to preach the Word!
Then came the strong, forceful exercise of dominion over devils, to cast them out. Since that time many insane and demon possessed, spirits of insanity, all sorts of unclean demons, have been cast out in the mighty Name of Jesus through the power of the precious blood. Saints have been led into deeper life in God. Many, many have been baptized in the Holy Ghost and fire. My own ministry was multiplied a hundredfold in the very lives of others to whom God committed this same ministry. Yea, verily the Baptism in the Holy Ghost is to be desired with the whole heart.
Note: If at all possible get a copy of "Adventures in God" by John G. Lake (Harrison House Publishers). Telling the story of Ontario farm boy; turned Chicago business success; turned evangelist and pentecostal pioneer; turned apostle to hundreds of churches in South Africa; turned mainspring of "Healing Rooms" in Spokane and Portland.