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The Christian Counter

  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. Revelation 1:3
   
 


Ministers of the Spirit

The gospel will not close in obscurity with only insignificant results. The notable advances of science and the astonishing triumphs of technology will not overshadow it. Man-made earthquakes (underground H-bomb explosions) may cause dishes to rattle and buildings to sway a hundred miles away, but when God arises to shake the earth, the cities of the nations will fall. (Revelation 16:18, 19.) God will more than meet space-age achievements.

God has declared that just preceding those stupendous events that accompany our Savior’s return, He will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. (Joel 2:28.) God has promised a last-day world-embracing Pentecost. Here and in related Scriptures He has pictured such a turning to God within the church and from without as has not taken place since apostolic days. The everlasting gospel will be proclaimed with more than Pentecostal power “to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” (Revelation 14:6.)

A church-wide revival and reformation must precede the worldwide ministry of the Spirit. As Christ’s disciples “continued with one accord in prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:14) in order to receive the outpouring of the Spirit, so the earth’s twilight hour the people of God in all lands through “the supply of the Spirit” (Philippians 1:19) will seek “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3) that will prepare them to receive the promised last-day outpouring.

All who have found unity with the Spirit will find unity in the Spirit with every other Spirit-endued soul. This unity transcends every other, for it, stems from love and can exist only among those “having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” (Philippians 2: 1,2.)

Paul constantly wrote of this unity of spirit, a unity akin to that which exists between the members of the Godhead. For the church at Philippi he prayed that they ‘stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:27.) To the church at Corinth he wrote, “For by one Spirit are we baptized into one body, … and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:13.

When the disciples became of one accord into one place, the Pentecostal shower began to fall. (Acts 2:1-4.) Then the 120, filled with the “same love” became “ministers… of the spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:6).

All who receive the Spirit are under obligation to share the Spirit. On one occasion, the Lord took of the Spirit that was upon Moses and put it upon the seventy elders of Israel. Sixty-eight of the group went into the Tabernacle, where God bestowed His Spirit upon them. Seeing what had happened, Joshua said, “My lord Moses, forbid them.” Moses’ reply showed the greatness of the man: “Enviest thou for my sake? Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:25-29.)

Paul had some concern. Finding disciples in Ephesus, he asked them, “Have ye received the Holy ghost since ye believed?” Acts 19:2. When this minister of the Spirit learned of their spiritual destitution, he immediately set about to remedy the situation.

However, today’s church needs to have a new endowment of the Spirit it can impress a world busied and occupied with its Babel towers of human achievement, its Aladdin lamps and magic carpets, its mansions and skid-row hovels, its racketeers and riots, its political, economic, educational, and social problems. The world refuses to listen to the accounts of how the Spirit used Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles. The World today pays little heed to those who speak of the religion of our father and mothers. The world wants to see what the Spirit can do in the lives of those who profess to serve God now. However, where can the world see those who have been signally blessed by the Spirit – where are lives that have been mightily transformed? Where are the missionary witnesses charged with the Holy Spirit who is communicating the Spirit to those about them?

Can anything be so frightening as that the sinners in Zion are unafraid? That the hypocrites go unrebuked. That the evil, bold, defiant, and unashamed feel no terror? Conscientious Christians must ask as did Gideon, “Why,,, is all this befallen us? And where be all his miracles that our fathers told us of? Judges 6:13.

Soon God will wipe away the reproach. The same God that heard the 120 in the upper room will hear His people today and make them ministers of the Spirit. He will give the Spirit not to glorify man, but to glorify Christ. When Christians imbued with the same Spirit become living epistles, “known and read of all men,” when the sword of the Spirit will be unsheathed and the glories of the cross-told abroad. Modern David’s will sing – not to glorify self or glorify music, but to glorify God. Modern Daniels will interpret current events. Nehemiah’s will call for Sabbath reform. Then every church member will do all that the apostles did. Peters and Paul’s and Johns will proclaim Christ’s second coming. Then the church will not glory in numbers and statistics, her works of benevolence and mercy, or her institutions and houses of worship; but in the power of the Spirit she will cry to a world going down to destruction, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation.” Acts 2:40.

Never has so much been at stake. Many obstacles lie at hand, but the church will meet the greatest challenge of all time, for the world at its worst will see the church at its best. The unity of the believers will be the unity of the Spirit. Missionary witnesses for Christ will make people as conscious of the invisible as they are of the visible. The message of redeeming love will go to every town and hamlet around the world. The heralds of Christ’s return will have the courage of the Reformers and the zeal of the evangelists.

Thousands will turn from the sin-drenched world, its follies and foibles, its drunkenness and gluttony, its forms of godliness. A divine compulsion will lead heads of state, merchant princes, the intelligentsia and the lowly, men and women of every walk of life, to step out and willingly make any sacrifice to serve the Prince of peace. “A great company of the priests were obedient to the faith” in the early church. (Acts 6:7.) Therefore, among the clergy today many will make the irreversible commitment to become ministers of the Spirit. Church members will face prejudice, persecution, boycott, and even threats of death, but their passion for the souls will rise above the fierce opposition of the synagogue of Satan. Indeed, the more desperate the battle, the greater the victory. Satan can do nothing against the truth except what will ultimately result in giving the truth a greater luster.

God wants to use you as a minister of the Spirit in this climax. The whole earth is to be lightened with the glory of the gospel. Language proves inadequate to describe the blending of the celestial glory with the bravery of God’s last-day witnesses, sealed with the seal of the living God. In vision, John beheld their triumph over Satan’s final worldwide confederacy of evil. He said, “I saw … them that had gotten victory … stand on the sea of glass… and they sang the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” Revelation 15:2,3. My friends, will you join in those hallelujah choruses?



   
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