05 October, 2014
Agent & Instrument & Secret of Efficiency - D. L. Moody
The Holy Spirit is closely identified with the words of the Lord Jesus. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing, the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.” The Gospel proclamation can not be divorced from the Holy Spirit. Unless He attend the word in power, vain will be the attempt in preaching it. Human eloquence or persuasiveness of speech are the mere trappings of the dead, if the living Spirit be absent; the prophet may preach to the bones in the valley, but it must be the breath from Heaven which will cause the slain to live.
In the third chapter of the First Epistle of Peter, it reads, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”
Here we see that Christ was raised up from the grave by this same Spirit, and the power exercised to raise Christ’s dead body must raise our dead souls and quicken them. No other power on earth can quicken a dead soul, but the same power that raised the body of Jesus Christ out of Joseph’s sepulcher. And if we want that power to quicken our friends who are dead in sin, we must look to God, and not be looking to man to do it. If we look alone to ministers, if we look alone to Christ’s disciples to do this work, we shall be disappointed; but if we look to the Spirit of God and expect it to come from Him and Him alone, then we shall honor the Spirit, and the Spirit will do His work.
I can not help but believe there are many Christians who want to be more efficient in the Lord’s service, and the object of this book is to take up this subject of the Holy Spirit, that they may see from whom to expect this power. In the teaching of Christ, we find the last words recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, the 28th chapter and 19th verse, “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Here we find that the Holy Spirit and the Son are equal with the Father—are one with Him, “teaching them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Christ was now handing His commission over to His Apostles.
He was going to leave them. His work on earth was finished, and He was now just about ready to take His seat at the right hand of God, and He spoke unto them and said: “All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth.” All power, so then He had authority. If Christ was mere man, as some people try to make out, it would have been blasphemy for Him to have said to the disciples, go and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and in His own name, and in that of the Holy Ghost, making Himself equal with the Father.
There are three things: All power is given unto Me; go teach all nations. Teach them what? To observe all things. There are a great many people now that are willing to observe what they like about Christ, but the things that they don’t like they just dismiss and turn away from. But His commission to His disciples was, “Go teach all nations to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” And what right has a messenger who has been sent of God to change the message? If I had sent a servant to deliver a message, and the servant thought the message didn’t sound exactly right—a little harsh—and that servant went and changed the message, I should change servants very quickly; he could not serve me any longer. And when a minister or a messenger of Christ begins to change the message because he thinks it is not exactly what it ought to be, and thinks he is wiser than God, God just dismisses that man.
They haven’t taught “all things.” They have left out some of the things that Christ has commanded us to teach, because they didn’t correspond with man’s reason. Now we have to take the Word of God just as it is; and if we are going to take it, we have no authority to take out just what we like, what we think is appropriate, and let dark reason be our guide.
It is the work of the Spirit to impress the heart and seal the preached word. His office is to take of the things of Christ and reveal them unto us.
Some people have got an idea that this is the only dispensation of the Holy Ghost; that He didn’t work until Christ was glorified. But Simeon felt the Holy Ghost when he went into the temple. In 2d Peter, i, 21, we read: “Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” We find the same Spirit in Genesis as is seen in Revelation. The same Spirit that guided the hand that wrote Exodus inspired also the epistles, and we find the same Spirit speaking from one end of the Bible to the other. So holy men in all ages have spoken as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.