Many authors and preachers from the Holiness Era (which lasted from the 16th century until the early 20th century) shared their conversions and thoughts on how they successfully “entered into Canaan” (another way of saying that they achieved the 2nd blessing). As you peruse these stories you will proclaim, as I had, that this is a glorious cache of literature!
What exactly is this awesome event? All I know is it is available to us all as a free gift and because it is from God, I’m very excited to know more about it and to have it. But exactly what is it? What is this instantaneous outpouring of the Holy Spirit that can have you instantly feeling the glory of God in an amazing deluge of power and majesty and unfathomable joy?
One of Jesus’ parables talks about a treasure in a field. Here it is:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” NIV
The 2nd blessing is like this. You discover it exists but you don’t own it. Then you sell all you have to purchase the field and own the treasure in it. You completely sell out to Jesus Christ, no longer allowing idols (or distractions) to burn a hole in your mind. You give up EVERYTHING to be a servant of God. This can be done immediately after being saved or it could take years to finally come to the conclusion that there is something more to glean from God. Apparently, you can still feel depravity, our sin-nature, moving around and influencing your days. There are fluctuations, some days you are up, some days you are down. There is no consistent sense of the glory of God. There is no “praying without ceasing.”
Or, what about the parable of the pearl of great price? Here it is:
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
These are parables that try to explain the unexplainable. Both the men, the one admiring the treasure in a field and the one admiring a huge pearl, are required to sell EVERYTHING to obtain these finds. Everything. They are to give up everything that takes their attention away from God and when they do, God rewards them with a treasure or a pearl of great price.
After all the reading I’ve done which mentions a wondrous event, an instant endowment of power from God, I’m intrigued. I see that a special God thing has occurred in many lives (seemingly more during the Holiness Era), but appears to be lacking in the present age (and, at this writing, my own life as well). Nevertheless, I can positively say that there is a divine power, a cache of dynamite, within the souls of each one of us, and I believe if one of us exploded in this power, in a mighty chain reaction, we all would if we chose to. We all have the fuse (unless we refuse it), but God lights it and explosively releases His power and reveals our path almost instantly when we surrender our lives to Him. And yes, God tells us what He wants to accomplish with the power He gives us. How can we obtain this powerful anointing? What are the prerequisites to receiving this wonderful blessing? How can we really know the plans God has for us?
To the early Christians, Jesus was known as “The Way.” He said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father except through Me.” After His resurrection and before He ascended into heaven, He gave His close friends a directive to wait in Jerusalem as He was going to send them power from on high. They waited, fellowshipping, possibly reliving the three years they followed the Savior. They didn’t know what was going to happen as they waited. How could they imagine when at no time in history was power as happened at Pentecost ever endowed to and displayed in anyone.
When the power fell, and tongues of fire burst forth from the apostles’ heads, in a flash they went from frightened, weak Jesus followers to strong, fearless new leaders of the Christian faith. This amazing infusion of power into Jesus’ close associates is known as the Pentecost which is described in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. The world should be home to millions of Pentecosts, with millions of power-filled Christians healing the sick, raising the dead, feeding the hungry supernaturally and even walking on water. Why is this not happening? What is impeding these naturally supernatural events?
I have an idea as to what might have happened. I have a feeling that something wonderful was occurring during the Holiness Era but much offense was taken over it. I believe it is possible that they, and we, as the body of Christ, threw the baby out with the bathwater. The leaders of the holiness movement called that special anointing “sinless perfection” because the Holy Spirit rushing through every cell in their bodies seemed like a fire cleansing them from inner depravity (our sin nature). Since the choice to sin was still possible, we may have to consider that this infusion of power sets us up for mighty accomplishments for the Lord even though we could still back-slide. However, I would think that we would be less likely to back-slide with this new power from God available.
Jesus healed all manner of diseases by touching the sick or even just praying for them. He cast out demons, raised the dead, and He fed thousands with little in the way of material goods. Add to that the fact that He walked on water. He said that even greater things we would do. What did He mean by that? When might that power be given to us? What is the prerequisite to receiving that power? Fortunately, the prerequisite to receiving this power is a total commitment, a surrendering of all to God and in doing so, your purpose will be revealed. You will know where God wants to send you and tremendous power will be yours to accomplish His (and, of course now, your) will.
This power is very attractive to the committed Christian. In this day and age, it seems merely an enticement, something unattainable, but if you study the holiness movement of years ago, you can see this power in most of the itinerant preachers of the day, and you can read how they obtained it instantly, forever changing their lives and the lives of those around them. This power is obviously from God and obviously supposed to be used for inspiring all people of the earth to choose to enter into Canaan (become power-filled) and be a part of a massive God-made revival, not a man-made one. The world is too much like Rome in Jesus’ time. We need more firemen and fire-women in the body of Christ. We all need tongues of fire spouting from our heads. Can you see and understand this?
Is it enough to go to church and be satisfied until we die and go to heaven? Or are we supposed to be doing something amazing here but we are so preoccupied with “life” that we can’t find the time? Jesus came to give us abundant life. Have we got that? What did He mean? God bless you richly!