AT 7:00 o’clock P. M., Prof. Prescott commenced his discourse upon the promise of the Holy Spirit. He read as a foundation Luke 11:5-13. He said: The study we are to take up is the study of the Holy Spirit. Ever since this subject was assigned to me, I have been thinking about it, how it could be studied in a way most practical. It will be my plan to move along by easy steps to receiving the Spirit, and when the Spirit is received it will teach us more about itself that we can learn in any other way.
I shall not take up any theory, for it would be all wrong. It is not theory we want so much as experience. This scripture I have read says if we knew how to give good gifts unto our children how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him. We do know that it is a pleasure for us to do that. And he is not only as willing to give his Spirit, but he is much more willing to give it to those who ask him. You think how much joy it gives you to bestow good gifts to your children, and then remember that God is much more willing to give the gift of the Spirit to you. Why do we not have it? Let us see if we can ﬁnd the reason. Prof. Prescott then read John 14:14: “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” Notice the expression “in my name.” Read verse 26. “The Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name.” The Comforter is sent in Christ’s name. We read also in John 15:16, “that whatever ye shall ask of the Father in my name it shall be given you.”
Whatever we ask in Christ’s name we shall receive. What then is it to ask in Christ’s name, if all our petitions are to be presented thus? Let the following from Steps to Christ, 117, answer:-
“Jesus said, ‘Ye shall ask in my name: and I say unto you that I will pray the Father for you, for the Father himself loveth you.’ ‘I have chosen you, …that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.’ But to pray in the name of Jesus is something more than a mere mention of that name at the beginning and the ending of a prayer. It is to pray in the mind and Spirit of Jesus, while we believe his promises, rely upon his grace, and work in his works.”
Now we see what is meant by asking in Christ’s name. It is to pray in the mind and the Spirit of Christ, while you believe in his promises and rely upon his grace to work in his works. When we have this mind in us, we expect what we ask we shall receive. Then suppose we ask and our request has not been granted to us? What then? We should go back to the word and ask in his name, in the mind and in the Spirit of Jesus, while we believe his promises and work in his works. We must do it while believing his promises; must ask in living faith, the faith that makes every word of God a living reality to us. That will make us living representatives of God: that makes Christ take us and do the works through us. Those who thus believe on him have that grace which is an active agency that works in us.
To ask, then, on this basis means that Christ must dwell in us. We can truly ask in the name of Christ only when he dwells in us. Faith is the gift of God, and grace is the gift of God, and it can only be wrought in us when Christ dwells in us and works the works of God. Everyone who asks according to the true meaning in the expression receives the Holy Spirit. If we have asked and have not received it, there is a reason on our part, and not on God’s part.
We should ﬁnd out what is in the way of the pentecostal season, and then we want to remove it. This is the most important thing before us. There is nothing that my soul longs for more than that the baptism of the Spirit shall rest upon the services of God at this time. Let us address ourselves to ﬁnd out what it is that hinders, and then by the help of God remove it. This will not come to us in our way. It will not come to us in any easy, passive manner. We must have experiences like removing right eyes and cutting off right hands. Everyone who wants that experience, wants to be ready to give everything, even life itself, to God. [Murmurs of Amen.] And we should remember that it is easier to say Amen than it is to do what God says.
Let us now look for the reason: We read in Revelation 7 that there are to be 144,000 who will have the seal of the living God. The same company are again brought to view in Revelation 14, and it is said of them in verse 5, they are without fault before the throne of God. The same expression is again used in 1 Peter 1:19, without blemish. Again in Jude 24, faultless. And again in Colossians 1:22, it is unblamable. The thought is that as Christ is without blemish so we are to be.
Prof. Prescott then read Revelation 18:1. We all understand that this refers to the closing work of the third angel’s message, when it will go with a loud cry. And now I will read from an article from Sister White in the REVIEW of Nov. 22, 1892:-
“Let everyone who claims to believe that the Lord is soon coming, search the Scriptures as never before; for Satan is determined to try every device possible to keep souls in darkness, and blind the mind to the perils of the times in which we are living. Let every believer take up his Bible with earnest prayer, that he may be enlightened by the Holy Spirit as to what is truth, that he may know more of God and of Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. Search for the truth as for hidden treasures, and disappoint the enemy. The time of test is just upon us, for the loud cry of the third angel has already begun in the revelation of the righteousness of Christ, the sin pardoning Redeemer. This is the beginning of the light of the angel whose glory shall ﬁll the whole earth.”
Now that angel of Revelation 18 is the angel that is to join the third angel and swell the message into a loud cry. And this message from Sister White says it has already begun to shine. What, then, is our duty at this time? It is to go out and give the LOUD cry of the message to the world. Prof. Prescott then read from “Historical Sketches of Foreign Missions,” p.155.
“Our only safeguard against the wiles of Satan is to diligently study the Scriptures; to have an intelligent understanding of the reasons of our faith; and to faithfully perform every known duty.
The indulgence of one known sin will cause weakness and darkness, and subject us to ﬁerce temptation…. Are our supplications ascending to God in living faith? Are we opening the door of the heart to Jesus, and closing every means of entrance to Satan? Are we daily obtaining clearer light and greater strength, that we may stand in Christ’s righteousness? Are we emptying our hearts of all selﬁshness, and cleansing them, preparatory to receiving the latter rain from heaven?”
We must overcome the disposition to sin or we cannot receive the latter rain. The light that is to lighten the earth with its glory has already begun to shine. What does this mean to us practically? It means that the shaking time is here and that God is going to make a separation in his own people, and those who do not have Jesus living in them will not be permitted to take any part in the work of God when it swells into a loud cry. To my mind God has begun to deal with his people in dead earnest. It is no time to dally with God; no time to spend in idleness. If ever God’s people should walk carefully and softly before him it is now. His people at this time should wait for the power of God.
Revelation 3:18. What is the counsel of the faithful and true witness? It is to be either cold or hot. God wants us to be something. He wants us to be one thing or the other. The gold tried in the ﬁre is the faith and love; the clothing is the righteousness of Christ, and the anointing is the unction of the Holy Spirit. The preaching of this will cause the shaking among God’s people. Standing this side of events that have taken place the last four years we ask, Has it been fulﬁlled? Some think they do not need the righteousness of Christ, and others oppose it.
As many as he loves he rebukes and chastens. Last year at the week of prayer the especial testimony to us was, “Be zealous, therefore, and repent.” Many more people than we imagine are longing for Jesus Christ. The loud cry and the latter rain go together. As the time has come for the loud cry it has also come for the latter rain, and we are to ask for it.
The ﬁrst work of the Spirit of God is to convince us of sin, and it will be the same here. If we do not say yes when the Spirit convinces us of sin, it will not convince us of righteousness.
The Lord has long been waiting to give us his Spirit. He is even now impatiently waiting that he may bestow it upon us. How much longer shall he have to wait?
Now we have been accustomed to turn to Pentecost as the time when the Lord did the greatest work he ever did for his people. But now a work that will be greater than Pentecost has begun, and there are those here who will see it. It is here, it is now we are to be ﬁtted for the work. We have not a moment to lose; not a moment to waste.
Taken from the General Conference Daily Bulletin, January 29, 1893