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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Are We Willing to Drink His Cup? # 1

Are We Willing to Drink His Cup? # 1

Luke chapter 12, verses 49 and 50

I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

I've been going to meetings for over every seventy years all over the world -Pentecostal conferences, Methodist conferences, all kinds of conferences.

I heard the baptism of the Holy Spirit preached, I think, fifty different ways.

In seventy years, I've never heard anybody preach on this text where Jesus, speaking of Himself says: "I have a baptism ..."

Charles Wesley gave us that lovely children's hymn,

Gentle Jesus, meek and mild.
Look upon the little child.

Some people never get past "gentle Jesus." But Jesus is associated with fire. The next time He comes, says 2 Thess. 1:7, He's coming with flaming angels- thousands of them!

Here He is saying to these disciples, "I am come to send fire on the earth ..."

Again, the symbol of the church is fire. I was preaching last Sunday night in a big church with a big cross for Jesus and one for the thieves. I reminded them: "The Cross is no symbol of Christianity. The symbol of Christianity is the tongue of fire that sat on the head of each of them."

Our God is a consuming fire.
Wesley has a wonderful hymn on this. He says,

See how a great a flame aspires, kindled by a spark of grace.
Jesus love the nations fires; sets the kingdoms all ablaze.
To bring fire on earth He came, kindled in some hearts it is.
Oh that all might catch the flame; all partake the glorious bliss.

When He first the work began, small and feeble was its flame,
Now the word doeth swiftly run; now it wins its widening way.

More and more it spreads and grows, ever mighty to prevail,
Sins strongholds it now overthrows and shakes the trembling gates of hell.

Sons of God, your Saviour praise; He the door hath opened wide,
He hath given the word of grace; Jesus word is glorified.

Saw you not the cloud arise, little as a human hand?
Now it spreads along the skies, hangs o'er all the thirsty land.

You see the idea: a spark begins and gradually it blossoms to go out through the whole world. Wesley wrote that in 1776, I think, and prophetically.

More and more it spreads and grows, ever mighty to prevail.

Usually with the expansion of a thing there is a weakening, but when the Church truly expands, there is a strengthening.

God never planned any failures for us.
...how am I straitened till it be accomplished?

Now I want to bear this out from the gospel according to Matthew 20:17-22).

And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said to them,

Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death,
And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.

Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshiping him: and desiring a certain thing of him.

And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask...

She asked a big thing. In the other gospels it says they asked it. John and his brother asked. Here it says his mother asked. I guess there was a collusion in this. They had agreed together. They believed that Jesus was going to have a kingdom. They wanted to sit on the right hand and the left hand when He came into His kingdom.

But notice they came worshiping Him.
Yet in their worship there was begging.
It wasn't pure. They had an ulterior motive.
They were trying to bargain with Him.
But Jesus answered and said, "Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" (v. 22).

Now, in Luke 12:49 He said, "I am come to send fire on the earth." What hindered Him from giving them the fire at that moment?

A baptism.
A baptism of sorrow.
A baptism of anguish.
A baptism that we call Gethsemane.

You see, there is no place in the whole wide world where you can put the Upper Room before the Cross. The Cross comes before the Upper Room, but we try to turn that around.

Very often we're asking people to tarry in the Upper Room who have never knelt at the Cross. They get a false experience and it evaporates. We shun the Cross.

"I have a baptism to be baptized with. But I want you to receive a fire that will change that degraded will of yours.

It will endue you with power.
It will give you energy.
It will give you life."

He says, "I want to do that, but I am straitened. I wish it could be accomplished, but it cannot be done yet."

There are people who think that God is only around to help us. We have a great utility God, they think. You pray, and He does this! You pray, and He does that! You pray, and He sends you money. You pray, and He gets you out of a jam. He's not somebody you worship in speechless adoration, but He's a utility God! And some on TV are exploiting that to the  maximum.

Let's go back to Matthew 20.

What wilt thou? She saith unto Him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

But Jesus answered and said, "Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say to him, We  are able" (v. 21, 21).

So, He took them at their word.

"I want my sons to enter thy kingdom, sitting on thy right hand and on thy left." There is only one way to enter the kingdom: through death.

You know not what ye ask. Are ye able ...? Yea, we can drink the cup.

All right,lady I wonder if she was living when her son was brutally put to death? And James, the brother of John, was killed with the sword. (Acts 12:2).

It was Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod the Great, a terrible butcher. A man who could be linked up with Pharaoh that Jeremiah had more conflict than any other prophet of old. Immediately when he was raised up he was in conflict. He was in conflict when he was dying. What was the secret of his power? It is very obvious; he states it: "Thy fire burned within my heart. While I mused the fire burned." Do you know that forty one times he mentions fire? They put him in a pit, but it didn't burn the fire out of him.

There is a hymn with a verse that says:

Waters cannot quench it, floods can never drown
Substance cannot but it, loves a priceless crown.
Oh, the wondrous story, mystery divine
I am my beloveds, and my beloved is mine!

The fire is unquenchable.

The fire of hell is unquenchable.
The fire of the Holy Spirit is unquenchable. 

I know there is a lot of opposition against the second blessing. I challenge you to find a man that has made history in God's kingdom who somewhere didn't have a second crisis after he was born again in the Spirit of God.

One of the Quakers said he found something in him that wouldn't keep peace. He wanted to get rid of the thing in him that was always troubling him.
William Booth said, "I found that I ebbed and flowed until one day the Holy Spirit came in his fullness." Then he wrote that marvelous battle hymn that today's church doesn't know.

The Salvation Army was a penniless organization that went into seventy countries in ninety years. Not seventy cities, but seventy countries! Men and women left their castles in England. Professors left their professions. Why? Because they could see that fire as clearly as Israel could see that pillar of fire at night. The Holy Spirit was there! And old William had them going down the streets at night marching and singing:

Thou Christ, the burning cleansing flame, send the fire!
Thy blood-bought gift today we claim, send the fire!
Look down and see this waiting host
Give us the promised Holy Spirit
We want another Pentecost!

I'm not sure we want it. We need it! You see, the thing between where you are now and this baptism of fire is a "cup".

Jesus said to her,

"Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"

He'd been baptized in the Jordan, but He wasn't talking about that. The man who introduced Him to the world said, "I baptize you with water." That baptism was external. When He comes He will do something internal. He'll baptize you the literal Greek says "with Holy Spirit fire", not "with the Holy Spirit and with fire." You can't separate them. God is a consuming fire.

He shall baptize you with Holy Spirit fire.
But you see, there is something between here and there.

The Church never had more equipment that she has now, but she 

Never had less power!
Never less anointing.
Never less of the miraculous.
Never less from the omnipotent God.

As I've said before,

When did you last tip toe out of church Sunday morning breathless, awed by the awesomeness of God's majesty? God's glory? God's omnipotence" "Ye know not what ye ask." I wonder how often God says that to us.

As I've said many times, and I say privately in my prayers, I don't want to get to the judgment seat with maybe trillions of eyes looking on me, seeing me come up for trial and have God say to me in that day, "Son, I had many things to tell you, but you couldn't bear them." When are we going to get serious about being serious about revival?

Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

~Leonard Ravenhill~!

(continued with # 2)

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