Dr. John Sung
ON BEING FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT I
This afternoon I want to speak on the doctrine of "Being Filled with the Holy Spirit." Acts 2, this chapter, clearly reveals the doctrine of "Being Filled with the Holy Spirit." May we all be filled with the Holy Spirit. Why does not God use a Church? Because the Church is not filled with the Holy Spirit. So God wants Mr. Sung to preach the doctrine of Pentecost wherever he goes.
Acts 11, "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place." Pentecost is an appointed day. Thank the Lord! It was like a Day of Great Grace. A band of people were athirst for the Word of the Kingdom of Heaven. Naturally they banded themselves for prayer.
Vs 2 "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting." Suddenly, at an unexpected moment (God never tells you the time beforehand) a sound like a great wind from heaven signaled the coming of the Holy Spirit in a great outpouring, as you would experience in a mighty draught of wind. There are many Churches today experiencing a mere drizzle, and not being filled. At that time the house was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the temple too. Heavenly hosts and horses, thousands and ten thousands of the heavenly army and Calvary were sent down. O may many heavenly hosts and horses fill this Pure Heart Church. Many sin-laden ones shiver and shudder until they get out of the Church auditorium. Why? Because they are unholy.
Once several village folk told me they saw fire above the Church while inside the Church were heavenly hosts and horses. O may we be filled with the Holy Spirit today!
Vs 3 "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them." The Holy Spirit is like fire, tongues, (the tongues appear like human hearts) which “sat upon each of them," on their heads. Why didn't the fire of the Holy Spirit fall on the mouth or ear? Because the head is the culprit, it is full of bad impressions. Even in sleep it imagines bad thoughts and shows out bad habits. The Spirit's fire comes to burn these up.
Before Pentecost Peter wanted to be No. 1, so did the rest of the disciples as they quarreled. After Pentecost these thoughts were burnt up. Before Pentecost the disciples wanted to "don high hats.” Their ideas were oldish. After Pentecost, all these were changed. Under the working of the Holy Spirit all things were cleansed. I remember when the Holy Spirit came down on me many oldish ideas and many things I loved were taken away. Now, if you invite me to cinema I'd doze off there. If you ask me to read the Bible I won't fall asleep, because my old ways of thinking and old habits are taken away. I hope the Spirit will come down and remove all our old thoughts and anything else. The manifestation of Pentecost is our change of heart and spirit. Now the Spirit's coming need not be like fire, like tongues. Most important is the removal of our old, worn out, decayed elements.
Vs 4 "And they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. When they were filled with the Spirit, they not only could pray but also speak in tongues to be counted as being filled with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not fill like water. The Holy Spirit is fire, to cleanse your heart from sin that it may be emptied to become a vessel for the Lord, and be joined as a member of the body of Christ. All for Jesus! At any time you are all out for the Lord, loving Him with whole-heart, regarding money and all as nothing, then you'll be filled with the Spirit. Not necessary to speak in tongues, to see visions. These people spoke foreign languages so that every national could hear it in his own language. Three years ago I could not speak Mandarin, but only English. I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord helped me, He enabled me to speak the "common language". Praise the Lord. The first thing is, to be able to speak in foreign language so that all can understand.
Vs 5 "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven." Hearers of God's Word are prepared in advance by the Lord. When I was in Amoy hearers of the Word came from every quarter. Someone said to me. "I heard you once before and I cannot but come and hear you again." When the Holy Spirit works, your heart becomes ill at ease. To come, or not to come? One is torn between the excuse of not understanding and the irresistible urge of coming. This is the Holy Spirit's work. Those that are God's the Holy Spirit will grip. I never worry of no people coming but rather that the Church hall is too small. While the message is being preached, there stands behind each hearer an angel. When any word is said the same shoots an arrow into the hearer's heart, which make him restless on hearing the word.
Vs 6 "Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language." This seemed like a crowd gathering to the trumpet call of an angel. Each man heard it in his own dialect. The Word of the Holy Spirit is discernible by all. It enters every heart.
Vs 7 "And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another. Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?” All were amazed. Once while I was preaching many Indians gathered to hear me. Though they couldn't understand the language of speech they well understood the message of the heart.
From my tears and gestures they were converted. They repented and their sicknesses were healed.
Vs 8 "And how bear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?" When the Spirit works in unison with you, your word is alive and convicts.
Vs 9-11 "Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome. Jews and Proselytes. Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God." Here were gathered people from 15 countries. When the Holy Spirit works, people will come without invitation. Once while preaching in the South, I had to have two interpreters, for half of my hearers were Cantonese and the other half Hokkiens. Here you needn't have 15 interpreters. The Holy Spirit was the interpreter. There was a fellow surnamed Lee who never heard the Word before. The Holy Spirit woke him up at 3 a.m. one night to read the Bible. He suddenly came to light, the saving work of the Holy Spirit.
Vs 12,13 "And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, what meant this? Others mocking said, these men are full of new wine.” They spoke only on the mighty acts of God, There are many preachers who speak haphazardly that lull listeners to sleep. Not these, who spoke with power, filled with the Spirit, as it were they were under the influence of wine. Not brain power, or other power, but Holy Spirit power.
Vs 14 "But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words.” They lifted up their voice. They did not buzz like mosquitoes. When I was a boy, whenever I couldn't go to sleep at home. I would do so in Church. Peter didn't send his hearers to sleep. The more he preached the more he excelled.
Vs 15,16 "For these are not drunken as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day, But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel. Don't think we're drunk. When the Holy Spirit fills us we cannot help but speak. We become all stirred up inside if we try to contain ourselves, like water boiling up. Many there are today who speak rather unnaturally, who speak under duress. There are many times when I lead others in preaching. I've observed how these speak with abashed cheeks and flushed ears. When filled with the Spirit, however, they are no more self-conscious.
Vs 17 "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God. I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” God says. "The Holy Spirit will be outpoured in the last days.” Not in drops. Many ask for the Holy Spirit in drops, not in a downpour. All flesh will prophesy. Little boys and girls can preach. Now we see many children not speaking good but bad of others.
"To disbelieve Christ is to perish” is a prophecy that must be fulfilled. In Nanyang (Southeast Asia) there are many young people who preach the Word with all their might. They see vision --- in regard to the heavenly kingdom, the new heaven and new earth and the Rapture. These are visions given by the Spirit. By and large all they know are no more than dances, lovemaking and moneymaking. Visions are given to those who are filled with the Spirit, who are moved by the Spirit. Old men will dream dreams, dreams of a new heaven and new earth.
Vs 18 "And on my servants and oil lily handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy." When the Holy Spirit is outpoured oil His servants and handmaidens they will prophesy. Preaching will come quite naturally. In the last days when the Holy Spirit is outpoured. His sons and daughters will flow with rivers of living water. What a contrast with those who agonize to preach from mere brainpower!
Vs 19,20 "And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come." When I returned from Nanyang (Southeast Asia) this time I brought home 4,000 letters. Between 200 and 300 letters say how they have seen a cross in the sky signifying "The Lord is coming soon." Yet, you have riot seen it. On earth wonders will occur. Many western missionaries don't believe the Lord has healed through my ministry. On earth there will be blood, fire, smoke that has never occurred. There will be a sky without sun, when Satan will work to resist the Holy Spirit. There will be in the last days a whirlwind of sex. Today we marry, tomorrow we part. …
Vs. 21, "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall he saved.” One will he saved by prayer as easy as that. The first time I went to Nanyang, there were not too many believers. In a Church of 30 years' history, perhaps only five were saved. Thank the Lord! After the revival three to four hundred were added to the same Church in a year. Preaching was a burden before. Now that the Holy Spirit had mightily worked, preaching was a lightened job. Men were converted to the Lord at every meeting.
Vs 22 "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know." Whenever the Holy Spirit preaches, His subject is "Only Jesus". Secondly behold …
Vs 23 "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have slain.” It's the Cross, and His precious blood.
Vs 24-32 “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. For David spoke concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my, flesh shall rest in hope: Because you will not leave my soul in hell, neither will you suffer your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; you shall make me full of joy with your countenance. Men and brothers let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up whereof we all are witnesses." And great stress on the Resurrection, the Risen Savior working with us His co-laborers. But many preach a dead doctrine. The Holy Spirit at work speaks forth every word with power.
Vs 33 "Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear." Filled with the Spirit we testify for the Lord, what we see and hear. Filled with the Spirit we have power in witnessing.
Vs 34-36 "For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, the Lord said unto my Lord, Sit you on my right hand, Until I make your foes your footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Yes, every word is charged with power, as we declare, “You deserve to die . . . ". Thank the Lord! Whom the Lord has called are not great doctors but fishermen, who never studied philosophy, psychology or science. So these cannot talk philosophy or psychology, but they can testify. They are purveyors of Bible, not of Babble. They teach of Bible doctrines whereby hearts are touched. In my work for the Lord, I merely witness and expound the Bible, these two things. I do not speak the pleasant things to please the appetite, the hearing and the sight. Peter's sermon pricked their hearts --- so I do likewise, as I am told. It's the work of the Holy Spirit.
Vs 38 "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” First, repent, open your heart. Examine what sins you've committed, when and where? Confess your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. This readily brings filling of the Holy Spirit.
Vs 39 "For the promise is unto you, and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." This promise is for those that are afar off, irrespective of race.
Vs 40 "And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation." After rebirth, holiness! To separate from following what the world does.
Vs 41 "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls." 3,000 repented in one day. I've seen this happen, yes, 3,000 in one day, in Amoy!
Vs 42 "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. All are warned one towards another; even while on the road, in everything, a heavenly life.
Vs 43,44 "And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common." The Apostles were invested with spiritual authority. Every member was gifted to do signs, which I've also experienced. Sinners feared my presence. The poor help one another.
Vs 45 "And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need." The Pentecost Church is one big family.
Vs 46 "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart." Praying with one accord and the more they pray the happier they become. Prayer is better than anything. Those not born again cannot in one minute have more than two words to say.
Vs 47 "Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved. Praise the Lord is the overall theme. God's glory fills the place. They are beloved by all people including the non-believers. In everything they do they sing hymns of praise, whether it be sweeping or cooking. A change comes over everyone's behavior after the Spirit's filling. There is family worship, singing and prayer with the children, a happy family, and a heavenly family.