Blasphemy Against the Holy Ghost
July 5, 1913 — Stone Church, Chicago IL
Dear Friends: We have met in the presence of the most high God; we have come to do business for Jehovah. Let us do it well. We shall meet again in eternity. Let us be very solemn. God’s reporter is taking note of every thought, every action here tonight, of those who are against Him and those who are for Him. So let us turn our minds from the fleetings of life, the things that are passing away, and be shut in with God this hour.
The message of the Lord has brought before us tonight will be found in the 12th chap. Of Matt., verses 31 and 32.
“Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” This message comes to use from Jesus tonight as much as if He was standing here. Hear the eternal word from the lips of the Son of God now reigning in glory. The words are just as powerful as when from His lips if they go out by the power of the Holy Ghost. This subject is considered one of the deepest in the word of God. You have often heard the question asked, “What is the unpardonable sin?” And some people are very much concerned about having committed it. John says: There is a sin unto death. I do not say that you shall pray for it, but other sins are not unto death, and through prayer God will wash them all out.
Blasphemy against God and all kinds of sin against Him and against mankind will be blotted out, but whosoever speaks against the Holy Ghost hath no forgiveness neither in this world nor in the world to come. Christ said this because they said He had an evil spirit and did His mighty works through that agency. So, you see, it is an unpardonable sin to attribute any of the mighty works of the Holy Ghost to the devil. There has never been a time since the early church, when there was so much danger of people committing the unpardonable sin as there is today since the Pentecostal fire has girdled the earth and tens of thousands have received the Holy Ghost, felling His presence, backed up by signs and wonders and divers operations of the Spirit.
When men and women come in contact with this work of the Holy Ghost, hearing His words and seeing His works, there is danger less they attribute the power present to some other agency other than the Spirit of God. There is danger less they condemn the power and condemn God’s servants. How often have we heard ministers say, when they heard men and women and children speaking in other tongues, “Oh, it is the work of the devil.” Now you hear what God says about it; they are speaking against the Holy Ghost. God has been working in this city and is going to work in much greater measure. We expect to see greater signs and wonders; if the saints stand together as one, pray together and shout victory, God will show himself a mighty God and a Saviour.
He will only come in healing power, but will manifest Himself in many mighty ways. On the day of Pentecost, Peter said, “God hath poured forth this which ye see and hear.” And from what they heard and saw three thousand owned it was the power of God and turned to Christ. Others stifled conviction, and turned against saying, “This is the work of the devil.” When the Holy Ghost is poured out it is either life until life or death until death. It is life unto life to those who go forward and death until death to those who blaspheme against the Holy Ghost. So we want to be careful what we say against the divers operations, supernatural signs and workings of the Holy Ghost. Some people look on and say, “It looks like hypnotism,” “I believe it is mesmerism.” To others it appears mere foolishness, even as Scripture says of the natural man, “The things of the Spirit of God are foolishness unto Him and he cannot know them because they are spiritually discerned.”
It was the same on the day of Pentecost, when a multitude saw the disciples staggering about under the power of the Spirit, speaking in tongues. While some said, “They are drunken,” others knew the mighty power of God was there. There is a power here that is not of earth, a power lifting people up, making men and women upright, making them good neighbors, good husbands and wives, is the mighty presence of Almighty God. Watch the lives of these people; they do not seek worldly amusements, but the power of God is manifested in them. What did the power bring on the day of Pentecost? The crowd that came together were all amazed and said, “We never said it on this fashion.” Everybody began to get convicted; though some, not willing to accept it, not willing to be called fools for Christ’s sake, rejected it and, to ease their guilty consciences, said, “They are drunken.” They knew better. They knew the mighty power of God was there and if there was a question God settled it. Peter got up in the midst of the brethren and said: “These are not drunk, as you say. Men don’t get drunk at nine o’clock in the morning; but this is that which is spoken by Joel the prophet, “In the last days I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh. Your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams.” This is the Holy Ghost which you now see and hear.” It is the same Holy Ghost tonight. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. He is a person and works under the directions of Jesus Christ, under His orders. He doesn’t do anything but what Christ tells him to do When we are ready to receive Him, Jesus sends the Holy Ghost to impart to us His own gifts. The Holy Ghost cleanses these temples and comes in to dwell. He fills these bodies and His power in us gives us utterance in tongue and works through us in other ways. Now, in order to guard against committing the unpardonable sin, we must know a little of what the Holy Ghost is. He could not come until Christ was glorified. Christ was on the earth in His human body for only a short time, but at Pentecost He came through the Holy Ghost to stay.
Jesus said that when the Holy Ghost should come whom the Father would send in His Name, “He shall abide with you forever.” And He will not speak of Himself but what He hears He will say. Oh, I love the Holy Ghost because He is always witnessing for Jesus and He comes to bring us power. He is “the Comforter, the Spirit of truth” who shall “abide forever.” He brings all things to our remembrance. We are so forgetful in our natural state; but we have a spiritual mind and God writes His word on our minds and the Holy Spirit brings these messages to us at the right time — a message to this one in sin, that one in sorrow, encouraging the weak and helping the strong with some message from heaven, always pointing us to Jesus the great Burden-Bearer — rivers of living water flowing from the individual, healing virtue going out.
Virtue went out from Peter so that the sick were healed upon whom his mere shadow fell. Power went out from Paul so that they sent handkerchiefs and aprons from his body and through them, when they were laid on the afflicted, streams of healing went forth and devils were driven out. The Holy Ghost is called “Water.” “I will pour water on him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground.” A tidal wave of glory is coming this way. God help us to be as empty vessels that the Holy Ghost’s power may fill us to overflowing. The Holy Ghost is spoken of as “fire,” “wind” and “water” — three of the most destructible elements in the world and three of the most useful.
We could not live without fire, wind or water. When a cyclone comes men and women turn pale. When God’s cyclone through the Holy Ghost strikes the people it is a great leveler. They lose sight of their money bags and all hatred and ill-will are swept away as a cyclone carries all before it. When a tidy wave strikes a city it submerges everything; so , in a tidal wave of the Holy Ghost, everything goes under. Oh, we want a cyclone of God’s power to sweep out of our lives everything that cumbers us, and a tidal wave to submerge us in God.
God uses these great elements, fire, wind and water, in all their force to give us an idea of the mighty power of the Holy Ghost. Our bodies are His temples and, as great pieces of mechanism are moved by electricity, so our bodies, the most wonderful piece of mechanism every known, are moved by the power of the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. HE filled the one and twenty on the day of Pentecost with power to witness for Jesus. At the hands of the apostles, God healed the sick and he heals today by the same power that was on the apostles. God pours out rivers of living waters. What manner of people ought we to be?
If we haven’t the power, let us confess it and ask God to give us the power he gave the first disciples. If those who come to the Lord will be filled as they were on the day of Pentecost, we will have streams of living water rushing through us and flowing to the very ends of the earth. Jesus Christ was baptized in the Holy Ghost, but He did not have all power until He had finished His course. He could have turned away and not have gone to the cross, but He went all the way and cried, “It is finished.” His last act was this going down into death.
But God Almighty raised Him up and when He came up all power was given Him — ALL POWER! He sent His disciples out in His Name and said that those who believe [in] Him should cast out devils, should speak in new tongues, should lay hands on the sick, and if they drank any deadly things (accidentally, of course) it would not hurt them. He said to the disciples, “Do not marvel at what you see. These things shall ye do if ye believe, and greater works than these shall ye do because I go to the Father.” Now when Pentecost came they were all in the upper room waiting. They were all saved and all pure and of one accord — no divisions, no controversy. They did not know how the “promise of the Father” was going to come, but they were waiting for it; and suddenly the Spirit, as a cyclone, came and filled the whole building; a great tidal wave of power was turned upon them and they were all filled with living water.
The Spirit’s tongues of fire were upon their heads and they all began to speak in outer tongues as the Hy Ghost gave them utterance. The people who came running up were amazed and said, “What does this mean? Are not all these that speak Galileans? Are they not ignorant of these foreign tongues? Yet everyone hears them speak in his own language wherein he was born. It was the Holy Ghost who gave them utterance in languages. The Lord has said, “With men of other lips and stammering tongues will I speak until this people, but for all that they will not believe.” He put the stress on that and the people heard and news, yet for all this they mocked and cried out that the men had been drinking. The Holy Ghost came to testify of Jesus. The Spirit preached the first sermon on Jesus’ resurrection through Peter, who got up and brought forward the Scripture to prove that this manifestation was of the Holy Ghost, and that He witnessed to Christ.
People who had not believe that Jesus was the Christ — thought He did works that none other did and spake as never man spake — were now brought under conviction and three thousand souls were converted on that day. Many in Jerusalem, when they saw the operations of the Holy Ghost, believed, and “a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
The Holy Ghost is here tonight bringing Jesus into our midst. He is healing the sick by the power of God today, devils are being cast out, and miracles are being wrought in the mighty Name of Jesus through the power of the Holy Ghost. God is giving visions. The prophet says, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” People are having visions today of the second coming of the Lord, visions of the marriage supper of the Lamb and of the rapture. The Holy Ghost comes with weeping. He makes you weep because of what is coming on the earth. Oh, there is a sign of trouble! The unbelieving world is going to be cast out into darkness; but while we sign and weep at the sad condition of the world, we rejoice to know that Jesus is coming soon.
We were holding meetings in Moline. One night an evangelist came in whom we had never seen before. We were talking about the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which she had heard about and was hungry for. I said to her, “You are going to get the baptism tonight.” There was not much sign o fit as I got up to give the word. She sat in front of me and while I was talking she looked as if she was asleep, bu the power of God was upon her. The word was going out and the lightening struck. When I got through talking the power was on her in a wonderful way and she commenced speaking in tongues and interpreting.
Then she would wail the most sad wail I had ever heard; it struck me it was like the daughters of Jerusalem weeping over the destruction of the temple; so painful, so doleful was it, everyone was made sad. I said, “This is the signal of some great sorrow, great distress, great anguish and trouble that is coming on the people.” God showing me it was a signal of distress, of awful calamity that was coming. At the same time a sister said that she saw a great earthquake, and described how the water swept over the corpses and down the street. The next day there came out in the papers an account of the dreadful destruction by earthquake at Kingston, Jamaica.
Do you not see the hand of God in that vision? It was something that, coming true immediately, would convince the people. In Dallas last year the Lord showed us many things that took place in Turkey when the armies came together. An old brother in Dallas had visions of the battles before they took place and saw multitudes being killed.
One night there was a loud report as of a terrible explosion. About sixty of the saints heard it and the congregation felt the shock. As son as the news could reach us we heard about it through the papers. The Holy Ghost brings gifts, miracles, discerning of spirits. We laugh and cry in the Spirit, we should at dance and leap; our bodies get so light we scarcely touch the earth. The Spirit gives heavenly music.
At our last meeting at Long Hill, Conn., the heavenly choir surpassed anything I had ever heard. We had it two or three times a day, and there wasn’t a discord. It was the Holy Ghost making harmony through these bodies and the singing was no earthly singing but heavenly. Sometimes I would be a little late in getting to the meting and as I came up the hill the sound of the heavenly choir was wafted down. It sounded as if it came from heaven; it was the song of the redeemed.
God is getting His children ready to sing at the marriage supper of the Lamb. They sing a song no one can sing except the redeemed. No outsiders can join them. The Spirit has shown me the coming of the Lord is very near and I know it now more than ever. God baptized me over 25 years ago with a wonderful baptism, but I am more hungry today than I ever was. I see greater possibilities today than ever before> Let us go on from one degree to another. Blessed is the servant who, when His master comes, is found at His post, giving to the household their portion of meat in due season. This s your opportunity, your day of God’s visitation. “The bride hath made herself ready.” You can not go to the tailor and order your suit to go to the banquet; you have to make it yourself. The Bride hath made herself ready and it is going to be the most wonderful wedding garment you ever heard of.
It takes skill to weave the garment of pure linen and embroider the “fine wrought linen work,” and when she is ready He will greatly admire her. There will be a great company of guests in the banquet hall. But some of us are not ready; we haven’t our garments. The tie has come to get ready. Oh, it means something to dress for the marriage supper of the Lamb. When there is a banquet in honor of the King’s son or daughter, it is a great occasion and the musicians are trained for it long before. Now this banquet that is going to take place in the skies, this marriage supper of the Lamb, will be the greatest wedding that we ever known.
The King of glory will be married to His Bride. Don’t you know that every good thing the world enjoys God is going to let us enjoy ten thousand fold? That will be the greatest banquet, the most wonderful occasion every heard of, when we shall eat bread and drink wine in the Kingdom. The Bride is now in training, the Holy Ghost is in the Dove; the singing is the cooing of the dove before the storm. Did you ever hear the doves before the storm calling to their mates to seek shelter? So the Holy Ghost is cooing and chirping, calling us to seek shelter from the tribulation storms that are coming upon the earth. The Lord is having us in training, making our bodies light and supple so that we can go up. May the Lord help us to be filled with the Holy Ghost so that we can rise. It is the only; moving power in the church of Christ, the mighty agent. He has sent to carry on business through His body. Let us get the fire from heaven that will enable us to do business for God, and be careful that we do not attribute the power of God to the devil lest we commit the unpardonable sin.
Source: A Diary of Signs & Wonders, by Maria Woodworth-Etter, (Harrison House, 1916), pp. 544-551.
Also: The Latter Rain Evangel.