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Psalm 103:1. Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
I Corinthians 13:1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
I Corinthians 13:4. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands.” One thing we ought to be thankful for this morning is that we can do that. That isn’t permitted everywhere. I’ve been in places—in large churches—where you weren’t allowed to say, “Hallelujah!” from the heart. If you did, the preacher would jump down your throat immediately, and gag you. But this morning, Hallelujah! Glory to God! Praise the Lord!
It isn’t only because it’s God due that we should praise Him, but there’s wonderful liberating power in it. Have you ever discovered it? There are deliverances wrought when you praise the Lord, because “God inhabits the praises of His people.” That’s why we read in Psalm 103, “All that is within me, bless His holy name.” And until you’ve been fully liberated, you can’t very well do that.
There are all kinds of bugs crawling around in these temples of ours, until the Holy Ghost comes in and blows them out. I often have to smile when we have a real outpouring of the Spirit of God, and everybody gets drenched, and everybody gets drowned and drunk, and everybody laughs. My, how I have roared sometimes, when the (…) Holy Ghost took possession of me! And then to look around and see some folks get mad! Why, the madder you get, the worse it is. My mother used to say if anything radical happened, “My goodness, if that isn’t good for the bedbugs!” It takes a real antidote, a real medicine. But oh, beloved, it’s good for everything: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me.”
“‘Who hath believed our report? To whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ Who pays heed to My invitation: ‘to everyone that thirsteth to come to the waters’ and to drink freely until you’re filled to the overflowing and ‘rivers of living water flow from within you’? Lo, I’m not looking for worthiness in you, nor for strength, nor for righteousness. But I’m looking for those who ‘hunger and thirst after righteousness.’ And My declaration is that ‘they shall be filled.’ And so I call every one of you, ‘Come out from among them and be ye separate,’ and ‘turn ye unto Me,’ ‘Behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you.’ And even this day, when so many have gone astray, the heavens are opened, and the power of God is descending, and My Spirit is searching to and fro among men to fill to the overflowing sons and daughters of mine, to ‘sanctify them wholly,’ and to prepare them for the marriage feast of the Lamb.”
It’s a great miracle to speak with the tongues of men and of angels. But God says, “It’s as sounding brass and tinkling cymbal,” unless it flows from the fountain. And that fountain is God. My, when you read this chapter, everyone might say, “My, how far short I come!” That’s not the way to look at it. Look at it like: “Why, hallelujah, I’ve got something here! I didn’t know it was there. Here’s the description of it, praise the Lord!” The real thing is there—Christ is there. Give Him a chance. This is the directions, hallelujah!
You got a new wash machine? You don’t know how to operate it till you read the directions. And you’ll find that when you plug it in, and you turn the crank, and you turn this switch, it’ll just work by itself. And you put the dirty wash in there, and there it’s hanging on the line, whiter than it was when it was new.
Why, that wash machine was made for that purpose. And listen, “Christ is made of God unto us righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.” And the New Testament is given to us “that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” And when I come short, it’s because I exercise flesh—I don’t walk in the Spirit.
Oh, give God a chance!
Oh, it’s a strange thing how people are satisfied to fool themselves. And that’s why God gives us the Bible, so that you may have the real thing. You take this word and examine yourself by every sentence and see whether you live like that. If not, why, that’s just rock salt. That isn’t love. “Love suffereth long and is kind.”
Comments on tongues. (from 20:24)
An expedition looking for a gem, fooled by a salt crystal. “You can lick a lot of religion, a lot of sanctification, a lot of holiness. It’s nothing but salt. It melts…. You and I don’t have to be satisfied with anything short of the love of God described here. It’s yours, it’s mine, thank God!” (from 24:42)
A young man who would never testify “except when his girl was there in the meeting.” “Strange, where people get their inspiration from! But when the love of God is ruler in your heart… then you do all things for the love of God. You do it by the love of God.” (from 26:43)
German at 3:57:
This is the refrain the hymn Einstens war ich gar verloren (Siegesklänge Nr. 204), translated by HRW from The Hallelujah Side: Once a sinner far from Jesus, by Johnson Oatman, 1898.
Darum preis’ ich meinen Heiland,
der in Liebe mein gedacht,
als ich ganz verzweifelt lag in Sündenweh;
denn Er zog mich aus der Grube,
hat mich froh und frei gemacht,
und nun wohn’ ich auf der Hallelujahöh'!
A literal translation of the German version would be:
Therefore I praise my Saviour,
who thought of me in love
when I lay in desperation, suffering from the woes of sin
for he pulled me out of the pit
made me glad and free
and now I am dwelling on the hallelujah side.