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 How Christ Delivered Me From The Power Of Sin by Ernest O'Neill

How Christ Delivered Me From The Power Of Sin And My Old Carnal Nature

by Ernest O'Neill

It's difficult loved ones to go too long at least it seems for me to go too long without testifying again to what Jesus did in my life. So I'd like to do that simply.

I was a Methodist minister in Ireland and I sensed that God wanted us to go to London to study. My wife and I went there and I really didn't know what to do next. I was a Christian and knew that God had forgiven my sins. I knew that from when I was seventeen, when I went to University. That whole business of sex and the impossibility of doing anything about the strong drives that I had in that direction brought home to me the power of sin and the need to at least have it forgiven. When I went up to University in Ireland, I got down to what was to Protestants a dreadful thing, the Stations of the Cross. I began to spend my prayer time thinking about Jesus dying. I tried to get it through my own thick head that He had actually died and that there was a piece of soil in Palestine where His Cross had actually been thrust into the ground. Gradually I as I thought about that and my mind dwelt upon it I came to the conclusion He had really done that. There was really a man Jesus who had a beard that you could maybe smell if you were close to it or He had ears like mine and He had clothes on. He had actually died on a cross in Palestine and He had died looking right down the centuries past the Roman soldiers to Ernest O'Neal and saying, Father, forgive him for he knows not what he does.

So it came home to me when I was seventeen, that Jesus had actually died for me and that because He had died for me, God was willing to forgive me my sins. So I was born of God when I was seventeen. From then on I had a bible study and a prayer life, not daily but pretty close to daily. Then I sensed the good God calling me to the ministry and that's why I went into the Methodist Ministry. Now after teaching in this literature for couple of years in Ireland, I went into the Methodist Ministry and then into Dublin, the position that I've described, where I felt God wanted us to go to London.

We find ourselves in London and the Methodist Church there and then did not know what to do next. My life, even though it was Christian and I was committed to the ministry was not what it was meant to be. I didn't know what was wrong then, but I knew it, this is not a wonderful life. My mother would often say to me, "Ernest, Christians are supposed to be happy". I mean it was just like a sword in my side because I wasn't happy. I was worried and anxious and concerned and troubled most of the time or a lot of the time and very tense, yet I was a Christian. I knew that something was wrong but didn't know what.

When it came to whether I'd go back to Ireland or stay in London I just, at last just said, "Lord I don't know". I began to seek God, fairly much day after day in London, where should I go? Through prayer came America and that was the last place I wanted to go because America had a lot of money, a lot of commercialism, it wasn't the place where you wanted to go if you were really serious about God, at least as a little Irish minister. I felt I was serious about God.

That was the only answer I got so I went to my neighboring pastor and said did you know anybody in the America, he said he knew the Bishop of Minnesota and he'd arrive in London in the next month. So eventually I had dinner with the Bishop of Minnesota and ended up here in Minneapolis. That was about twenty years ago, the same year that Kennedy was assassinated. Then I got into the Methodist ministry here in America but found the same problem there as I had in Ireland. It was this, I can tie it down fairly precisely, a lady could come in to my study after I'd preached a sermon and could say, well I didn't think this and this and this was good, I thought you could have left that part out. Well I sat there in my chair because in seminary we're given smiling classes and I would smile because you're supposed to smile when they tear you apart. It really didn't matter is I was smiling because inside in my heart, I was resentful of her. I had rising up within me, a the feeling, "What right has she to talk about my preaching? What does she know about homiletics"?

That was one of the problems. A rising up of resentment and criticism towards other people which I did not show on the outside but which were inside all the time. That was inward sin. I didn't know about that. I didn't know the distinction. I knew it was there, but I didn't know what you could do about it. That was one of the problems. I didn't show it on the outside because I was, well I had trained myself I suppose, to discipline my outward expressions to other people so that they wouldn't see what I was really thinking. I knew what I was thinking. Now, of course it really makes a break between you and the person you're speaking to because they think you're one thing and you're really another. So you don't feel in communion with them but they may feel they're in communion with you. You know that this is just a hypocritical appearance that you're putting on. So that was one problem.

Another problem was selfish ambition. I don't know about the brothers here, but we men are taught that we must achieve things. We get the idea that we must make a niche for ourselves in the hall of fame somewhere I certainly was convinced of that and felt often driven by a selfish ambition to be somebody important. I wanted to be somebody well known, somebody famous, for people to like me, people to respect me and for to be successful. I wanted to be able to write back and tell my mother what I'd done in this world or something like that.

So selfish ambition which often drove you to be very jealous of anybody else who did anything half reasonably, so even if someone sang a song or somebody else did something well, that wasn't doing me any harm at all, yet I was so preoccupied with being center-stage and being the important one that I would feel jealous of them or envious. I did not even want to sing, I just feel I didn't want them to be that well know or well liked or well respected when I wasn't. Selfish ambition begot in me jealousy and envy and of course a lot of pride. That was the second plain thing that I knew in my life. Pride. It was pride about all the facts I knew about Christianity. I felt I had the ability to explain it to other people better then anyone else. That came to me when the Holy Spirit give me revelation and came in those very words.

Yes I had pride and it was a thing that was debilitating because you preach a sermon and everybody would say, oh that really brought God's Word home to me but actually you took that to yourself and said that means it was a good sermon I did well. That I had succeeded and I'm very clever that I can really see truths about God and obviously pretty good at communicating it to other people. Now actually it's still a whole joy and delight of being any use to God at all because I was so concerned with pride in what I could do in the past. Now, of course that's what brought the resentment when somebody criticized me. I felt, if only they could see all the good things that I do, if they could see all the wonderful things I do, they wouldn't criticize me. There was a great deal of reaction against any criticism because of that pride.

 2005/10/15 13:45









 Re: How Christ Delivered Me From The Power Of Sin by Ernest O'Neill

The third thing was just very plain, it was lust. I don't know how you all are and eventually I suppose as life goes on, we get too old or we wear out or something, but it seems to me most of us men anyway, find we have tremendous problems with unclean thoughts, with fantasy life. Not only with dreams at night, but the terrible things that are the conscious dreams that we have during the day and the fantasies we have. Some play around with the unclean pictures and unclean movies in certain situations. It really spoils your relationship with all girls, you know. Well they actually are often very open and very straight and don't have those same feelings about us. Often they are very appealing and the holiness and the goodness of their feelings towards us, but of course we are always after them and always with an ulterior motive in the back of our minds. Lust was a pretty constant problem and spoils all that you try to do, of course with the opposite sex at all for Jesus' sake and much that you try to do in your own marriage because those of you who are married and still have trouble with lust know that it really spoils marriage too. It prevents it being a relaxed and lovely and beautiful experience.

Those were the things that were working inside me as a Methodist minister. I was by that time I suppose when we came here about twenty-nine or thirty. I'd been in the ministry about eight or nine years by then. I went in when I was twenty-one and yet it was no better, it was still the same. It was this struggle within and this pretense on the outside. In fact, really there's no question, there's no question what was my favorite, it was my favorite verse, but it was the verse that described. You don't need to look at it because you know it so well. It was the verse im Romans 7 that described in my almost, well certainly almost daily experience. "I do not understand my own actions for I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate."

When I look back on it of course, I really did what I wanted. I mean not actually, it wasn't exactly true, that in fact describes the situation of a Jew living under the law. In fact if anything it describes an absolute non-Christian. In fact, I didn't, I did do the things I wanted. I pretended that I wanted more Holy things that I read in the Bible and the things that I'm supposed to want. Now the truth was, I actually I did what I wanted because I found inside me that there was a near irrational streak that wanted things that I, as a Christian was supposed not to want. This irrational drive within me wanted to jump into bed with some girl. This irrational drive within me wanted everybody to praise me. This irrational drive within me wanted my satisfaction, wanted everybody to look up to me and admire me. I found that there was a strong drive inside that actually produced a wanting of its own. So in a deep way I did do what I wanted. It's just that in fairness, I suppose there seemed to be two "I's", there seemed to be an "I" that wanted those things and there seemed to be a little weak "I" that did want something of Jesus. Now, of course that was the Spirit of Jesus.

When I was born of God, the Spirit of Jesus did graciously come into me. That's the situation wherein when we're carnal Christians because that's the state I'm describing. I was a carnal Christian. I had in fact received the Spirit of Jesus into me. It was Him that drew me into the Methodist ministry. I mixed it up with a lot of my selfish ambitions and tried to dirty it and spoil it, but He still kept wanting His Father and it was His Spirit that made me want to pray at times and to read the Bible or made me want to preach or to help other people to know Jesus. It was His Spirit that at times wanted God and it was His Spirit that pointed out to me that these other things were wrong. Then beside me there seemed to be this old man, this old self that wanted all these sinful things and that was my situation. I saw no way out. I had not heard of any way in the Methodist Church, I had not read of anyway in the literature. I was brought up in fairly liberal Methodist theology. I had not read anywhere that you could do anything about those things. Indeed I felt that this was the result of just being human and that throughout your life your job was to hold those things down. Indeed in my sophisticated, semi-sophisticated way I thought that is where discipline comes in, that is where maturity comes in, that is what growing in grace is about. I always looked forward to growing in grace to the point where I would have victory over these things.

If you had pressed me, I would have to admit that I wasn't much better now, than I was nine years previously. In fact, I would say that I was worse, because these things became more subtle in their expressions. You became cleverer at holding them down. You became cleverer at avoiding them or evading them in your own conscious mind because they brought such tears to your eyes and such frustration to your heart. So that was the situation that was and that's a carnal Christian and that's what I was. I didn't know it then.

I was invited to a little Bible school in north Minneapolis to speak because I was the new Irish minister come to the Methodist Church you know a few blocks away and so they invited me to speak at the little chapel. I don't know why I spoke about it, but the closest that I could see to any kind of hope was a sermon that they had given us in the forty-four standard sermons of John Wesley that we had to read in seminary. Now, they did not give us the good sermons, but they give us at least this one which was closest. It was the one in First John 3:9, "Whosoever is burn of God does not commit sin." Wesley in that one does not go into the details of deliverance from the power of sin or deliverance from carnality. He just states it pretty clearly, that if you're born of God you don't commit sin. You can't get out of it by saying, oh well that means I don't on the whole commit it. You just don't commit it because you're free of it and I shared that at the little chapel. In other words really what I did was share my best aspirations I suppose. I realized this was a Bible school I was a miserable old liberal theologian that was hardly meant to believe the Bible, so I better share the best that I knew. It was from my heart that I said, I believe it's possible some time to come to a place in your life where you can live in this, you can live whosoever is born of God does not commit sin, you can live like that.

Now I had a theological problem obviously in my own understanding because I was born of God, but I did commit sin and so I couldn't make sense of it. At least I shared what I thought. There was a man sitting at the back with bald head and he had no clerical collar on, which is ridiculous to anybody who thinks he's a minister in Britain and he came up to me afterwards and introduced himself, and said to me that he was a pastor of this church. I thought, how can you be a pastor if you have a collar and tie on but even if you're a pastor and then the guy started to tell me that he use to be a used car salesman. I thought here am I sitting with the degrees and all my training and this guy's a used car salesman, well the sooner I get off and get on with my work the better. Then he of course started to talk with me and saw a honest light in his eyes, I think that's it. An honest light, you know. He didn't know Greek, didn't know Hebrew, didn't know all that stuff but he seemed to be honest, that came through.

 2005/10/15 13:46









 Re:

So I talked with him a little in the study. He started to tell me a story. He told me that his church specialized in this very issue that I had touched upon in the chapel. Well I hardly knew what issue I'd touched upon in the chapel, I just had spoken the best I knew. Then he went on and started to tell how he had been a missionary in Bolivia for years in that church and had tried to preach this. Yet he had not experienced it at all. Then he began to outline, still didn't, I didn't know what he was talking about, but then he began to outline in detail, he began to describe me. He was actually describing himself. Then he began to describe me, as he described the state of his own inner heart. Because most of us, if you're sitting here and you're carnal you, you recognize yourself. It's not me, I'm describing you. As he started to describe his own heart and his own experience of defeat in the Christian ministry and the Christian life, so I began to realize somebody else has experienced this. That was the first time that I had heard anyone talk about these things.

I had known them in my own life, but I had never known anybody to talk about them in their lives. I assume that everybody was either playing a game or was not having the troubles that I was having. He described exactly the carnal state of his own Christian heart, the problem with inward sin that he had over years and years. Then he said that then I came to the secret. I found the deliverance that God had prepared for us. He didn't actually go into much detail. He said, I found that there was only one way, that all my problems, so I'll just tell you as he told me and put up with it and maybe it'll do you more good than all my complex explanations anyway. He said, I discovered that all the things that I had inside my lust, my pride, my selfish ambition, the anger, the jealousy, the envy, all the inward sins that rose up inside me that I could not hold down, I just kept from expressing them outside to other people, came from self. They all came from self. Then I saw Romans 6:6, I didn't know even, I mean I knew Romans, I don't know what I knew Romans 6 contained. I certainly didn't know what Romans 6:6 contained. Then he said, Romans 6:6 you know says or I think he used King James, our old man was crucified with Christ. Our old man was crucified with Christ so that we might be delivered from the power of sin. I had never, I have heard of it, but I have never noticed it before. He said the old man is the self. I at last realized that my old self had been crucified with Christ and that the moment I was willing to die to that self and that's what he said and you might like it and the psychologist might make mincemeat out of it. That's what he said and it was Gospel to me. He said, I realized that I had to die to self. I had to accept what had happened to me and Jesus. The moment that I would do that, that moment I would be delivered from the power of sin.

Then he then described to me how he began to seek God and ask God to show him himself in all the clear reality that God could see it. To give him Judgment Day honesty with the inward sin that was within so that he would not cover up anything or pretend anything wasn't there, but would absolutely be honest with God. He said he began to do that. Then he said; "the Holy Spirit began to show me things". I knew the Holy Spirit that was the Third Person, the Trinity and He was a kind of force that came upon the work of God, I, but he seemed to talk about the Holy Spirit like a person. I never had heard that before. He said; "the Holy Spirit helped me and He began to show me things within myself that I had never seen. He began to reveal to me what I looked like before God I began to see how rotten I was and how absolutely ugly I was. I saw myself in ways that I'd never seen myself before I began to be sick and tired and sore. I began to give up any hope that I could get rid of such a monster as I appeared beside the pure and Holy Jesus".

Then he said; "I came eventually to the place, after several weeks of seeking, where I said, Lord I'm willing to do anything to be delivered from this". He said; "God's Holy Spirit, in that moment came in and cleansed my heart I was delivered from that power of self. I no longer after that had that agonizing trouble with the lust. I had no longer the rising up of anger inside", I still remember him saying it, he said there was no rising up from within me. While I listened to him and of course, I don't know if you're like me your heart is hungry you know, I was desperate for anything that would bring deliverance. it didn't, I mean I didn't, I don't know that I even had my skepticism alive enough to be cynical about it, I just knew that if that's possible that's what I want.

Then he give me a book, "Possibilities of Grace" written by an old Methodist Bishop years ago in America. Possibilities of Grace. I went home and looked up the chapter, I think he calls it, Holiness or Sanctification and it says, how to obtain Holiness. Oh, that's what I wanted. I looked right at that chapter I started to read how to obtain Holiness. How to be cleansed from sin, how to be sanctified, how to be filled with the Holy Spirit, how to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, how to come into closer and into full consecration, it really doesn't matter you know. The Baptist talk about as full consecration, full surrender, the Methodist don't talk about it. The old Methodist talked about sanctification, entire sanctification. Pentecostals tend to talk about baptism in the Holy Spirit though they don't always mean an inner work as well as an outward work, that's really what it is. It's the fullness of the Holy Spirit within you.

I began to read how you should obtain that. First of all he said see yourself as you really are in God's eyes. So I started to do that. I know, I know, you all say you poor soul you'll drive yourself to distraction through introspection. Well I didn't know any better and that's what I did. I looked at myself as plainly as I could. I looked as plainly as I could at those things within. I didn't see many of them at the beginning. I didn't see the pride I had about my own insight and into Christianity and ability to expound it others. I never suspected that, I just started to look at the bad things inside me and to see what a rat I was and to look at the things and stop evading them. I wanted to see that they were there and that was me, Ernest O'Neal. I did not just speak unclean words, I was a man of unclean lips. I was this person, this was me. It wasn't just little things that I was doing. It wasn't little traits or little human tendencies, it was me. This was the real me. I was filled with lust and pride and filled with selfish ambition. I didn't get very far I came to a position of frustration I must admit.

It was then that I remembered what this man had said about the Holy Spirit and so for the first time in my life I began to speak to the Holy Spirit. That is, I treated Him as a real person. I remembered in the New Testament, Jesus had said He was a counselor. So I reckoned that's what I needed, I needed a counselor who would show me deeper, because I, I'm at a blank wall here, because I was going as deep as I had got before with my introspection. I began to speak to the Holy Spirit I said Holy Spirit will you show me myself as God sees me. Show me myself until I'm sick and so tired of myself and I'm willing for anything so that I can be delivered. Give me a new conviction of sin. Now, loved ones I did that I can't apologize for it, you know.

 2005/10/15 13:46









 Re:

I feel for all you souls who get all tangled up with false condemnation, but I have to testify to what God did to my heart and how He worked with me. I had to ask Him to bring me a new conviction of sin. If you say, "oh you poor sick creature". Well that's what I was then, and I knew that I had to see what was wrong in my life the way God saw it. I had to come to the place where I was willing for whatever deliverance He had for me.

I asked the Holy Spirit, show me Holy Spirit, show me how I look in God's eyes. Well that's when insights such as I said to you would occur to me. You know I would wake up in the morning with certain words on my lips, but obviously it'd come from the Holy Spirit and He would have shown me a whole depth of my life that I'd never seen before. A whole gross monstrosity of self that no one had ever known and even I had never known was there. That's why loved ones I think it is a supernatural work, you know. Even in the seeking, even in the conviction of sin, it seems to me it's a supernatural work, right at that early stage. It is a revelation of things that you have not seen that only God can see in you. I sometimes think that this was maybe even the beginning of my deliverance because it was kind of separating myself from self. You know I'm saying, Lord I cannot deliver myself from self, I need You to do it. It was the ceasing to be God in my life, you know to be my own god and to control my spiritual experience. It seems it was a going out to God or reaching out to God and saying, Lord You'll have to even show me what's wrong in my life. The Holy Spirit did that.

Then this book said that you should see that you can do nothing about that. This self of yours has a grip on your life that you cannot break and that carnality within you is so subtle. This old self loves religion, just loves it. It loves a lot of the things you do in your Christian ministry. It loves a lot of the good things in life, as long as Satan can hold onto your will and so you will never track down that old self. Of course that's the error that I always made before, you know, you control it, you tame it, you train it by reading the right books, you pray a lot, you have cold showers, you do all kinds of things that try to control that old self, but this book said, you can do nothing about it, this is part of Satan within you. It's like a spy of Satan's is inside your heart, it's a self that is not under your control, its part of Satan's kingdom. You have to be delivered from it.

I thought about that and prayed about it and as the Holy Spirit of course continued to bring out more of the hideousness of my selfish will. I saw, yeah I cannot. I tried, you know, as we all do, we try to do works worthy of repentance which we always should do, we should always try to obey. I tried to obey and tried to get rid of these things and of course the more I tried the more distraught I became and the more despairing I became. The more convinced I became that this is right, I cannot deliver myself from this.

Then of course the third step that this man said was, see that it has all been done. See that it has all been done. See and then he got the sin verse, Romans 6:6, See that your old self was crucified with Christ. I began to think about that verse. It really didn't mean too much to me. I could get it intellectually, I could look at it, the Greek word meaning, old man, you know. I could see that it had been considered old man in King James I could see that crucified in Greek meant, that it's be down in a moment and was finished with. This death had occurred at a moment in time and I saw that. Then I saw that is what it meant. I didn't understand how my old self could be crucified in a moment in eternity but I saw that is what the Greek meant. It meant that it had been done, it didn't mean that I had to crucify myself, so I saw the foolishness of old Luther even and the others trying to beat themselves with chains or kill themselves or crucify themselves. I saw yeah, that isn't it at all, it has been done, I was crucified with Christ.

I saw that and I believed it and said; "I reckon myself to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ my Lord". I even knew the Greek word for reckon means to Consider and treat yourself as being really dead with Jesus. Well, I did, mentally and intellectually I tried to do that. I tried to believe I am dead, I was crucified, it's finished but when I got get up the next morning and I still had the anger or the lust or the pride, you know and there would be no change.

So it went on like that. I had by that time dealt with my outward sin, so I was back in what you'd talked about, I was at least back in a justified experience. You know I was at least back obeying God outwardly anyway, so I was back in salvation which I had at least, you know whether you believe you can throw it away or whether you believe like me that you can be alive but live as if you're dead, you know. It's kind of rather a game with words. I was not in the full joy of Jesus anyway. I got back into the joy of salvation but I was not making headway on this deliverance from inward sin and the old self and so I kept on trying to believe, trying to believe.

Then gradually it dawned upon me what he had hinted at in his book. He said to really reckon yourself dead with Christ you have to be willing to die with Him. You have to willing to die with Him. I would say that was throughout the whole experience the biggest new fact, well that the personality of the Holy Spirit was fairly new. Probably the biggest new fact was that one. The fact that I had to be willing to die with Jesus, because we'd always been taught in seminary that Christ died for you so that you wouldn't have to die. In fact, that's where we got a kind of an almost demonic joy thinking; "oh good He suffered we don't have to". It was kind of a relief, good I don't have to die for my sins, He died for me so that's great, I'm scott free and can do what I want. That had always been a pretty important tenet of my creed.

This was new, whole thought, you are to be willing to die with Jesus and then I began to realize well of course. God has done the thing in Jesus but He won't force me to enter into that. He will ask me, are you willing? I have already done it in my Son. You don't have to make it real in you, I will do that but you do have to be willing. That's were the pilgrimage began.

I began to deal with my own heart and will. Am I willing to die with Jesus? I began to think now what does that mean I began to ask the Holy Spirit will you show me what it meant. It might have been different for other people but what was it for Ernest O'Neal? Lord Jesus what You took and suffered in your own heart for me on Calvary, that I need to be willing to let go of and die to. Then the Holy Spirit then began to dig and dig through the layers and the layers and you dealt with the things that were most obvious, you know, would you be willing not to lose your temper and be, you know you had to ask the Holy Spirit why, why is that a big deal? He would show you well you used your temper to actually hold people off, you know. You use your temper to get control of situations that you've already lost control of. Now would you be willing not to lose your temper, in other words, would you be willing not to have control of those situations? That of course involves all the different situations, your job, your home, your money, your salary, your future and that means you have to willing to trust God with those things. So I went through that kind of thing.

It's the same with the lust you know. What was it like for Jesus? Well He had no woman, He was not able to jump into bed with some woman, He never did have intercourse and would you be willing if necessary never to have intercourse? Would you be willing not to, if that was God's will? He may not make it your will because you're married and it's normal for that to be the relationship, but would you be willing if He wanted? Most of all with us men, you know would you be willing when He wants or when your wife wants, not just when you want? Would you be willing to die to your right to that?

 2005/10/15 13:49









 Re:

That's what it began to come down to more and more. Not attitudes even, but rights. Would you be willing to die to this right? When Jesus died on Calvary He was looked upon as a criminal, they misunderstood Him completely. Would you be willing to die to your right to be understood all the time? Would you be willing to be misunderstood and be happy and content? Would you be willing to die to your right even to have two coats to your back? Would you be willing to die to your right to a good salary, to die to your right to a marriage, to die to your right to a successful future? Would you be willing really to be with Jesus on the Cross? More and more I asked Him, Lord Jesus, will You let me see what it feels like close to You on that Cross? Would You help me to see what it means for me Ernest O'Neal? The Holy Spirit will go that if you a truly willing. It's different with all of us, there's some besetting sin in your life, you know. May not be the obvious one only the Holy Spirit can show you, but it's usually the one that holds all, the key to the thing and for me it was.

One Saturday morning in my parsonage in north Minneapolis, the Holy, I was praying, I spent a lot of time now praying you know and the Holy Spirit said, would you be willing to be nothing if it were for Jesus' glory? Would you be willing to be nothing? Would you be willing to be a zero? Would you be willing to be a failure? Well that was the very opposite of all that I'd been taught in my education, is I should be is the very opposite of the motives that often moves those of us who are actors or preachers or public people. It was the opposite of what was the tenor of my life. Would you be willing to be nothing for Jesus' sake? Would you be willing to be a failure? Would you be willing for your mum back in Ireland to think you'd died she'd heard so little about you? Would you be willing to be nothing?

That was it for me but it's different with all of us. Maybe when we get to Heaven and I'll find that wasn't it, you know it was just Jesus. Would you be willing to be with Me, My Son on the Cross? Would you be willing to be in Me and to be wiped out as far as this world is concerned and to have a tombstone erected now, with your name on it, indeed not even a tombstone with your name. To have a tombstone with nothing on it, for you to become public property for Me? Would you be willing to be nothing and to be an absolute nobody for Me? So then I said, yes you know.

I spoke in tongues about a year and a half later. I don't know that tongues are a big deal in the thing anyway. I think they're many of us that haven't spoken in tongues I don't think that's an issue. Certainly I didn't then, but there was an absolute confidence that the Holy Spirit had come into my life and filled me and cleansed my heart. I felt the cleanness inside. I felt the cleanness. There's a line in our First World War poem that goes, it's a misinterpretation of course of the First World War like swimmers into cleanness leaping. Well that's what it was. It was like a swimmer in the cleanness leaping. For the first time I had not had this refuge and garbage and dirt inside my heart. It was the first time I had not had a fountain of strong desire for lust or envy or pride or anger or jealousy coming up from inside my heart. It was just a quietness inside.

I don't know, I don't know if I testified, I bet I didn't testify to my wife. but I thought that if this is real my wife will know it. It was just a quiet sense in the bedroom. I know it and it is still there. In that room a quiet sense that the Holy Spirit had come into my heart and had cleansed me and filled me with Himself. I had of course had to see immediate proof of it. I've told some of you before about two of the issues, you know that one of the most difficult situations and many of you have dealt with them is divorce within the church. It can be a most unpleasant thing for everybody involved and certainly for me because I was their minister. Some people are so nasty that you just don't want to tackle them. I was in the middle of one of those when a note was passed to me by my secretary,.It said, "will you call Mrs. So and So? I knew what that was about and normally I would do what I think all of us carnal Christians do, I'd run my own life, that's really what we'd do. We just obey God when it suits us, you know. We run our own life most of the time and we make things convenient for us and that's why our life gets all piled up, do you know that? I never had enough time for things. I never had time to do everything. My life was always chaotic and panicky because I never had enough time because I was always lining all the things back there, you know to do them my way, to do the things suitably and conveniently because I could divide them up into pleasant things and the unpleasant things because I was still alive. The truth was that I was still controlling things but now it was different.

Ernest O'Neal was crucified with Christ. There was no self rising up inside. The note came, I left for the phone and called the lady and got right into the messy situation. That was the first time I obeyed with instant obedience. It was a great relief to instantly obey. You could instantly obey because there was no longer any interest in your self and in your own convenience. In fact your life was a schedule for Him to write. It was no longer a schedule that you had filled in all day and these things I want to do and these things I want to achieve and I'll try to work you in where I can Lord. It was now all little white lies died, it's dead, it's finished. Now Lord whatever You want that's what counts.

Then the next morning I got a letter from a friend of mine who'd been at seminary with me. I'd been at seminary I'd gone to seminary with the more degrees than anybody else and was ahead of most people. I was always anxious to get on that old academic success line. Yet God had constantly made me want to find out how does the Gospel work. So I constantly preached in churches to find that out. Meanwhile some of my own colleagues had streaked ahead of me and got other doctorates and one of these of course was in Garret Institute I think in the University of Chicago and was now a doctor in psychology and he wrote to me from time to time, every time he wrote of course you can guess what I felt, you know. I felt why didn't I get going, why am I not doing that, how jealous I am of him, etc., etc., etc. So the letter came I opened it and there was no jealousy, you know. It was just a miracle. I knew there was a change in heart. So that changed my whole life. Then everything didn't go beautifully. Everything then fell, the roof fell in, all the outside things I began to preach that in the Methodist church and they didn't like it. Everything came down around my ears I left the Methodist Church and was without work for nine months, I ended up teaching High School. I remember saying to my wife, I think I might never preach again but I wasn't even concerned about it. I was happy, "Lord whatever You want me to be, I'll be, If You want me to preach I'll preach. If You don't want me, I won't".

So it was a great rest. I would say I entered into the second rest of the people of God. The rest that God entered into on the Sabbath Day when He ceased from His labors. It seems to me that's what you do when you at last accept your position with Jesus and the Cross, you cease from your labors. You stop laboring to be God's child and Jesus Himself takes control and He does it through the power of the Holy Spirit.

So that changed my life loved ones and then from then some of you know some of the progress, but I had to tell you because a little voice warns me if I preach not the Gospel. I had to tell you this tonight. That's true and it's for you, you know. I'm not doing any commercials and It's just true. It's God will do the same for you. The Holy Spirit will deliver you from the power of sin. Now, if you say; "you mean you have power to suppress the anger and the envy and the jealousy"? No, no, that was the battle I fought when I was a carnal Christian. No you're delivered from the envy and the jealousy. The envy and the jealousy do not rise up within you. You feel Jesus rising up inside you, it is a deliverance and it is a victory. It is that full Christianity, you know and it's the full Gospel. Now you have to make a choice. You can't just go away because it is either hell or Heaven. When God began to make this plain to me I began to see the truth, I knew that it was either Heaven or hell. You have to go on. Those of you who are born of God, you have to go on. There is no way back. There is no where to go back there. The bridges are burned. There is no way back.

You remember the old-fashioned evangelical phrase. You're spoiled for the world. You are. You can't ever go back to the world. You will always feel that you're living in an anticlimax life. You'll always feel you left the best if you ever go back there. No, it's only on, you can only go on. So tonight go on. Go after it with all your heart. Hunger after it with all your heart and God will bring you. I didn't have a whole lot of information, but I had a hunger I wanted deliverance and God's Holy Spirit met me, as He will you too.

Tonight, yeah you could, we could have altar call and I'm sure that many of you would come up here. I would say this to you, you have to get to the point where you're determined, you know. After the Benediction everybody gets up and all that kind of thing. You have to get to the point where you determine if you'll stay here you know and you'll seek God. If you can't seek Him at home or if you think, "I dare leave here because, Satan will get me before I get home". Then you should go to the prayer room, you should go to the prayer room or I'll go back into the corner and seek God. If you want help I think there are enough of us here who are in the fullness of the Holy Spirit I would ask them to maybe stay around, that they can come over if you just raise your hand up, they'll come over and pray with you.

Really what I would urge you to do is either that or to go home and to get down to business with God and don't give up until you come through because you must be determined. It has to be, I will not let you go until You bless me. It has to be that kind of attitude. It might take you weeks, might take you months, but if you want that with all your heart and you keep going, God will answer you because that's why Jesus died.

Dear Father, we thank You for that. We thank you Lord that Jesus died to save us from our sins. Not to save us in our sins, but to save us from our sins. We thank You for that, Lord. We thank You that His death was effectual because we were actually in Him when He died. Our old self was crucified with Christ that the body of sin might be destroyed and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. Lord we thank You for that. Each one of us and indeed every soul that has ever lived or will ever live has been crucified with Christ and that has been done and that it is our great privilege to bow before our Savior and accept from His dear hand the benefits of His mighty death. Lord we thank You for that. Pray for each other, our Father, pray Holy Spirit for each other that we may get down to business with You, this evening at home or here or wherever. We can get hold of that great pearl, of great price that is worth selling all the other pearls together. Lord we thank You. May the grace of our Lord Jesus from the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with each one of us, now and ever more. Amen.

 2005/10/15 13:50
LetUsPray
Member



Joined: 2004/10/12
Posts: 173


 Re: How Christ Delivered Me From The Power Of Sin by Ernest O'Neill

Jesus came to save us FROM our sin, and to reconcile us TO the Father.

For the purpose of correct prayer, we have to know and understand Who God is. It is for this reason that we have to understand that we are reconciled to the Father. Before we explore the concept of reconciliation, we have to make sure that we understand what reconciliation means. This is the key to understand what it is that Jesus accomplished on the cross when He died and undid the eternal separation between God the Father and all of creation. It is of critical importance to understand that because of the sin (disobedience to God’s commandments) of Adam and Eve, the whole of creation was separated (NOT-reconciled or NOT-restored) from God the Father.

We can compare this with a relationship between a father and his children. The relationship is broken when the children refuse to obey and follow the instructions of their father. Of course we have to agree that in this case the father has full authority, power, and wisdom. He has this; because that is the only way he can protect his children from the devil, who will steal them if they disobey their father. By the children disobeying their father, they are now likely to do unwise things and as a result are now stolen by the devil. It is quite easy to see that our earthly fathers fail, often miserably at being wise and exercising their authority without making themselves look “foolish.” They don’t have the infinite wisdom that God the Father has. Yet, as humans, God’s created beings in His likeness and in His image; we still manage to disobey God on a daily basis. For this reason our relationship with Him is broken. It can only be restored through Someone who is like us, yet has not sinned.

In Malachi 4, God spoke to us and said:
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

This is confirmed by the angel Gabriel when he speaks to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, as recorded in Luke 1:
16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias [Elijah], to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

The key to this prophecy, both in Malachi and in Luke, is “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Many scholars have argued that the relationships between fathers and sons were bad in that time. I believe knowing that mankind hasn’t changed, so as many teenagers are now, then they would have likely been disobedient to their fathers as well. The deeper meaning of this prophecy is that John the Baptist came to prepare the way for the Messiah, Jesus Christ, who in turn would “turn the hearts of the sons [children] to the heart of the Father.” The NASB translates “turn to” as “restore,” i.e. restore the hearts of the sons [children] to their Father.

This prophecy is declared fulfilled by several Scriptures, one being:
2 Corinthians 5
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Here we are told by the apostle Paul that through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we are “reconciled,” or, “restored” to the Father. Jesus Christ paid the price for our disobedience so we finally could be have our relationship with God the Father restored as it was before Adam and Eve sinned.

God the Father even prepared a “seal,” a “contract” if you will, of adoption. This was recorded by Paul in two separate Scriptures:

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father (Romans 8:15); and:
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father (Galatians 4:6).

This is how Jesus addressed His Father and Our Father:
And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt (Mark 14:36).

I still fail to see how we as Christian filled with the Holy Spirit can ask the Holy Spirit and Jesus for anything, if Jesus by His Spirit lives in our hearts, This is contrary to Scripture and it conflicts with the fact that we were commanded by Jesus to pray to the Father (Lord’s Prayer) and told in John 16:23 to ask Him nothing. No one in the entire record of the New Testament ever asked the Holy Spirit for anything.

When Jesus was tested by the devil in the wilderness, He withstood and defeated him with the Word of God. The only way we will ever ensure any form of deception, is if we follow His example, otherwise we will certainly be deceived.


_________________
Hans Prang

 2005/10/15 15:28Profile
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2733
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Quote:
I still fail to see how we as Christian filled with the Holy Spirit can ask the Holy Spirit and Jesus for anything, if Jesus by His Spirit lives in our hearts, This is contrary to Scripture and it conflicts with the fact that we were commanded by Jesus to pray to the Father (Lord’s Prayer) and told in John 16:23 to ask Him nothing. No one in the entire record of the New Testament ever asked the Holy Spirit for anything.



This issue of whether or not we should pray to Jesus and the Spirit really seems to be a major theme of many of your posts. It is a matter of interest but I hope it isn't a matter of fellowship for you. I pray to the Father, I also pray to Jesus, and I pray to the Holy Spirit, and I believe I'm in some good company, here are just a few examples...

Blessed Lord Jesus, have mercy upon Thy church, and give, we pray Thee, the Spirit of prayer and supplication as of old, that Thy Church may prove what power from Thee rests upon her and her testimony for Thee, to win the world to Thy feet. Amen. – Andrew Murray, from [i]The Secret of Intercession[/i]

Blessed Lord Jesus, teach Thy Church what it means so to live and labor for Thee, in the Spirit of unceasing prayerfulness, that our faith may rise to the assurance that Thou wilt in very deed, in a way surpassing all expectation, meet the crying need of a dying world. Amen. – Andrew Murray, from [i]The Secret of Intercession[/i]

Jesus, Son of God, make a difference in my life today. Let not the sun go down in my drug infested, violent, confused neighborhood without my life having made a difference to somebody... – Carter Conlon, from sermon [i]The Day the Sun Stood Still[/i]

Lord Jesus we depend on your word, it’s our very life, and we acknowledge our need, and we’re asking you give us hearing ears and eyes to see… - David Wilkerson, from sermon [i]A Greater Than Solomon is Here[/i]

Come Thou Spirit of God, and speak through the Word of God by illuminating it to our hearts… -Keith Daniel, from sermon [i]Every Branch in Me That Beareth Not Fruit[/i]

Dear Lord and Savior, we come to your table in faith, for you have told us, "As often as you do this, do it in memory of Me." Help us to celebrate this remembrance of death and resurrection in the very best way we know how. Do then, we pray Thee, overshadow us with Thy very breathing Presence. Breathe on us, 0 Breath of God; quicken and heal and purify and cleanse. – A.W. Tozer, from [i]A Prayer for Communion[/i]

O Lord, I have heard a good word inviting me to look away to Thee and be satisfied. My heart longs to respond, but sin has clouded my vision till I see Thee but dimly. Be pleased to cleanse me in Thine own precious blood, and make me inwardly pure, so that I may with unveiled eyes gaze upon Thee all the days of my earthly pilgrimage. Then shall I be prepared to behold Thee in full splendor in the day when Thou shalt appear to be glorified in Thy saints and admired in all them that believe. Amen. – A.W. Tozer, from [i]The Pursuit of God[/i]


In Christ,

Ron


_________________
Ron Halverson

 2005/10/15 22:59Profile









 Re: LetUsPray

I see nothing wrong with this prayer.

"God will answer you because that's why Jesus died.

Dear Father, we thank You for that. We thank you Lord that Jesus died to save us from our sins. Not to save us in our sins, but to save us from our sins. We thank You for that, Lord. We thank You that His death was effectual because we were actually in Him when He died. Our old self was crucified with Christ that the body of sin might be destroyed and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. Lord we thank You for that."

The question I have for you is, are you walking in the reality of Christ's death on the cross and the fact that He took you with Him? Is that real now? Do you experience the freedom from the power of sin and your old carnal nature that He died for?

 2005/10/16 7:44
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Of and To the Father

Quote:
and told in John 16:23 to ask Him nothing. No one in the entire record of the New Testament ever asked the Holy Spirit for anything.



Hi Hans,

Also have taken the same notice that Ron mentions.
In John 16:23 isn't this in correlation to what came before not in a negating of or a command not to ask Jesus Himself for anything?

Joh 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

We could almost go the opposite route and in a sense negate what is entailed in [i]My Name[/i] and that the Lord Jesus Himself is to be ignored because we may only speak to the Father.
Maybe what is more problematic is that while the pointing out of praying to the Father is evident it seems to go beyond scripture to extrapolate that we are in effect [b][i]commanded[/i][/b] to address Him only and always. Without a doubt there is order without division in the Godhead, the same which would be that expressed for instance in;

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

But to go back to your statements;
Quote:
No one in the entire record of the New Testament ever asked the Holy Spirit for anything.

Quote:
I still fail to see how we as Christian filled with the Holy Spirit can ask the Holy Spirit and Jesus for anything,


What of:
Act 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.?

This would open up even more in just all that entails our praying. Is praying only 'asking'? What of the dialog of the Spirit, that which is unutterable; [i]In the same way, the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself intercedes with groans too deep for words, and the one who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, for the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to God's will.[/i] Rom 8:26,27

It seems quite natural in the new nature of things that which Paul spoke of in Gal 4:6[i]And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.[/i] It's almost unnecessary to point it out, an axiomatic impulse. But isn't this perilously close to modalism to put an 'always' in front of that which springs forth naturally out of hearts in "Whom" we may be addressing at any given moment.

I just fear it is unnecessary to plant this thought into the minds of believers. A couple more that come to mind:

Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Joh 20:28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2005/10/16 9:03Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re: Re: How Christ Delivered Me From The Power Of Sin by Ernest O'Neill

Freecd you have done it again...

I do hope this gets read and re-read. So much just rips right on through, it is so disarming and endearing to hear it expressed. Mentioned it elsewhere but, he does indeed live up to his name, "Earnest".

[i]A tombstone with no name...[/i]

Loved that.

Quote:
My life was always chaotic and panicky because I never had enough time because I was always lining all the things back there, you know to do them my way, to do the things suitably and conveniently because I could divide them up into pleasant things and the unpleasant things because I was still alive. The truth was that I was still controlling things but now it was different.



I could go right on through here and cut out excerpts but it would end up being a reprint of the entire message. I just think he hit's it so on the money and his honesty is disarming as it is endearing. Am finding much of the exact same experience and the more exacting departures from it, taking things back under my own control and they always [i]fail[/i]... It's not only that we are sinful and I will speak for myself here, but we(I) can be complete idiot's and I know it when I attempt to do otherwise. And must add I am smiling broadly to state it that way in the moment, more often it can produce that deep grieving of ..."If only I had ... listened, obeyed, shut up... prayed, given up, given up those so called 'rights' that one thinks one has."

This just expresses so much, so many of the same thoughts that have been percolating for some time. From the introspection that I think can be good as long as it makes you perfectly sick :-? to the reliance of fact that not only do I not know how to ask but am helpless to do anything about it, this condition, present circumstances... all these things he mentions.

Quote:
So that changed my life loved ones and then from then some of you know some of the progress, but I had to tell you because a little voice warns me if I preach not the Gospel. I had to tell you this tonight. That's true and it's for you, you know. I'm not doing any commercials and It's just true. It's God will do the same for you. The Holy Spirit will deliver you from the power of sin. Now, if you say; "you mean you have power to suppress the anger and the envy and the jealousy"? No, no, that was the battle I fought when I was a carnal Christian. No you're delivered from the envy and the jealousy. The envy and the jealousy do not rise up within you. You feel Jesus rising up inside you, it is a deliverance and it is a victory. It is that full Christianity, you know and it's the full Gospel. Now you have to make a choice. You can't just go away because it is either hell or Heaven. When God began to make this plain to me I began to see the truth, I knew that it was either Heaven or hell. You have to go on. Those of you who are born of God, you have to go on. There is no way back. There is no where to go back there. The bridges are burned. There is no way back.



In large part not quite there [i]yet[/i] and there is just as surely the progressiveness that will always go on but the counterintuitveness that comes in doing things the way the the Lord would have them done, that backwards way of what we might often be taught. In weakness like Paul (It's strength!) in the wonderful paradox of how your poor 'self' might be going down to death and all these 'things' are round about you, your present circumstances frustrating everything that you would want to see accomplished even '[i]for the Lord[/i]'. How time and again it is the "foolishness" of the Lords ways that can bring a sense of peace to those around you even while "you" are being taken advantage of or despised in reality, but that isn't an issue any longer if you are dead to it [i]and[/i] the sense of your own peace, the very truth of "My burden is light". The same with anger or jeolusy... they can be put to death. Oh there is some good truths here and just having tasted a few of them, it's in giving up that control that us freaks think we must have. I am just bubbling over here, this just so resonates. Praise God.


_________________
Mike Balog

 2005/10/16 12:03Profile





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