After Jesus rose from the dead, He commanded His disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father—the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This gift is still available today.
In the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John, the apostle relates the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. Here Jesus is speaking about the gift of salvation. "Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, "Give Me a drink," you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water'" (v. 10, NKJV). Praise God for the living water today that flows freely, for it comes from God to every hungry and thirsty heart.
Jesus said, "'He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'" (John 7:38). When we believe, we are able to go in the mighty name of Jesus to the ends of the earth and water dry places, deserts and solitary places until these parched, sad, lonely hearts are made to rejoice in the God of their salvation. We want the rivers today.
In Jesus Christ we get forgiveness of sin, and we get sanctification of our spirit, soul and body. But there is more. We also get the gift of the Holy Ghost that Jesus promised to His disciples, the promise of the Father. All this we get through the atonement.
The prophet Isaiah said that Jesus had borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed" (Is. 53:5). So we get healing, health, salvation, joy, life—everything in Jesus. Glory to God!
There are many wells today, but they are dry. There are many hungry souls today that are empty. But let us come to Jesus and take Him at His Word, and we will find a well of salvation and be able to draw water out of the well, for Jesus is that well.
At this time Jesus was weary from a long journey, and He sat on the well in Samaria, and a woman came to draw water. He asked her for a drink. She answered, "'How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?' For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
"Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, "Give Me a drink," you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water'" (John 4:9-10).
Oh, how sweet it was to see Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, that great sacrifice that God had given to a lost and dying world, sitting on the well and talking with the woman in so gentle and so kind a manner that it gave her an appetite to talk further with Him, until He got into her secret and uncovered her life. Then she was pricked in her heart and confessed her sins.
In that moment she received pardon and cleansing from fornication and adultery, was washed from the stain and guilt of sin, and was made a child of God. Above all, she received the well of salvation in her heart.
It was so sweet and joyful and good. Her heart was so filled with love that she felt she could take in a whole lost world—so she ran away with a well of salvation and left the old water pot on the well.
How true it is in this day that when we get the baptism in the Holy Spirit, we have something to tell—just as the Samaritan woman did—and it is that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin. The baptism in the Holy Ghost gives us power from on high to testify to a risen, resurrected Saviour. Our affections are in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. How I worship Him today!
Jesus' promises are true and sure. The woman said to Him, after He had uncovered her secret, "'Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet'" (John 4:19). Yes, He was a prophet. He was that great prophet that Moses said the Lord would raise up. He is here today. Will we be taught of that prophet? Will we hear Him?
You Shall Be Baptized
When Jesus was on Earth, He said, "'He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father'" (John 14:12). The disciples to whom He was speaking had already been saved, sanctified and anointed with the Holy Spirit, and their hearts had been opened to understand the Scriptures, and yet Jesus "commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, 'which,' He said, 'you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now'" (Acts 1:4-5).
So the same commission comes to us. We find that they obeyed His commission and were all filled with the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, and Peter, standing up, said, "'This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel.'"
Dear loved ones, we preach the same sermon: "'This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy"'" (Acts 2:16-18).
Quoting Joel, Peter goes on to say, "'For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call'" (Acts 2:39). Thus the promise of the Holy Ghost is for every believer who comes after the disciples until Jesus returns.
There are so many people today like the Samaritan woman. They are controlled by the fathers. Our salvation is not in a father or human instruments. It is sad to see people so blinded, worshiping the creature more than the Creator.
The woman said, "'Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship'" (John 4:20). Believers today are worshiping in the mountains—big churches, stone and frame buildings. Yet Jesus teaches that salvation is not in these stone structures but in God.
God is a Spirit. Jesus said to her, "'Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father'" (John 4:21).
So many people today are controlled by men. Their salvation reaches out no further than the boundary line of human creeds, but praise God for freedom in the Spirit. There are depths and heights and breadths that we can reach through the power of the blessed Spirit, as the Scriptures say: "'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him'" (1 Cor. 2:9).
The Jews were the religious leaders at this time, and people had no more light upon salvation than the Jews gave them. The Jews were God's chosen people to evangelize the world. He had entrusted them to give all nations the true knowledge of God, but they went into traditions and doctrines of men, and were blinded and in the dark.
Jesus came as the light of the world, and He is that light. "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). Let us honor the Spirit, for Jesus has sent Him to teach and lead us into all truth.
Above all, let us honor the blood of Jesus Christ every moment of our lives, and we will be sweet in our souls. We will be able to talk of this common salvation to everyone we meet. God will let His anointing rest upon us in telling them of this precious truth, once we have received the power of the Holy Spirit that He promised.
William J. Seymour was the pastor of the Apostolic Faith Gospel Mission at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles from April 1906 until his death in 1922. The revival that took place at the mission under his leadership was the catalyst for the spread of Pentecostalism around the world.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!