Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Why Some are Not Filled With the Spirit

By entire consecration make your heart vacant of all love of the world, and the Holy Spirit will come in Pentecostal power and fill the vacuum.

The reasons why so few are thus filled are various.

Many do not know that this fullness of the Spirit is the privilege of all Christians. They think it is an exceptional experience of a favored few, "the elect of the elect." They think it is not modest to assume that they belong to this small company. This narrow view of the gift of the abiding Paraclete weakens faith. They dare not appropriate the gift which may not belong to them, and so they fail to realize their full heritage in Christ.

Others imagine that they must always have a propensity to sin, and that they must sin a little to keep them humble. As the fulness of the Spirit would not be consistent with depravity and occasional sins, they deem it not a normal experience, and abstain from effort to receive it.

Many fail because they do not know the law of the Spirit, the conditions by which He works His wonders in human hearts. Till within a very few years the whole race of men failed to utilize a mighty force in nature, the power of electricity, to light, heat and transport men, move the world's machinery and convey intelligence with the speed of lightening under the seas and over the continents. As we look back upon it what a slow and sleepy world it was, simply because it did not know the law of electricity or the conditions of all these utilities. But men began to study and to experiment, conforming to the ascertained qualities of this mysterious agent and gaining more and more power to harness this tremendous force to the chariot of human progress. What new electrical discoveries and inventions are in the future we cannot tell because we have not reached the end of the chapter of electrical knowledge. John Wesley used to tell his people that as believers they were weak because they were not more knowing. This is the cause of much of the weakness of modern Christians. They do not by day and by night study the law of the Spirit as Edison studied the law of electricity in the production of light and the reproduction of articulate sounds. Many nominal Christians "have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost" consciously receivable by the individual believer in Jesus Christ. When by the diligent study of the Word of God they believe that the Spirit has a personal existence and that He stands at the door of their hearts and knocks, they will be able to fulfill the conditions of His full incoming and permanent -abiding. What hinders such a universal experience? Ignorance, unbelief, worldly pleasures, neglect of Bible study and prayer, satisfaction with mere formalism, unwillingness to be identified with the so-called spiritual extremists and cranks, and dislike to stand alone with Christ or to be crucified with Him. It is the law of the Spirit to enter in where the door is opened and He is cordially welcomed with His scourge of small cords to drive out everything which profanes the temple of the human soul and body. "For the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."

But some are not consciously filled with the Holy Spirit because He comes as a refiner and purifier. They are unwilling to submit themselves to this painful purgation. They shrink from the crucible by which the divine Refiner sits till He can see His own perfect image in the mirror of molten gold purified of any dross. They admire the Son of God and desire to be conformed to His image, but they dislike the process of total and irreversible self-surrender and self-crucifixion. They cannot truthfully sing:

"O that in me the sacred fire

Might now begin to glow,

Burn up the dross of base desire,

And make the mountains flow!"

The Gospel of the Comforter, Chapter 12.