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Chapter Twenty

It's Not All Over

Taken from "Fire upon the Altar"

by Gene Easley

Rain comes for the primary purpose of watering the earth that in turn the earth might bring forth its fruit. The outpouring of God's Spirit is as a spiritual rain from heaven. It is the rain of the Holy Spirit that will bring forth the harvest of souls.

It was on the Jewish Feast of Pentecost as recorded in Acts chapter two that the rain of God's Spirit began to be poured out in these last days. In the Old Testament the Feast of Pentecost was referred to as the Feast of the Harvest. Therefore Pentecost speaks not only of the Spirit being given to us, but also of the harvest of souls being reaped.

James spoke of a former and a latter rain of God's Spirit being poured out upon the earth to bring forth its precious fruit (James 5:7). We are living in that latter rain. It will not be over until the harvest of these last days is in.

Therefore, it is not the plan of God that any individual Christian or church body lose that burning fire of the power of God's Holy Spirit. In fact, we will need it more than ever if we intend to work in this great harvest! The outpouring of the Spirit is still for us today. All we need is an empty vessel to receive it!

As a young man of nineteen, I had my first encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ in the experience of salvation. What a wonderful experience when He saved me! My salvation was real. The new joy was more than I could explain. But it was nearly three years later before I experienced the fulness of the power of the Holy Spirit.

Two years after my experience of salvation, I entered the United States Air Force. Immediately, I began to realize the need for a deeper walk with God. My Christian witness was weak. I seemed to lack the ability to stand for Christ the way I knew I should.

After eight months in the military, I was transferred to a new base. There my life would be totally changed. On arriving at this new base, I realized more than ever that I must have more of God in my life. I could not continue in my spiritual weakness. So I made a decision to do something about my situation. There was a beautiful mountain range near the city where I was stationed. I decided that that would be the ideal place to go and find God and receive the help that I needed.

I resolved that I would go up one of those mountains and find a place where I could be completely alone with God. There I would cry out to God until He came and met my need and filled my life with power.

Since I did not own a car in which to travel to the mountains, my first step was to buy one. It so happened that a man in the shop where I worked had one for sale in my price range. I went to the credit union on base and made an application to borrow the money for the car. I was told that it would be two weeks before the loan would be approved.

Two weeks later the loan went through, and I bought the car. But I didn't have to go to the mountains to have that experience with God that I so desired! The day before I bought the car, the Spirit of God moved in a mighty way in the church I attended. I met God down at the altar and so had no need to look anywhere else.

It began like any other Sunday morning. But it didn't stay that way long. After the pastor preached his message that morning, a heavy conviction seemed to fall upon the congregation. One by one people began to fill the altars of prayer. Amazingly enough, it was the youth of the church who were most drawn by God's Spirit. They were the ones who had always seemed to have so little interest in spiritual things. You would find many of them on the back rows entertaining themselves as the pastor poured out his heart in the services. But they were the ones God was dealing with in a special way. Their parents had been praying for revival and a move of God and now the fruit was coming forth.

I answered that altar call with the others. But I seemed to receive little from God. Many around me were being saved and filled with the Spirit. It was about one in the afternoon when I arose from that altar of prayer. Others were rejoicing, but I felt left out. I left church with a dry and empty feeling.

I rode back to the air base with a family from the church. It was a restless afternoon. I tried to sleep, but I couldn't. It was impossible to relax. I did not understand what I was experiencing in my heart and soul. I couldn't concentrate on anything. Finally, about an hour earlier than usual, I began getting dressed for the evening service. Then to my surprise, just as I had put on my suit and tie, the lady that I always rode to church with pulled up in front of the barracks. Up to that day, I had always walked to the main gate of the base, and there she and her family would pick me up along with another young man. So I did not understand why she had come to my barracks. And why so early?

When I went out to her car, she asked, "Gene, would you like to go to church early tonight?" I said, "Sure," After I got my Bible, we were on our way, but I still didn't understand what was happening. She seemed so excited and so eager to get to the service.

En route to the church she told me why she was so excited. "There have been people in the church all afternoon praying," she said with heart overflowing. "People have been getting saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit throughout the afternoon. Many of the young people who had gone home were called back to the church," she continued. She went on to tell me that some of those teen-agers, those who had seemed so rebellious before, were among those finding cleansing from sin and being empowered with God's Spirit.

I could not wait to get to church. That same desire that had made me want to go to the mountains and pray was again rising in my heart. That dear sister in the Lord and I were almost running by the time we arrived at the church. As I entered the sanctuary, there were some still gathered around the altars of prayer. The Spirit was moving, and I was hungry. I could not wait to join those on their knees before God. I wanted what God was pouring out that day more than anything else in this world!

But as I was about half way down the aisle of the church, everyone who had been praying suddenly got up. They greeted one another and rejoiced with one another, and the praying was over. I had wanted so desperately to join them at those altars and to receive what they were receiving! But now I was too late! I sat down on about the third row of seats from the front, and I thought to myself, "Well, it's all over, and I've missed it." How wrong we can be sometimes! But I was feeling discouraged and more than a little despondent.

We always had a youth service at 6 p.m. before the 7 p.m. evening worship service. As I sat there feeling sorry for myself, our youth leader stood and said, "I think we will cancel our regular youth service tonight, and, instead, we will have those who have received something from God today stand and give their testimonies." I know that she was hearing from God when she made that decision, because it was a decision that directly affected my life and changed me forever.

As those teen-agers began telling what had happened to them that day, I quickly realized that it wasn't all over. Those same young people who before had seemed to have such a shallow interest in the things of God, now were standing declaring the goodness of God with an unction and power of the Holy Spirit that was literally shaking them. And it shook me too.

One young man stood and gave a very simple testimony. It was anything but profound, and he probably felt very inadequate to express himself. But his words were the ones that God used to change my life. He simply said, "I don't know exactly what I've got, but there is one thing I know. If you don't have it, you had better get it before you leave this place tonight." My heart fell to my stomach! I felt nauseated, because there were two things I knew. One, I knew I did not have what he had. And two, I knew I had better get it before I left that place that night!

After he said those words, it was as if I were sitting there alone. I lost contact with what was happening around me. God was dealing with my heart. I had a decision to make. I had been saved for nearly three years, but I was being brought back to a place of decision--whether I was going to serve God or not. God made it all so clear to me. On the one side I saw the world and all it had to offer. On the other side I saw the spiritual life and a life dedicated to God. I sat there literally feeling the powers of sin pulling at my soul. The Devil was telling me how good the pleasures of sin were and that I just could not live life forsaking those things. I felt the old human nature as it was being pulled by those sensual desires.

Then the Spirit of God tugged at my heart, and I sensed His presence. My heart was saying, "This is what I want." But the battle was raging so strong in my heart. I wanted God. I wanted to follow Him. But it seemed that the demands were so great! I felt it would be impossible to do what God was requiring. I sat there frightened in my soul, wanting God but feeling I could not make the grade.

Then, the Spirit of God spoke so clearly to me in just four words: "I will strengthen you." It was all I needed to hear. Instantly, I said "yes" to God. I knew then with His help I could do it. The burden on my heart was lifted. I was again back in the service.

In a few minutes, our youth leader invited us all to come to the altars of prayer. The Spirit was falling, and it was totally out of human control. As I knelt down at the altar, one of the young men of the church came over to me and said, "Gene, if you will just lift up your hands and begin to praise the Lord, He will fill you right now with the Holy Spirit." So, I just lifted my hands and began to praise the Lord, and, in a matter of a few moments, I felt something begin to rise within me. It seemed to begin way down inside and rise upward. And as it flowed out of my mouth, I began to speak in a language that I had never heard before. It was wonderful! I felt a new joy that I could never describe.

We had no youth service that night; we had no regular evening worship service; we had no song service; we had no preaching. There wasn't even an offering taken. All we did was stay around those altars and worship God in Spirit and in truth. No one wanted to leave. We wanted to receive as much as we possibly could from God. It was well past the midnight hour, getting close to one in the morning, before the last of us finally left.

The next morning people returned without any invitation. They were back Monday night without any service being scheduled. People just wanted to pray and receive more of God's Spirit. For about six months, there was a service every night in that church. The first two weeks of that revival, the pastor never got to preach. The Spirit would begin to fall, and everyone would be back in the altars again. Many of the youth received calls from God to preach the Gospel. Since that day they have gone throughout the world proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.

Thank God, it's not all over! Thank God that in these last days He is still pouring out His Spirit! May the church not sit back and let this hour go by without receiving all that it needs from God! The rain of God's Spirit is still being poured out in abundance to hungry hearts. We must have His power to bring in this last days' harvest. It cannot be accomplished by human power.

Let the church cry out, "Revive us again!" The outpouring is for all who will call upon His name. There is still fire upon the altar! There is still a cleansing, burning flame that will separate us unto God and send us out as flaming witnesses of His grace and power! May God grant it to us one more time. It's not all over!

COPYRIGHT REPRODUCTION LIMITATIONS: This data file is the sole property of Gene Easley. It may not be altered or edited in any way. It may be reproduced only in its entirety for circulation as "freeware," without charge. All reproductions of this data file must contain the copyright notice (i.e., "Copyright (C) 2012 by Gene Easley"). This data file may not be used without the permission of Gene Easley for resale or the enhancement of any other product sold. This includes all of its content with the exception of a few brief quotations. Please give the following source credit: Copyright (C) 2012 by Gene Easley, Alamo, Texas.

 

 

Featured Article •

A New Beginning
by Gene Easley

Joshua 3:4 says, “Ye have not passed this way heretofore.”  The children of Israel were to pass for the first time across the River Jordan into Canaan’s land.  It always feels good to get out of the rut and go somewhere you haven’t been before.  It is a relief when we are not going in circles any more but are moving forward in God to a new experience. 

Many churches and individual Christians have spent years in a rut.  They need someone to lead them to a new experience in God with a new vision and a new burden.  We know we are headed to an eternal promised land.  But there are also promises here of victory and blessing for this present time into which many may never go. 

I have witnessed God’s Spirit being poured out in abundance and lives being transformed.  I have also heard and read the testimonies of saints of an earlier era, who spoke of the all-night prayer meetings where great healings and deliverances came with power.  I have heard the stories of the Spirit being poured out and the tabernacle of God being saturated with His eternal glory.  My prayer is, “God get us out of our rut.  Renew the church with a fresh visitation of God’s divine presence.  Move us forward into the promised land of victory, where our lives can be meaningful and our service to God effective.”

God was leading Israel to a land they had never been to before--to a land flowing with milk and honey.  Israel had experienced the cruelty of Egyptian bondage.  They experienced the hardships, the testings and trials of the forty-year wilderness journey.  Most of the group who crossed the River Jordan had been born in the wilderness and had never known anything else.  Canaan would be a new experience.  They would eat the fruit of the land in which they had sown nothing.  They would inherit homes they had not built.  It would be a blessing and gift from God.

The church needs the gifts of God to operate again in believers’ lives and in the sanctuary.  A new beginning does not start with our turning over a new leaf.  It starts with God pouring out His blessings.  A new beginning does not begin with the institution of new programs but rather with a new outpouring of God’s Spirit bringing instant transformation.  If we forsake one program and start a new one, we will still be in a rut.  Nothing will really change.  Only the Spirit of God will bring change.  He will launch us out into a new and effective avenue of service.

I have been at the altars of prayer where the presence of the Spirit of God was so real that no one wanted to leave the sanctuary.  Some were crying with many tears; others were rejoicing; some were speaking in unknown tongues as the Spirit moved on them and gave the utterance.  Some were singing, and musicians were providing the appropriate music.  No one wanted to leave.  It was times like those that one felt the heart being renewed and victory infused over all the bondage and battles plaguing our lives.

A new beginning can be found at the altar of prayer.  My prayer is that God will not allow us to be satisfied with a powerless church--with no souls being saved, with no lives being transformed, with no saints being filled anew with the power of the Holy Spirit.  When the Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost, it marked a new beginning for the work of God on planet Earth.  The 120 believers in the upper room had prayed for ten days.  Their hearts were ready for the outpouring of His Spirit.  May God lead us back to the altars of prayer and prepare our hearts and lives for a new visitation from on high.  May God give the church a new beginning!

 

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