Sunday, June 12, 2022

The Secret of Miracles - A Sermon by John Graham Lake

The Secret of Miracles

A Sermon by John Graham Lake

I want to read a few words from the second chapter of Hebrews as a basis for my thought to-night. God says of man:

"Thou hast put ALL things under his feet."

Now, I am going to read what I believe to be the most startling statement in the Word of God, and doubly startling, because Jesus Himself said it. It is in the tenth of John. You and I are ready to conceive, no doubt, that by the marvellous processes revealed in the Word of God, and by the Holy Spirit, that God has an amazing purpose for man, and that Jesus Christ in very truth has made provision for man's salvation and man's exaltation to the very Throne of God.

"I said, Ye are Gods."

Sometimes when I preach a funeral sermon I tell the people that Jesus Christ marked the pathway of man from the cradle to the Throne of God; for "the Throne of God," as an heir and joint-heir with Jesus Christ our Lord, is God's purpose for every man, and so, exercising God dominion, "Ye shall reign on the earth."

In the tenth of John we find that Jesus was preaching, and He got along nicely until He made this statement:—

"I and my Father are one."

"Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him; Jesus answered them: Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of these works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, 'For thou, being a man, makest thyself God.' Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the Word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken; say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"

That reveals the divine potentiality in man. If you are going to quarrel with anyone about that statement, you will have to quarrel with the Lord. Jesus said: "Ye are gods."

Paul, in Hebrews, said:—

"What is man, that thou are mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visiteth him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the work of thy hands. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet." (Hebrews 2:6-8)

In the beginning of creation the Lord said: "Adam, I give you dominion over the fish of the sea, over the beasts of the field, and over the fowls of the air." And the original man, clothed in likeness of Christ, was a Ruler in earth and sea and sky.

I never could imagine that when Adam wanted the cows he went out with a club and a dog to get them. There was a dominion in his spirit that the animal kingdom recognized, that the birds knew, the fish understood. Man was God's king in the earth.

Man has fallen from his glorious position. Man has lost his high dominion. Indeed, the ravages of sin have been such that man in his spiritual capacity, in his moral nature, in his capacity for the exercise of power, has become weakened. Weakened to that degree that, instead of ruling the animal world, the animal world rules him. The elements rule him—control him. Sin chokes the virtue from his soul—Satan laughs him to scorn. Because of the weakened state of our physical being, through sin, we have become subject to the varied laws of nature about us. We get in a draught and catch cold. We develop pneumonia. The waves toss us about. The terrors of life frighten us. All of which—through Jesus Christ—was meant to be reversed, and "in Christ" is reversed, when—through Christ's indwelling—man is restored to his former estate.

Real salvation is not mere forgiveness of sins, or the mere cleansing of the heart from sin's power, or the nominal baptism of life in the Holy Ghost. Christ's salvation is intended to bring again into the nature of man that was lost that which was lost through sin; that once again, through the divine operation of the Spirit of God, ministered to our hearts by Jesus Christ, His overcoming Son, the divine spirit and holy dominion that rules in the soul of Jesus, should rule in the nature of man. Thus, once more, by the grace of God, man takes his place before God in the state and status in which God created him in the beginning—a son of God.

So my heart is longing these days, since God commenced to teach me of His wondrous purpose by the Spirit, that you and I may in very truth begin to lift our heads, knowing that "our redemption draweth nigh." Bless God!

Beloved, the eventual purpose of Christians and Christianity is not that we be translated, and off floating into the heavens as the Bride. The Rapture, at best, is a very short period, perhaps seven years. That period will correspond in our experience with the forty days in which Jesus took the disciples after the resurrection into the mountains of Galilee, where He had them alone, where He could teach them of the higher things of God, that had been evolved in His soul through His experience in the Regions of Death. So that when He came forth from the grave the great soul of the Son of God was waiting for the opportunity to pour out His resurrection life—to give the balm to His disciples—and the very first time they came together He "breathed on them and said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." He was breathing the new dominion, born in His soul through His victory over death and hell, into them.

Sin always has the same action in a man's life. Sin produces fear. Fear causes the spirit of man to lose its sense of dominion. It causes the mind of man to become subjective. It causes the person of man, the body of man, to become subservient and absorbent. When the Christ ceases to reign, and the consciousness of dominion is gone from the spirit of a man, all his nature changes; his whole attitude toward life is changed. Instead of being God's prince, ruling by the dominion of Christ, his nature is made subjective and subservient to the conditions about him.

If you could examine the very structure of the mind, you would observe that when a man is filled with fear, instead of being repellent and dominant, instantly he is made subjective. His head drops, his face grows pale, fear comes into his eyes—his whole demeanor is changed. And if you could examine the pores of his flesh during such a time you would discover that the divine aura—the holy radiation of the Spirit of God, that He purposed should radiate from the pores of the whole body—had ceased, and, instead, there was a reverse action. He is drawing to himself, the spirit around him, whether that spirit be disease or mental torment, or whatever the condition, he is taking the curse to himself.

But the instant fear is banished and faith from God comes, the whole nature is changed by the power of its indwelling. Instantly his spirit is dominant—his mind positive. His person repels and rejects every form of darkness and disease by the outflow and emanation of the Spirit of God through the pores of the flesh.

Beloved, it is my conviction that when Satan came to the Lord Jesus Christ he talked to Him from a respectful distance. In Satan's complaint to God concerning Job, he says: "Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?" Why, God was not standing out with a gun to keep the Serpent from stealing his she-asses. But God had established in the soul of Job the dominion of God. His very body radiated the divine aura, or Holy Ghost power. He was God's prince—God's king—and so long as that condition of dominion remained in his soul, no power of darkness could touch him—not even the things he possessed were in danger. He was God's king.

But right away, when that condition changed, and Job commenced to scratch himself with an old piece of pottery, and his spirit was drooping, his mind subjective, and his body covered with boils in consequence, his spirit could not rise into that high place in God, until once again God came and comforted him by His word, and strengthened him by the mightiest sermon that ever was preached to a human soul. Under its magic power his spirit lifted into God again—he was master once more, forgot himself, realized the deficiency in his friends, prayed for them, and his deliverance came.

The objective of Christianity is the kingdom of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in this world. When this world is changed by the power of God—when earth becomes a part of heaven, and the same conditions that now prevail in heaven are here in the world—will it not be wonderful? Will it not be splendid to go around Chicago and have no bad smells coming up from the alleys?—but it will be just as sweet as heaven.

But somebody will have to go out and clean them up. Sure they will. There will be something told you to do in the Kingdom. You will not always be floating around in the air and singing "Hallelujah!" when we return with Jesus to enjoy His Kingdom. Perhaps the Lord will put me with some street-cleaning gang, to get Chicago cleaned up. I do not know. Earth is to become a part of heaven. There are to be "days of heaven on the earth."

Now, that explains why it is that Christianity is different from every other form of religion. Christianity provides a resurrection, because Christianity has need of a resurrection. With other forms of religion, existence is purely in the spirit. The individual has no body—has no use for a body—because he has no place where a body will be valuable. But, bless God! when earth becomes a part of heaven, Christianity has need of a body—a risen body, a resurrected body, a God-anointed body! a glorified body.

Now someone is wondering what all this has to do with The Secret of Miracles. Beloved, this is what it has to do with it. God has to disabuse the mind of man of that which the Devil has promulgated from time immemorial, and particularly through the Church—that man is a vile worm, without value, and that hell was created for his particular reception, and it is the only place that he is fitted for. Don't believe it! It is the Devil's lie. God never created hell for man. Somebody says, "Brother, what did he create it for?" To receive the dirt and filth of hell. That is, the receptacle for your cancers and tumors, your sins and diseases and sicknesses, and every other accursed thing that ever inhabited the nature of man. Just the same as the old valley of Hinnom, outside of Jerusalem, was used to dump the garbage in, and they burned it up. But they did not carry the people of Jerusalem to the old valley to burn them up. No! They carried out the rottenness, filth and dirt.

But God has a purpose for you, and God has a purpose for me. God's exalted purpose for us is to take us into fellowship with the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ—to make us brothers of our Lord. He is our elder brother. He is the one who strengthens the younger brother. He pushes us forward, encourages our soul, says to us when we are discouraged, "Go on. You can win. I am at your back."

Beloved, lift up your heads. My! if there are any people on earth who ought to walk with uplifted heads, and uplifted hearts, surely it is the man and woman who claim to be anointed in the Holy Ghost, with the Christ-conquering power power of the Glorified Son of God in blood and brain.

I am so anxious these days that, somehow, God will help us, that the divine dignity, the moral strength, the heavenly power and purity, the divine character and holy nature that God revealed through Jesus Christ as our inheritance, will be realized, and we will walk with our Lord, and we will talk with our Lord, and exercise God government over sin and sickness, know and reveal His all-conquering grace.

Oh, that is my conception of Christ's salvation. That is what the Baptism of the Holy Ghost reveals to me. That is the way my spirit interprets the precious Spirit of Jesus Christ. That is the revelation that Jesus brought from heaven for the world that was down—for the world in sin. Oh, beloved, not confessing your sins because somebody is behind you with the club of hell, but because the Lord Jesus Christ is revealing in your soul the God possibility and quality of your nature, and that, instead of being in the likeness of Christ, as He intended you to be, you have sold yourself out to the world and the flesh and the Devil, and you are covered with dirt and shame, and debased in your nature. Rise, beloved, rise up to victory!

That wonderful strain runs all through the Word, where God endeavors to encourage mankind to rise out of his debased condition, and let the mighty action of the heavenly Spirit in the soul of him, in the spirit of him, in the body of him—make him God's new man, like the Christ the Son of God.

Once in my life I was very ill—ill unto death. Had reasoned it out in my heart that, unless God came, my time was short. Long before, I had put myself into God's hands, and committed my body and soul and spirit to Him. When I gave myself to God I gave my body, as well as my soul and my spirit, to God, and that meant for me that I would trust God, and God only, and that I would die before I would violate my covenant with God. My healing must come direct from God. So I said, "If I have got to die, I will die like a man and like a Christian." And He lifted me.

You know there used to be a beautiful Christian death beds. That was before the days of narcotics and hypodermic needles. There are no Christian death beds these days. They cannot talk to their families, let alone their God.

(Voices in audience: "That's so!")

Christian death beds are a thing of the past. The glory of God came to the old saints, and they waited with anticipation for that hour when their spirits were liberated. When heaven was nearer, their spiritual senses keener, their perceptive powers clarified—then they told of God and heaven, of home and waiting angels.

When I was a boy of about sixteen, I was invited to the bedside of a young lady who was dying. When I got there I found a group of young people there. We knew nothing of praying for healing. We had just come at her request. She wanted to tell us the glories of God that had come to her dying vision, and she could not pass out until she had. She desired to inspire our hearts to be true. And I think of that little Parker girl to this day, as she talked to us of the glory of God, and the impress it left on my heart was life-lasting. And after I left that room I walked with a soft tread for many a day. I was walking in a new presence, a new realization, a consciousness that God was not so far away, and that heaven was just as close to Jesus Christ was to the Christian heart.

Beloved, it is that purpose of God, and that possibility of heavenly union with Jesus Christ, that is the whole key to the secret of miracles. Oh, it is because your soul and the soul of the Son of God cease to be two souls any longer, and you become one—His life breathed into you—His Dominion, not a word, but a fact in your soul.

Jesus Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration is God's eternal pattern of how much man may become absorbed in, reflect, and reveal God. Why, when Jesus was transfigured before them, His clothes became white and glistening—His face shone as the light. There is a touch there that I have always blessed God for. The Word says it took place while He prayed. While He was praying He was transfigured. It reveals the power of prayer. It reveals the quality in the nature of man to become identified in oneness with God, so that the glories of God are not shining upon him from heaven, but radiation out of him. God resident in man, shining forth.

It reveals again that man is the divinest instrument in all God's creation for revelation of God—that the living Spirit of God energizes him, leaps from him as the lightnings. Dear brother, dear sister, let me encourage your heart. Everything in the Word of God that ever was possible to the Lord Jesus Christ is likewise possible to the Christian. God never meant to establish Christians on one plane and Christ on another. He purposed by God's grace and by the Holy Ghost to come into our heart to lift us up, to develop us, and bring us up into God until we stand together on Christ's plane. Not Christ coming down to our debased state, but our debased condition giving way to the divine operation of the Holy Ghost in our life, until we stand exalted in the Lord Jesus Christ—Christ conquerors, Christ revealers.

In 1909 I preached one day from this platform on one of my return trips from Africa. I never will forget that day. While I was preaching the Spirit came upon Brother Sinclair, until his face became radiant—until all his spirit was flaming in God. And he arose and gave a prophetic message in the Holy Ghost that left an impress on my soul from that day to this. When I think of Rev. John Sinclair, that is the vision I try to keep in my heart—that God-exalted man, that Spirit lifted up in God, that nature flaming with God's divine power and presence.

Yea, beloved, the Lord found us. We were in sickness, in sin, and in shame, and, by the grace of God, He healed us from our sickness, and He cleansed us from our sin. Then He came and indwelt heart and life, and lives in us and undertakes to transform our nature and our character, our very persons and being, that our spirit and our soul and our body and our blood may become spirit of His Spirit, soul of His soul, flesh of His flesh, bone of His bone, and blood of His blood.

Oh, bless God, that is the Pentecost I read about in the New Testament. It is this that came down from heaven, and that is the life to which our Lord calls you and me to-day. I am trying these days to cuddle up close to the heart of God, where I can feel the pulse of His soul, the pressure of His hands, and His encouragement, saying, "Come on, my boy, this is the way, this is the way!"

Dear ones, I want to say that it is because God sent His blessed Holy Spirit from heaven, baptized and quickened and sensitized our hearts to understand God, that you and I to-day possess this holy vision and this heavenly possibility. And I care not what the difficulties have been in the years that are past, I know that God is speaking from heaven anew, and the hearts of the people never responded with more keenness than our hearts respond to-day to God's highest call.

Beloved, I tell you the days of darkness and weariness are passing, and God, by His gracious goodness, is leading us out into the Highway of Holiness in the Lord Jesus Christ.


Unto Thee this night, our precious God and King, we give forth from our souls the very richest—yea, God, the very sweetest—that our nature possesses. We bless Thee with the love of saints, we bless Thee with the love of brothers. Oh, Christ, we bless Thee with the joy of redeemed, and, blessed Lord, our hands are given to Thee all anew for God's high purpose. Amen. 

God is identifying us with Jesus Christ in all the possibilities of His nature. One day the disciples were discussing matters with Jesus, and Jesus turned to them and said: "I have a baptism to be baptized with," and then he questioned them whether they were able to receive it. And they answered, "Lord, we are able."

So it went along until the night of His crucifixion, when they were together. Presently Jesus took the cup when He had drunk, saying: "My blood in the New Testament." Listen! Get the force of it. That was Jesus' pledge that His very blood was given for the life of the world. And just as men have done from time immemorial, so Jesus Christ Himself took that cup, sanctified it unto the highest and holiest, raised it to His lips, saying: "My blood in the New Testament." And when He had drunk to that pledge, He turned to Peter and the others, and, giving it to them, He said: "Drink ye, all of it." And they drank with His saying in their hearts, "My blood in the New Testament."

What does it mean when a man drinks to another's pledge? It means that he has entered into oneness and fellowship and understanding with him, according to the words of the uttered pledge. And when Peter took the cup, it meant for Peter, "My blood in the New Testament." And when John took it, it meant for John, "My blood in the New Testament." And when Matthew took it, it meant, "My blood in the New Testament." The became one with the Son of God in His redemptive life, and pledged their faithfulness to Christ forever; that, just as He gave His blood to redeem mankind, so they would give their blood to rescue mankind.

Beloved, that is what it should mean to every intelligent Christian the world over. You may have partaken of it in ignorance, like thousands and tens of thousands have done, but the quickened soul, the God-anointed heart, sees the purpose of Jesus—to bring the Church into divine identity with Himself for the salvation of the world.

So, beloved, it means to my soul, "My blood in the New Testament," and it means to your soul—if you have entered into that same fellowship with Him—"My blood in the New Testament." Once more, it means that the words of Jesus are made a reality, "Be thou faithful even unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life."

Beloved, that is the secret of miracles. The power of God is in a consecration like that. The lightnings of Jesus are there. The fellowship with the Son of God is there. The anointing of God-power is there.

One Kingly One came from the Throne of God in heaven to earth, to give us the everlasting pattern of a Son of God. And, by His grace, my heart is reaching, my soul is reaching and asking that His operation in me may be with power and success, making me like Himself in body and soul and spirit. Identifying my nature with His own in life, in death, in resurrection power and everlasting dominion, giving meaning to the Word of God, "Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet." "I said, Ye are gods."

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