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Gerhard Tersteegen
Experiencing the Holy Spirit

“When the (Holy Pentecostal Spirit) enters into the heart, he fills it entirely, so that the world finds no more room or place in it, because this guest, makes himself sole Lord and Master of it. The first disciples and believers were so entirely taken possession of by this blissful dominion of the Pentecostal Spirit, that they were no longer master of their own tongues or any other member, but were compelled as it were, to speak, even as the Spirit gave them utterance. They could no longer speak, according to their own judgment, knowledge, and learning. No! they were constrained to do and speak as the Holy Spirit would have them. Thus it fares with everyone, with whom the Holy Spirit takes up his residence; he then experiences the blissful dominion of our Lord Jesus Christ in his heart. The Holy Spirit is then the scepter, which is sent forth out of Zion into our hearts; for he takes possession of all our will and desire, all our actions and deportment, all our inclinations and affections, and makes us entirely subject to him. He dwells in our hearts, like a king of the realm in his palace; he ordains and accomplishes in us that, which is pleasing and acceptable to him; he creates in us another principle and beginning of life; he becomes to the soul , as it were, the life of her life; he renews her daily, more and more, in the temple of truth and righteousness, yea to a living temple of God and Jesus Christ. All the glory of earthly kings and princes are only vain shadows and child’s-play compared with a single Pentecostal heart, which is deemed worthy of receiving the Spirit of Jesus Christ, in such plentitude.

Now see, my dearest friends, to be brief, such great things has the Lord our God in store for us! Therefore, why do we stop short at means and inferior things, nay at real shadows, and child’s play? Why do we cleave, like the brute beasts, continually to the earth? Why do we root, like the mole, for such things, which can never satiate, never satisfy, never afford rest to our spirits? God has created and redeemed us, in order that we may become partakers of his divine nature and living temples of the Holy spirit. Now how does our conduct accord with this most sacred intention of God, if it only loves what is earthly, and makes it evident, that we are not heavenly, but earthly and carnal minded? Every heart has the nature of that, of whose spirit and sentiment it is possessed, and by which it is governed. If the spirit and the fashion of this world govern us, we have an earthly and carnal nature, and as many vices within us, as a carnally-minded heart, impregnated with the spirit of the world, is wont to breed, and can consequently have as little intercourse with God, as little as we are partakers of the divine nature. If the Spirit of God and Jesus Christ possesses or leads us, we have a divine nature, and are thus capable of acting as temples of the Holy Spirit, and of being most intimately united with God.” Gerhard Tersteegen, Spiritual Crumbs from the Master’s Table, pp. 255-257.

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