When The Holy Spirit
By A. T. Pierson
The one grand purpose of the Book of Acts is to teach us that the one Head of every true church is the invisible Head; that the Church is a body of believers indwelt by the Holy Spirit and administered by Him; that of all important things this is the vital matter--that every officer from pastor to sexton, and every member, shall be a subordinate and servant of this unseen presiding Officer.
The power to discern this divine Archbishop as in actual control and setting over His church whomsoever He will, is the fundamental question of fitness for such service. Who that is blinded to spiritual truth can detect the invisible Leader? What if Joshua at Jericho had been unable to see and recognize, or unwilling to obey and follow, that "Captain of the Lord's host" who was present on the field to organize victory!....
If the Spirit dwells in the Body of Christ and is left free to work His own will, He will quicken the whole body. Members will have a new care one for another, suffering and rejoicing together. There will be a holy jealousy for the welfare and happiness of all who belong to the mystical body, and an earnest and loving cooperation in all holy work.
All schism, whether manifest in inward estrangement or in outward separation, becomes impossible where the Spirit of Love prevails. All heresy becomes impossible so far as the Spirit of Truth indwells. All apathy and inactivity in the face of a dying world will give way to sympathetic activity when and so far as the Spirit of Life thrills the body. All ignorance of God and superstitious worship of forms flee like owls of the night when the Spirit of Light shines in His divine splendor.
All needs of the church are met surely and speedily as the Holy Spirit resumes His normal control. By the consent and cooperation of disciples He actively guides into all truth and duty....
Let us suppose that a wave of divine revival should sweep over the land and that a prayerful spirit of candid self-search should be its result; that pastors, church officers, church members should unite to purge the courts of God of all idols of the world; that the service of song in the house of the Lord should be put into consecrated hands with a holy jealousy for spiritual praise rather than artistic and aesthetic music; that preaching should become a simple, declaration of God's testimony in Holy Ghost power; that secular men, however wealthy, cultured, influential should be displaced in all church offices by disciples who, being filled with the Holy Spirit, could discern His mind and obey His leading; that all worldly methods of raising money for the Lord's work should be abandoned, and voluntary, self-denying offerings, consecrated by prayer, should take their place; that the lost art of prayer in the closet, and in the assemblies of saints should be restored to its true place, and nothing should be done or attempted without waiting on God until His mind was made known -- in a word, let us suppose that our whole church life were resolutely remodeled after the pattern showed us in the holy mount -- dare any of us to doubt that God would work signs and wonders of grace not less convincing in their way than those wrought in the days of which Pentecost was the glorious dawn?....
From The Acts of the Holy Spirit, by A. T. Pierson.