Upreach And Outreach by Bill Britton
The way of the Spirit is to reach for the tops of the mountains. The way of the carnal mind is to settle there and build tabernacles. But the way of the spirit is to praise God for victory, and hunt for higher mountains. God has a people called to walk in the Spirit!
Stop here and read Ephesians 1:9-18 in your Bible. Without taking space to reprint all that portion in this book, I want to refer to several verses.
Verse 11 tells us that in Christ we have been predestinated to an inheritance (1 Peter 1:4 says “to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. ready to be revealed in the last time.”).
Now these scriptures begin to tell us something about our inheritance, and just when it is to be fully revealed. “In the last time.” That’s the day that’s beginning to dawn now, beloved. Now just what is this inheritance like? If you were a genuine heir (and you really are, you know) you would want to know something of what you were going to inherit, wouldn’t you? Unless of course it was a secret, a mystery. And this inheritance has been a glorious mystery, hidden from ages and saints, to whom He would make known the glory of this mystery. Now do you want to know what it is?
That Glorious Inheritance
Someone says “It’s a gold mansion, up in the skies somewhere. A great big house with lots of rooms, beautiful furniture, three or four stories high, etc. etc.” What’s all those rooms for? You going to have company? Not me. If we all get a big house, I’ll have my own. Not your husband, or children. They’d all have their own house (and furniture to take care of?). What kind of furniture you going to have? A refrigerator? TV? Air conditioner? What are you going to have in all those rooms? Bedrooms? (Who will be sleeping where there is no night?) Kitchen? (What will you cook?) Bathroom? What for? Can’t you just see this false city we have all built up in our natural imaginations. Multitudes of lonely people, each sitting around in a big 40 room gold house, with no one to enjoy it with?
Alright now, lets sanctify that carnal mind and see what God really has for us. The reality of the Spirit is much better than the fanciful dreams we have built up in our natural minds, so limited and finite.
There is an inheritance. Of this there is no doubt. Then there must be a people who will receive this inheritance. This is sure. It is reserved “for you who are kept by the power of God through faith.” Hebrews 9:15 tells us that Jesus had to die in order for us “to receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Hallelujah!
We Now Have a Foretaste
God has not left us in the dark regarding this wonderful inheritance. He has given us an earnest or “foretaste” of the fulness. Turn back to Ephesians 1:13-14 and read: “After that ye believed, ye were sealed with THAT HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE, WHICH IS THE EARNEST OF OUR INHERITANCE UNTIL THE REDEMPTION OF THE PURCHASED POSSESSION.” Now let me read verse 14 again to you in the Amplified New Testament: “THAT SPIRIT IS THE GUARANTEE OF OUR INHERITANCE, THE FIRST FRUIT, THE PLEDGE AND FORETASTE, THE DOWN PAYMENT ON OUR HERITAGE, IN ANTICIPATION OF ITS FULL REDEMPTION AND OUR ACQUIRING COMPLETE POSSESSION OF IT, TO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY.”
Alright, what did you see? It is very plain that the INHERITANCE is of the very same substance and quality as the FORETASTE, only it is the fulness of what we have now received only a down payment or pledge. And the foretaste of this inheritance is that Holy Spirit which you received after you believed on Jesus Christ. Be honest now, could I possibly make it any plainer?
Give Us More!
When Paul laid his hands on those twelve men at Ephesus and heard them speak in tongues and prophesy, they received something real and genuine. What was it? It was the down payment on their inheritance. When the Holy Ghost fell on the house of Cornelius, causing them to speak in tongues and magnify God, they were giving evidence of having received something they wanted a lot more of. For who is there who has ever received a real genuine baptism with the Holy Ghost that has not hungered for more, and more, and more? Well, good news. What we have received is only the earnest, a pledge, on an inheritance purchased for us by the death of our Lord Jesus. Incorruptible, undefiled, reserved, eternal. Glory to God, I feel like shouting. And I think I will!
I love my Holy Ghost Baptism. I love the gifts and operations of the Spirit. I love the anointing I feel right now. For these things are a “measure” or portion of what I am going to live with and enjoy through all eternity. You might say these things constitute a “golden brick” in my heavenly Mansion. All right now, get mad with me, but it’s the truth anyhow!
Spirit of Revelation
Let’s go back to Ephesians. In verse 17 Paul prays that God would give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. So that you might have some spiritual understanding of the things of God, and that you might know “what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” Oh, dear ones, there is so much to know about Him, about this glorious inheritance, and our minds are so dull, so natural. God help us see.
There is so much I want to tell you in this message, but you must have a spirit of revelation if you are to understand. The same spirit of revelation that was given when these things were written. Don’t let doubts and limited vision keep you out of the Promised Land, the glorious land of inheritance. It is yours! He has bought it for you, it is paid for, and now it is time to cross Jordan and enter in. The Day is at hand!
Oh, I must get out of this glorious book of Ephesians, or I’ll never finish this message. Let us turn to Philippians 3:12-14.
The High Calling
Now Paul says that God apprehended him so that he might apprehend something. What? Well, whatever it was, he hadn’t yet received it after many years of faithful and fruitful ministry. Now if you think this High Calling that Paul was reaching for was Heaven, I can assure you it wasn’t. For Paul was doing everything in his power to press toward the mark for that prize of the High Calling, but he had a lot of chances all down thru his life to go to heaven. If he had just stayed out of that basket in Damascus, those Jews would have seen to it that heaven would have received Paul at the very beginning of his ministry. Some Jews at Lystra actually drug Paul out of the city and left him for dead, until the saints got around him and prayed. Can you imagine someone praying you away from your high calling? And then Paul had an excellent chance to go to heaven, right from the city of Jerusalem, with 40 thirsty Jews to help him make it. But he had to go and spoil their plans, and no telling how many of them starved to death over it. No, what Paul was reaching for was not heaven. He knew that heaven was for “Whosoever will.” He was after something greater. He was after a prize. **Heaven is not a prize, it is a GIFT of God’s grace. Heaven is for “whosoever will,” the dying thief, the deathbed repenter,** the thirty-fold Christian. Paul said “I run that I may obtain.” Paul was after God’s greatest offer to man.
It is Not the Gifts
At the time Paul wrote the book of Philippians, he had enjoyed a marvelous ministry of power, and abundance of the Gifts of the Spirit, miracles too numerous to count, filled with the Holy Ghost and speaking with tongues more than any. But all this was not the High Calling. And to think that some say today that they have arrived, when they don’t have a fraction of what this little old foot-weary travelling preacher had. And yet he freely admitted that he had not yet apprehended what he was after. And brother, neither have I. Hallelujah!
This High Calling is not the building of a lot of churches, or attaining to an Apostleship. Paul had all that. It was not getting visions or revelations, or supernatural visitations or experiences. It is something far beyond all that. It is the fulness of what we have only received the foretaste or pledge. It is that which no man, except Jesus of Nazareth, has ever come into as yet, but which is reserved for the end-times. It is now the End-time. We are about to move in.
It is Written
Where did Paul find these glorious truths? Did an angel come down in the night and visit with him and unveil these wonderful secrets? Did he take a trip to far off Tibet to learn the secrets of the sages? Of course not! Then how did He find out about this High Calling and the Fulness of the Spirit?
IN THE BOOK! “To the Law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them (Isaiah 8:20).” And in Acts 24:14 and 26:22, Paul himself said that he never preached anything except that which was already written in the Law and the prophets. So it must be there. Sonship, High Calling, Overcomer, Body of Christ, Inheritance. Paul preached it all and he preached it from the Book!
If what they preach is not in the Bible, then you can be assured, beloved, it is not what you and I are after. It is not what Paul was after. Some of them are gone on to perdition now, but I have heard them in times past. I have heard them speak the blasphemous thoughts of their corrupt minds. “Bury the old black lids of death (they said), we don’t need the Book any longer, it is only a crutch for the feeble, a light only for those in darkness, we now speak His Word today, and we are the living Word, we don’t need the dead letter.” So they throw the Book away, mostly because they can’t find their “revelations” in it.
But hear me today, and hear me good. this kind of heretic is not in the true Move of God for this hour. They are not God’s elect. What they have is not the Latter Rain, it is only the devil’s drizzle and is as poison as carbolic acid, and twice as useless.
“And Now. Up We Go”
Let’s go back to Ephesians. Chapter three, and in verse 18 where Paul prays that you might be rooted and grounded in love that you “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with ALL the fulness of God.”
Do you really believe that? That God wants you to be filled with all the fulness of God? Someone might say “Oh, I wouldn’t have the nerve to say that.”. Well, you don’t have to, He had the nerve to say it for you! This is His desire for His people. Not that they might just live on a lower plane of existence, feeding on doctrines, programs, increase in numbers, bigger and more elaborate buildings, frustrations in spirit. No, but God wants you to have the fulness. OF HIM! Well, I didn’t say it, go back and read Ephesians 3:19 again.
Now God wants you to comprehend, to know and understand what is the LENGTH and BREADTH, and the DEPTH and HEIGHT. The length and breadth speaks to us of the outreach of God. Look at the Horizontal crossbar on Calvary’s Cross. with those precious hands stretched out to gather in the whole creation to His bosom. God has always been interested in the salvation of lost mankind. There is infinite and eternal grace to the “whosoever will” of God. the length and breadth.
Now look at the vertical upright part of the Cross on which Jesus hung. It speaks to me of the depth and height. Friends, you will never know the full depth to which Jesus went in order to redeem back His own. I could spend the rest of my time telling you of that journey, from Heaven to earth, then from earth to hell, because of His love to usward. Hallelujah! But thank God, He made the journey back again, victorious over earth and hell, over sin and sickness, and has now been exalted above the highest heaven, praise His Name!
But now the heights. Oh, friends, what a glorious upreach in God has been available through our Lord Jesus Christ to those who dare to believe. It is beyond our wildest imagination. “Exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (verse 20).”
God’s Holy Climbers
In every age, while carnal man has been trying to expand his gains, build bigger barns, make a name for himself. God has had a people who have been climbing God’s spiritual mountains. Let others talk of their big deed, their great progress, their much gain in the realm where in they dwell. The Mountaineers of the Spirit continue to leave these earthly things behind, and press on to higher places in God. And it is these earnest seekers after God who have made possible every new Move of the Spirit since God has been dealing with man.
Abraham–Friend of God
While Babel was being built, while men were saying “Let us make us a name, lest we be scattered.” God was searching for a man who could hear His voice. This was in Babel’s beginning, when God came down and confused their language so that they could not understand one another. And so it has been, and so it is today. men at one another’s throats, trying to destroy each man his neighbor, because they cannot understand each other’s language. But now we are living at the time of the destruction of Babel’s great tower, and God shall turn to the people a pure language. And there shall be peace.
But God found a man who could hear His voice. And the message was not an easy one. To leave his family, his friends, all that he had worked for, all that he had accumulated in this world. To leave behind the opportunity for greater gains and expansion in Babylon’s comfortable surroundings. And where was this call leading him? He did not know. God would not tell him.
But some went with him who were not called to this high calling. Lot just liked the prosperity of being with Uncle Abraham. There are those “fellow travelers” who just go along for the ride. As long as it is a smooth ride. They like the message, like to feel the anointing of the Spirit, like the freedom of worship. But they are not called. And they must be separated. I can tell you by experience that Abraham did not like the idea of losing Lot. In that strange land with so many enemies, and so few of their own group, every friend counted. But God said Lot had to go. He was not called. Now, I’m sure Lot would have been very indignant to think that anyone could say that he was not called. After all, look how far he’s come in this thing. He’s left Ur and Babylon hadn’t he? He hadn’t stopped at Haran with Terah, had he? Yes, but he did not have the Upreach spirit. He was interested in the well-watered plains of Sodom, he was anxious to make gains in the land, to expand, to make an outreach.
But Abram’s eyes were on the mountains. And it was here, AFTER he was separated from those not in the High calling, that God let him see his inheritance. “Look, Abram, north and south, east and west. All you can see is yours. I’m going to give it to you.” But are you sure you’re able to do this Lord? This won’t bankrupt heaven, or run you short? Don’t be silly, and don’t be afraid to take what God offers. You don’t know how big God is, what He is able to do or give.
Abraham believed. Thus it is recorded. There is much for those who will believe. Who were the “bigshots” in Abraham’s day? Who were the tribal princes, the governors, the senators, the kings? No one knows. But we have an eternal record of who it was that dared to walk with God, and believe what God said!
While Lot tried to expand his possessions, finally losing all that he had, Abraham was pressing upward to the top of God’s mountain for his day, breaking into a new place in God that man had not come to before. He became the father of a nation of chosen and elect.
A Voice Crying in the Wilderness
On the muddy banks of Jordan, standing barefoot and clothed in strange garments was the son of a Temple priest. To follow his father, Zacharias, meant that John could have stepped into the “inner circle” of those who attained to the high office of Temple priesthood.
But Jerusalem had become a place of sin and treachery. And the glory of the Temple was a man-made thing. While Jerusalem gloried in her attainments and boasted of her man-made beauty and strength, God was calling for someone to come outside the walls and press upward into a new place in the Spirit. God had left the old order, but they did not know it, for they had never recognized Him anyhow.
“None Greater than John the Baptist”
There was no one to follow, no one to show him the way. This was a leadership of the Spirit. He could not follow his father, much as he loved him, for Zacharias was trapped in the old order. But “bearing His reproach” John went outside the gates, oblivious to what others might think of him. Hearing only the voice of Him that spoke from Heaven.
And John reached a height in God no one had ever come to. Alright now, wouldn’t you like for the record to show that Jesus said of YOU that “there is none greater”? He was the voice that introduced the Son of God in the most momentous Move of God that had ever come to earth. And he was that voice because he had heard the call, and dared to believe and to climb God’s highest mountain for his day. Glory to God!
Why Don’t You Evangelize?
No doubt this could have been said to the disciples in the upper room as the day of the great feast of Pentecost approached. Here they were, with the greatest message ever given to man, and doing nothing about it. Seemingly. They had seen the Lord alive. They had proof of His resurrection. They had a story to tell, a message to preach. Then why weren’t they out telling those multitudes of Jews about it? They city was teeming with men from many nations. This was their opportunity. The timing was divinely appointed, it seemed.
But where were they? Having a secret prayer meeting, all by themselves. No burden for lost souls, some might say. No zeal for the message. Oh, the reproach that comes with being a spiritual pioneer. No one understands, no one seems to hear. But they had heard the voice of their Lord, and they were obeying. It seemed as tho the day of opportunity would come and go, and that God would miss reaching the multitudes. But God was not late. He never is. We may get nervous, and excited, but God knows what He is doing.
So while others feasted and played, they fasted and prayed until they broke into a new realm in God that the church had never come to before. They came into a new dimension in the Spirit. They walked where men had never walked before. And they opened a door of the Spirit for men everywhere and in all generations. All because they had heard the voice of the Lord, obeyed, and dared to believe.
“The Just Shall Live by Faith”
The door of spiritual blessing opened at Pentecost was never closed again, tho the Church seemingly went into a period of great darkness. Men fought to expand the natural part of the Church. Great effort was made toward more outreach, but no upreach. As a result, the darkness that came was gross. Unspeakable things, not even edifying to talk about, took place in the Headquarters of the earthly organization, at Rome.
Then one day God reached right down in the middle of this mess and picked out a priest and spoke to his heart. He heard, believed, and on October 31, 1517 he forever inscribed his name in history when he nailed his 95 thesis to the door of his church in Wittenburg, and opened a door for men to rise out of the rottenness of Rome’s religion and come into a new Day in the Spirit.
Oh, Martin Luther had a good start on making gains in the realm where he found himself. He could have spent his time in outreach. But he had heard a divine call, and when he began an upreach into God, he stirred up all the demons in hell against him. The religious leaders of his day wanted to kill him, destroy him, why? Simply because it is in them to hate those who press upward into God for greater heights in the Spirit.
One thing you can depend on. Earthly organizations always encourage outreach, while they discourage and bitterly fight any effort for upreach. Look at history and you’ll see it’s true. It’s the very nature of the ecclesiastical systems, and they can’t change. And you can depend on it that they won’t change. God will finally destroy the system with the brightness of His glory. At times they may seem tender, they may seem to have occasional revival. But they can’t change. Those who press on to new dimensions in the Spirit always have and always will eventually come out of her.
And now we come down to the turn of this century. Here we find the churches of the day, somewhat revived from time to time, but still trying to expand in the realm of salvation by faith. But here and there, scattered across the face of the globe were little groups of saints, or individuals, travailing for a greater Move of the Spirit.
In Topeka, Kansas in the year of 1900, a Methodist preacher by the name of Charles Parham withdrew from the evangelistic field to seek God. Others could not understand his actions. Where is your burden for souls, Bro. Parham? With a powerful evangelistic ministry, and an eloquent tongue, he could have been winning souls for Jesus. But where was he? In a big house in Topeka with a group of saints who were convinced that they didn’t have all that God had for them, and also convinced that it was time again for the Church to move into a greater realm of the Spirit.
So they began an upreach for God, but they met with tremendous powers of darkness bitterly opposing every step. Nevertheless, they pressed on into God.
Then on December 31, 1900 at a New Year’s tarrying meeting, a woman was filled with the Spirit and began to speak in other tongues. So what? The people next door to the big house knew nothing about this momentous occasion, and cared even less. But a door was being opened to the End-time Church to the glorious Baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire.
With this humble start, things began to happen around the world. Revival broke out in a sovereign move of the Spirit in Wales. Evan Roberts, and others, were caught up in a glorious hurricane of spiritual force, and a deluge of spiritual rain.
In the year of 1904 Frank Bartleman and others in Los Angeles were travailing in spirit for a mighty Move for that city. They were scorned and rejected by those who had eyes only for expansion and outreach within the realm of salvation by faith. They went to church after church seeking fellowship in the Spirit, but it seemed all they could do was to travail and groan in their spirits for an upreach in God. They were cast out.
A Mighty Breakthrough
God was hearing those who cried unto Him. And He reached down into Bro. Charles Parham’s little groups, now preaching in Houston Texas, and called a colored Nazarene preacher to go to Los Angeles. He went, preaching a new dimension in the Spirit, a new experience in God. He was rejected by the existing forms of religion. But God opened a door, an old building on Azuza Street. It was from here that mighty rivers of power and blessing began to flow out to the uttermost corner of the earth. Someone had dared to hear, believe, obey, and travail for greater things. God’s pioneers were moving on!
From this time there was a mighty outreach for the Gospel. Churches, cities, and nations were shaken by the mighty power of God expressed through His humble servants. Untold thousands of souls were swept into the kingdom in this great harvest. Churches sprang up all across the country in spite of violent and bitter opposition by the religious systems. This is the pattern. A new upreach in the Spirit always produced a greater outreach than ever thought possible under the old order of man. Look at the Early Church.
After a few years of glorious revival in the early years of this century, man began to take over. Organizations began to form. Fellowships, denominations, accrediting boards began to come into being in Pentecost. So that we may expand even further, they said. To hold our gains, more efficient missionary service. And expand they did. But as for upreach, it stopped. The Pentecostal revival became divided into many factions. Churches and preachers fought each other, while the world and the devil looked on and laughed.
A New Day is Dawning
Now it is time for another breakthrough. Men and women are groaning in the Spirit for that last great Move of the Spirit prophesied for the End-time. A great travail is now going on, unseen by most who are admiring their beautiful system and pointing to the great expansion and gains they have made.
But the elect are crying to God to bring them into the fulness of the inheritance. What happened on Azuza Street was a restoration of the “firstfruits” or the “Earnest.” But it is the end time. Time for the revealing of the full inheritance. God has promised. The restoration of the earnest was to prepare our hearts for that which is about to take place. The outpouring of the Spirit upon the denominational people in our day is not the end of the story, but is only to prepare them for this last great revival.
At the time God moved in a sovereign way into a Mennonite community and poured out His Spirit upon them, a powerful prophecy was given. Part of that prophecy said that what had happened previously in spiritual revival was as one and one half drops of water in a ten quart pail in comparison with that which is to follow. I believe it! The mightiest Revival this world has ever seen is on the way. I declare it in advance. I won’t have to tell you about it when it hits, you’ll be caught up in the most powerful Move of God in history! But I urge you today to be ready. Prepare your hearts to have faith. Things will take place that will stagger the natural mind. You will have to have divine faith to be able to believe for that which is to happen.
A Separation is at Hand
As in the day of Abraham, Paul, Luther, and every other spiritual pioneer, there is today a separation taking place. The walls of the old order are crumbling for those who are moving on in God. They find they cannot stay in the systems of man and come into this last great move, into the fulness of our glorious inheritance. Many times this brings about a tearing of our flesh, our natural sympathies and desires, as we are forced to say goodbye to those who have not heard the voice of Him who speaketh from Heaven.
But the whole creation groans for this day of release, and thank God it is at hand. Romans chapter 5 tells of the suffering that the called of God must go through, and of the glory that is to be revealed in us. The creation waits for the manifestation of this glory. It had not been revealed as yet in Paul’s day, even with all the benefits of Pentecost.
Verse 23 says that even we ourselves, who have every reason to be the happiest people on earth, (and we are) still groan within ourselves, waiting for this glorious end time event which shall bring us to full salvation, or deliverance over every enemy of mankind.
Will You Be a Pioneer?
Prepare your hearts. It is a great day. But you will meet with many adversaries, if you determine to go on with God. It is for the bold in spirit, for those who dare to believe for God’s best and highest. But to those who have seen the vision of the inheritance and tasted of the firstfruits, there is no choice. Live or die, sink or swim, they must press their way on to a new dimension in the Spirit for this last day.
And thank God, there is victory, a glorious victory. I can’t promise you an easy road, void of suffering. But I can promise you His Presence all along the way. This will come by a sovereign act of God. But it will come to those whose hearts are ready, prepared, and faithful. So stand thou fast in the faith, quit ye like men, for the ultimate victory over every enemy is at hand!
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