Power - Nathele Graham - [email protected]
The power of the Holy Spirit is something that many Christians have a hard time accepting. Some denominations have misrepresented the Holy Spirit causing many Christians to deny His power. Satan has done a good job at spreading lies that claim the power of the Holy Spirit stopped after the Apostles died. This has gone a long way in disarming Christians. The Holy Spirit began working among people long before the Apostles and will continue after we've been Raptured. The gifts of the Spirit are as real today as they were for Peter on the day of Pentecost. Unfortunately most Christians don't understand the power and therefore deny it. "And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?" Mark 12:24. Jesus said this to Sadducees, who were trying to trap Him, and He pointed out their error. These were people who claimed to study Scripture but didn't believe it. It's easy to shake our heads and wonder how they could be so blind, yet today we also err by not knowing Scripture and thereby we deny the power that God has made available to us. If we study Scripture and let the Holy Spirit lead us and teach us we will naturally come to understand the power of God. There are various Greek words in the New Testament that are translated "power" but I want to focus on dynamis. Of the 120 times it's used in the New Testament it's translated "power" 77 times. Think dynamite.
When Jesus chose to become a man He became like us. He didn't have the sin nature we're born with, but He faced temptation like we do. He went to John the Baptist for water baptism and on that day the Holy Spirit descended upon Him. "And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased." Luke 3:22. Jesus' ministry was about to begin, but first He needed to be alone and He fasted for 40 days. "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered." Luke 4:1-2. Satan will always attack when we're weak, but Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit. Every Christian needs to understand this fact. Our flesh has needs and we will be tempted to sin. Our resistance comes from the Holy Spirit. Why do so many Christians deny the power, the dynamis, and give up when Satan tempts us? We err by not knowing Scripture and we listen to Satan's lies telling us that the dynamis stopped when the Apostles died.
Jesus did many miraculous things. He healed people of many infirmities, fed thousands with a few scraps of food, calmed storms, and raised the dead. He did these things by the power of the Holy Spirit. Before He went to the cross He spoke with His disciples about what was to come. He told them that He was going away. They couldn't follow Him, but He wouldn't leave them alone. "If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." John 14:15-17. Two words need to be addressed here. The first is "another". The Greek word here translated "another" is "allos" which means another of the same kind. Jesus, who was God incarnate, would send another of the same sort as Himself...God. The second word is "Comforter". This is translated from the Greek masculine noun "parakletos"...one who comes beside to help. This promise is for us today just as it was for Peter, John, Matthew, and the rest. "That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also 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, unto the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:12-14. The Holy Spirit (the Comforter) indwells us after we hear the gospel of salvation ...after we trust our eternity to Jesus. He is sealed inside us and our salvation is secure. Most people just leave it there, but there's more. There is dynamis that only comes from the Holy Spirit coming upon us.
After His resurrection, Jesus surprised His disciples one night by entering a locked room where they were gathered. It was there that He breathed on them and they received the Holy Spirit. They still had much to learn about the Spirit, but these men were willing and the power...the dynamis...would soon come upon them and the world would be changed. The last time that Jesus met with His disciples before He ascended into Heaven He told them to wait in Jerusalem until they received the promise of the Father. "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." Acts 1:5. Jesus had already breathed on them and they had received the Holy Spirit, but they would soon be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Their only question was if that would be when the kingdom would be restored to Israel. "And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Acts 1:7-8. They received their marching orders, but weren't to march off just to be marching. They were to wait for the power of the Holy Ghost. By the way, the word "power" appears twice in the above passage. The first one is translated from the word exousia which means "authority". The second time "power" appears it is dynamis. Authority of the Father and power of the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost came and the Apostles received power...the full dynamis of the Holy Spirit. "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."Acts 2:1-4. Notice that they were all of one accord. That means there weren't divisions among them. Peter didn't argue that music wasn't allowed, while John argued about the proper way to baptize. These men knew there is only one Gospel and it had to be taken to the entire world. There were many people from various foreign lands in Jerusalem to celebrate Shavu'ot (the Festival of Weeks) also called Pentecost. This ruckus drew the attention of many people who were surprised that the Apostles were speaking so that everyone listening heard what was being said in their own language. The gift of tongues is one of many gifts of the Spirit, and it was the one that was necessary on that day. Then Peter stood up and gave a powerful speech which was inspired by the Holy Spirit. "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers " Acts 2:41-42. Those who were converted didn't stray from the Gospel. Could it be that this power that's available to every Christian is stifled because we each go our own way? Instead of fellowshipping with fellow Christians we fellowship with the world. In doing so we choose to go the way of the world.
The Apostles had power and they had boldness that's seldom seen today. They followed Jesus' instructions and remained in Jerusalem until they had been baptized with the Holy Spirit and after that the dynamis exploded. The Gospel was spread just as Jesus commanded. Some did go to Samaria and had great success in spreading the Gospel. When the news reached the Apostles in Jerusalem, Peter and John were sent. "Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:(for as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost." Acts 8:15-17. If the power of the Holy Spirit was only given to the Apostles why would they pass it on to new Christians? This power has never stopped, but it's ignored by most Christians today.
There are various gifts that come when this power is allowed to work through a Christian's life. "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." 1 Corinthians 12:8-11. The Holy Spirit has a gift for you, but you have to ask for it. Unfortunately, most Christians are too busy walking with one foot in the world to care if the Holy Spirit wants to give them a gift of healing or a gift of faith. The boldness to use the gift will also come through the Holy Spirit, but the boldness should not be obnoxious. Boldly speak the Gospel but don't be so annoying that you turn people away. That's where the gift of discernment comes in.
The dynamis from the Holy Spirit is powerful, but don't be deceived. The same word is used to describe the power given to the beast described in Revelation. "And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority." Revelation 13:2. This power is given by the dragon...Satan. Is that Satanic power working in the world today? Absolutely. That power is manifest every time a terrorist drives into a crowd killing innocent people or tortures someone to death. In the United States we've seen this Satanic power manifest in the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and Charlottesville, Virginia. We also witness this evil in the hatred that the liberal media has against conservatives, Christians, and our President. Mr. Trump isn't perfect, but when Christians prayed that Hillary would not be elected, the dynamis of our prayers stopped the evil that was about to destroy America. That evil power is regrouping and many Christians are deaf and blind to what's happening. The liberal news media and the weak-minded buffoons in Hollywood are empowered by Satan. It's mindboggling that the threats against Mr. Trump are ignored as if it's alright to threaten his life. Brothers and sisters, we have dynamis available to us. The power of the Holy Spirit out-powers anything that Satan has, but we have let the power fizzle. That's not God's fault, but the fault of every Christian who denies the power of the Holy Spirit.
The power, the dynamis, given by the Holy Spirit is a gift waiting to be asked for. Ask for it today and use it to glorify God Almighty.
God bless you all,