WHERE IS THE POWER
By W. G. Guy
Observing current conditions in America it is obvious that the works of evil and darkness are manifesting out of control. Consider the source of violence, riots, lawlessness and political corruption in our local and national governments. It is all due to the sinful nature of unredeemed mankind. This then is a reflection on the ineffectiveness of the church in our society. We are lacking our life changing influence on society as was present in the early church.
Jesus Christ said the church is to be the light of the world, as He is the light to the church, and we are to reflect His glory, His character and His nature.
Matthew 5:14-16 – Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
In spite of us supposedly being the light, this darkness seems to be prevailing; why is that? The obvious reason is that the church no longer believes the Word of God and what Jesus and our Heavenly Father had provided for us to be His witness to the world. Most of the church has no power to stand against the darkness of the enemy. This is contrary to the Word and Will of God. The church is no longer the witness that God ordained that it should be.
Where is the power?
Acts 1:8 – 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 Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
What is the power that God the Father and Jesus Christ gave to the church to be His witness in the earth? It is the Holy Spirit that comes with the Baptism in the Holy Spirit as was foretold.
Mark 1:8 – I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Acts 2:1-4 – 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.
Much of the church does not believe in this experience and says that it was only for those people back then. The problem with unbelief is that those who do not believe do not receive and are lacking what God has provided. However, this power is necessary for all believers until the return of Jesus so we can have the power to be His witnesses in all the earth up unto His return. As an example, this Baptism in the Holy Spirit continued several years after Pentecost as recorded with the works of the apostle Paul.
Acts 19:1-2, 6 – And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. …. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
The church without the power of the Holy Spirit is ineffective as a witness for Jesus Christ which allows the works of darkness to abound as we see today. The apostle Paul prophetically saw our day and described it:
2 Timothy 3:1-4 – This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
The apostle Paul was clearly referring to the state of the church in these last days as he identified it in verse 5. He also goes on to say what to do about such lukewarm and carnal churches.
2 Timothy 3:5 – having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
How can I say that Paul is referring to such churches? Where do you find a “form of godliness”? Certainly not in the world, but in lukewarm carnal churches that do not have the power of the Holy Spirit because they “deny the power thereof”. This is the power to be witnesses that Jesus said we would receive in Acts 1:8; thus these churches fail to be effective witnesses in the power of God. We are to leave them and find the churches that are Spirit filled and Spirit led; the ones that have the power to be witnesses.
The churches that have no power to be witnesses to a lost world are likened to the five foolish virgins in Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins.
Matthew 25:1-8 – Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
What was the problem with the five foolish virgins? Their light went out! What was the consequence of their foolishness?
Matthew 25:10-12 – And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Because their light went out they lost their opportunity to enter into the marriage celebration; they were rejected because their light went out. This parable shows those whose light has gone out were not valid witnesses of Jesus Christ. Yes they knew about Him, but their relationship with Him was lacking – just like the lukewarm church of Laodicea in Revelation 3 where Jesus stood on the outside knocking desiring to come in to them.
Revelation 3:20 – Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
In the same way Christ desires that we receive the Holy Spirit so that we can be effective witnesses for him and bring a positive change to the world just as the early church did because they had the power to be witnesses.
So where is the power, because we need it now more than ever as is evident by the darkness that is manifesting in America today. Our current problem in America is not political – IT IS SPIRITUAL! It’s not too late to be empowered to be an effective and powerful witness for Jesus Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you now. This is not the salvation experience when you receive Jesus Christ as Savior and when His Spirit enters into your spirit, (the Spirit of adoption – Romans 8:15).
John 20:21-22 – Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (This is when the disciples were born again of the Spirit of Christ.)
Being Baptized in the Holy Spirit is when you receive power of the Holy Spirit; the supernatural power of God is then able to work with and through you to be that true witness to others. This supernatural power is known as the nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and is found in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11. These gifts are in effect till the coming of Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:7 – so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Zechariah 4:6 – Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
Here is the POWER by His Holy Spirit! And we NEED IT NOW!