YOU SHALL RECEIVE POWER
By W. G. Guy
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 Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
The verse above refers directly to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit which occurred on Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:1-4. For recent decades Spirit filled believers have sought to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit with healings, miracles and marvelous works being evident as promised, but they have been disappointed as that power has not manifested as desired or promised. There is a reason why they have not seen the desired results which is what this article is about.
Yes Jesus promised to give us power to demonstrate the kingdom of God and it happened with His disciples and as promised in the early church.
Matthew 10:7-8 – And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Luke 10:1 & 9 – After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
However this power is only partially demonstrated in today’s Spirit filled believers. They know the power is available through the name of Jesus Christ who has all power and authority in both heaven and in all the earth. These believers quote the Word of God to lay claim to this promised ability.
John 6:28-29 – Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
John 14:12-14 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
The focus of Spirit filled believers must be to represent Jesus and to be like Him – true Christ-ones, called …..Christians! We are to be His representatives on earth and do things as He directed, not as man wants to do. The key thing to recognize is the MOTIVE; why do you want to do what you do; including wanting to move in the miraculous power of God.
Here is the key, to be motivated to do things as Jesus was motivated. Jesus was motivated by compassion, which is love in action. The God kind of love is caring for others desiring the best for them.
John 15:12-13 – This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
The power of God through the Holy Spirit manifests by the gifts of the Spirit. The nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. This is the power that is received by the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and is available to all believers who accept this fact; unfortunately many do not accept it saying it is not for today. There are those that deny or reject the truth of God’s Word and promises. One of the purposes why the apostle Paul wrote what he did in his letter to the Corinthians is to refute the claim that these gifts are no longer available or in operation.
1 Corinthians 1:7 – so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
This promise of the Holy Spirit and power is for all believers from the time of Pentecost way into the future, called afar off.
Acts 2:38-39 – Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
The apostle Paul, who detailed the gifts and operation of the Holy Spirit also identified the key motive to operating in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 12:31 – But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
What is that more excellent way? Paul’s statement here opens the door to the “Love Chapter” of the Holy Bible – 1 Corinthians 13. (This chapter uses the word charity instead of love because it carries a greater meaning of caring and sharing than how we commonly use the word “love”.) The gifts of the Spirit operate through love; caring for others; caring for those being ministered to. Compassion for others allows the power of God to move through the one who shows that loving care to the one in need. That one who genuinely cares becomes like a pipeline through which the Spirit of God flows through to touch the one being ministered to when love is the proper motive.
Too many who want to move in the power of the Holy Spirit are wrongly motivated. They want to either see the manifestation of power as an endorsement of their ministry, or to get recognition for themselves, or so they can capitalize on the supernatural for fame and fortune. These motives do not move the Holy Spirit to pour out His power though such people.
The account of Peter and John going up to the temple to pray is an illustration of doing things like Jesus did.
Acts 3:1-9 – Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
The lame man was asking for money. They didn’t have any money. What did they have? They had what they received of the Holy Spirit and how they were trained by Jesus Christ, and they saw how it was through compassion that Jesus was motivated. Peter, in his loving care and concern for the real needs of this beggar, gave him what he had – the power of God by the Holy Spirit and the authority of the name above all names – Jesus! The end result was a miraculous healing causing all who saw to marvel which gave opportunity to share the message of Jesus Christ to them. The beggar wanted money but he got healed instead, which is what his real need was.
No let’s go back to the purpose of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit as stated in the beginning of this article:
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.
Jesus clearly stated that the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts are for believers to be WITNESSES of JESUS even to the uttermost, or farthermost part of the earth, (which also means to the ends of the earth or the end of this age). The great commission to go into all the world and teach all nations about Christ and the kingdom of God requires the power and ability of the Holy Spirit to accomplish. When mankind tries to do this in the strength of his own ability the results are minimal. But when those empowered and enabled by the Holy Spirit go forth the results are significantly greater.
However, when believers operate with the loving compassion for others as true representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, the power of God and of His kingdom will manifest and even greater things are accomplished in His name. This the world does not like because it upsets the god of this world, Satan and his minions. Nevertheless, greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world, (1 John 4:4).
Now here is the warning that also comes with this power. There is, and always will be a great opposition to power of God and the Holy Spirit because it exposes the workings of the flesh and the devil. The word witnesses comes from the Greek word that also means “martyr” which means to suffer or die for one’s belief. This tribulation and persecution Jesus promised to those who followed in obedience to Him.
Matthew 10:22,24-25– And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. …….The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
To be able to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit there is a price to pay.
Luke 9:23 – And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
You must die to self, take up your cross (symbol of death) and follow Him and walk in love toward others as Jesus commanded. This deals with the issue of having the wrong motivation. This is not taught in most churches because pastors think “death to self” (or fleshly lusts) is a discouraging and negative message that will turn people away for their church.
Walking in the Spirit in obedience to Christ’s command is how you will see the power of God flow in your ministry as you really care about and for others.
1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Galatians 5:6 – For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.