But You Shall Receive Power - Part II
Acts 1:8 – “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
AS MENTIONED IN LAST month’s article, for the person who goes through to the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives the utterance, that person now has a power that is dwelling on the inside that is greater than any power known to man. It is a power that is not of this world, but is rather divine. It is as if an actual power plant has moved inside of the Spirit-filled believer. It is a power plant that has no outside source but has the capability of reproducing itself like a dynamo. When a believer gets “plugged-in” to the power of the Holy Spirit (of course, I speak of being filled with the Spirit), He takes up residence in the life of that believer, and He provides all that the believer needs for life and godliness (II Pet. 1:3). This month, I would like to take a closer look at how and what is the purpose for this power.
GREATER WORKS SHALL YOU DO
Jesus told us in John 14:12, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He who believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also (believing in Christ gives one access to the Father who does the works); and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father (it respects quantity rather than quality; the works of Christ were confined to greater Israel, while the works of believers cover the entirety of the world).”
This one verse constitutes three points that we must take a moment to explain. First, this verse declares to us that faith is the medium through which all of this occurs, but even that needs further explanation. The faith to which we are referring here always pertains to the correct object of faith, which is the Cross of Christ. It means that Christ is the source of all blessings, and the Cross is the means by which we receive these blessings. Everything that we receive from the Lord — no matter what it might be or how great or small that it might be — comes to us on the basis of Christ being the source and the Cross being the means. Secondly, the “works” of which Christ spoke point to miracles, healings, signs and wonders, and mighty acts of the Holy Spirit. Thirdly, the “greater works” of which Christ is speaking here have to do with the entire world, whereas the miracles of Christ while here on earth in His public ministry were confined to Israel. This means that the believer who is baptized with the Holy Spirit is to preach the gospel, pray for the sick and believe God for healing, perform miracles, and cast out demons (Mk. 16:17-18).
TO DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL
Notwithstanding, many may think that this power can be used to benefit us personally, and I refer to covetous desires. Conversely, Jesus never used this power to further His own agenda. Now we have the opportunity to experience this same power in the following manner: This power that is given to us by our heavenly Father is to be used to destroy the works of the Evil One (I Jn. 3:8). This was done through what Christ did at Calvary’s Cross for every person who would and will simply believe. Jesus paid for the sins of man with His own blood, a precious blood that made a way of escape for man to cross over from death to life. As I have stated before, the Cross was God’s walking plank for man to cross over from death and separation from God to life, and life more abundantly.
How does this apply to us? Everything that Christ began (as Luke would write in the beginning of the book of Acts), we are to continue that work with the help of the Holy Spirit. This means that as a whole, the body of Christ is to continue what Christ began. As Christ was a man full of the Holy Spirit, we are to be full of the Holy Spirit, also, which includes being baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues. This power that is given unto us helps us to destroy the works of the Devil, to tear down the walls of the enemy, and to show the path that leads to God through the means of the Cross.
To further explain this, the word dunamis, which we have referred to already, means “miracle-working power.” It is where we get our English word dynamite, and when one thinks of dynamite, one thinks of a violent explosion that causes severe damages. This is exactly what is to be done to the kingdom of darkness — a violent explosion that causes severe and irrevocable damages to the kingdom of darkness.
EQUIPS ONE FOR SERVICE
Secondly, this power is to be used to equip the believer for service. What I am about to say may anger a few of you, but I feel that I must say what I feel is right. If the believer does not obey the words and commands of Christ regarding being filled with the Spirit, his service for the Lord will be of little or no consequence. When Jesus spoke on that day and said, “And you shall be witnesses unto Me,” the word witnesses was martus in the Greek, which is where we get our word martyr. It means that we are to give everything that we have for the cause of Christ, even to the laying down of our lives. We are to forfeit our lives for His. As well, without the baptism with the Holy Spirit, we really cannot be the witnesses unto Christ that we should be. This means that Christ cannot be made real unto us or others without the Holy Spirit illuminating Christ to us and others. Once again, what I am about to say perturbs some and causes them to huff and puff, but I believe that what I will say is right. Without the person being filled with the Spirit, one has to conclude that little or nothing can be done for God. Also, everything that they try to do will be a work of man and not the work of the Spirit, and it will amount to nothing.
Thirdly, this power is to be used for world evangelism. Before the initial outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the disciples had Jesus Christ with them to meet their every need. As well, everything that happened was for the nation of Israel. However, after the day of Pentecost, God took 120 people and used them to turn this world right-side up for the cause of Christ. That could not have happened without the power of the Holy Spirit working in their lives. Also, it was on the day of Pentecost that the church officially began, and included in the church was to be all people of all races and creeds.
To prove this, we must look at the Scripture. In Acts 1:8, Jesus said, “And you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” This tells us that the gospel of Jesus Christ is not a “white man’s gospel” exclusively, but rather means that the gospel of Christ is for one and all. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill that call.
THE CALL OF GOD UPON THIS MINISTRY
Jimmy Swaggart Ministries is a prime example of this, for our calling is and has been world evangelism. God has placed that call on us for such a time as this, and He has given us a special anointing for world evangelism as, I believe, He has given no other. We are using every avenue available for this venture — TV, radio, the Internet, print, and to a degree, social media — to provide the people with a way to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. None of this could have been possible without the help, leading, guidance, and anointing of the Holy Spirit. That which began with my great-great grandmother has moved down to me, my wife, and now our children, and I speak of the infilling with the Holy Spirit. Without the baptism with the Holy Spirit, JSM, SBN, SonLife radio, The Evangelist magazine, Crossfire, World Evangelism Bible College, Family Christian Academy, Salvation Station, and every other area of ministry would not be possible today. But thank God, it is, and it’s all due to the Cross of Christ and the mighty baptism with the Holy Spirit.
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