“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 1:8)
POWER. From the Greek word dynamos which, according to Strong’s Concordance, means: force (literally or figuratively); specially, miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself)
It is the same root word from which we get the word dynamite. It invokes thoughts of life changing, earth shaking, and explosive power.
It seems that man has always looked for someone with superhuman power. Whether it is the gods of mythology or the stuff of fairytales, legends, and comic books, men have always conjured up stories of individuals whose abilities went beyond those of mortal man.
A man whose power could change the elements of nature and the course of mankind, who could always vanquish evil and establish good.
However, all dreams of such power are only that: stories birthed in the imagination of man, except for one individual recorded in history. Only one man whose power was unlimited, who had the Spirit of Almighty God without measure.
Only one of whom the Bible says that He is the image of the invisible God, the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
Only one whose miraculous power was witnessed by so many individuals that any court ever assembled would have no recourse but to conclude the reality of His wonderful acts.
That one individual is the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, who fully intended for His disciples, His Church, to walk in that same miracle working power after His resurrection and ascension into Heaven.
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;” (Mark 16:15-17)
“They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:18)
“So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” (Mark 16:19-20)
The Bible tells us of how the early Church experienced all of these manifestations of the power of God. The Book of Acts records how the first believers would speak with tongues as the Holy Ghost came upon them. The Apostle Paul said, “I speak with tongues more than you all.”
The early disciples cast devils out of soothsayers and fortunetellers. They would lay their hands on sick people and they were healed. The Bible records that there were instances when even the shadow of Peter or handkerchiefs from Paul brought healing to the sick.
We read in the Book of Acts when a poisonous snake bit the Apostle Paul on his hand, but he shook it off and felt no harm. The history of the Church tells us that the Apostle John was poisoned several times in attempts to kill him; however the poison had no effect on him, even to the point that many believed John could not die and would remain until Jesus returned.
Were these signs and miracles only for the Apostles, for the disciples who had been with Jesus, or to help the early Church get established and then they would disappear?
NO! Definitely Not!
“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.” (Acts 2:39)
God intended for these signs to follow all that believe.
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;” (Mark 16:17)
Believe what? Believe that they are able to do such things? Believe that they have some supernatural ability greater than other men? No!
These signs shall follow them that believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who believe in His ability, in Who He really is. Those who truly believe that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. That He never changes. That the Jesus we believe in today is no less a Jesus than the Jesus who healed the sick, and opened blinded eyes, and raised the dead so long ago.
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” (Heb. 13:8)
One might ask, “If Jesus Christ is the same, why don’t we see the miracles today that we read of in the Book of Acts and in the Gospels?”
There was a time in the Old Testament when someone asked almost the identical question.
“And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” (Jdg. 6:13)
We can look at the Church today, and as Gideon, we might say, “Where be all His miracles?”
The 17th Chapter of Matthew tells us of a time when the disciples of Jesus could not cast the devil out of a boy. When they asked Jesus why they were unable to do it, He replied in the 20th verse, “Because of your unbelief…”
The problem today is not that we live in a different time period in which miracles do not exist, but the problem is the same that it has always been. It is a problem of unbelief!
The Bible tells us that there would come a time when the Church would have a form of godliness, but would deny His power.
“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,” (2Ti 3:1-2)
“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; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2Ti 3:3-5)
It would seem, as we look about us at the world and the Christian Church today, and if we would be honest with ourselves, that these Scriptures describe the time that we are living in.
However, there is a remnant today that has a desire in their heart for their personal experience with Jesus Christ to be more than a powerless form of godliness.
There are those who are not content to have “church as usual”, but desire to be used of God in the same way that He used the early disciples to manifest His power and glory.
If you are willing to lay aside the vain traditions and opinions of men, If you are willing to believe only the Word of God, If you are willing to have the attitude that if Jesus said it, I believe it and if Jesus wants me to have it, then I want to receive it, then come with me and we will begin a journey through the Word of God that will cause your faith to grow and will bring you into the deep and powerful river of the miracle working power of God.
(TO BE CONTINUED)