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Saturday, February 17, 2018

2-17-2018       Give us Power

                                                 God gives us explosive power

Before He ascended back into heaven (from whence He came (John16:28), the disciples were gathered around Jesus and they asked Him when would God restore Israel to its former glory.  A time of peace and prosperity (the end times).  But Jesus told them it wasn’t for them to know the times or the seasons of these events for Father has reserved this power for Himself.  This knowledge was His and His alone (Acts 1:6-7).

The Greek word used for power in this passage is exousia (Strong’s 1849) which is translated as authority, jurisdiction, privilege, etc.  Father put it only in His jurisdiction.  Jesus tells the disciples that only the Father knows the times (Mark13:32), not the angels, not even the Son.  Whoa, what did you say?  Jesus, the Son, is God, how can He not know?  Jesus is the Son of man, born after the flesh (Mary) and He is the Son of God, born after the Spirit (God, the Father).  Remember?  In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God (past progressive – once done, always on going) (John 1:1), wrapped so closely that we can’t separate them.  As the “Word”/Son, Jesus knew everything the Father ever said.  He is the living Word of God.  Jesus told His disciples that everything that He heard from His Father He has shared with them (John 15:15).  But, Jesus couldn’t tell His disciples (nor us) when the end times would come because Father never spoke it.  And, even seated at the right hand of God (power, Luke 22:69), obviously if Jesus now knew, He would most likely tell us as He said to His disciples.

However, Jesus does tell us that we all shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon us and we shall be witness for Him in all Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the world (Acts 1:8).  So even when we receive power, we cannot exceed the power and authority which He (Jesus) has given us.  So if Jesus doesn’t know when the end times are coming, neither can we.  However, He does give us a clue as to when those times are approaching as Matthew writes in his gospel (chapter 24).

The judgment of man is committed to the Son (John 5:22) which is why we stated earlier that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the power of God (Luke 22:69).  The Greek word used in this passage is dunamis (Strong’s 1411) which is power with the implications of strength, abundance, miraculous ability, violent or mighty (as explosive).  Just as Pharaoh gave Joseph all authority over Egypt, Joseph was subject only to Pharaoh (Gen. 41:39-41), Father has given the Son not only the authority (exousia) but all power (dunamis) to ‘do’ as well.

Remember, Jesus gave the ‘twelve’ power over sickness and devils (Luke 9:1-6) and later the seventy (Luke 10:1-17).  Luke 9:1 Jesus sends them out in power (dunamis), the same power He promises us in Acts 1:8.  Now listen carefully, Jesus could ‘share’ His dunamis power with the disciples because He was with them, the full embodiment of the Godhead (Col. 8-9) including the Holy Ghost as depicted in His baptism by John when the Holy Ghost lighted upon Jesus (Matt. 3:16).  Okay, you say, but how could he share it?  Remember the woman with the blood issue?  She touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was healed.  Jesus felt virtue (dunamis) go out from Him (Mark 5:25-30).  All the woman did was touch Him and drew power from Him.  Jesus is capable of imparting His power (dunamis) as necessary.  He asked the question “who touched me”, but He knew who drew the power and He let it go out.  When Jesus healed, it was through His word which released His dunamis power.  A Centurion approached Jesus on behalf of his servant.  Jesus didn’t even have to touch for He healed the servant who was a long ways off (Matt. 8:5-13).  He didn’t speak healing into the woman at the well nor did he touch the centurion’s servant.  All power is His.  We have no more recorded dunamis activity, by anyone other than Jesus in the gospels.  However we do see it being exercised by the disciples after their baptism in the Holy Ghost as recorded in Acts chapter two.  After their initial baptism in the Holy Ghost, at which time we not only see the disciples speaking with new boldness, but from then on and through second and third generation disciples, we see them operating in dunamis power.  Second and third generations?  Philip was apparently a product of Peter’s ministry, a second generation (Acts 6:1-7).  Of course he was also an evangelist (Acts 8:1-8).  Aquilla and Priscilla were at least second generation.  We don’t know who brought them into the body, but they knew Paul (Acts 18:1-2) and were responsible for Apollos’ (3rd gen.) ministry (Acts 18:24-28) kicking into high gear.  We see Paul speaking highly of Apollos throughout his first letter to the Corinthians indicating the status within the community Apollos had attained as a third generation disciple.

The book of Acts records, for us, at least three generations of the full operation of the Holy Ghost in believers.  Do you suppose this might be an indication that receiving the Baptism of the Holy Ghost was supposed to continue throughout all generations until Jesus’ return?   

Now Jesus reminds his disciples (after he had sent them out) that this same dunamis Spirit is with them now (at that time) and would be in them (John14:17).  Physically with them through the presence of Jesus (Himself) and in them through the baptism of the Holy Ghost (as recorded in Acts chapter two).

So Jesus tells His disciples that they will do the same works He did and greater because He was going to the Father (John 14:12), to be seated at the right hand, full power (dunamis).

Understand that when Jesus breathed on the disciples and said receive the Holy Ghost (John 20:21-23), this was not the baptism for dunamis power.  Rather they received authority in Christ (exousia), but not full power.  Jesus had to be at the right hand of the Father or be literally be with them, before the full power of the Holy Ghost could dwell within His disciples.   We know that Father promises the Holy Ghost (John 14:16) Then Jesus tells his disciples to receive the Holy Ghost (John 20:22).  Then, just before He ascended, Jesus tell the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the  promise (the Holy Ghost) (Acts 1:4), the infilling.    

So we can receive the Holy Ghost with our salvation experience just as when Jesus breathed on His disciples (John 20) and we can exercise a certain authority (exousia) with this experience.  But, it takes the baptism of the Holy Ghost to receive dunamis power as the disciples experience in Acts chapter 2 (and beyond).  However, we have to expect and receive the baptism.  The disciples waited in Jerusalem, expecting to receive the baptism (Acts 1:4-5).  And then He (the Holy Ghost) did come to the disciples in the upper room, ten days after Jesus’ ascension.   Then the full power of the Holy Ghost sat upon each of them in that upper room when cloven tongues like fire which sat upon each of them giving them ability to speak in tongues as the Holy Ghost gave them utterance (Acts 2:3-4).

I’d like to take a moment to examine what happened on that day in the upper room.  The Holy Ghost came in and ‘sat’ upon each of them.  ‘Sat’ is the Greek word kathizo (Strong’s 2523) which means to sit, anoint, settle as to hover or dwell.  The Holy Ghost anointed the disciples.  He probably hovered over them briefly before settling, not only on them, but ‘in’ them.

Cloven is the Greek word diamerizo (Strong’s 1266) which means cloven or divided.  Think about sitting around a campfire at night watching the flames lash out at the night sky.  Don’t they sort of 
look like tongues of fire reaching up for the stars?

Like tongues, they would be licking out, but interestingly the word used for tongues here is the same as used for ‘speaking’ in tongues.  The Greek word is glossa (Strong’s 1100) which is a language, usually not naturally acquired.  Yet this is a physical manifestation reaching down to and entering into the disciples.  Interesting?  The Holy Ghost came down into the disciples so He could then manifest himself through their speaking (an outgoing action).  If you will, the Holy Ghost inhabits our words!  After all, the power of life and death are in what we say (Prov.18:21), right?

And so the disciples could see what was going on around them, these cloven tongues appeared as fire.  The Greek word here is pur (Strong’s 4442) which is fire, but not just fire, more like lightning.  I suspect that these weren’t just little specks of flame floating down upon the disciples, but came down in power, like a lightning bolt striking.  I don’t think anyone got fried, but can you imagine an hundred twenty people sitting around and then, for a moment, they all light up like a Christmas tree?  The power of the living God had just come upon them!  Their lives were already changed by knowing Jesus and now even something more has happened.  Their lives were enhanced even more through the infilling of His mighty Holy Spirit.  Amen?

The Holy Ghost gives us power (dunamis), but then we have to enact that power by believing, then doing.  Jesus tells us as to receive as we believe (Mark 11:24).  He also tells us faith without works is dead (James 2:15-20).  It helps to be as the Roman centurion who understood how faith works (Mark 7:2-9).  When Peter and John healed the man at the Beautiful Gate, they commanded him to stand.  Then they reached down and took the man’s hand and helped him to his feet (Acts 3:2-8).  James tells us, in his letter, to stand firm in what we believe and not doubt (James 1:5-8). 

At times we don’t realize the power because we haven’t asked.  Father doesn’t just give us power from on high because we’re a bunch of sweeties.  We do have to ask Him (James 4:1-7).  And even then we may not have because w desire to elevate ourselves rather than God.  Simon the sorcerer desired to have the ability to give the Holy Ghost, not to glorify God, but so people would think more of him (Acts 8:13-22). 

And there is another reason why we may not see the Holy Ghost operating in our lives.   Are we quenching Him?  Paul exhorts the Thessalonians do to several things and one of them is not to quench the Spirit (1 Thess.5:19).  Quench is the Greek word abennumi (Strong’s 4570) which is to quench, go out or extinguish.  We extinguish the Holy Ghost’s ability to work in our lives by denying Him the right to function and operate in and through our lives as He is intended.  Even to the degree where we don’t believe He fully operates today like He did two thousand years ago.  Lack of belief is quenching.

When we quench Him, we grieve Him because we tie his hands and He cannot do what He desires to do in our lives.  Grieve is the Greek word lupeo (Strong’s 3076) which is to grieve, make sorry, fill with heaviness.  When the Holy Ghost is grieved, His heart breaks and Father is grieved because we don’t allow Him to work in/through us which is why Paul tells the Ephesians not to grieve Holy Ghost (Eph. 4:30) for our redemption is sealed in Him.

 We desire power (dunamis) from God?  First we have to be His child (be saved).  We need to seek the full presence of the Holy Ghost for our lives and then invite Him into our lives.  We need to believe without doubting.  We have to ask for the right reasons – to glorify the one only true and living God who reigns forever and ever.  And we need to remember not to quench and/or grieve the Holy Ghost, once we’ve received Him.  Then, we need to put what we have received into action, in our own lives, that is let Holy Ghost do His job in us and through us.  Then He (the Holy Ghost) will reach out touching those around us because we have been obedient to Him.


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