February 4, 2016

God is powerful. He is the definition of power. By His word He created all that is. “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.” Psalm 33:6-7. No false god or big bang could have done this. It is a trend in our modern culture to ignore the power of God Almighty and even mock Him. As Christians we need to understand that the Bible is God’s word and it is to believed above the satanic fairytales which have been popularized by fallible humans. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3. God Almighty is all powerful and when we don’t believe His word we switch off His power in us. Shame on us!

The Bible is filled with eyewitness reports of God’s power. One tells us about a woman that was healed and a child brought back from the dead. Jesus was on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter. Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue and his young daughter was deathly ill. He came to Jesus asking for Him to heal the child. As Jesus was on His way to the child, a woman who had been ill for twelve years had faith that Jesus could heal her and she touched the hem of His garment. This woman had spent all her money going to doctors but they were unable to heal her. This woman knew that Jesus had the power to heal her. “For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?” Mark 5:28-30. “Virtue” is an unfortunate translation. King James uses the word “virtue”, but the Greek word is “dynamis” and means power. Jesus and the woman both felt the power. Jesus felt the healing power go out and the woman felt her body be healed. It was her faith in Jesus’ power that healed her. In the meantime, Jairus’ daughter had died. “As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.” Mark 5:36. Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him to Jairus’ house and indeed He did call the little girl back from death. Faith and belief in God are powerful weapons against the darkness around us, but too many Christians deny that power.

Jesus had many followers aside from the twelve disciples. When the time was right He chose seventy to go out into the cities to minister and gave them specific instructions. They were to heal people and share God’s good news. “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.” Luke 10:17. They had followed Jesus’ instructions and the results were powerful and filled them with joy. It was God’s power working through them that enabled them to get results. Jesus was pleased. “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:18. There are two different Greek words in this verse which are translated “power”. The one describing Satan’s power, “the power of the enemy”, is “dynamis” which we have already discussed. Yes, Satan has “dynamis” , but his power is nothing compared to the power of God. The other word for power, used in “power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy” is “exousia” and means “authority”. Jesus gives us authority against the enemy (serpents and scorpions). In His name we will win our battles through His “dynamis”. Oddly enough, many Christians don’t believe this power is for us today. They have switched off God’s power and authority by believing the Holy Spirit stopped working in the first century. Because God’s power in us has been watered down we have become spiritually weak and Satan is given a free rein. The Scriptures we read today are as true for us as they were for the people living at the time the words were written. The power has not been switched off, but too many Christians fail to switch it on.

We say we believe the Bible, but do we really? Do we think that the Biblical accounts are just stories made up to entertain us? Peter didn’t. He was a witness to many miraculous things which our Lord did and he wanted others to understand the truth those miracles. “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” 2 Peter 1:16. There’s that word “dynamis” again. This time it’s rightly translated “power”. Peter goes on to say that even though he witnessed the power of God, prophecy is even a more sure witness. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” 2 Peter 1:19. Prophecy is a powerful tool that God has given us, but it is often ignored by Christians. We are weakened when we don’t believe all of God’s word.

It seems as if Christians today are more concerned with religion than with Christianity. Don’t drink alcohol, don’t dance, don’t lift your hands in praise, don’t forget to tithe, don’t forget to come sit in a pew on Sunday, don’t, don’t, don’t. Those things comprise religion, not faith. Do you think Peter was quietly praying in a corner on the day of Pentecost? I don’t. “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.” Acts 2:2-4. People thought the Apostles were drunk, but when Peter preached his powerful sermon thousands of men were converted. In his sermon, Peter quoted from a prophecy in Joel. “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” Joel 2:28-32. This prophecy foretells of God pouring out His Spirit on all flesh and covers a time period running through “the great and notable day of the Lord”, which is Daniel’s 70th week. Peter said the outpouring of the Holy Spirit had begun on the day of Pentecost and Joel’s prophecy says it will run through Daniel’s 70th week so that puts us right smack dab in the midst of it. According to God’s word, the work of the Holy Spirit has not stopped and will continue through the tribulation period.

The power of God is only limited by human fear. Fear of Satan; fear of the supernatural. We are so afraid of recognizing the “supernatural” exists that we put limits upon God. Why? We are absolutely not to dabble in occult matters, but by the power of God in Jesus’ name we are given authority against Satan and his minions. Jesus healed people and cast out demons. The Apostles healed people and cast out demons. Why don’t we heal people and cast out demons? Instead of trusting in the power of God we send people to doctors and quietly pray for God’s help. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying don’t go to the doctor. What I am saying is claim the power that God has put inside you…the Holy Spirit…and pray boldly. Pray for God’s healing and pray for His guidance for the doctor. Supernatural satanic activity is all around us and we must understand that we have the supernatural Holy Spirit living inside of us. If we don’t recognize that truth then we are already defeated. Many times in Scripture we are told about our enemy and how to be protected. Was this just good advice for people living in the first century? This advice is also for us today. Go back and study Joel’s prophecy and Peter’s proclamation. We need spiritual weapons for a spiritual war, and the Holy Spirit living inside of us gives us that power. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13. Paul goes on to say to have your loins girt with truth, a breastplate of righteousness, your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, taking the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, the sword of the Spirit, and prayer. The spiritual battle is raging and if you deny the power of the Holy Spirit you have lost your battle.

It is strange that many Christians don’t study Scripture, but just believe what others tell them. If someone tells you that the Holy Spirit stopped His work after the Apostles died, just nicely tell them what Jesus told the Sadducees when they misinterpreted Scripture. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Matthew 22:29. Don’t make the same mistake the Sadducees made. Study Scripture and you will find out the Holy Spirit has been working since the beginning, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:2. According to prophecy He will continue His work until the end. His work continues in us today.

The power has not been switched off, we just don’t bother to switch it on.

God bless you all,

Nathele Graham

Ron Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.