But You Shall Receive Power - Part I
Acts 1:4-5, 8 – “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, said He, you have heard of Me.
For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.
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.”
THE BOOK OF ACTS is meant to portray what the church ought to be, should be, and must be. The church was born in power and because of that, it must remain in power in order to perform the task that the Holy Spirit has set out for the church to accomplish. Nevertheless, at this present time, the church for the most part has lost that power, and as a result, it is in worse condition than it has ever been since the Reformation. It has resulted in our Pentecostal denominations shying away from their roots to the point of ordaining ministers to preach in their churches who have not yet received the baptism with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues. In reality, it does not see the point of it. These same ones state in their own words that they do not see what the big deal is regarding the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we are going to look at why the believer must go on to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit after his initial salvation experience, and we will see just how big of a deal that it really is.
THE HOLY SPIRIT DREW THE BLUEPRINTS
To begin with, it must be understood that it was the Holy Spirit and not man who drew the blueprints, so to speak, of what the church ought to be. No man-made denomination did that. It was the doing of the Holy Spirit, for it was He who set the parameters, set the course, and described the method. The early church was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and if the modern church does not abide by the earmarks set out by the Holy Spirit, then the church cannot be looked at by God as a New Testament church. Those earmarks are set out as the following and must be preached from behind the pulpit for God to recognize it as a New Testament church:
Salvation by the blood of Jesus Christ alone should be preached and not works (Acts 20:28; Rom. 3:25; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14).
The baptism with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues (Acts 2:1-4; 10:44-48; 19:1-7).
Divine healing by the power of God (Acts 3:11; Mk. 16:18-20; James 5:14-15; I Pet. 2:24).
The preaching of the Cross for sanctification (Rom. 6:1-14; 8:2-11; I Cor. 1:17-18, 23; 2:2; Gal. 5; 6:14; Eph. 2:13-18; Col. 2:14-15).
The rapture of the church (I Thess. 4:13-18; II Thess. 2:7-8; Rev. 1:19; 4:1).
The second coming of Jesus Christ (II Thess. 2:1-8; Rev. 19:11-21).
If the church is to be the church, the great doctrines mentioned must be preached and practiced, for this is what the Holy Spirit desires. I believe that if the church fails to adhere to the desires of the Holy Spirit, then one must conclude that whatever is going on is not of the Spirit but of man, which would conclude it as worthless.
THE COMMAND GIVEN BY CHRIST
Secondly, the baptism with the Holy Spirit was commanded by Jesus Christ. In fact, when we read the account of Acts, Chapter 1, we must surmise that the very last words of Christ given to His disciples before His ascension were that they be filled with the Holy Spirit. This was not a mere suggestion nor a question, but rather it was a command. The word command is a strong military term and means to charge. Because of this, it is something to which we must adhere. The question must be asked: Is this command still relevant for today? Yes, it is! If you are saved, then you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, and as a result, the same words by Christ given to the 500 that day are applicable today.
This is of such importance that, in essence, Christ was telling not only His disciples then, but also us today, to not build churches, evangelize, or hold meetings until first being endued with power from on high.
Why was He commanding His disciples to be filled with the Spirit? We can gather the answer from John, Chapter 14, where Jesus told His disciples that He would be going away, but He would send “another Comforter” to be with them, to lead them, to guide them, and to steer them in the right direction. The Comforter of whom Christ was referring was the Holy Spirit, who would come to reside in the hearts and lives of the believer after the sin debt was paid by Jesus Christ through what He would accomplish on the Cross. At the same time, His disciples did not need the Holy Spirit at that time, for Christ was with them to meet their every need. However, once Christ would ascend, He would not be there in the flesh as He once was, but they would need something, or rather Someone, to be with them, to reside with them, and to give them power to fulfill the purpose of God. When the Cross became a reality, the stage was set for the Holy Spirit to fall upon the followers of Christ in a new dimension that had never before been seen on earth.
With all of this said, I believe that outside of the command given by Christ, the most important reason that we need the baptism with the Holy Spirit is for power. Christ said, “You shall receive power.” Power in the Greek is dunamis, which means “miracle-working power,” and means to make possible or able that which was not heretofore so! This means that, in actuality, this inherent power is capable of reproducing itself like a dynamo (II Peter 1:3). As well, it means that a power plant has moved inside of the believer, and this perpetual power has no outside sources. It has come into the life of the believer in the form of God the Holy Spirit, and there is no way that Satan or any demon spirit can get at this “source” if the believer truly follows the Lord. At the same time, the same power that raised Christ from the dead is now residing on the inside of us! How great is that?
This power that is now working on the inside of us, regarding the baptism with the Holy Spirit, is to be used:
To destroy the works of the Devil (I John 3:8).
To take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the entirety of the world.
To equip the believer for service.
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