Characteristics of the Power of God – Part IIFrom The Heart
Publish date: 06/24/2012
But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth. Acts 1:8 AMP
Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, 18 and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. 19 But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.” 21 And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22 But when the officers came and did not find them in the prison, they returned and reported, 23 saying, “Indeed we found the prison shut securely, and the guards standing outside before the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!” 24 Now when the high priest, the captain of the temple, and the chief priests heard these things, they wondered what the outcome would be. 25 So one came and told them, saying, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!” Acts 5:17-25 NKJV
The apostles were flowing in the power of God – healing and delivering large numbers of people and more and more people acknowledged Jesus as Lord and Savior and were being added to the body of Christ. This infuriated the high priest and the Sadducees. They locked them in prison, but an angel brought them out of prison and instructed them to go back and preach in the temple. When we are doing the will of God, the power of the Holy Spirit is also the power of deliverance from the hands of man.
Power in the face of death:
When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:54-60 NKJV
Stephen preached the sermon of his life and the truth he spoke cut the Jews to the heart. They picked up stones and began to throw them at him. Stephen was so full of the Holy Spirit that he seemed oblivious to the stones hitting his body – he looked straight up into heaven and saw Jesus, the Father and the glory of God. Referring to his death the Bible says that he “fell asleep”. The Holy Spirit gives one peace, strength and power in the very face of death!
Power that money can’t buy:
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city. Acts 8:5-8 NKJV
The people of Samaria were enthralled with the power of God on Philip’s life. They were saved, healed, delivered, baptized in water and filled with the joy of the Lord! Even a sorcerer called Simon was saved and baptized!
Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” 24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.” Acts 8:14-24 NKJV
Simon wanted to buy the power or ability to fill people with the Holy Spirit, but his motives were evil. Peter thoroughly rebuked him. The power to pray for people to be filled with the Holy Spirit cannot be bought, controlled or manipulated. You must be thoroughly yielded to the Holy Spirit yourself. The Lord can only do through you what He is allowed to do IN you. The power to fill people with the Holy Spirit comes only through the Holy Spirit Himself – not by the power of man.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Revelation 12:11 NKJV
The power to overcome the devil and his works is through the blood of Jesus and the word of your testimony. What the Lord has done in you, to you through you and for you, is a powerful witness and a powerful force! Keep trusting in the power of the blood and the Name, and keep testifying – preach the Word of God and the power of God – and you’ll see great miracles and victories!