Medical science is simply amazing. The state-of-the-art equipment we have for examining the physical body is remarkable. But the one thing medical science will never be able to do is examine the spirit or soul of an individual. The closest thing we have to examine the spirit and soul is the New Testament. From what the New Testament teaches us, there are spiritually four kinds of people in the world:
1. The Unsaved
Anyone who does not believe in Him (Jesus) has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. (John 3:18 NLT)
2. The Saved
For as yet He (The Holy Spirit) had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 8:16 NKJV)
3. The Saved who tarried for the power
“Tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49b NKJV)
4. The Saved who tarried for the power and who use that power
And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. (I Corinthians 2:4 NKJV)
Why is the world in the condition it is in, outside the fact that prophecy must be fulfilled? It is because of two things:
1. End times unleashing of evil
2. There are so few of ‘those who are saved and have the power and who consistently use that power’
The Book of Acts teaches us clearly that it was ‘those who were saved and had the power and who used that power’ that changed the world:
“These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.” (Acts 17:6b NKJV)
The power is none other than Holy Spirit power that began on the day of Pentecost. It is the ‘dunamis’ power that was promised. We can truly say according to Scripture that it is ‘Pentecostal Power’ because it was first poured out on the day of Pentecost and continues to work today:
“For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5 NKJV)
“But you shall receive power (dunamis) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NKJV)
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1, 4 NKJV)
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power (dunamis) that works in us. (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV)
The ‘dunamis’ has already been given, but it is only beneficial when it is working in us.
‘Dunamis’ is used 121 times in the New Testament. It is a Greek word that means:
“act of power” (Young’s); “miraculous power, ability” (Strong’s); “natural capability, inherent power; capability of anything, ability to perform any-thing; then, absolutely, not merely power capable of action, but, power in action” (Bullinger’s).
I feel the conviction to be blunt with the truth in this article, so please do not mistake what I am saying. Scripture is not one way for those who call themselves Methodists or Baptists or Presbyterians and another way for those who call themselves Pentecostals. Scripture is Scripture. PERIOD.
Our first problem is lack of true understanding. People who are not filled with the Holy Spirit dunamis power claim they are because they mistake the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit for the filling or baptism with the Holy Spirit. All who are saved have the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit and are able to experience the comfort of the Lord. But notice how the Holy Spirit was with the disciples before they ever entered the upper room (John 20:22). Whereas only those who tarry until they are baptized/filled with the power from on high with the evidence of tongues truly possess that power.
Why tongues? First, because the tongue is the hardest thing to control (James 3:8). Second, because our God is not a god of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). He would not leave something so important to guesswork. Remember, tongues are not the power, only the evidence. That physical evidence is clear in Acts chapters 2, 8, 10 and 19. There was no guesswork involved, just pure Holy Spirit power that was manifested. Why is it so important to have it this way? Because, to be appointed to any position in the church, that individual is to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3). This precedent was set forth from the day of Pentecost on. After the day of Pentecost, the casting of lots (Acts 1:26) was never used again.
Theologians with doctor’s degrees can argue against what has been written here all they want to within the comfort of their confined world. But the manifestation of Scripture proves itself especially on the mission’s fields where only those with the Pentecostal power are able to penetrate the extreme strongholds of demonic power. I have been in some of the most dangerous countries in the world and have been witness to this. The Lord knew the demonic battlefield that is faced in the world. That is why the disciples were told to wait for the power before they go out into it.
Our second problem is hardness. Hardness has brought division and prejudices. When I was filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues almost 35 years ago and attended a Pentecostal church, I experienced much persecution from those of other denominations. Many Christian colleges would not permit Pentecostals to attend. Now four decades later, much of that persecution has ceased because Pentecostals have been explained away. But this has led to the rise of another problem. There are now many who tarried until they received that power, but as time passed, they stopped tapping into that power. That filling must be an ongoing process:
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:31 NKJV)
Our third problem is abuse. Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church to set the guidelines when operating in the power of the Holy Spirit. But some still have not learned 2000 years later. It is absolutely appalling to see so called Pentecostal Ministers with huge followings on TV who only worry about building up their own kingdoms rather than the kingdom of God. Many people jump on the bandwagon and ridicule these wolves in sheep’s clothing. But look at how many people wear a cross around their neck and are not committed Christians. They only wear it as a piece of jewelry. This ties in with our fourth problem below.
Our fourth problem is counterfeits. Wherever the real thing exists, counterfeits will always rise up. Our material enemies make counterfeit $50 bills. Our spiritual enemy, the Devil, will counterfeit the power and signs of the Holy Spirit. That’s why spiritual discernment is so vital in the life of the believer, especially in the end times (Matthew 24:24).
I have found many Christians who do not possess the Baptism of the Holy Spirit belittle Smith Wigglesworth’s Devotional which I have posted on this website. They feel threatened by it because Smith Wigglesworth was not only filled with Holy Spirit power, but he put that power to use through audacious faith. His devotional documents how he tapped into the Holy Spirit power and how there were many healings and salvations that took place to the glory of God. Smith Wigglesworth was Pentecostal through and through.
Our fifth problem is misinterpretation. Many scholars and laymen alike misquote 1 Corinthians 12:30 which says, “Do all speak with tongues?” But remember that we must rightly divide the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15) to see what is spoken of. Scripture is clearly talking about one of the nine corporate gifts of the Holy Spirit for use when the church body of Christ gathers together in worship. It is never to be confused with the prayer tongues someone acquires when they are baptized/filled with the Holy Spirit:
For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue. Unless indeed one interprets, that the church may receive edification. (1 Corinthians 14:15, 18, 19, 5b)
I was baptized/filled with the Holy Spirit on Easter morning 1981 and have been able to pray in tongues ever since. The dunamis power of the Holy Spirit has enabled me to be the Christian the Lord wants me to be and has allowed me to fulfill the purposes He has set before me. But I have never spoken a message in tongues or given the interpretation of tongues (separate gifts) in church. So please do not confuse the nine corporate gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14, with the Acts 2 Pentecostal experience. All who are saved are called to the Acts 2 experience whereas only the Holy Spirit manifests the nine gifts in corporate worship as He chooses according to 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 14.
I believe Gary Wilkerson has a timely word for today’s Church. Read what he says:
I’m convinced the church today desperately needs to hear this word. How often do we plan seminars, concerts and conferences for the year — events that won’t make a difference unless Christ breathes life into them? Only when the Holy Spirit fills us will we have something real to give.
In Ezekiel 37, which is about the valley of dry bones, God asked Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3). Here was Ezekiel’s answer: “O Lord God, you know” (37:3). “Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy over these dry bones’” (37:4). The prophet testifies, “So I prophesied, as I was commanded” (37:7). What happened when Ezekiel prophesied in faith? “There was a sound, and behold, a rattling” (37:7). The word “sound” here echoes Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit breathed new life into the disciples at Pentecost. Ezekiel witnessed something similar: Suddenly, all the dry bones on the valley floor were animated, filled with life. They came together to form living bodies. Even as the bones miraculously came together, there still was no life in them. “I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them” (Ezekiel 37:8).
What a tragic scene. I think of so many churches that have every program and strategy in place — but not the life. So many of us have seminars, conferences, books, websites, CDs, podcasts; meetings for men, for women, for moms, for dads, for children, for teenagers, for singles, for marrieds. We mean all of these things for good — but unless God’s Spirit breathes into them, they are for naught.
In fact, these things have the subtle power to rob us of the life God desires for us. As we go through the motions of church, we’re deceived into thinking we are spiritual. It may look like dry bones are hooking together, but in reality they lack the life-breath of God. I would trade 1,000 worship services and 10,000 strategies for a single breath from his Spirit. Only God can breathe life into what we do — that these dry bones might live.
God calls for men and women of faith to cry out for him to enter their situation and change things. Only a move of God’s Holy Spirit can bring life. Our eyes can’t see, our ears can’t hear, our mouths can’t speak anything of him unless he first animates us.
When he does this, the results amaze us: “I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and (the bones) lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army” (37:10). God’s breath brings us to our feet with boldness. The same thing happened in Acts 2: “Peter, standing with the eleven” (2:14). The gospel that Peter proclaimed at Pentecost was no different from the gospel he knew. Now he stood up and spoke it with power from on high.
That is the life God is poised to breathe into us — the kind that brings dry bones alive, that brings life to a darkened, despairing environment.
Wherever I go, God’s people want revival. But how can we have revival when God’s people do not want to go back to the basics of God’s Word for the Church and obey? We are commanded to tarry until we are endued with power from on high. God’s Word does not change. We are the ones who must conform to His Word with hungry hearts. Pride stands in the way. One of the most humbling experiences is to participate in a foot washing ceremony. But foot washing is rarely practiced in today’s churches. I believe pride is a big factor. People think, “How primitive!”, but yet Jesus did it.
Many Christians may not agree with what is written in this article. But this does not change the un-changeable Word of God. All I can do at this point is quote Martin Luther, “Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason–I do not accept the authority of popes and councils for they have contradicted each other–my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help me. Amen.”
All I can do is obey the Lord and leave all the consequences to Him! Even if we disagree, I can still love you and fellowship with you. No Christian doctrines pose a threat to me because I am firmly grounded in the Word and know what I have. I have obeyed the Lord’s command to tarry, and in turn He has made Himself real (manifested Himself) to me:
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21 NKJV)
Can you do the same for me or do you look at me as a threat to your doctrine and wish me to be banished? Remember, I am no better than you and you are no better than me. I only chose to hunger for everything the Holy Spirit has to offer.