Understanding The Power of God
(week 3, 2002)
We are on the verge of the greatest of the greatest outpouring of the power of the Holy Spirit that the earth has ever seen.
The Bible says the power of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea and God’s people will be willing in this day of His power.
Numbers 14:21 (KJV) But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.
Habakkuk 2:14 (KJV) For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
Psalm 110:3 (KJV) Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.
Also at this time there will be false prophets who will also demonstrate great power, so God’s people must have a good understanding of how the power of God operates so they will not be seduced or deceived by the supernatural power of Satan.
Matthew 24:24 (KJV) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Operating the power of God by faith or the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?
The majority of the miracles and demonstrations of God’s power that we see in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ were done by faith and not by the gifts of the Spirit.
For instance the woman with issue of blood in Mark 5 and the raising of Jarius’ daughter from the dead.
Mark 5:34 (KJV) And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Mark 5:35-36 (KJV) While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
Mark 5:39-42 (KJV) And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.
Most Christians and ministers do not understand this difference and so many try to move in the gifts of the Spirit by faith and sometimes unconsciously yield to familiar or evil spirits. This is because the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given only as the Spirit wills and not as we will.
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (KJV) But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
When we operate by faith we initiate the process or ministration and the results are usually gradual and not so spectacular depending on our level of faith and that of the recipient. This is why in Mark 16 the Bible says we will lay hands on the sick and they will recover, indicating more of a gradual than instantaneous process.
Mark 16:17-18 (KJV) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
When the gifts of the Spirit are in operation the Holy Spirit Himself initiates the ministration, even though we need to respond to that initiation by faith, and the results are instantaneous and spectacular rather than gradual.
Romans 12:6 (KJV) Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
The difference is because when we operate by our faith the anointing we are using is the earnest or deposit anointing and when the gifts of the Spirit are in operation the full anointing is available to us temporarily while the gift is in operation.
In the case of the Lord Jesus Christ He was operating under the full anointing and not the earnest anointing and so even when He was operating by faith, in which the ministrations were initiated by men and not by the Holy Spirit He still got instantaneous spectacular results most of the time.
For example in Mark 8 Jesus healed a blind man by faith and not by the gifts and had to pray twice for the man, obtaining only partial results the first time.
Mark 8:22-25 (KJV) And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.
Notice here Jesus operated by faith and not by the gifts of the Spirit in that men brought the blind man to him. The ministration was initiated by men and not by the Holy Spirit.
In contrast in John 5 Jesus heals the man at the pool of Bethesda by the gifts of the Spirit, the specific man being revealed to the Lord by a word of knowledge. The man did not come to Jesus to ask for healing, it was not initiated by man but was as the Spirit wills.
John 5:5-9 (KJV) And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sbath.
The Earnest and the Full Anointing
When we are in baptized in the Holy Spirit the anointing we receive is an earnest or deposit anointing that enables us to speak in tongues, cast out devils and heal the sick.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (KJV) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
Acts 2:38 (KJV) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
However as we come into perfection and the fullness of Christ we will be given the full anointing that Jesus Himself operated with: i.e. the Spirit without measure as a reward and not as a gift as the earnest was.
Colossians 3:24 (KJV) Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
John 3:34 (KJV) For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
Ephesians 4:13 (KJV) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Ephesians 4:15 (KJV) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Under this full anointing our faith will produce consistently the same spectacular results the gifts the Spirit produce occasionally as the Spirit wills.
Our ordinary faith will produce the results of the special faith of the gifts of the Spirit.
Our ordinary discernment will produce the same results as the Discernings of spirits of the gifts of the Spirit.
Our ordinary words will, like Jesus’ words will be spirit and life, producing the same results as the gift of prophecy.
This was how Jesus operated by faith with the full anointing or spirit without measure.
God is now challenging us to grow and develop into the perfection and fullness of Christ. We are to use our faith and the earnest anointing, not despising the day of small beginnings, to produce supernatural and gradual results even though they may not be spectacular. Occasionally, as the Spirit wills, the gifts of the Spirit will be manifested through us producing instantaneous spectacular results motivating us to press on toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.