Darren & Lisa Kaytor with Pastor Max Solbrekken
WITH GREAT POWER
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
“And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4: 33)
Many GREAT things happened in the Ministry of the Early Church. There was great power and great grace. There was great giving, great consecration and great dedication to God. There was great fear of the Lord in the Church and outside the Church, as well.
There was great persecution and great deliverance. There were great miracles, signs and wonders after God poured out the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost in 33 AD.
In this paper we will examine the Holy Scriptures as they relate to the awesome Power unleashed upon the recipients of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and Fire and those who followed them! And why the Baptism of the Spirit in the lives of 120 spiritually hungry and obedient believers in Jesus, the Messiah was instrumental in transforming their lives and the multitudes who gave ear to their witness!
Rather than relying on the old worn-out cliches of carnal, less-than-spiritual preachers, we will allow the Holy Spirit to lead us into the truth of His own precious and Holy Word! Jesus believed the Scriptures and lived by them and so must we.
He said: “… And the Scriptures cannot be broken.” (John 10: 35); “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which speak of Me. And ye will not come to Me, that ye may have life.” (John 5: 39, 40)
On the Day of Pentecost, the preaching of the Apostle Peter brought 3,000 souls to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Sometime later, a crippled man was miraculously healed through the ministry of Peter and John, resulting in another 5,000 conversions to Christ.
When they were beaten for preaching Jesus the Crucified, Risen and Glorified Christ, the Apostles prayed: “And now Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto Thy servants that with all boldness they may speak Thy Word; By stretching forth Thy hand to HEAL, and that SIGNS and WONDERS may be done by the Name of the Holy Child Jesus.
“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4: 29-31)
WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHO AND WHY?
What was this power? Where did it originate? What did it accomplish? Why did it come? Who were the blessed recipients of it? Did its Source weaken and diminish? Is this power available to the Church today? Is it blasphemy to blame God for our lack? Should we examine our hearts and repent of our unbelief and stop making excuses?
Jesus spoke to more than 500 men in Galilee at one time before His ascent to Heaven, and I'm sure He would have asked them all to tarry in Jerusalem and wait for the Promise of the Father. Why were there only about 120 in the Upper Room when the Holy Ghost fell? Where were the 380?
Is not this a picture of the Church today? The golf course, football game and banqueting table seems more exciting and enjoyable than an old fashioned Prayer meeting. I'm afraid, that many of the traditional and evangelical churches today fit in the 380 category, while Full Gospel Churches are active on the Front Lines!
After praying for ten days, one hundred and twenty spiritually hungry souls were baptized with the Holy Spirit and Fire and went out to win the world for Christ.
The Bible says: “And when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 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.
“And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation under Heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
THEY WERE ALL AMAZED & MARVELLED!
“And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born...speak in our tongues wherein we were born?
“And they were all amazed, and were in doubt saying one to another: What meaneth this? Others mocking said: These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them: Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
“For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel:
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on My servants and on My handmaidens, I will pour out in those days of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2: 1-8, 11-17)
This was in direct fulfillment of JOEL'S prophecy: “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 handmaidens in those days will I pour out My Spirit.” (Joel 2:28)
Jesus had promised to send the Holy Spirit to His Disciples. They would be endowed with power from on High. He called it, 'The Promise of the Father.' It would be given as a free gift to everyone hungering and thirsting after Righteousness!
This gift could not be poured out upon His disciples until Jesus had first poured out His blood. It would come through the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant and emanate from God the Father in Heaven! (Heb.13: 20)
The Key to this POWER is in the Holy Spirit alone! Only true believers in Christ are able to receive this marvellous Gift, because the world does not know Him. He is given only to True Believers and He works only through the shed BLOOD of our Saviour, Jesus Christ!
I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS!
JESUS said: “If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter that He may abide with you forever.
"Even the Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him, for He dwelleth with you and shall be IN YOU. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (John 14:15-18)
Our Lord called the Holy Spirit, the parakletos (Gr.), one who pleads another’s cause, defends another and comforts him. He is our Divine Helper, Who comes alongside to help us. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would never leave us, but come and live within us!
“Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.” (John 14: 23);
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we in Him and He in us because He hath given us of His Spirit.” (1 John 4: 4, 12-16)
These comforting words reassured His disciples, and bring reassurance to believers today as we battle the same enemies, temptations and trials they had to overcome. The Gift of the Holy Spirit was given to oversee His Church and will be with us until the end.
Not only would Christ’s Miracle Ministry continue, but would escalate under the tutorship and leading of the Holy Spirit. Jesus Promised:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14: 12-14)
UNBELIEF & HARDNESS OF HEART!
After His resurrection from the dead, Jesus was not pleased with two sins which are also prevalent among His followers today, namely unbelief and hardness of heart. He rebuked them in no uncertain terms. We must ask, where do these two sins originate?
He had walked with them for three years and on a number of occasions told them of His DEITY and role as MESSIAH, which would fulfill the Old Testament prophecy:
“Surely He hath borne our sicknesses (heb. makob), and carried our pains (heb. nasa), yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” (Is. 53: 4,5)
Regarding the Origin of SIN and His disciples’ disregard for Christ’s teaching about His Death and resurrection, let me say unequivocally that Satan, the LIAR is responsible!
St. Paul stated: “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that you should NOT obey the Truth? This persusion cometh NOT of Him who calleth you.” (Gal.5:7,8); “This wisdom descendeth NOT from Above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” (James 3:15).
Clearly, then, any thought, thing or action that opposes the Word of God is to be avoided like the plague: “…For whatsoever is not of FAITH is sin.” (Rom.14: 23)
“Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen.” (Mark 16: 14)
He delivered ‘The Great Commission’, which would define the role of His Church throughout the Gospel Age until the consummation of all things spoken by the Prophets. He will return soon to rapture the Church and judge the quick (living) and dead at the ‘White Throne Judgment’. (Rev. 20: 10-15).
The Bible says: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord: and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
"Whom the Heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His Holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3: 19-21)
HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE!
“Unto you first God, having raised up His SON Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3: 26).
All the POWER and supernatural gifts God has given His Church is so that the world may believe that He sent His Son into the world to save us. And that He was incarnated (God in human flesh) and died vicariously for us all on the CROSS and became the propitiation (satisfaction) for our sins, having met the Demands of Divine Judgment.
He took our place on the CROSS, dying in our stead, satisfying the Righteousness of God against the sins of mankind, past, present and future.
St. John declared: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God; and believing ye might have life in His name.” (John 20: 30, 31). Amen.