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How you can be Imbued with the Power of God!

The Church in apostolic days was FILLED WITH POWER!
Today, Christians are spiritually lifeless. Why?
What has happened that Christians seem cut off from the source of that power?


NEWS FLASHES constantly bombard us with reports of undreamed-of, new powers unleashed by science. Never has the world had in its grasp more stupendous powers than it has today.

Nations are stockpiling horrifying weapons of unbelievable power in a mad race for survival. Manufacturers are building machines with ever-increasing power output to satisfy the power-hungry buying public. Health food addicts are peddling new, powerful potions guaranteed to rejuvenate the impotent and the aged. Even the churches are selling people on new ways to tap "hidden powers" lying dormant within them.

Yet people today are more spiritually empty, lifeless and LACKING IN POWER than ever before! The churches seem to be destitute of any real spiritual power!


What has gone wrong? Are we missing the real source of POWER that imbued the original Church in apostolic days?


The SOURCE of that Power

There is a reason why people are spiritually empty, dissatisfied, frustrated. People have been seeking the wrong source of power! The churches are looking to material substitutes, to psychological panaceas. But they are not looking to the REAL SOURCE OF POWER which filled the apostles and the whole Church in apostolic days!

Notice the source of that power:

"May the God of your hope so FILL you with all joy and peace in your faith, that you may be overflowing with hope, by the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!" (Romans 15:13, Moffat translation)

Notice it! "Filled"! Filled with what? — "with all joy and peace"! By what power? "BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT"!

The inspired, original New Testament Church was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. We don't see that today. Instead, we see either insipid pseudo-spirituality or uncontrolled human emotionalism masquerading as the power of God.

Consider what mighty spiritual power overflowed the Church in apostolic days: "And when they" —the inspired Church — "had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the word of God with boldness" (Acts 4:31).

Inspired preaching — not soft, purring sermons — came from the apostles! Where do you see that kind of power in today's churches? This was not some kind of uncontrolled, pseudo-spiritual, humanly generated, emotional ecstasy often witnessed in evangelistic campaigns. This was the real power of God — not a counterfeit, uncontrolled emotionalism.


World in Utter Confusion

But why are inspired, powerful, spiritual-minded sermons not generally heard today? Have the churches LOST CONTACT with the Holy Spirit of God? How many professing Christians really know what the Holy Spirit is — why they need it — and how they can receive it? And how many really know when they have received the Holy Spirit?

How many really believe that God acts upon or operates in human lives through the Holy Spirit?

Why do almost none of the churches and ministers agree about what the Holy Spirit is? — or about why we need the Holy Spirit?

Isn't it about time we understood the truth about this most vital subject?


Preaching About a Counterfeit Spirit

Most people are totally unaware of Paul's WARNING that there would be MANY false churches preaching different doctrines about the Holy Spirit — deceiving the many into accepting a different spirit from the one, true Holy Spirit revealed in Scripture.

Notice: "But I fear" — Paul was sorrowed, he knew what was coming in our day — "lest somehow, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, YOUR THOUGHTS should be CORRUPTED from the simplicity and the purity that is toward the Christ" —Christ's doctrine is simple, when we understand it — it is not a theological mystery!

Continuing with II Cor. 11:3-4: "For if he who cometh" — any false minister coming in the name of Christ — "preacheth another Jesus" — the world is filled with the preaching of a DIFFERENT Jesus who was born, who died and rose at a DIFFERENT time than the true Messiah, a different Jesus who rejected the Father's immutable laws —"whom we did not preach" — says Paul — "or ye receive a DIFFERENT SPIRIT, which ye did not receive" — from the preaching of the apostles —"ye bear well with him" — or accept him (Moffat translation).

That is what has happened today! Paul warned about receiving a "DIFFERENT SPIRIT" and "a DIFFERENT GOSPEL."

THIS PROPHETIC WARNING FROM PAUL HAS ALREADY BEEN FULFILLED! The world has accepted a DIFFERENT spirit — the spirit of error, not the spirit of truth.

Professing Christianity is split asunder by hundreds of different denominations preaching different doctrines from those of the inspired apostles of Jesus Christ. It is time we face facts squarely and look into the Bible to see what God reveals about His HOLY SPIRIT.


How to Receive the Holy Spirit

There is only ONE Holy Spirit — only one source of divine spiritual power. Without it we will never gain eternal life!

How do we receive it?

Open your Bible to Luke 11:13. Here are Jesus' own words: "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

Observe that the Holy Spirit is a GIFT. It is called a gift in Acts 10:45 and 11:17. Then the Holy Spirit is not something we were born with, nor is it anything we earn. It is the source of spiritual power we need, but which we receive as a GIFT upon asking God for it.

But how do we know that God hears us when we ask Him in prayer? Here is the answer: "Whatever we ask we receive of him, because we keep his commandments and DO the things pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of the Son Jesus Christ, and LOVE one another, even as he gave us commandment" (I John 3:22-23).

Notice that we must not only repent and believe in Jesus Christ, but we must also obey the Father — that is what LOVE IS. "This is the LOVE of God, that we keep his commandments" (I John 5:3). If we perform these conditions by surrendering our wills unconditionally to God, He will answer us. We can then receive His Holy Spirit. Observe how this is again explained in Acts 2:38:

"And Peter said unto them: REPENT and be baptized each of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto remission of your sins, and ye shall receive the GIFT of the Holy Spirit."

That is how! You begin by REPENTING — by turning away from your past sins through the blood of Christ, by being baptized (immersed). You are then unconditionally promised the Holy Spirit. God has bound Himself to perform His part if you first perform yours. You can ask God thereafter to direct you through His Holy Spirit to lead a new life in conformity with His revealed Word, the Bible.

To continue, in Acts 5:32 you read: "And we" — the apostles are speaking — "are witnesses of these sayings; also the Holy Spirit, which God hath given to them that OBEY him."

Notice the stress placed upon OBEDIENCE, upon submission of your mind to the Will of God — to the Law of God. Jesus said, "Not my will, but thine be done" (Luke 22:42). God expects a submissive, obedient attitude before we receive the Holy Spirit. How plain it is that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of total submission and obedience to the Father. This is the way to a full, abundant, power-filled life!


How to Lead a Fruitful Life

How many of you feel empty and frustrated? — feel spiritually lifeless?

Here's how to lead a rejuvenated, fruitful life — how to be imbued with power!

Notice the fruit of the Spirit: "The fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, SELF-CONTROL; against such there is no law" (Gal. 5:22 — RSV). It is by the fruits of the Spirit that you know you have received the Holy Spirit of God. "By their fruits shall ye know," said Jesus (Matt. 7:20).

The first fruit is LOVE. Love is the greatest spiritual power on earth. "The love of God hath been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit given us," says Paul in Romans 5:5. What is the love of God?

"Love is the fulfilling of the law" is Paul's answer in Romans 13:10. Love is a godly, spiritual force, imparted by the Holy Spirit, that channels the human will into obedience — obedience to God's Law. If you love God, you will — by the power of God, not by your human strength — be keeping all His commandments — all ten of them.

No one who continues to break God's Law of love has received the Spirit of God or has the POWER of God working in him! That means that millions of deceived, but sincere professing Christians who have not surrendered their wills to God and who do not keep all the ten commandments have never received the Spirit of God — they are still UNCONVERTED — and they never will be converted until they yield to God's spiritual Law of LOVE.

The other fruits of the Spirit, mentioned by Paul in Galatians 5:22, amplify the attitude of love. Obedience to God is not harsh and cruel and unyielding — it is a joy, it is peaceable and gentle, it expresses itself in SELF-CONTROL. SELF-CONTROL is the key to real spiritual power. Most people cannot be filled with spiritual power because they have not been willing to exercise self-control. Uncontrolled power is worse than no power at all.

I know that this is hard to believe. Some of you probably were taught that you cannot receive the Holy Spirit until you work up your emotions — until you REJECT God's Law. That deceptive teaching results from hearing a different gospel than Jesus preached. That is the way of Cain who hated his brother Abel. God's Law of love has been His message from the beginning (I John 3:11-12). But men have refused it!


WHY We Need the Holy Spirit

Man was born without the vital spark that will enable him to live forever. Man is mortal. Man is subject to death.

Notice: "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his. And if Christ is in you" — living the same life in us now by the Holy Spirit, as He lived by the Holy Spirit while He was personally on earth — "the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is LIFE because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him" — the Father — "that raised Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your MORTAL bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Romans 8:9-11).

How plain. The Holy Spirit imparts the power to commence eternal life. We inherited mortal life through Adam. We became heirs of eternal life — heirs of God — by being begotten through the Holy Spirit, which is the LIFE of God. "And the witness is this, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son" — not in an immortal soul. "Who hath the Son hath the life; who hath not the Son of God hath not the life. These things have I written you," says John, "that ye may know that ye have eternal life" (I John 5:11-13).

Eternal life with unending spiritual power is a gift of God. It is an attribute of the Holy Spirit. "For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life" — if we already had it, it would not be a gift; it would be inherited — (Romans 6:23).

But the Holy Spirit does more than impart to us the possibility of eternal life. It imparts to us the characteristics of the Almighty, the All-powerful God the Father.

That portion of the Holy Spirit which a person may receive, if he asks God for it in conforming to His will, may be compared to the germ or sperm of physical life. It transmits to us God's spiritual characteristics and attributes.