The greatest loss of all

Just before He ascended into heaven, Jesus told his people that soon they were going to receive a power from God the Holy Spirit which would enable them to spread His message not only locally, but right around the world. He was not speaking about a power that could be developed by human strategies, He was speaking of a miraculous, spiritual power outside of themselves. That word “power” means: ability, abundance, might, strength, violence, vital force.  It is the power of God Almighty Himself coming in and upon us to speak and to do what He wants spoken and done. It is the exact same power that energized Jesus when He spoke and did here on the earth.

There have been a multitude of Bible truths ignored by the mainstream church down through history, to our great loss, but in my opinion the ignoring of that particular truth from Acts 1:8 has brought about the greatest loss of all.  When those people received that mighty power from the Holy Spirit they went out and turned their world upside down,  In fact, to be more accurate as far as God is concerned, they went out and turned their world downside up!  Any serious study from New Testament Acts shows us that’s exactly what they did.  Not dead, boring, formal religious speech and practice – but Acts.  Mighty acts; energized by Almighty God, every one of them.

People got miraculously touched by God and they were healed spiritually, mentally, morally, physically.  Not only that, but the recipients of that power knew it was God in their midst in the name of Jesus Christ.  So they did not get into theological arguments with the Lord’s messengers, they simply obeyed the Holy Spirit who was ministering through them and they did as they were commanded – that is: repent of their sin, get baptised into water and into the Holy Spirit, study the word of God, embrace it as truth and live it out.  Then, go out under the anointing of the Spirit of God and allow Him to replicate in others what He had done in them.

Multitudes of Christian people down through church history have accepted a teaching which says that when the last pages of the Bible were written, the Holy Spirit ceased His activity within and among people as we see it revealed in the book of Acts.  This is still taught from pulpits, Bible colleges and seminaries today.  Sadly, if one embraces such teaching, they forfeit themselves from receiving the Spirit’s power.  And in my opinion, that is the biggest problem we have, not only for the church, but for the world.  Whilst many Christians may be content to bask in dead, boring, formal religion, “unbelievers” are not.

Three and a half years on the streets with unbelievers taught me that some were/are willing to believe, if only God’s reality would show up for them in meaningful, practical ways.  That was always my desire for them too because that’s how God first revealed Himself to me.  My initial needs from God were practical, every one of them.  I had fears, worries, lots of guilt, plus physical afflictions.  If the Holy Spirit really did cease His miraculous and powerful activity when the last pages of the Bible were written, then I don’t know what I would have done.

I might have developed enough faith to believe that my fears, worries and guilt could be removed, but what about my physical afflictions? Those healings were instant (see my About page) and as such it was a dramatic experience for me, just like it was for those people we read about in the Book of Acts. Besides, if it was not the Holy Spirit who healed me then who was it? The devil? Jesus has warned us that to give credence to the devil for the work of God’s Holy Spirit is to border on committing the unforgivable sin. Then we have others in the church who do believe in the miraculous power and activity of the Holy Spirit, but they are afraid to talk about it, teach it, or embrace it in any way, shape or form.

Far too many church leaders will not address this issue called baptism into the Holy Spirit, because they know if they do so, there will be an expectation for them to ask Jesus for this baptism.  And then when the Holy Spirit does come upon them, not only will it be required of them to minister only what He gives them to say and do, but it will also be required of them to get real, clean up their act, get their lives in order and get rid of their religious ways.  In other words, while the Spirit of God works in them and through them, He will also work on them.  They know that.  That is why they will go to any extremes to avoid talking about it.

In the meantime, they hide behind religious masks, giving the appearance that they are someone when they and others know that they are not.  Harsh, but true.  One of the masks I have observed leaders most effectively hiding behind has to do with their theological qualifications.  The fact that some could point to a framed certificate on the wall was more than enough to shut most people’s mouths down when it came to challenging a leader for his or her theological beliefs – or lack of – or questionable behavior.  Having said this, I am not in any sense downgrading people’s certificated qualifications – only the misuse of them.

Other church leaders hide behind the mask of positional authority.  That is, they hide behind the unspoken, but nevertheless, very loud message, “I am the boss!”  They give all the appearances of being Spirit-led and empowered, but they too know that it is nothing but a sham.  One of my former pastors loved to wear a T-shirt with “Boss” written on it.  He used to teach, “positional authority means nothing in the devil’s eyes.”  I believe that to be true with all my heart, but that man did not.  He was later to find out that in the devil’s eyes it really did mean nothing.  He also found out that it meant even less in God’s eyes.

The mainstream church is weak and powerless today not through any lack from God.  Religious man is to be blamed for the lot of it.  He has devalued the sole written word of God, the Bible, he has devalued the biblical Lord Jesus Christ, he has devalued the power and efficacy of the blood of Jesus Christ and he has devalued the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.  Religious man has turned the church of God from a living organism into a phony, dead organisation.  And as far as it concerns too many unbelievers, instead of them knowing what is appealing about our Christian beliefs and practices, all they know is what is repelling.

Not all unbelieving people are turned off the Bible and Jesus Christ. It was my pleasure to lead many to the Lord and to the study of His word. But they were reluctant to step inside a church. For some, they had too many unpleasant memories of unpleasant experiences that had been inflicted upon them by “leaders” and “believers” alike. I was most grateful for the reality and power of the Holy Spirit working in our midst. If it were not for Him revealing and confirming Himself to them, they would have gone to their graves with totally different concepts of God altogether.

Perhaps it is true that we don’t see the gifts of the Holy Spirit of God in operation today to the degree that they were seen operating at the beginning of the church after Pentecost – but only to the degree.  It is true that we don’t see thousands of people turning to Christ in one single day in one particular community.  Nor do we see people being raised from the dead like Jesus and the disciples did it.  But, just because He does not seem to be operating to the same degree is no reason for us to believe that the Spirit has ceased His miraculous activity altogether.

Who knows what the Holy Spirit might do if we humbled ourselves, died to ourselves, let Him strip us bare of our religious and denominational pride, arrogance, self-righteousness and theological hobby-horses? It is not God Who has limited Himself so much as it is the people He called to represent Him on earth – especially the leaders, I’m sorry to say. Too many of these can be likened to the twelve spies we read about in Old Testament Numbers 13:26-33. God sent these men into Canaan to spy out that land because He was going to give it to them and their families. When they came back, only two of the twelve were willing to trust God all the way in the plans He had for them.

Because of pride, fear, unbelief and a lack of trust in God, the others were unwilling to do so. They whittled God down to the size of their own imaginations, put Him in a box and then went out and spread their nonsense to the rest of the community – who embraced their every word. They paid a high price for that. Later they became  extremely presumptuous before God and it cost many of  them their lives. That’s one of the problems with the church around the world today. It operates out of presumption, human wisdom and “good” ideas, much more-so than it does out of biblical faith, divine wisdom and God’s ideas.

The results of that are the same.  It’s costing most people their lives too.  Life for multitudes of Christians is not life at all, it is merely existence, which makes them no different than their unbelieving neighbors.  When Jesus spoke of the promise that we could live life abundantly here on earth, He was not at all referring to the life we can manufacture for ourselves.  He was talking about eternal life – God’s life.  Such a life is only possible to achieve and experience when we choose to allow the Holy Spirit to come upon us, as well as dwell within us.  “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing……”  John 6:63.  “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”  1 Timothy 4:1.

Published by Roger Williams

Himself, music and alcohol were his gods for the first part of his existence. Then 38 years ago he had a dramatic encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. That experience changed his life and led him into Community ministry for 3½ years. He's been a radio broadcasting presenter of the Gospel for 30 years. Streaming on the Internet Roger can be heard every Sunday morning at 8:00 AM Australia EST. Simply click on 'Links' at the bottom of page: 'World Clock -Time Zone Converter' and 'Radio Revelations - Good News on the Radio.'

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  1. I really appreciate your program and that your voice is going out proclaiming the word of God with out compromising one truth he still works in all believers life and desiring to empowering each one of and that the gifts of the Holy Spirit and He Himself hasn’t changed but rightly divide the light of Gods word from the dangerous nonsense the counterfeits out there and exposing them for what they are and revealing the real anointing and healing power of the Holy Spirit at work only from and through his word no more no less anything else is not God but outside of his word and will

    1. Hello Gary

      Thank you for reading and for your encouraging, truth-filled comment. As you know, the willingness to compromise one truth of Scripture has always led to additional compromises, hence the foul spiritual condition of much called Christianity today.

      We both know the end result of it all but it’s sad to see it happening so fast in our time. All glory to God for having spared us from it and by His grace we’ll continue to be.

      Thanks again, Gary and God’s best to you.

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