274. Ministered with power.
'With great power the Apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and much grace was upon them all.'* ( Acts 4:33) The process began even before the the day of Pentecost, just after his resurrection when Jesus *'breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit"'* ( referring to His presence in this context) - John 20:22. But before his ascension, he gave this instruction to his disciples who had already received the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit: *"Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised ... For John baptized with water* ( a substance), *but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit"* ( referring to the Spirit as a substance in this context ) - Acts 1:5. Just as the disciples were told, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. *'All of them were filled with the HOLY SPIRIT and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.'* ( 2:4) However, Jesus had also told them: *"You will receive POWER when the Holy Spirit* ( referring to the Person in this context) *comes on you"* (Acts 1:8), but Scripture does not mention that they received power on the day of Pentecost. It only mentions that they were *'filled with the Holy Spirit',* probably because the receiving of power happened days later! Scriptures mentions about another supernatural event that took place some days later, when the place they were meeting, quaked! Just as on the day of Pentecost, when the person of the Holy Spirit came with *'a sound like the blowing of a violent wind from heaven and filled the whole house they were sitting'*( Acts 2:2), even so, the Holy Spirit came where they were meeting and the place was shaken! It happened after the release of Peter and John, when the Church prayed together, saying: *'"Sovereign Lord, ... consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Strech your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus." After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.'* ( Acts 4:24-31) The indwelling of the presence of the Holy Spirit happens only once when a person is born again and thereafter the infilling in the Spirit happens many times! Likewise the Anointing with power happens only once and when a person is sanctified and thereafter the power of the Lord is available to do signs, wonders and miracles. *'The Apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people ... As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that atleast Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits and ALL of them were healed.'* ( Acts 5:12-16) The Apostles became more powerful and dynamic because the Anointing with power *catapulted* ( launched) them to the next level! The Apostles had three distinct encounters with the Holy Spirit, at different stages of their spiritual life, each of which was an Anointing that empowered them to move higher, much like the three stages of a rocket! Being filled with the Spirit is a day to day necessity to stay spiritually *turgid* ( firm) and bear the fruit of the Spirit, just as a plant requires water, lest it *droop* ( become limp due to loss of water) and drop the fruit! We need to rediscover these truths to restore the Church back to power! The call is to teach with wisdom, minister with power and shepherd with love. Amen.