Understanding The Power Within Us
By Marc Hanby and V. Arlen Guidroz
“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; because I go unto my Father.”
“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.” Mark 16:17, 18
“Jesus said unto him, if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. Mark 9:23
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Ephesians 3:20
The Works of Jesus Are Indescribable!
Books cannot contain the full record of the deeds of Christ The Bible itself does not contain a full description of those miracles of Jesus recorded on its holy pages. John said “We beheld His glory. Peter declared, “We were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” James called Him “the Lord of Glory.” And Jesus said of himself, “All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.”
Imagine yourself watching Jesus perform miracles! One day He is listening to the disciples discussing who caused the, blindness of a man who was born blind. Jesus quietly set the record straight Then He spit at their feet, perhaps making them wonder about His intentions. After a moment, when the moisture had dampened the spot, Jesus stooped to rub the spittle into the ground. A soft clay was made by the tip of His fingers. Then He stood! With brown fingers caked by the clay He anointed the eyelids of the blind man. The creative hands of Jesus rubbed the dead eyes of the blind man. Divinely made clay caked the eyelids which covered never seeing eyes. Then Jesus said, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” Why? Because Jesus was doing a powerful work under the pressure of the coming night “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.” Now it is daylight, and you can see the man coming from the pool. “He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.” Indescribable!
Another day, the multitude following Jesus was hungry. It was a family crowd, with crying children and excited youths. They were a forgetful crowd, too. Without thinking about it, they followed Jesus out beside the seashore and brought nothing to eat. The full inventory by the disciples listed five loaves and two fishes. For the entire crowd? Why not? The gentle hands of Jesus began to break the loaves ~f bread found hidden in a lad’s lunch. Productive hands! Powerful hands that fractured the few fish into pieces, and kept at it as if they were whales. The hard earth was plowed; seed planted and harvested, flour made, and the bread baked right in His hands while you watched. Power! Might! Majesty! Glory! And they were eyewitnesses.
Jesus Used His Works As Supporting Evidence That He Was “God Manifest In The Flesh”
The flesh does no miracles. Often we hear of something above the normal human ability or a sleight of hand but these are not miracles. Jesus said, “the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works” (John 14:10). As flesh He did no miracles but as “God manifest in the flesh” He could do all things. He appealed for you to believe that He was God manifest in the flesh and if you could not believe that, simply believe Him for “the works’ sake.” His works testify to who Jesus is. The flesh could not do the tremendous miracles Jesus did so His works (miracles) declare that He is ‘God with flesh wrapped around Him.’
He Limited Himself In The Mighty Works He Would Do
There is a reason Jesus did not use all the power He possessed. He limited Himself! With an eternal purpose in mind He refused Satan the privilege of seeing Him make a stone into bread nor would He cast himself down for a miraculous angelic deliverance. He could have called 12 legions of angels to take Him from the cross. But He limited Himself so that we could have unlimited power. ” … he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.” If we can do greater works than He, it simply means He restrained Himself with us in mind.
The Secret Of Our Power Is Revealed Here
“And greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12). The gift could not be given until He ascended so the power we have is from on high. As our example, He ascended, to show us where the source of power is.
“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” The ascension took Jesus (the flesh) away from the physical touch of men. They no longer could see His body, hear Him speak nor touch Him. Jesus knew that men have a tendency to depend on the flesh, especially to let another powerful person dominate.
He took the flesh out of the way so the Spirit could work. So long as Jesus was present physically He would preach most of the sermons, cast out more devils than they and do most of the miracles. He would become the great soul winner and they would become spectators. Had He remained on earth, the body of Christ would have become a shrine to which men would come to behold the wonders of God performed in one man.
This is our secret of power. He wants the Spirit to work in us. To insure this happening He removed the flesh so we would go to the Spirit and be empowered personally to do that which He was doing.
He made our possibilities unlimited by limiting Himself. There is a world of spiritual power available to the soul winner which will make his witness authentic, divine, and mighty. Resources of heavenly interest await your command and come into effect to support your claims and back up the gospel you preach. Unlimited power is there each time the witness testifies; at the door of every home you enter and even as you walk down the street.
The Reverse Order
The Master should be greater than the servant All the laws of reality tell us that the teacher can do more than the student This is the natural order of life, the father honored above the son, an owner having more than the worker and the distinguished guest sitting higher than those who recognize him.
But Jesus reversed the order when He washed the disciples’ feet. Again; He talked to the Samaritan woman who was considered lower than Himself. He became a servant of men. Then, at the end of His earthly ministry He reversed the expected and gave His followers a clean sheet of paper, a carte blanc, to write their own ticket and claim all the power they needed. “Greater works than these shall he do …� (John 14:12). “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14).
Greater Works Than These?
It is staggering to think that Jesus would have us to do greater works than He did. He opened blinded eyes, repaired
withered limbs, resurrected the dead, calmed nature and overpowered the Devil. In performing miracles, He unleashed the power of heaven to concentrate upon an event as big as a storm and as small as a coin.
But He said we would do greater works than He did. Yes, you the soul winner, whether you be preacher or saint, possess the same power Jesus had and will be used of God as you bless others.
The Apostles did greater works with the Holy Ghost experience than Jesus allowed himself to do. The comparison is not ours but that of Christ’s. Let’s see if it is true.
The Book of Acts is our evidence of the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy and promise.
1. Jesus had breathed upon the disciples, as recorded in John 20:22 and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost” They did not experience an infilling at this time but it was a promise. After the Day of Pentecost experience, it was common for the apostles to lay hands on the seeker and for them to receive the Holy Ghost at that time. Jesus allowed this extended power through the laying on of hands though He did not promise it in this way. “Greater works than these shall he do.”
2. Jesus never anointed handkerchiefs or aprons and sent them out to the sick. But check the record. “And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:
So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them.” Greater works!
3. Read of the power through the Apostle Peter in Acts 5:14-16. “And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude … and they were healed every one.” Some were healed as the shadow of Peter passed over them. Jesus never did this but promised that we could. He set no pattern but simply said, “Greater works …�
4. They spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance, both in other tongues when they received the Holy Ghost and as they went from house to house. The early church did spiritual works with a wider scope than they had imagined could be possible. Stephen, the lay member chosen as one of seven needed to take care of the business of the church, was “full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people” (Acts 6:8). The Libertines, Cyrenians, Alexandrians and those of Cilicia and Asia could not resist his wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. He was simply a lay member “full of the Holy Ghost”
The church is the multiplied body of Jesus Christ He is not only one, in one place, but in all of us everywhere doing more than He did in the flesh. Whether “greater” means quantity because Christians outnumber the Christ or quality of miracles is not a point of contention. The thrilling fact is Jesus promised that weak, insignificant humans can do great things through the Spirit.
The Power Within Us Is The Power Of Jesus Christ
Jesus promised us “… power after “the Holy Ghost is come upon you.”
This is no idle promise nor “carrot on the end of the stick” which you will receive at the close of a long day’s work. This is NOW. This power is for YOU.
The soul winner needs power to do personal evangelism. Far too often men go forth under human anointing to do a spiritual work and come back discouraged, saying, “Nothing happened.” After a try or two, the would-be soul winner throws up his hands and says, “People are too hard. They are not interested. They will not come to church.”
There is a power within the Holy Ghost-filled person that gives him ability and potency to do spiritual work by spiritual means. “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me … ” are words Jesus linked with a divine adhesive. “The Power Witness” – power you receive to impart truth with power.
According To The Power That Worketh In Us
The principle thing God does for you is that which He does in you. He is limited now, not by His personal choice, but only by how much we will let Him work in us.
Paul recognized that individual Christians wanted to be used of God and to be
“filled with all the fullness of God.” He explained to the Ephesians in 3:20 the channel God uses in manifesting His power to the church and the world. Look at the steps of increasing potential described in ascending levels of words. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think …” (Ephesians 3:20). We emphasize: exceeding abundantly-above-all that we ask or think! Read that scripture and, before you know it, your eyes are in the heavens, waiting for a miracle to come riding upon a bolt of lightning, laden with tears to pour down a sinner’s cheeks or to bow him at an altar.
But it doesn’t happen that way! The power comes from within us.’ Read the scripture again and note the last phrase. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” The power is in you now to minister to the needs of those you are trying to win to God. He did not leave you comfortless and powerless but He goes ahead of you, with you, in you, to melt hard hearts and soften the adamant mind.
He Became Our John The Baptist
John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus Christ and called himself the “voice of one crying in the wilderness.” He made the road smooth, raising the low spots and lowering the high. When John saw Jesus arrive in the wilderness battlefield, he announced, “I must decrease but He must increase.” In Jesus’ testimony about John the Baptist, He said, “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11: 11).
Our Lord is crying in the dry wilderness where men daily exist on little more than nothing. Before you ever get to that home, the Lord has spoken there. They hear His voice and feel the draw of His Spirit and are often more ready for your message than you want to think. He makes your road smooth before you ever walk up to the door, giving you an answer to fill in the low spots of their understanding and to level the high points of their own private doctrinal interpretations. He decreases for the moment so you may be used powerfully to demonstrate His power. Hear Him declare, “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; because I go unto my Father.” Believe Him! “He that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he (John the Baptist).” And the soul winner with the Holy Ghost can be used of God.
The Power Witness Acts 1:8
The words “Power” and “Witness” are linked by Jesus Himself. This connection shows the pattern Jesus expected the disciples to follow in the spreading of the gospel message.
Effective personal evangelism cannot be done without the power of God any more than a Holy Ghost sermon can be preached with no anointing. Incessant knocking on doors without a demonstration of the power of God with you and in you results in fatigue and discouragement The Lord did not intend His saints to do the spiritual work of soul winning without the same powerful tools demonstrated within the church.
The Spirit At The Church Must Accompany The Personal Evangelist
Jesus did not indicate that the only demonstration of power would be within the church walls. In fact, He did not mention us testifying within “church walls” but in the highways, hedges, streets, and the uttermost part of the earth.
Men are not as easily enticed to the church building in our day as readily as they were in the early part of this 20th Century. This means it is even more important that the soul winner take the power of God with him which is demonstrated within the church services.
When you knock on a door or contact someone on the telephone they must feel something different and spiritual about you or else your invitation is just another annoying aggravation. The personal evangelist can demonstrate such a spirit that the prospect is arrested by the power they feel. Sometimes they will begin to cry and not understand why. But you know why!
Some time ago a dear child of God was downtown, walking along the sidewalk. All kinds of folks were passing by but suddenly a hand reached out to the saint, grasping her tightly. The tears that flowed down the stranger’s face revealed a longing hunger and a searching heart. When asked why the stranger had grabbed hold of one she had never seen before, the answer was, “I felt the power of God as I passed you. Something told me you could help me and to stop you before you passed by. I need God!” The result was a newborn soul filled with the Holy Ghost and baptized in Jesus’ name. The saint of God was a “Power-Witness!”
What Will Happen To The “Spirit Of Sunday Night?”
In many cities it will die before Monday dawns. In some places it is dead by’ the time you get to the drive-in cafe and is drowned in Cokes, choked by jokes or strangled by a hasty hamburger. My friend, let’s weep for the” Spirit of Sunday Night.”
But it should not be thus. By Monday morning the telephones should be ringing as excited soul winners “gossip the gospel” to the absentee seeker or “week-ending” prospect It should arm the personal evangelist with an urgency to cover another area for God and take that spirit with them.
The “Power Witness” is not a normal witness. We do not go forth in the flesh but in the Spirit, with tears and compassion, with wisdom and power. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:5, 6).
Please don’t let the “Spirit of Sunday Night” die. Take it with you Monday through Saturday in your soul winning.
The �Power Witness” Is A Live, Moving Dynamic
We exercise the power within us as an aid to our testimony and not as an end within itself. The sign-seekers will not be satisfied as they see us nor will the sorcerers and others be able to buy it for personal gain. The “wild ones” find no comfort here because we are not teaching an uncontrolled show for personal glory.
The power of God gives weight to our testimony. It is like the young missionary, couple on the home mission field who knocked on the door of a staunch old-line Protestant family. The lady of the house identified her church and said; “I am satisfied in my church and would not be interested in Pentecost” The couple thanked her before she quickly shut the door and turned to walk away from the hostile face. But after a few steps had been taken, the door opened again and the lady called out saying, “You know I am not interested in changing churches but may I ask, do you people know how to pray?” Pray? Why sure! We prayed yesterday. We prayed last night and we sought God before we left this morning. “Yes, we know how to pray.”
The now-friendly voice said, I have a sick daughter inside. The doctors have said they can do nothing for her and we need help. Would you come in and pray for her?” During the prayer the power of God came like a fresh stream of water into a desert The child was healed through the prayer of the witness who went forth in the power of God The next Sunday the lady and the child were in the Pentecostal services and later received the Holy Ghost.
You become a “live, moving dynamic” as you yield to the power of God in personal evangelism. Your words have might, to the casting down of kingdoms and the raising up of souls who will die without truth.
The Witness Moves As God Himself
Your body is the temple of the living God. He is in you, going where you go. As you are witnessing or dealing with a soul His power works in you. His power works in you, doing the miraculous work of soul winning. The power He manifests in you is supporting evidence that God is with you. You not only tell people what you have and know, but they can feel it. They know your word is true because they see in you a demonstration of the glory and power of God.
In such an atmosphere every word you speak becomes an event, as you yield to His prompting. The prospect will be amazed at the marvelous wisdom you manifest, at the power in your message. It is as though you are not doing the work, but another. Really, you become another person, possessed by the Spirit of God. Living God, Working God, Miracle God. In you!
Not Just Natural Witnessing, But Supernatural Witnessing
As you deal with the sinner, wherever you are:
Expect God To Work A Miracle Through You.
While discussing this concept with Bro.T. W. Barnes, he said he had been thinking along these lines in personal evangelism. He told about an experience he had one day in a hotel lobby. In talking to the clerk about the Lord, the clerk recognized the “something different about him. He said to Bro. Barnes, “You ought to meet my wife’s mother. She’s old, nearly blind and can’t hear. She’s in the bed back here in a room. She is an old shouting Methodist” Bro. Barnes followed the man and met the old lady.
He said he had to talk loudly but asked her, “Mother, what do you want Jesus to do for you today?” She said, “I miss reading my Bible. I would like the Lord to make me see.” Bro. Barnes assured her that the Lord was going to do just that for her. He prayed for her and the old lady asked for her Bible and began to read. The Lord healed her eyes and her ears, instantly.
The hotel clerk was so excited he went out into the lobby and all around the hotel finding others who needed healing. Before long the room was filled with people and the Lord healed many.
Expect The Lord To Confirm His Word With Signs Following.
The words “These signs shall follow them that believe … ” were not addressed only to preachers. Lay members, soul winners, and preachers- believers- these can all have the promise if they will believe.
Expect People To Receive The Holy Ghost In The Daytime, Often At Home.
In some of our most aggressive churches as many receive the Holy Ghost during daylight hours as do at night Why not? When you go visiting, expect the prospect to receive the Holy Ghost right there or at the church. Sometimes they will begin to cry as you talk to them about their soul. This is a good chance to get them on their knees for prayer. First, suggest they go to the church with you. Don’t push them but please don’t be dull and let a golden opportunity slip by. If they will not go to the church, get them to kneel right there in the home.
Expect Healing And Answers To Prayer While Dealing With A Soul.
You are a believer. You have every promise there is available to anyone else. You can get an answer from God anytime, anywhere you pray. What confidence you have because you know the power that works in you is the power of Jesus Christ
You are a “Power Witness!” Go ahead and witness. He will never fail you. He’ll go with you alway even to the end of the world.
This article “Understanding the Power Within Us” by Mark Hanby and V. Arlen Guidroz is excerpted from their book The Power Witness: A Spiritual Approach to Soulwinning.