Adrian Rogers - The Principles of Power
Be finding the Book of Acts and, that's right after the gospels and, we're into acts chapter two. We're talking about living supernaturally. If you didn't bring a Bible, most likely there'll be one there in the pew rack before you. Now what I want to talk to you about is the principles of power. We're in acts chapter two, and I want you to begin reading with me, verse one, "And when the day of Pentecost was 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".
Now remember last week we talked about the fact that Jesus had promised, "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me". They were to tarry in Jerusalem, they were to wait for the promise of the pow, ah, the fulfillment of the promise, the coming of the power. And this is when it happened. This is the day of Pentecost. It was a special feast day in the life of Israel. They had been keeping this feast for fifteen hundred years, but this one was special. No other Pentecost like this Pentecost. It was a feast.
You know the Bible's full of feasts, and they all typify the Lord Jesus. And when I invite you to Jesus, I'm not inviting you to a funeral, I'm inviting you to a feast. I hope you understand that. This was a feast day and they, there were many things that happened that day, but one thing that they would do would be to take some grain, crush it, grind it, sift it, purify it, and then they baked two loaves of bread. And they'd pour into this bread, oil and, they baked these loaves, and now these individual grains are no longer individual grains. They have been blended, baked together. Then they took seven animals, seven perfect lambs, and, they offered a blood sacrifice with those. And then, one bull and two young calves, ten altogether, speaking of the perfection of, the precious shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and the total completeness of Calvary. Those individual grains represent the church, no longer individual members.
Now they are blended, baked, melded, molded together. The oil in that bread represents the Holy Spirit of God. This was the birthday of the church. The Holy Spirit had come and God had promised power. Now he's going to demonstrate that power. Now he's gonna symbolize it. He wants us to understand what it's all about. And so you're gonna see this power symbolized. And it was symbolized by two things: by fire and by wind. There was a sound and there was a sight. Look at it again if you will in the second chapter, of acts, "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind".
Have you ever heard a tornado, a cyclone? How many of you ever heard one? Well, all right. Everybody says it sounds like what? Freight train. That's true, that's true. I heard one time, well twice I have been in enough approximation to a tornado to hear the noise, and it is an awesome sound! Now if you think a tornado sounds awesome outside, what would you think about an indoor one? This one was inside the house where they were sitting, and, there was the symbolism of the sound. Now we said that oil is an emblem of the Holy Spirit that was upon that bread, but wind is also an emblem of the Holy Spirit. The Bible teaches this. This power was symbolized and then this power was vocalized.
Go on and look if you will in, in verse four, "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance". Here are a hundred and twenty people now beginning to speak in foreign languages. Uh, known languages. The people who were there said, "How is this, we under, how can we understand this"? They're speaking, every man in his own language wherein he was born. They all are hearing these Galileans who, didn't have a Ph.D., they were not, bilingual, trilingual, multi-lingual. Here they are, praising God with languages they've never heard. This power was symbolized, this power was vocalized, but now here's the key: this power was actualized.
The Bible says, look, they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. That's the abiding principle is, the fullness of the Holy Spirit, the abiding miracle of Pentecost is that men, women, boys and girls were filled with the Holy Ghost. We're not trying to repeat Pentecost. Ever, huh, every now and then somebody says we need another Pentecost. Well, if you have another Pentecost, you have to have more fire and another cyclone. You see, all of this, was to symbolize, to teach us something. Now this is the day of Pentecost and, and the promise of the Father came with this wonderful power, power that was symbolized, power that was vocalized, power that was actualized, as they were actually human beings now become inhabited by the Holy Spirit of God, as he comes into them.
Having said all of that, I want to give you three principles of power, okay? Three principles of power, and I pray God that he'll write these upon your heart. We're talking now about the dear precious Holy Spirit of God. Number one, the Holy Spirit is a promise to be received. Have you got that? He is a promise to be received. Now in this same chapter, let's go over about to, verse 38. Peter'd preached a sermon, a wonderful, anointed, Christ-filled sermon, and there was conviction there.
Well let's begin in verse 37, "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart," now that's Holy Spirit conviction that does that, "And said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'men and brethren, what must we do'"? Now they're unsaved. "Men and brethren, what shall we do"? I hope you'll be asking that question if you've not been saved, "What should I do"? Here's what God says to you, the same thing that Peter said to those people so long ago. "Then Peter said unto them, 'repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost'".
Now he didn't say you will receive the gifts of the Holy Ghost: he's not here talking about tongues or miracles or signs or visions, helps, governments. No, you will receive the Holy Ghost himself. He is the gift. You will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Now notice verse 39, "For the promise is unto you and to your children, to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call". The Holy Spirit is a promise to be received. "The promise is to you, to your children, to those that are far off, and as many as the Lord our God shall call".
Friend, God has made a promise to you, God has promised! Are you listening? God has promised to you the Holy Spirit. You were not left off, left out. "The promise is unto you and to your children, to those who are afar off and as many as the Lord our God shall call". Jesus told the disciples to tarry until they were endued with power from on high. We don't need to tarry. The Holy Spirit is already come. He has come. We don't need to say, "Oh God, send your Spirit". He's sent his Spirit. That would be like praying, "Oh God, send Jesus to die on the cross". No, he has died on the cross. Uh, Calvary's an accomplished fact. Pentecost is an accomplished fact. What we need now to do is to receive the promise.
Now let me tell you something. If you are a Christian, if you are truly saved, you've already received that promise. You say, "Well I don't feel it". I want to tell you something. You can be a Baptist and be lost. You can attend these worship services and be lost. But you cannot be a Christian and not have the Holy Spirit in you. That's what makes you a Christian. When Peter said, "Repent and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus for the remission of sin and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost," he didn't say, "You might". He said "You shall"!
And the very word shall here is a very positive word, it, it, it literally means once and for all. If you repented of your sins, you did receive the Holy Spirit of God. Now are you listening to me? If you repented of your sins, you did receive the ho, the Holy Spirit of God. As a matter of fact, the Bible says in Romans chapter eight and verse nine, listen to this, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his". Are you listening? If you do not have the Holy Spirit, you don't belong to Jesus. That's what the Word of God says, Romans eight verse nine, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his".
Now, God's Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we're the child of God. What is this, this witness? How do I know that I have the Holy Spirit of God? Well, I don't know that I have the Holy Spirit of God because of some emotional feeling. Emotions come and go. I've told you many times, your emotions are the shallowest part of your nature. Salvation is the deepest work of God. God doesn't do the deepest work in the shallowest part. The Holy Spirit is the one who communicates the things of God. Your human spirit is the instrument of spiritual knowledge. And the Holy Spirit of God speaks to your human spirit that you belong to God. It is not an emotional feeling, it is an awareness.
You say, "Pastor, I'm not sure of the difference". If you have it, you know the difference. If you have it, you know the difference. If you don't have it, I don't know I could explain it to you. But when you get saved, the Holy Spirit of God comes into you. I mean, how else could Jesus come into you? Could he in his physical body come into you? How else could Jesus come into you apart from the Holy Spirit? You see, Christ is in you. How is Christ in you? Through the Holy Spirit!
Now we're talking about three principles of power. Number one is: the Holy Spirit is a promise to be received. "The promise is unto you, to your children, to as many as are far off, those that are far off, and as many as the Lord our God shall call". Got it? Say, "Got it". Okay, now listen. Here's the second principle. Not only is the Holy Spirit a promise to be received, but the Holy Spirit is a power to be released, a power to be released. Remember acts chapter one verse eight? "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you".
Now what kind of power is this? Is this physical power? No. Economic power? No. Political power? No. It is spiritual power. Now actually it's the word we get our word dynamite from. You shall receive dunamis, a dynamic will be in you. I would be a fool, an abshulu, absolute sheer fool, to attempt to preach without the anointing, the power of the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit of God is power. The Holy Spirit of God is a promise to be received. Then he is a power to be released. Why are we so pathetic!? Why are there so many of us in this building and we're doing so little? I'll tell you why. You've not allowed the Holy Spirit of God to do what he wants to do in our hearts and in our lives.
"Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me". On the day of Pentecost, five thousand people got saved. A hundred and twenty witnesses, five thousand saved in one day. Today in modern church, five thousand people can't win a hundred and twenty in a year. What's the difference? Well, the difference is, we're trying to do it in our own rather than, depending upon the Holy Spirit of God. All right, the Holy Spirit of God is a power to be released, got it? Okay, now, here's the third thing. The Holy Spirit, a promise to be received, a power to be released: now the Holy Spirit is a person to be recognized. A person to be recognized.
Uh, on the day of Pentecost they saw all of this and, and they said, "What does all of this mean"? Well, look if you will now in verse 12, "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 Judea and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you and hearken of my, and hearken to my words, for these are not drunken as ye suppose, seeing but it is but the third hour of the day'". Uh, huh, how could they be drunk? It's only nine in the morning.
'Course, he'd never been to America. "These are not drunken as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of, 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, that I will pour out 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 will I pour out in those days of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy'". Now, "Peter, what is all of this? How, how's all this happening"? "Well, I wanna tell you how it happened. Uh, we all went to seminary, we were in seminary for three and a half years with the best teacher and besides that, we are all holy men, and besides that we've been praying for ten days in a prayer meeting. That's why it's all happening".
No. Peter refused to take credit for what was happening. There was a person that was recognized there, and that was the Holy Spirit of God. What does this mean? Peter says, "I'll tell you what it means. It means the Holy Spirit is working". Do you know one of the, the things that kills some churches? When God starts working, people start taking credit for it. They start taking credit for it. Why is God blessing Bellevue? Well, because the way brother Mark administrates and the way brother Jim waves his hands, and the way this man keeps the grounds clean, that's why. Or because our congregation is so intelligent. Or because we dress so well. Or because we have our building. No, no, no, no, no. It's because of him. We start taking credit for what God does, friend, it stops. What is there about this church or any church that you cannot explain apart from the Holy Spirit of God! Same thing in witnessing.
I hear people say something: it's kind of silly to me. They say, "Well, I know that I don't, share Jesus, but I just want people to see my life. I just hope by my life they'll want to be saved". Come up close and I'll tell you something: they're not saved by your life, they're saved by his death. And if you live the life without giving him the glory, you are taking praise under false pretenses. You ought to say, "The way that this can be explained is, there is a person, his name is Jesus, who's changed my life," and the way that you can explain any church that is being moved and, and working is, oh, "This is that which is spoken of by the prophet Joel. It shall come to pass in the last days that I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh".
The Holy Spirit of God is a person to be recognized. And, and God says, "I'll not share my glory with another". We need to be constantly, constantly recognizing, giving God the praise and the glory for what he is doing. People ask me, "What about Bellevue, how do you explain Bellevue"? I say, it's like an airplane with a tailwind, with a tailwind. God is doing something. You know, the only thing that we have any right to ask anybody to believe is that which cannot be explained apart from him. Now, when you have this kind of a service, there are three things that will happen. They will happen today in this service. Want me to tell you what these three things are? And we're coming into the end.
Look in verse 12. There are some who will be amazed. There will be amazement. You know, I want this church to be an amazement to people. I want my life to be an amazement to people. There will be amazement. But there will be also amusement. Look in verse 13, "Others mocking said, 'these men are full of new wine'". Hah, when's the last time anybody accused you of being drunk because of your faith? I mean, why, when's the last time that, that you were so different somebody said, "Well, there's something possessing that person". You know, a person filled with wine, his walk is talk, his, is, his walk is changed, his talk is changed, his very demeanor is changed. But they mocked them, they laughed at them. When we begin to amaze some, we're going to amuse others. They're going to look at us, they're going to call us all kinds of names: fools, freaks, fanatics and nuts. We are nuts, but we're fastened to a good bolt. There will be amazement. There will be amusement. But I'll tell you a third thing there will be, there will be acknowledgment.
Look if you will in verse 41 of this same chapter, "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls". There are going to be those who acknowledge Christ as Lord and Savior. Let me ask the church here a question as we come to the conclusion. Church members, I'm gonna start with you, I'm gonna start with all the choir, the orchestra, start with you two guys over there, ask myself this question: are you filled with the Holy Spirit? I'm not talking to your neighbor now. I could walk right down here and put my hand on you and say, "Are you filled with the Holy Spirit of God? Are you filled with the Holy Spirit of God? Are you filled with the Holy Spirit of God"? I mean, this is not: it's to you and to you.
Hey, quit wondering, "Are they hearing the message"? I'm asking you, are you consciously, conspicuously filled with the Spirit of God? If not, you're not just missing a blessing: you're guilty of rebellion and sin. We'll talk more how to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. I'm not talking about wildfire. I'm talking about spiritual reality, without which we will not reach this world. Aren't you tired of playing church? How could so many people be in one city and not make more difference than we're making? Second question I want to ask. To those of you who are not certain of your salvation, or you certain you're not saved, have you repented? Have you put your sins on Jesus? Or are you still carrying them? "Men and brethren, what must we do"? Repent. When you repent, you turn from sin to Jesus. I'm not asking you, "Are you a church member? Baptist"? Is Christ real to you? If you died right now, would you go to heaven? Are you certain of it?