The empty cross, the empty tomb were just the beginning but many have stopped there and have not journeyed to Pentecost. Yes we celebrate Christmas and Easter but Pentecost is missing. Many Christians says they believe but yet do not believe the word of God when talking about the power of the Holy Spirit. This focus on just the birth and death of Jesus represents the powerless church. Most Christians have a very limited understanding of the Holy Spirit. Many have not and are not prepared to wait on the Lord to be clothed with power either because they do not know better or they refuse to obey. All you have to do is ask people about the Holy Spirit and it gets pretty vague. I believed therefore I have the Holy Spirit but what about power. Scripture from beginning to the end makes it clear that when the Holy Spirit comes in power then something happens. They went to war, spoke boldly, took the land, prophesied, received direction, slayed a giant, healed the sick, cast out a demon. You don’t have the power of the Holy Spirit without the manifestation of His presence in your life. This presence is not just a feel good emotional experience as filling serves a purpose for the common good.
                On this journey the more scripture I read the more I believe the message that we have been raised following empty ways by having a form of godliness all the while denying the power of the Holy Spirit. These empty ways are not just a lack of faith and belief but bad teaching, theology and doctrines. These empty ways will lead you straight to hell. Proverbs tells us these false teachings are going to be very similar to the truth except it will be distorted. Remember that satan used Jesus owns words against him (scripture). Both wisdom and folly are calling out from the highest point in the city. You need discernment to distinguish the two. Wisdom says, Proverbs 9:4 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 5 “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. 6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.” Folly says, 16 “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, 17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” 18 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.”
                The church has been deceived into thinking that the cross and the tomb is the whole package but yet the power we need to carry out the mission is missing. Don’t you think if satan can get you off track right from the start he wins. Galatians 5:7 “Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty.” satan knows that the power of the Holy Spirit is available to all who believe. He also knows that power defeats him. This is why he uses deception. People think they have the Holy Spirit but yet they have no power to defeat satan and he loves it especially when the church says defeat is normal Christianity. The church is filled with those baptized by John and those who believe in the name of Jesus but have never been baptized by the Holy Spirit. Too many Christians live in the flesh and are powerless. Romans 8:9 “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.” John said, John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
                So if you are like me and have grown up in the church being taught basically nothing about the power of the Holy Spirit and what it means to be clothed by it, then its time to get back to the word of God and ask God to pour out His Spirit once again. Psalm 85:6 “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” Habakkuk 3:2 Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” Peter preached after Pentecost Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 19:1 “There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.” Acts 10:44 “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.”
               We are part of a corrupt generation who stubbornly refuse to repent. Acts 2:40 “With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Because if this we cannot have the power of the Holy Spirit to defeat our enemies and just like Israel was defeated so are we. Many say they have been baptized by the Holy Spirit but there is no fruit and no sign of any gifts. Peter had said the promise is for those who are far off and even found out later the promise was for us Gentiles too so where is this promise. Like Israel was defeated at Ai in the Promised Land and just like they were vomited out of the Promised Land later, we too are defeated because of disobedience. The only conclusion we can come up with is that we have turned from God so we must repent and turn from our wicked ways.
                I won’t talk about it now but the other side of the coin has to do with those raised thinking that the Holy Spirit was moving in power only to find out that they have been deceived. Mark 13:22 “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Here you will see the manifestation of a spirit (that look nothing like scripture by the way- Toronto Blessing for example) but there is no change. You just end up with people in every meeting looking for that loving feeling. Whether you have people teaching no power or people teaching a false power, both of these are false teaching. Let’s just do what the bible says and expect what the bible says is possible. Ephesians 4:12,13; 3:20 “Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature and to know the hope and riches of His glorious inheritance to which He has called us as His holy people, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, His incomparably great power for us who believe, the same power as the mighty strength He exerted when he raised Christ from the dead. To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
                My journey has taken me not to books about the bible but the bible itself. I don’t follow men or women but a belief that this living word is God speaking and following these words wholeheartedly. So many read books but don’t read the bible. So many listen to men and women but not to Jesus. The more you read this book, which is not a book by the way, the more you will be able to discern truth. 2 Peter 1:20 “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Therefore the Holy Spirit gives understanding. Colossians 1:9 “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.” Isaiah 11:1 “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Most do not want to read it because they are guilty and do not want to change. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Others read it but do not do what they read. James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” We cannot just use part of it; we must follow the whole counsel of the word of God.
                Isn’t it amazing as John tells us that John 3:16 “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Our God loves us so much that he gave his word and His Spirit. John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 14:16 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth.” Luke 1:35 “The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” The same power wants to live with us. Romans 8:14 “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”
                So if you have been robbed of the blessings of God and are looking for God to open the floodgates of His blessings, then repent and turn from following the empty way handed down to you from our fathers. Acts 3:19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” Then 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 13:14 “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Ephesians 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” 1 John 2:3 “We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” John 5:20 “For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.” John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” Exodus 34:10 “Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you. 11 Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 12 Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. 13 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. 14 Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” Joshua 1:2 “Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them.”