Since we are talking about the power of Pentecost, I thought it would be important to do a power test. Let me say upfront that I am not a plumber or an electrician, but I was thinking about the water and electricity that is available in my home. Theoretically in our home there is always electricity and water flowing. Unless like the other day there was a power outage for the day because they had to change a transformer around the corner from our home. I also understand there are all kinds of variable to this so I am going to keep it simple and say there should be water and electricity flowing. Years ago, my neighbor came over screaming for help. Again, I am not a plumber, but I went and found that somehow the main water line, before the shut off coming into her house, had broken and the water was flowing into her basement. Let’s just say putting your hand over the pipe doesn’t work.. Long story short, her basement flooded badly. With that story in mind, I just replaced our bathroom vent above the toilet. I was cleaning up behind the toilet and I accidently hit the water line going into the toilet with the vacuum. I did not know this, but the part that attached to the toilet was brittle and as soon as I hit it, it basically exploded. The water was flowing very quickly and for a moment my mind could not figure out why there was so much pressure from just the holding tank draining but quickly realized that the water line, under pressure was going to flood my bathroom if I did not get it shut off. Thankfully this did not last too long as I was able to shut the valve off at the toilet. On a side note, check those shut-off valves and make sure they work. So, I replaced the flexible water line and cleaned up a mess that only took a moment to make.

        As I said I am no electrician but as I understand it, when I turn on a switch or plug something into a receptacle, there is always electricity flowing. I have no idea how that works, but I like it. I do know that you have to be very careful handling electricity. I have changed plugs before and I learned that if you are putting a plug (without turning off the breaker) through the hole while installing dry wall and your figures touch the two screws, you will feel it in your elbow. The point of this is there is always electricity flowing and the water is always under pressure. But what happens if there is suddenly no electricity or water flowing. One time we were living in a rental house in Kentucky and the owner said to us one day, are you guys showering a lot? We are clean people but just regular showerers. It turned out there was a leak in the line under the house. The owner noticed a spike in water usage and looked into it. When you have no power in your house you check the breakers or it could be a blown transformer or a tree down, etc. When we have a power failure, the crews come out very quickly and diagnose the problem or problems and then fix it as quick as they can. When there is no water flowing, that too is diagnosed. This also happens in your vehicle. I parked one time at the grocery store and when I came out, the van wouldn’t start. So, I got it to the mechanic, and they diagnosed the problem to be the battery and the starter and the alternator. It seems to always be “and” with vehicles.

        The point of this is when there is a power or water failure and they are not flowing as they should, the first thing you do is diagnose the problem. You then take whatever steps necessary to fix the failure. It seems like common sense but in the church all common sense seems to be thrown out the window when it comes to God’s power. All the emphasis is making sure that the manmade power is working. We are doing a power test because there has been a massive power failure in the church and it has not been recently as the power has been out for hundreds of years, even starting before the apostle Paul had died. Power should be flowing and it has gone unchecked. Starting a new denomination is not a solution. When we have a power outage in our town, immediately on social media people are commenting and saying we have no power, when will it be turned back on? The town and the company will respond, we are doing our best and it should be on shortly. But the church has accepted the power failure as normal. When Samuel was young, Hannah dedicated him the Lord. 1 Samuel 1:27 “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 2:1 “The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was.” The key words are the word of the Lord was rare, not many visions and the lamp of God had not yet gone out. After that the ark was captured, Eli’s sons died and so did he. Jeremiah said Lamentations 2:8 “The Lord determined to tear down the wall around Daughter Zion. He stretched out a measuring line and did not withhold his hand from destroying. He made ramparts and walls lament; together they wasted away. 9 Her gates have sunk into the ground; their bars he has broken and destroyed. Her king and her princes are exiled among the nations, the law is no more, and her prophets no longer find visions from the Lord.” That happened because the people rebelled. We were told Acts 2:17 “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” That is not happening because there has been a power failure and God has turned His face from the church, even though the charismatics say there is power flowing and others say God is blessing.

        It is obvious to see that there is no power in the church. All you have to do is look. When you flip a light switch on and there is no light, there is a problem. The church on the other hand when there was no light, said this is normal to be sitting in the dark and in many cases even rejected the notion that there even should be light. When Jesus came Matthew 4:16 “The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” John 1:9 “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” John 3:19 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” Paul also describes this when he said Galatians 3:1 “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” Operating in the flesh is operating without the light and in darkness. The opposite is John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Luke 11:34 “When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.” John 12:46 “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

        When Jesus came the people living in darkness saw this great light and there was power with that light. Matthew 4:23 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.” Not only did Jesus have this power but Jesus also empowered His disciples to do as He did. Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.” All through the Gospels and Acts we saw the power of this light in darkness. After Pentecost that power would continue. Acts 5:15 “As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.” Acts 8:5 “Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.” Acts 19:11 “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” That means that wherever Paul went that power was also present, just not written down every time that there was a miracle. As Paul said Galatians 3:5 “So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?

        But with these foolish Galatians, there began a power failure and a famine. Galatians 1:6 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” 2 Corinthians 11:4 “For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.” Paul also said Colossians 2:1 “I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.” Colossians 4:16 “After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.” I guess they did not read it. Revelation 3:14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”

        The church today is not even lukewarm as the heat has been off for a long time. When the power failure began to happen, even before Paul had died, instead of turning back to the word of God, doctrines and theology were formulated to explain away the lack of power. Man began to trust in their own wisdom and power. 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” That time came very quickly and continues to this day. The failure to return to God’s word would continue with the Catholic church until the Reformation, where new doctrines and theology would explode into existence and continue evolving to this day. We will look at the damages the Reformation caused and some of the doctrines that have appeared later. Jeremiah describes this. Jeremiah 7:23 “I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. 24 But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. 25 From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. 26 But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors.’ 27 “When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer. 28 Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.” Zechariah 7:13 “When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

        Instead of diagnosing the problem, the church accepted that lack of light and power as normal Christianity. After all these years the church still believes that in our own strength, we can do all things. What we see in the church today looks nothing like the church Jesus is the head of nor does it have the power to do as He did. 1 John 1:6 “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” The church was supposed to continue doing as Jesus and His disciples were doing. Colossians 1:13 “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” The church cannot open eyes, turn people from darkness or satan without power from on high. The church instead of diagnosing the problem, continued further and further away from the truth to this day where there is only a remnant of survivors. People continue to perish without knowledge of the truth. If you are still alive, there is still hope if you turn from your wicked ways. Romans 13:12 “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” We are at war with satan and the church has been losing because the church thinks it can fight him with human power but as the church has proven, that is not possible. Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.” Finely tuned worship services and programs in beautiful buildings will not defeat satan. satan is already standing in the pulpits of most churches. The only way to remove him is to return to Gods’ word and submit to Him wholeheartedly. Revelation 12:11 “They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Next blog we will be talking about the powerless resurrection.

        We already know what the light looks like when it comes on. For example, when I turn the light switches on in my living room there are four LED pot lights on one switch and three on the other and they will come on and light up the room. If they do not come on there is something wrong like the bulb needs replaced, breaker flipped or town wide power outage. I don’t know if you do this, but after a power outage you will still flip the switches expecting the light to come on. The same happens with the church. The church expects God to answer prayers and when He doesn’t, there still is no searching as to why there is no power. Jeremiah 5:3 “Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.” Scripture makes it clear what the light looks like when it comes on as there will be power with results, not just talk. 1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.” This is what the presence of the light looks like. Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Matthew 8:16 “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Matthew 9:35 “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” Not only did Jesus go out in power, His disciples did too. Luke 9:6 “So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.” Mark 6:7 “Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” Jesus also said, Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.”
        That is the power available to the church. Scripture makes it clear we lose power because God turns His face when we rebel against Him. A power test should have been done long ago but instead new churches were formed, and new doctrines were formulated. Instead of repenting and returning to God’s word, the church built with their own hands. Because the church refused to return to God’s word, God allowed satan to decimate the church and now sits in darkness and truth has been thrown to the ground. All you have to do is turn on a water tap and that shows there is water and pressure and a light switch turned on shows that there is power. To do a power test in the church, remembering we are the building, that test is first done on ourselves and then the body of believers. There are steps that need to be taken. First of all is the bible your life source or do you just have one or two on a shelf? Does the bible feed you daily or is it a light snack every so often? If the Daily Bread or others like it are your food intake, you will starve to death. Do you just get fed once a week when you go to church and do you know enough to know whether what you are eating is safe for consumption? Do you seek God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind? Do you meditate on God’s word? True meditation, not new age emptying of your mind. Do you believe God’s word, or do you follow the words of men and women about God’s word? Are you following God’s way or your own ways or the ways of others? Do you believe God’s words are flawless? Do you truly believe that Jesus rose from the dead and is alive today? Are you waiting on God? Read Psalm 119. Can you say the same? Next what do you know about the church and their beliefs you have given your life to? If you talk to your leaders, they will tell you they are right but that does not mean they are. What do they believe compared to others? What exactly have you been saved into? Do you even know? Are they leading you to God’s word or away from it? Have you added to or taken scripture away? Following their distinct doctrines and theology will do that. Every denomination has done this so be careful how you answer. Do you believe the white spaces between the verses more than the verses themselves. For example, Genesis 1, 2. 
        Just as a light bulb shows you very quickly whether or not there is power, you can see very quicky whether there is power in the church or not. First of all, you can see it. If there is power, it will look like scripture. Some of these demonic revivals like the Toronto Blessing and Brownsville had power but it was satan. 2 Corinthians 11:14 “And no wonder, for satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing.” Their doctrines and theology will also tell you that there is no power. Have you been told that the power the disciples had is no longer available? Or God does not do that anymore. To test for power, you use scripture. Jesus said, Matthew 11:5 “The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.” Leprosy today could be any devastating disease. Leprosy still exists and today there are many diseases and many that are not curable. When you look at the list of diseases, both physical and mental, the numbers of people affected and dying from them is staggering. Do you really think that the power of God stopped with the disciples and from then on the power to heal and cast out demons was not needed? Do you think it is only God who heals when He desires, even though one of the gifts of the Spirit is healing? Another test is to take a look at how many people in the church are on medication of some sort. 
        Here is the ultimate test. Have people come forward and have them anointed. I have seen people come forward and many fall on the ground (charismatic circles) but get up the same. That is satan by the way and we will talk about that later. James tells us James 5:4 “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” Even in charismatic churches this is not happening. When Jesus healed, the key words were immediately and instantly. Here are a few examples. Matthew 8:3 “Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.” Matthew 20:34 “Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.” Luke 8:47 “she had been instantly healed.” Peter and John healed a man lame from birth, Acts 3:7 “Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.” Acts 9:33 “There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up.” Acts 13:9 “Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas (the sorcerer) and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun. Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.” Other words were “at that moment.” Matthew 8:13 “Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.” Matthew 9:22 “Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.” Matthew 17:18 “Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.” Acts 5:10 “At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.” Acts 16:18 “She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.” Do you believe what you just read can happen today? Do you believe in demons? Do you believe satan at this time has power over the church? We were told because of rebellion, truth would be thrown down. Daniel 8:12 “Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” Do you believe that Jesus can heal immediately and instantly today? Do you believe the dead can be raised? There are many in the church who do not. There are others who say they do but this kind of power is not happening because they believe in other gospels. They also do not seek it. Are you seeking this power to return to the church? 
        The answer to the power test is obvious; God has turned His face from the church and the church is powerless against our enemies. The power we read about in the Gospels and Acts is not happening in the church. Most do not want to diagnose the power problem because that means doctrines and theology will have to change or be discarded. Churches would need to shut down as well as schools. Malachi 1:10 “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands.” People who have accepted the powerless church would have to repent. As Paul said about following a different Jesus and a different gospel, 2 Corinthians 11:4 “you put up with it easily enough.” Peter warned the people after Pentecost, Acts 2:40 “With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” There would be great remorse for a life spent without knowledge or a life spent rejecting God’s word. Job 42:5 “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” 
        God has already told us how to restore power to the church. Zechariah 1:3 “Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” When His kingdom comes near, so does power but we must always test the spirits and make sure what we read in scripture is happening in the church. This is how you also test the present condition of the church. 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” When we return to God’s word, He will restore the church to how it was supposed to be and the power and authority from on High will be available again. Acts 15:16 “After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it.” Peter said 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.” Don’t believe those who say only some of the gifts are available; scripture does not say that. 
        The power test shows us the church needs to repent and turn from wicked ways. Ezekiel 33:11 “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?” 1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”