Needed: Whirlwinds Of Power
"The ongoing work of the Spirit in the Galatian churches involved miracles. For Paul, receiving the Holy Spirit was not just an invisible inward work, but an experience that manifested itself in divine power among believers. The gifts of the Spirit were a determinative norm for the Spirit's presence and authority. Conversion and the baptism in the Holy Spirit should continually result in the demonstration of miracles and the other manifestations of the Holy Spirit." - The Full Life Study Bible
"Those that are full of faith are full of power, because by faith the power of God is engaged for us."
- Matthew Henry
"Christ's promise to use signs and miracles to confirm the preaching of the Word was not limited to the apostles..."
- The Full Life Study Bible
"The signs and wonders which God had wrought among the Gentiles set the seal of approval on the work done through Barnabas and Paul."
- Robertson's Word Pictures
For a minute, go back to the first quote in this message. Did you catch what was said?
"...The gifts of the Spirit were a determinative norm for the Spirit's presence and authority. Conversion and the baptism in the Holy Spirit should continually result in the demonstration of miracles and the other manifestations of the Holy Spirit."
In other words, the gifts of the Spirit - including miracles - should be the "norm" in our churches - indicating that the Holy Spirit is present and in control.
Since the gifts of the Spirit and miracles are not the "norm" in most churches throughout the land, what does that say to you and me?
The answer - either the Holy Spirit is not present or He is not in control. Oftentimes, the truth is that some leader is very much present and in control of things.
In Galatians 3:5, the Apostle Paul presented this question to the believers - "He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" Most commentaries are divided on who this verse is referring to. Is it God or is it Paul? Irregardless of who the subject is, the main point of the question remains the same. If it is God, then Paul is saying that it is He Who is supplying the believers with the remarkable influence and grace of the Spirit through the preaching of the Gospel - thus causing miracles in their midst. Or if you want to say that this verse is speaking of Paul, then what is being said here is that Paul is the agent or instrument that God is using to impart to the believers the remarkable endowments of the Holy Spirit - causing the working of miracles among them.
One camp says that it is strictly God Who is supplying the Holy Spirit and causing the miracles. Another camp takes the position that it is God working through His servant Paul to bring about the same results.
Irregardless of how you interpret this, the point being made is that God is at work, and resultantly, miracles are happening!
The question that the present-day saint needs to ask is this - Is God at work in my church? Is He working through my Pastor or the leaders of the church? Is He working through the Prayer Team? Is it evident to all that He is "ministering the Spirit" and "working miracles"?
Paul's inquiry to the Galatians was not questioning whether or not they were experiencing the power of the Holy Ghost and miracles were resulting. Miracles were happening. The Holy Ghost was present in their services. He was definitely at work. Paul's question had to do with whether or not miracles came by following the law or through faith.
Read this portion of Scripture again and get what he is saying here - "He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you..." He was speaking of such activity as being the norm.
The sad thing about it is - This Is NOT The Norm In Most Churches today!
We have to conclude from this statement that - in most churches - God Almighty is not ministering by Himself or through His servants, and, consequently, there are no miracles in sight!
I don't know about you - but that bothers me. This ought not to be. Churches should not be "out of the norm" or abnormal when it comes to what God desires.
When we study the Book of Acts, this is what we find is the will of God for His servants -
Acts 6:8 says - "And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people."
Acts 8:6 says - "And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did."
Acts 8:13 says - "Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."
Acts 15:12 says - "Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them."
Acts 19:11 says - "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul."
Then, in 1 Corinthians 12, Paul makes mention of the "working of miracles" (1 Corinthians 12:10) as being one of the nine gifts of the Spirit as well as the "workers of miracles" (1 Corinthians 12:29) who are qualified to perform this office.
"...are all workers of miracles?"
Perhaps, not all are called to this office, but certainly some are. There should be those found in each congregation operating in this gift or calling. Why aren't they? We have the apostles...the prophets...the teachers...but, where, oh where are the "workers of miracles"?
Stephen was a deacon. He wasn't an apostle like Peter, John, or Paul. Yet, the Scripture says that he "did great wonders and miracles among the people." Philip wasn't an apostle either, yet it is said of him that miracles and signs followed his preaching. God worked the most remarkable, rare, uncommon, and unusual miracles through the Apostle Paul. And, don't forget - he is the one who said to all believers - "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1).
What is missing in most Christians' lives? Why is it that they do not witness more miracles in their midst?
Perhaps the answer can be found in Stephen's testimony. He was a man "full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom" (Acts 6:3), "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 6:5), and "full of faith and power" (Acts 6:8). His life and ministry manifested the grace of God which he no doubt received - in full measure - through prayer and the study of the Scriptures. His defense before his accusers in Acts 7 proved that he was very knowledgeable of the Scriptures. His boldness before his persecutors and killers - as well as his endearing final moments in seeing the Lord Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father in his defense - proved that he had shared a great intimacy with Him in prayer.
What the church needs today are "whirlwinds of power" like Stephen, Philip, and Paul. Are you one of them?
It all depends on whether or not you are full of the Holy Ghost, wisdom, faith, grace, and power.
What's it going to take to get you from where you are today in your spiritual walk to becoming a believer like Stephen, Philip, and Paul who "did great wonders and miracles among the people" ?
Don't ever forget - the ongoing work of the Holy Ghost involves miracles.
Therefore, make yourself available for Him to use! He's the same today as He was back then.