Power from on High

“Behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”
—Luke 24:49

REFERENCE IS MADE here to the power of God, his Holy Spirit, through our risen Lord Jesus. The Apostle Peter’s words on the Day of Pentecost concerning the manifestation of this holy power are, “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.”—Acts 2:32,33

Before that very important event at Pentecost, holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, without understanding the full meaning of their speech. On the Day of Pentecost, there began a wonderful illumination respecting the understanding of Divine truths. Nothing like this had ever happened before. This was the beginning of the church—spiritual Israel, the body of Christ of which Jesus is the Head—and this was done through the power of the Holy Spirit.

All of the Lord’s true people since those early days who have come into fellowship in living union with Jesus have also come under the same influence, or anointing, of the Holy Spirit. By this Holy Spirit, and its illumination upon the inspired Word of God, all such have, by Divine grace, been begotten to the spirit nature, and have become heirs of all the exceeding great and precious promises of God which belong to the body members of Christ.


We know something about the spirit of the world, which, for the Lord’s people, is an opposing influence. With this spirit or power of the world all around us, and pressing hard upon us on all sides, we need always to be on the alert. There is great power belonging to the world.

But where is the power to prevent war and establish lasting peace, to create “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness”? (II Pet. 3:13) Where is the power to raise to life all who are “in the graves,” (John 5:28) and completely eliminate from the earth all sickness, sorrow, pain, and death? The power to accomplish all this is centered in our Heavenly Father, and this power will accomplish all these wonderful blessings, and very many more glorious outworkings, according to God’s great eternal purpose in Christ Jesus.

Concerning the power of the world, it is interesting to note that Satan once offered Jesus all the power and glory of the kingdoms of this world. This was one of Satan’s temptations. (Luke 4:5-8) Jesus, who was fully consecrated to do his Father’s will even unto death, determined not to receive such power. For what would that be worth compared with holy, spiritual realities which are energized by the power of God’s Holy Spirit?

Our Lord Jesus valued the Holy Spirit of God, and so do all true followers of Jesus. It was in the power of the Holy Spirit that our dear Redeemer overcame the world, the flesh, and the Adversary; and only through the power of the Holy Spirit can we do likewise. To quote from Acts 19:2, “Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed?” If we have any doubt on this matter each one of us could ask two main questions:

1. Did I ever realize my need of a Savior, and accept Jesus as my personal Lord and Redeemer, through whom alone I can have access to the Heavenly Father, and become acceptable to him?

2. Did I ever fully consecrate my life, time, talents, influence, will, and all to God?

If our answers are yes to these two questions, and if we have the witness of the Spirit and are continuing to thus exercise the necessary implicit faith, and loyal, zealous obedience toward God, as directed in his Word, then we have of a surety been accepted in the Beloved by the Heavenly Father, and have been begotten by the Holy Spirit.

The world, the flesh, and the Adversary energetically oppose this process of the Holy Spirit, but “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31) Truly the natural mind cannot understand these things of the Spirit. (I Cor. 2:14) “If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”—Rom. 8:11


What evidence, or proof, have we that the Holy Spirit is dwelling and working within us? In answer to this question, and for our individual encouragement, here are some evidences:

As branches of the true vine we are being pruned, or cleansed. Continually we are passing through such experiences as are removing from us the fleshly tendencies—anger, malice, hatred, envy, strife, selfishness, and all other qualities contrary to the Holy Spirit.

We are being separated from the world. “Whatsoever is begotten of God [begotten by the Holy Spirit] overcometh the world.” (I John 5:4, American Standard Version) We are out of harmony with the world, and in conflict with its aims, hopes, ambitions, and its general spirit, for no one can be an overcomer of the world who is conformed to it.

We, also, are embracing and rejoicing in all the exceeding great and precious promises of God which relate to the heavenly inheritance and its future glorious work. We are also rejoicing in the experience that every trial of faith brings patience, and perseverance, together with every victory in such trials.

We are experiencing all joy and peace in believing and “abound[ing] in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13) “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.” (Rom. 5:5) We mind the things of the Spirit and not the things of the flesh; and “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” We set our “affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”—Col. 3:1,2

Our hearts are so devoted to the Lord and his Word that we take pleasure on every suitable occasion in acknowledging Jesus as our Lord and Redeemer, and in shining “As lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life.” (Phil. 2:15,16) There is a growth in Christlikeness. But concerning our weaknesses and shortcomings, we are glad and very grateful that full provision has been made for us in this respect. “If we confess our sins, he [our Father] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”—I John 1:9

It is a joyful experience to know unmistakably that we are being taught of God through his precious Word. We confidently and joyfully can explain, “We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”—I Cor. 2:12

As footstep followers of Jesus, “We are buried with him by baptism into death. That like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Rom. 6:4) This is also by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our will now is the Lord’s will. The new spiritual mind is to grow and develop, and be made manifest in the first resurrection. “If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”—Rom. 8:13

“The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other.” (Gal. 5:17) There is a conflict between the fleshly mind and the new mind. The human, fleshly mind is to be put to death. Put off “the old man,” and put on “the new man.” (Eph. 4:22,24) “Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” (II Cor. 4:16) This inner man is richly energized by the Holy Spirit. We “are kept [guarded] by the power of God through faith.”—I Pet. 1:5


“Strengthen yourselves in the Lord, and in his mighty power.” (Eph. 6:10, Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott) By Divine grace we are “Strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16); indeed, “Strengthened with all might, according to his [God’s] glorious power.” (Col. 1:11) We are to go on to know “the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.”—Eph. 1:19,20

We are to fully believe that God’s “divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” (II Pet. 1:3) What more then is required, other than our own faith and obedience? For he is able to do for us “Exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”—Eph. 3:20


It is for us, as body members of Christ, to experience daily a precious living union with our Father in heaven by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are urged not to depart form this living union. In Hebrews, chapters 3 and 4, we, as spiritual Israelites, are warned not to follow the same example of unbelief and disobedience of natural Israel, and thus depart from God. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”—Heb. 3:12

To indulge in unbelief, unfaithfulness, or evil in any form leads to alienation from God; a ‘departing from the living God.’ The word preached to natural Israel “did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” (Heb. 4:2) They rejected and despised it. “With many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples.” (I Cor. 10:5,6) Based upon the examples of natural Israel of old, the apostle urges us to be on guard, lest we should fall from the Lord’s favor and fail to enter the heavenly Canaan.

“Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (I Cor. 10:12) We should remember that we are not strong of ourselves, but strong in the Lord, in his mighty power; and an increasing measure of God’s Holy Spirit. The words of Jesus are, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13) Let us ask our Father accordingly, so that we may “be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph. 5:18) This will, of course, involve our being emptied more and more of self.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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