When the power comes from God (English/Swahili)
When the power comes from God
This sermon has a prophetic message, not a prophecy about the future, but about what’s happening in the church today, and is based upon a prophecy from the Azusa Street revival 1906 in the United States. It was the beginning of the Pentecostal Movement and one of the greatest revivals of all time. It said: in the last days, three things will happen to the Pentecostal Movement. There will be an over focus on power, rather than on righteousness. There will be an over focus on singing praises to a God we no longer pray to. There will be an over focus on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The voice of the prophet is not always appreciated, because it often comes with correction, and it’s not what people want to hear, but it’s still very important, because they are speaking for the Lord. It’s not to this church, but to all Pentecostals. And I believe that if you love the truth, you will listen to what I have to say.
Already a few years ago I started to see these things and think for myself that there was such a focus on power in the church, such a focus on the gifts of the Spirit, so we almost forget Him who gives the gifts, Jesus. We were seeking the gifts more then Jesus Himself and His will for our lives.
And I saw such a focus on singing spraises, which in itself is good, but I saw almost no prayer meetings, and I felt that it was out of balance. And I also felt that it was a seeking of power that didn’t also seek the fruit of the Spirit, the love of Jesus Christ, humility and so forth, but just seeking for power in itself, and I felt that it was wrong. And then I happened to read this prophecy, and I thought: this is exactly what I have felt a long time, and now I have to write a sermon about it.
I will start with my own experiences with what it looks like when the power comes from God, and also what it looks like when I believe that the power doesn’t come from God.
During my conversion I was lead by the Lord to Sankta Klara church. It was a wonderful church, with such a Holy Presence of Jesus and the gifts of the Holy Spirit were given in a great measure and at work, and the power of the Spirit was great.
But the power came from God, and not from them. Paul writes in 2nd Corinthians: but we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
There was especially one brother there who was mightily used by God. Several times when he was singing praises and worship, the Lord did great things. And several times it happened to me, the Spirit worked mightily through him and I saw signs and wonders and healing for both soul and spirit in my life while he was worshiping.
But he was always at rest himself. He was in a state of rest, peace, weakness, he was a fragile vessel, totally dependent upon the Lord. He was just playing on his guitar, praising the Lord, and the Lord just worked through him, while he was at rest, so to speak doing nothing.
And his wife also had great spiritual gifts upon her. She had great discernment and also a great measure of the Holy Spirit. Once she laid her hands upon a man that had another spirit within him. As soon as she started to pray, she felt the spiritual resistance. But she was not afraid. She just kept on praying, she stood there firm, confident in Jesus Christ, full of love and peace, and she was not using her own strength. She didn’t raise her voice, she just said calmly, filled with trust in Jesus Christ: I command this wounded spirit to leave him in the Name of Jesus Christ. And it left. She didn’t have to raise her voice, she didn’t do anything, she just stood there as a weak and fragile vessel and God worked through her.
That’s how I believe it looks like when the power and authority comes from God. A Swedish preacher with great spiritual discernment once said: if spiritual authority is performed in strength and not in my own weakness, it’s not based upon love, but power.
That’s true. She stood there full of love and in her own weakness, and the Lord used her mightily, but the power came from God.
(Remember that! Ask yourself: is this really done in true love or is it someone who looks for power?)
In my own life, the Lord has done the greatest things when I have been in weakness, almost helpless and totally dependent upon the Lord. The Lord said to Paul that strength is made perfect in weakness, and that’s also what my experience says.
I know this is very popular here in Africa, and becoming more popular in Sweden also, and I judge no one, neither does Jesus. I love the church of Africa. So many of you still have your first love for Jesus. But even if I still have my first love, there will be things in my spiritual life that I need to change.
I love my brothers, but I believe with all my heart that I am speaking for the Lord now and that He wants me to say this, He has shown me that and I must do what His will. I have asked two brothers who I know hear from the Lord, and they said: the Lord says you should preach this. And I say this in love and ask you to just listen to what I have to say, and I base it upon Scripture.
I love the church of Africa. You have kept so much of your first love for Jesus, and I really rejoice with all my heart when I see that, and I feel Jesus rejoicing in my heart also. But that doesn’t mean that there can be things which might be wrong.
I was in Africa in April 2017 and I was on a crusade in a small village. A few hours before my mother sent a message to me: the Lord told me that whatever you face, I am with you. The Lord knew what was waiting.
When the meeting started, a preacher stood in the pulpit, and after a few minutes he started to scream fire, and the people answered fire. He went on like that for maybe twenty minutes, and then people started to fall to the ground and shiver and shake, they screamed and the look of their faces was not very pleasant to look at. Their faces were doing grimace.
I felt a lot of power at work, but I didn’t feel the sweet presence of Jesus Christ. When the Holy Spirit comes, Jesus also comes. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is one. Yes, they are three separate persons, but still one. And when Jesus comes with His Sweet presence, the atmosphere is lovely, wonderful. Jesus comes with love, joy and peace. Yes, I have felt very much power also, but it has been accompanied with the fruit of the Spirit, always been power together with love, joy and peace. The atmosphere has been lovely. And sometimes Jesus comes with correction, and I have cried, but still there is a love and a peace.
And the Holy Spirit is very sensitive, almost shy. A brother once told me: the Holy Spirit is a dove. If you hit the floor hard with your foot, He will fly away. When we use our own power, our own strength, the Holy Spirit will fly away, and instead the power will come from us, it will be in the flesh. And when we do things in the flesh, we also open up for other spirits, that are not of God.
I have been given the gift of discernment, to discern the spirits, and I felt that it was not the Holy Spirit at work, but they said it was the Holy Spirit. The Bible says that we should try everything and see if it’s from the Lord. So how can we know? As always we see it in the Word of God.
The Bible says that we shall call upon the Name of the Lord. The names of Our God given in the Bible are many. Lord of Hosts. God Almighty. Jesus Christ. El Shaddai. Emanuel. Holy Spirit. Heavenly Father. And many other names. But our God is not called fire in the Bible, nowhere, so is it really the Lord Jesus Christ we are calling upon when we don’t use His Name?
A person comes when we call upon his name, and if we want Jesus to come, we must call upon Jesus or the Holy Spirit by name, and they are not called upon by the name fire, because that’s not their names.
We also see in the Bible that nor Jesus Himself, nor the apostles nor the prophets ever preached by screaming fire. It’s not found anywhere in the Bible. That should make us think twice about this.
But then you say: but when the prophet Elijah was on Mount Karmel, defeating the prophets of Baal, fire came down from Heaven! Yes, that’s true, but read what it says. The prophet Elijah did not scream for fire. The prophets of Baal, yes, they were screaming, but the prophet Elijah did not scream. He prayed a simple prayer like this: Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known this day that You are are God in Israel and I am your servant and that I have done all these things at Your Word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that You are Lord God. And then fire fell from Heaven. Elijah prayed a quiet, simple prayer, but didn’t even mention the word fire.
Maybe he was only whispering, not raising his voice, but the Lord hears a whisper just as clear as when we scream. And Elijah didn’t even mention the word fire. He called upon the Name of the Lord, and then fire came.
But then you say, when King Salomon opened up the Temple of The Lord, Fire also fell from Heaven. Yes, that’s true. But if we read Solomon’s prayer in 2nd Chronicles 6 and 7, it’s also just a simple prayer to the Lord, but also he is not mentioning the word fire, he is just praying to the Lord.
Also, the Spirit of God does not work through suggestions (check?) or repetition, by working up an atmosphere and strong feelings. No, the Holy Spirit works much deeper, in your inner man. To work up an atmosphere is the thinking of this world, not of God’s Kingdom.
Yes, when the Holy Spirit comes I have felt strong emotions many times, like joy, love or peace. But the atmosphere still hasn’t been worked up in the flesh, in the feelings, but in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit wants to make a profound impact on your personality, and make you more like Jesus Christ, and that work, if it’s done by the Spirit, will remain also after the emotions are gone.
And the true power lays in the Word of God. Let’s think about Jesus. He was a simple son of a carpenter, He grew up in the backward regions of Israel, that was considered less noble: Galilee. It’s written in Isaiah ? Han ska inte .
Jesus just spoke words calmly, at least most of the time, to those who wanted to listen. Then some wrote them down, and today they influence billions of people in the world and throughout history. It’s amazing. There is an indwelling power in the Word of God, it sort of explodes, but it’s not because you raise your voice, it’s because of the Spirit within them.
Yes, the Holy Spirit can sometimes cause a preacher to raise his voice, but I believe that should be the exception and not the rule. When I scream it’s often in the flesh.
The Lord spoke to my mother the night before I met Jesus for salvation words meant for me that I will never forget. In the world it’s about power, strength and courage, but in God’s Kingdom it’s about grace, peace and compassion with the weak. That’s a difference we must learn to see.
God doesn’t think the way we do. Jesus won the victory on the cross, in weakness, abandoned by almost everyone, forsaken, but it’s the most powerful victory ever being won, but Jesus won by surrendering. He surrendered to the will of God and gave His life in weakness and vulnerability, and Je won the most powerful victory ever. That’s how God thinks. He doesn’t use power and strength so often, God comes from underneath, as a servant. Yes, when Jesus comes back, then He will come in Glory and Power, but until that moment, God world in quiet, simple ways, in humility.
That’s God’s power. The power of a patient, humble, loving and insignificant servant. This world think about power when they see a battle tank, a battle ship, some politician screaming out a powerful message. That’s what we call power.
But God’s power is different, it comes in a position of weakness, vulnerability, dependency upon someone greater than me, that I bow for in humility. Even the Son of God bowed humbly before the Will of God the Father. That’s God’s way to power and victory.
If you win a battle with tanks and bombers, that victory will stand a few years, until someone stronger appears and beats you, and the victory doesn’t stand. But God’s way to power is in humility, in weakness, as a servant, and a victory won in that way will stand the test of time, the cross is the proof. The Pharisees mocked Jesus as a looser, but look today: who is the winner?
In God’s Kingdom we win when we loose. The Lord once spoke to me: His victory, meaning Christ’s, becomes my victory, when I surrender and let Him win over me. Salvation is the greatest victory you can ever win, but you win it when you loose and surrender to Jesus Christ! That’s how we win in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus is the Son of God, and He could have come with glory, power and might, with the Archangels, and with drums and trumpets, and said: I Am God! Obey Me, serve Me, Fear Me! Probably I would have chosen that way if I was Him in my old life. Today I am starting to understand that is not the way to victory and true lasting power.
But God chose another way. God is so humble. He sent Jesus as a servant, insignificant, Jesus came as a vulnerable, helpless child, totally dependent upon God the Father. He hid all His glory and power, He only showed it to three of His disciples.
Yes, Jesus was still the Son of God and could have spoken a single word and all of His enemies would have to vanish, but Jesus chose to show His power as a weak and humble servant.
But He was resurrected in power and strength. Det som sås …
I judge no one, I say this out of love. Love for my brothers and love for Jesus, because He has shown me that I should preach about this. There is no condemnation in Christ, but there can be correction.
Yes, there is a fire of God, it’s a cleansing fire that burns away things of our old sin nature, and it’s a burning love for Jesus. It’s the Holy Spirit inside of us that’s like a burning flame. But that fire comes into our hearts and lives when we call upon the Name of the Lord, when we call upon Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
My beloved brothers, I am totally convinced that this prophecy from Azusa Street was from the Lord, and it’s also what we see today, and we need to listen to what this prophecy says. There is today an over focus on power, but we must always ask where the power comes from. If it’s from God, we are not using our own strength.
The power of the Holy Spirit will come when we have pure hearts before God, and are not seeking power in itself or for ourselves, but when we have love for Jesus and want to do His will. When we seek Jesus with all our hearts, and are weak in ourselves, that’s when the power of God comes. The power and the strength of the Holy Spirit is made perfect in our own weakness. The power of the Holy Spirit will always come also with love and peace, because If it’s from Jesus, there should be love with it also. And the power of the Holy Spirit comes when we call upon the Name of the Lord, the names of Our God that we have been given in the Bible. Amen.