When the power comes from God (English/বাংলা)
When the power comes from God
This sermon is based upon a prophecy from the Azusa Street revival 1906 in USA. 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, instead of the dominion of Christ.
I am no prophet, but This is a prophetic message, and they are 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 especially to the Methodist church, but to all Christians, all over the world, 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, such a focus on power, such a focus on the gifts of the Spirit, and such a focus on worship. 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 a great measure of the Holy Spirit and discernment. 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 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.
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 in Africa, and increasingly in Sweden also, and maybe also here in Bangladesh. I judge no one, neither does Jesus. There is no condemnation in Christ, but there can be correction.
I believe with all my heart that I am speaking for the Lord now and He has commanded me to say 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 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, it’s a foretaste of Heaven. Yes, I have felt very much power also, but it has been accompanied with the fruit of the Spirit, always been power togetherwith love, joy and peace. 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 discerning 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. Holy Spirit. And 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. If you say: Konrad, come, I will come, because you call upon me. and if we want Jesus to come, we say “Jesus, come!”, we must call upon Jesus or the Holy Spirit by name, and they will not come when you scream 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. It’s also not known in the history of the church. 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 not the prophet Elijah. 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.
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.
Also, the Spirit of God does not work through suggestions 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 what they do on rock concerts, at political rallies, but it’s 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: He will not shout or cry out, or raise His voice in the streets.
even though Jesus also raised His voice a few times, Jesus most of the time just spoke calmly 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.
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 therefore He won the victory. 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 works in quiet, simple ways, in humility. That’s God’s power. The power of a patient, humble, loving and insignificant servant.
Today I see preachers all over the Western World, and they preach with power, shout and scream, and do great signs and wonders. They focus a lot on driving out demons. I see a lot of power, But I don’t feel the love of Jesus, the humility, the sensitiveness of The Holy Spirit, the peace of God. They do it in the Name of Jesus, but I don’t see Jesus behind it. Jesus said: watch out for false prophets, because not everyone who calls Me Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Many will say to Jesus on that day: didn’t we drive out demons and do great miracles in Your Name? Then Jesus will tell them plainly: I never knew you! Remember this: not everyone or everything that comes to you under the Name of Jesus Christ is really Jesus!
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. And we win in our own weakness, because strength is made perfect in weakness.
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, and I ask you to listen closely to what I have said.
Yes, there is a fire of God, but it’s a cleansing fire that burns away things of our old sin nature, and it’s a burning love for Jesus. I know that I too have this love for Jesus inside of me. 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, not when we scream on fire.
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.
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, that’s when the power of God comes. The power of the Holy Spirit will always come not only with power, but also with love and peace, because If it’s from Jesus, and Jesus is full of love so 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.
I hope that I have preached in love and humility, love for Jesus and love for my brothers, but also in love for the truth. And I ask you, beloved brothers, to carefully think through what I have said today. Amen.