(OPINION) Did you know that one of the major signs that we are truly in the last days is when we begin to see many in the Body of Christ that claim to be “Christians” but will actually deny the power of the Holy Ghost? Let’s take a closer examination of this shall we?
“But know this, that in the last days, perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! – 2 Timothy 3:1-5
In this passage above, Paul starts out by warning that in the last days, we would witness and experience “perilous times”. The Greek word here for “perilous” means “dangerous”, treacherous, and “violent” and we are most certainly experiencing this in our day like never before.
As much as we could expound on this aspect alone, I want to move on to one particular thing that Paul warned to watch out for and that is that as we near the time of the end we would see an increase of professed Christians and those who have a “form of godliness” but will deny it’s power.
Paul is telling us here to be on the watch for and on guard against people in the Body of Christ that will have the talk, the look and the characteristics of someone we would deem “religious” or even a “Christian” but would will openly deny the “it’s power”. so what is Paul referring to here when he says “It’s power”.
In order to understand what Paul is referring to here we need to look at the original language in the New Testament was written in which was Greek, This is a problem many believers have today, they read the Bible from a Western perspective or the modern English translations instead of going back to the original Hebrew and Greek.
The Greek word here for the word “Power” is the word “dunamis” which is also found in the Book of Acts chapter one verse eight. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
This Greek word refers to “strength, power, or ability.” It is the root word of our English words dynamite, dynamo, and dynamic. When we put this together it literally says that you shall receive dynamite or explosive power after that you have received the Holy Spirit that will empower, enable and equip you to be witnesses for me unto all the World.
This same Greek word is also found in other passages such as when Jesus healed the woman with the issue of Blood and afterward he said 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” – Mark 5:30
As we can see here the power that resided in Christ that enabled him to cast out devils, heal the sick, and raise the dead was from the Holy Spirit who also baptized Christ at the Jordan River. In John 1:32, John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him.
After Christ was raised from the dead, he commissioned us as believers to take this Gospel throughout the Earth and not only did what he did while he was on Earth but even greater! 12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. – John 14:12
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name, they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” – Mark 16:15-18
So let’s do a quick recap. The Holy Spirit empowered Jesus to do the will and work of the Father which was an explosive empowerment to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out devils as well as operate in all nine gifts of the Holy Spirit that are mentioned by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians Chapter 12. He then commanded the Apostles to receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost to also empower them to carry out the great commission.
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:4-5, 8
Now is where things go sideways, There are many in the Body of Christ that teach or have been taught a doctrine of “cessationism”, which is a theological belief within certain branches of Christianity, particularly reformed theologists, Calvinists as well as many Baptist denominations that holds that certain spiritual gifts, particularly the miraculous gifts mentioned in the New Testament, such as prophecy, healing, speaking in tongues, and others, ceased or ceased to be normative after the apostolic age.
Without expounding too long here this doctrine simply does not hold water being that the early church even documents these gifts were still in operation well after the fourth century when these folks claimed it ceased in operation.
There have been many historical awakenings and moves of God where all these gifts were in full demonstration. Some examples were the First Great Awakening (1730s-1740s) where God swept through the American colonies. Preachers like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Gilbert Tennent emphasized personal conversion, repentance, and an emotional experience of faith.
It resulted in thousands of conversions and had a lasting impact on American religious life, fostering the growth of evangelicalism. These gifts were seen and experienced in operation during this time.
Then there was the Second Great Awakening (early 19th century) where the likes of Charles Finney and Lyman Beecher led large-scale evangelistic campaigns, and the movement contributed to the rise of new denominations, missionary work, and social justice causes such as abolitionism and temperance.
The power of the Holy Spirit was also demonstrated at that time as well. Then there was the Welsh Revival (1904-1905) which was a powerful Christian awakening that originated in Wales but had an impact far beyond its borders. Led by Evan Roberts, it emphasized personal holiness, prayer, and repentance.
Thousands of people experienced profound spiritual transformations, resulting in increased church attendance, evangelistic fervor, and societal transformation. There was also the Azusa Street Revival (1906-1909) that took place in Los Angeles, California, under the leadership of William J. Seymour. The revival emphasized the baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and the operation of spiritual gifts. It played a crucial role in spreading the Pentecostal movement worldwide.
Today the power of the Holy Spirit is still alive and well and still in operation but sadly many will DENY it and REJECT it based on their own religious denominational traditions, mindsets of beliefs. Some even equate the demonstration of the Holy Spirit to the “work of satan”
Another thing to point out here is that most of these cessationists will use the term “gifts of the Apostles” when identifying the gifts mentioned in the Book of Corinthians, but nowhere in the Bible is this term found.
However, you will find the term “Gifts of the Spirit”. The Holy Spirit was here hovering over the face of the waters before the earth was even created and humans were formed from the dust and he will be here until the end. He did not cease operating in the 4th century nor did the baptism of the Holy Spirit! In fact, in the time of the end, the Holy Spirit will be poured out on an even greater scale.
“And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants, I will pour out My Spirit in those days”. – Joel 2:28-29
This precious gift was not only promised to the Apostles and the early Church but look what Peter stated in the Book of Acts regarding this precious gift. “Then Peter said to them, “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” – Acts 2:39-39
Peter is revealing to us here that this gift was not only for his generation and their children but it is readily available for all those in the future! As many as the Lord our God will call. I find it very sad that so many fight this precious gift and Paul warned that men would rise up in the last days to deny this very power and we are witnessing this like never before. I would strongly suggest that we heed his command and from such people “Stay Away”!
This gift is readily available for you and me at this very moment and the same faith it takes to receive salvation is needed to receive this precious gift. Jesus said “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” – Luke 11:9-13