Throughout his life, Jesus demonstrated that his entire ministry was accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit. When he was baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, Luke notes that Jesus was filled with the Spirit and led by the Spirit. A short time later, Luke noted that Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit (Luke 4:14), and he also rejoiced in the Spirit (10:21). The Apostle John records that Jesus emphasized, “I can of Myself do nothing” (cf. John 5:19, 30 NKJV). In other words, Jesus was totally reliant upon the Holy Spirit for guidance, direction, and empowerment. Furthermore, as he was preparing to bodily leave the earth, he mandated that his disciples should take the gospel to the whole earth, but not before they had been empowered by the Holy Spirit. Thus, Luke records that the apostles, along with disciples numbering about 120, tarried until the day of Pentecost when the Spirit came and sat upon each one of them with tongues of fire and power.
From that moment on and throughout the book of Acts, the early church modeled the ministry of Jesus. In the Gospels, Jesus prayed, and in the Book of Acts, the church prayed many mighty prayers through the power of the Holy Spirit. In the Gospels, Jesus raised the dead, and in Acts, the disciples did the same. The church went where the Spirit led them, and when the Spirit forbade them to go in a certain direction, they refrained. Even though these Jewish converts thought initially the gospel was only for other Israelites, the Holy Spirit convicted them of their narrow thinking and sent them to the Gentiles. The results of ministering in the Spirit were so great that it was said of them that they had turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6).
The task of finishing the work of taking the gospel to the whole world is enormous. Governments are becoming more resistant and hostile to Christ and to his work in many parts of the globe. Other religious movements feel threatened by Christianity and are openly persecuting believers. Those who have given themselves over to sexual immorality and deviant behavior as listed in Romans 1 have become violent over the message of holiness and have labeled the Bible as hate literature. Surely, the vision of John is coming to pass where the devil has “opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven … to make war with the saints” (Revelation 13:6–7).
The devil is an ancient enemy, older than the earth. He is more powerful, more cunning, and more intelligent than human beings. No person in the Bible was able to challenge and defeat him. Not one was successful in battle with him. From Adam to Abraham to Moses, he prevailed. Only Jesus Christ was victorious in battle against him, and he did so through the power of the Spirit. If we are to fight effectively and go forward, we must do so in total reliance upon the power of the Holy Spirit. This church movement was born of the Spirit and rapidly spread throughout the world through the guidance of God’s Spirit. Let us fervently seek the Holy Spirit and ask him to fill us once again so that we may go forward with this great message of the gospel that has been entrusted to us!
Bishop Tim McCaleb, DMin
Bishop Tim McCaleb, DMin is the general presbyter of Asia, Australia, and Oceania.
As published in the October 2023 issue of the White Wing Messenger.