THE SOURCE OF POWER
Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:
C Write the Key Verse from memory.
C Identify the source of power.
C List eight ways God reveals His power on earth.
C Give a Scriptural reference which explains why God reveals His power on earth.
God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. (Psalms 62:11)
To properly understand power principles we must start at the very beginning. We must
discover the source of power. The source of something is its beginning or place of origin . This chapter presents the true and living God revealed in the Holy Bible as the source of all power. David wrote:
God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. (Psalms 62:11)
When God repeats something it is because it is very important.
THE SOURCE OF POWER
Before anything else existed, there was God. Genesis l-2 records the beginning of the world and all living beings. God made the earth by His power:
He hath made the earth by His power; He hath established the world by His wisdom and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion.
I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by
my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me. (Jeremiah 27:5)
For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were create by Him, and for Him. (Colossians 1:16)
Since God created all things, there is nothing beyond the scope of His power:
Ah Lord God! Behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.
God is the source of power behind all things in their present state:
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things; to whom be glory for ever. (Romans 11:36)
Who being in the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power . . .
God has the times and seasons in His power:
And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. (Acts 1:7)
The earth and all it contains belong to the Lord:
The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. (Psalms 24:1)
In Genesis 14:22, God is called the possessor of Heaven and earth. To possess something is to have power over it.
There are many kingdoms and governments in this world. But God’s Kingdom is sovereign. This means He rules over all:
The Lord hath prepared His throne in the Heavens; and His kingdom ruleth
over all. (Psalms 103:19)
Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the
victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is
thine; thine is the Kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.
Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. (I Chronicles 29:11-12)
Since God created man, only He has power over the spirit of man:
There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death . . .(Ecclesiastes 8:8)
God has power to preserve those appointed to die:
Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die. (Psalms 79:11)
God is the one who gives power to the faint:
He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. (Isaiah 40:29)
. . . The God of Israel is He that giveth strength and power unto His people. (Psalms 68:35)
God’s power is not affected by the power or lack of power of man:
. . . Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power . . . (II Chronicles 14:11)
God has the power to deliver. The Bible is filled with records of how God supernaturally delivered people in times of need . Two good examples are found in the book of Daniel.
Read how God delivered His servants from the furnace of fire in Daniel 3 and from the lions in Daniel 6.
His power is unlimited:
The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power…(Nahum 1:3)
His power is excellent:
Touching the Almighty, we cannot find Him out; He is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice . . . (Job 37:23)
God’s power is everlasting . Paul wrote that God…
. . . hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power
everlasting. (I Timothy 6:16)
In the final book of the Bible we read of a future event in Heaven when . . .
. . . the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power . . . (Revelation 15:8)
And the hosts of Heaven cried . . . Saying Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power and might be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 7:12)
And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in Heaven,
saying, Alleluia: Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power unto the Lord our God. (Revelation 19:1)
Repeatedly, from beginning to end, the Bible stresses that God is the source of power.
HOW GOD REVEALS HIS POWER
The Bible is a record of how God reveals His power in the earth. Here are the various ways God reveals His power:
God has revealed Himself in nature. The plants and animals, valleys and mountains, waters and deserts, and even the skies above are all visible signs of His creative power:
Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in the firmament of His power. (Psalms 150:1
Which by His strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power;
Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves . . . (Psalms 65:6-7)
God is in the wind, sea, and mountains:
He caused an east wind to blow in the Heaven; and by His power He brought in the south wind. (Psalms 78:26)
. . . the Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.
He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers . . .
The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence . . .(Nahum 1:3-5)
He controls all the elements of nature:
When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens,
and He causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; He maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasures.
Job chapters 38-40 provide a detailed record of how God is revealed in the world of
nature. God has revealed His power so clearly in nature that men have no excuse for not believing in Him :
For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
HIS WRITTEN WORD:
From beginning to end, God’s written Word reveals His power. It opens with His power to create . It closes with His power to destroy, judge, and recreate. Between Genesis and Revelation, God’s Word records His power constantly at work in the world and in the lives of men and women.
Not only do the stories recorded in God’s Word reflect His power, but the words in which they are told are powerful:
For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-
edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
Acts of judgment by God reveal His power. His power was first demonstrated in judgment when He judged Adam and Eve after their sin (Genesis 3).
It was revealed at a greater level when God destroyed the entire world with a flood in the days of Noah (Genesis 6-9).
The Bible is a continual record of the power of God revealed through judgment of sin.
He sent judgment upon His people when they sinned. He also sent judgment upon evil
nations. You can read about this in the book of Judges and the books written by the
Each time God sent judgment, He clearly indicated its purpose was that people would come to know His power (for an example, see Exodus 7 :17).
Throughout history, God revealed His power in miraculous acts of redemption.
Although God judged Adam and Eve, He provided a way of salvation for them (Genesis 3:15 ). Although He destroyed the wicked earth with a flood , He provided an ark of safety (Genesis 6-9 ).
God redeemed Israel from bondage in Egypt through His power:
And because He loved thy fathers, therefore He chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in His sight with His mighty power out of Egypt.
God raised up judges, kings, and prophets whom He used to redeem His people out of the hand of the enemy. Nehemiah said of Israel:
Now these are thy servants and thy people whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. (Nehemiah 1:10)
Each time God redeemed His people, He had a purpose . That purpose was to reveal His power:
Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake, that He might make His mighty power to be known. (Psalms 106:8)
God’s greatest plan of redemption was revealed in Jesus Christ through whom all men could be redeemed from sin once and for all.
God’s power was revealed through the prophecies about the birth of Jesus and in His
miraculous birth. It was evident in the life, teaching , and ministry of the Lord as well as in His death and resurrection .
The greatest revelation of God’s power was in Jesus Christ:
And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, Now is come salvation, and
strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (Revelation 12:10)
In Chapter Four of this course you will study in detail how the power of God was revealed in Jesus Christ.
THE HOLY SPIRIT:
Jesus promised His followers:
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)
Acts 2 is the record of the coming of the Holy Ghost, sent from God as Jesus had
promised . Through the Holy Ghost God continues to reveal His power. You will learn how as you study the power of the Holy Spirit later in this course.
You have already learned that God revealed His power through judgment and redemption of His people. But God also reveals His power in other supernatural ways .
"Supernatural" means beyond the power of the natural world. It is something that cannot be done by the power of man.
God’s power has been revealed through miraculous healings, deliverance from demonic powers, the dead being restored to life . . . even through fire falling from Heaven. The entire Bible is a record of supernatural signs of God revealing His power. God’s power is still revealed through such signs today.
Jesus said such powerful signs would be done by God through believers:
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
From the beginning of His written Word, God worked on this earth through men and
women. Man has a capacity for power unlike any other created being. God’s judgment came through evil men and women. Redemption came through godly judges, prophets, kings, and finally through Jesus Christ.
When Jesus came to earth to manifest God’s power He was born of a woman in human
form. The greatest redemption of all times, redemption from sin, came through one made in the form of man.
After Jesus returned to Heaven , God continued to demonstrate His power on earth
through men and women. The book of Acts is the record of the power of God at work through believers.
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following . . . (Mark 16:20)
God’s power was demonstrated through the power of the Gospel that changes lives of men and women. It was demonstrated in miracles of healing and deliverance. His power was shown in spite of suffering and persecution.
Whenever God raises up a man or ministry it is for the purpose of showing His power. God said to Moses:
And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power, and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
God continues to reveal His power today through believers who are part of the true
Church. He demonstrates His power through special leaders He sets in the Church and through spiritual gifts given to believers. You will study more about this in Chapter Five on "Delegated Authority ."
WHY GOD REVEALS HIS POWER
Why does God reveal His power on earth? Why does He show miraculous signs to
mankind? There are many purposes for God’s power at work in the world. You will study these in Chapter Six on "The Purposes Of Power."
But the many purposes of God’s power can be summed up in one major purpose . This
purpose, from the beginning of time , was to redeem sinful mankind through Jesus Christ . The purpose of the revelation of His power is to draw all men to Himself through Jesus :
Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself;
That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him. (Ephesians 1:9-10)
According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ephesians 3:11)
OTHER LEVELS OF AUTHORITY
God is the source of all power. He is the supreme and highest authority in the universe.
God has established other levels of authority in the world. He gave authority to His Son, Jesus Christ. He gives believers authority through the Holy Spirit. God has established
levels of authority in society, government, business, the home, and the church. These
levels of authority are all important. To properly understand principles of spiritual power, you must recognize the structure of authority established by God. You will study each of these later in this course .
But first, attention must be focused on an important truth which is revealed in the Bible. Although God is the source of power, His authority does not go unchallenged . The levels of authority He has established in the world also do not go unchallenged. There are evil forces challenging God’s authority. They are not a threat to His authority in any way , but they constantly wage warfare against it nevertheless. If you incorporate Biblical "Power Principles" into your life then you will be challenged by these same forces. The
following chapter, "The Challenging Counterfeit," deals with this subject.