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Bible verses about Holy Spirit as Power
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Leviticus 2:1-2

Oil is a widely understood symbol of the Holy Spirit and thus does not require a detailed explanation, but one scripture will suffice to link the Holy Spirit and oil directly:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. . . . (Luke 4:18)

"The Spirit of the Lord" and the oil of anointing are directly linked. The oil of anointing stands as a physical representation of Jesus being given the Spirit to perform these functions for God in His service to man.

Acts 10:38 reveals another aspect of this symbolism: ". . . how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." Again, reference is made to anointing—an act normally done with oil—with the Holy Spirit, and Peter adds "with power," a characteristic not included in Luke 4:18.

Though Jesus was bruised in service, He never lacked power. By contrast, we are rarely bruised, broken, or ground in service, but we are usually powerless. The truth is, the greatest zeal and knowledge are useless without God's Holy Spirit providing the right perspective, attitude, and intention for any service we perform.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Offerings of Leviticus (Part Three): The Meal Offering


 

Psalm 139:1-6

It is beyond our ability to understand how a Being could be at the center of His creation—and we know a little bit about the awesome size of His creation. We are able to see the earth and the billions of people on it. How does God keep track of all that? It is too great. It is too high. But He does it, we know, by His Spirit.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Right Use of Power


 

Psalm 139:7-10

The Holy Spirit is the power of God. It is the means through which He accomplishes His will. Verse 7 teaches us a great deal about this. God the Father is a Personality. He is located in one place at one time, just as we are. But His ability to insert Himself into and affect events anywhere in His creation is contained within the power that emanates from His mind.

It is His Spirit—which emanates from His mind—that enables Him to be everywhere all at once, if He so desires. It gives Him the ability to keep track of all of us. It gives Him the ability to be with a person in Charlotte or someone in Los Angeles or another in Chicago. Wherever we are, He can be there because by His mind He is able to concentrate His attention in those areas.

We lack power like that. We have limited imitations of it. We can concentrate our attention in a very limited way on certain things, events, or places. But He can concentrate His attention in many areas at the same time by the spiritual power that emanates from His awesome mind.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit


 

Zechariah 4:6

This verse is often quoted when speaking of doing the work of God, and doing so follows a correct spiritual principle. When God does something, it is not done through physical strength. It is interesting that might literally means "arms," and power refers to physical activity. The work of God is not going to be done through feats of arms, military victories, or anything that requires physical fighting or contention. Nor can it be accomplished by any amount of physical activity.

As much work and effort as men put into it, they are not what will get God's work done properly. They will be helpful, certainly, because God works though men, and men must exert themselves in order to do God's will. Nevertheless, He says clearly here that all the credit goes to His Spirit. God Himself is at work! Our job is to submit, to do the things that must be done. We must do what the Spirit directs us to do, but God will receive the credit, not us. We could do none of these works by our own means.

God gives the ability. He gives the inspiration, the strength, and the endurance. He opens the doors. He supplies the manpower, the money, and the other resources to go through those doors. He supplies favor so that the doors can be opened. We merely walk through them.

We could say that God's work is an act of grace. It is a kind of oxymoron to say that work is done by grace, since we think of work and grace as two extremes, but they are not! What comes first? The grace comes first: God grants favor and gives gifts, then the work is done. So where is the glory? It appears in the grace. The effort comes afterward and accomplishes God's will.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part 4)


 

Zechariah 4:8-10

This is a second interpretation of the first five verses, but not a different one. We have a preliminary interpretation in verses 6-7, and in verses 8-10 we are presented additional information and interpretation of the seven lamps.

The interpretation in verses 6-7 concentrated on "by My Spirit," making sure we get first things first. God, by His Spirit, will be behind all of this; it will be done by grace. We must understand this as priority one when we consider the work of the Two Witnesses. They are servants, and they follow the lead of God's Spirit. That is how their work will be done. That is their mind as well; they will not take credit for what they accomplish. They will know that it is done by God's Spirit.

Verses 8-10 shows that God really has Christ in mind (more than Zerubbabel, who was just a type). We always have to look at things like this and realize that there are types of Christ in them. Zerubbabel—though he is a type of one of the Two Witnesses—is really a type of the true Savior, Jesus Christ. Christ is the true King, and we can never keep Him out of these things.

Christ is building a spiritual temple, and He finishes what He starts. We can paraphrase verse 9 as, "The hands of Jesus Christ have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it." We could go back even as far as Creation and recognize that He was the One who created everything. He started the process that will end in salvation. He will complete the job and bring God's purpose to pass. As far as laying the foundation goes, He did that in Old Testament times, or we could bring it forward as when He gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sins to establish our relationship with God the Father. No matter where we see the starting point of the spiritual Temple in history, He will complete it.

Philippians 1:6 says He who has started a good work in you will finish it. He will complete it. Zerubbabel's completion of the physical Temple in 515 BC is just a sign, if you will, that Christ will finish the spiritual one.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part 4)


 

John 14:17

In other words, "the Spirit of truth" will take up residence. Do we have God the Son and God the Father running around inside of us? No. The mind of God, the Spirit of God, is in us, residing in us. It has taken up residence, and therefore the Father is there, as well as the Son.

The apostles were literally seeing the Holy Spirit of God, the essence of God's mind, in the action, in the life, of a fellow human being—Jesus Christ. He was the literal Word of God. He was with them, teaching, leading, guiding them into truth. He was truth personified. His word is truth (John 17:17). His word is spirit (John 6:63). They could literally, directly, see Him and hear Him, the Son of God, which is why He said the Holy Spirit was with them. It, the essence of God's mind, was in Him. What they witnessed with their eyes and ears was being fed directly into their minds, becoming part of their experience.

The Spirit, the essence of God's mind, was on the verge of residing in them, but it was not yet firmly lodged in them where it would consistently manifest the characteristics of the God Family. This is why Luke 24:49 says, "Tarry in Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high." Power to do what? To submit to the will of God. He gave them the power to keep God's law in the spirit, not just its letter. Any human being with enough willpower can keep the law of God in the letter, but God must empower us to keep it in the spirit. We need more power than what we humanly have to keep God's law in the spirit. God is looking for people who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and He has empowered us to do that by His Spirit.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit and the Trinity (Part 5)


 

John 14:28

To further confound the Trinity doctrine, this verse says that the Father and the Son are not even co-equal! They are equal in terms of what they are—They are God (even as we humans are equal in terms of what we are—we are human beings). But the Father is greater; He is superior in terms of authority and responsibility. There is government even within the Godhead, and the Son takes orders from the Father. They are not equal in every area.

And if the Holy Spirit exists at all as a personality, then it is not co-equal either. Again, if it exists as a personality, it may be equal in terms of being God, but it is not equal in terms of authority and responsibility.

In I Corinthians 11:3, Paul gives a clear order of authority and responsibility. The Father is the Head over all creation. As he puts it so simply, the head even of Christ is the Father.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit


 

John 20:22

When God, in Jesus Christ, wanted His disciples to understand what was going to happen on the day of Pentecost, He did not blow a dove out of His mouth—He breathed! This illustrates a great deal about whether the Holy Spirit is a personality or an inanimate thing. Wind is inanimate; it has no personality.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit


 

Acts 1:8

"You shall receive power" - This occurred, as recorded in Acts 2. That power arrived like the sound of wind, a mighty, rushing wind, a great gust of air. Connect this with Genesis 2:7, where God breathed air into Adam. In that act, God was giving the man a spirit. When God gave His Holy Spirit to men, He duplicated it on a majestic scale, and the Spirit came to mankind like the sound of wind or air moving. Mankind, then, is given power, the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 62:11 says, "Power belongs to God." The context deals with a person going through trials. We have a natural tendency to turn in every direction for help, to reach out to other people, to think up solutions, to grasp for the power to solve our problem, but the psalmist informs us that God is the source of salvation. In Him resides the power to save in a right and good way.

Jeremiah 32:17 reads that "God creates by His power," and John 4:24 says that "God is a spirit." Putting these together, God is a creating spirit of the greatest power. When He creates, things of positive function and awesome beauty emerge. What a difference between man and God! By comparison, man in God's image creates destruction; almost everything man makes seems to produce negative results. But when God creates, God creates functional beauty.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Right Use of Power


 

Acts 2:2-11

The day of Pentecost is typically associated with stupendous signs and miracles. Acts 2 records that when the Holy Spirit was given, the display of ability and power astounded everyone present. There was a sound like a mighty rushing wind (verse 2). It appeared that fire rested on the apostles (verse 3), and when they spoke, every person present could hear what was being said in his own language, even his own dialect (verses 4-11).

Because of the brief description given in Acts 2, various religious denominations have sprung up which practice speaking in gibberish—which the disciples definitely were not doing—and being "slain in the Spirit," which is clearly not a biblical concept. These sincere but misled people focus on miracles and manifestations as "proof" that they have received the Holy Spirit. Every week they gather to "pray down" the Spirit—or at least a spirit—for their own use and gratification. The focus of their meetings is on the experience rather than on instruction, admonition, rebuke, or encouragement (see II Timothy 3:16).

Before this event in Acts, Jesus Himself explained to His disciples the importance of their receiving the Holy Spirit, as well as what signs would be shown as a result (Acts 1:4-9). The very last thing the resurrected Christ said before He ascended to the Father was, to paraphrase, "You will receive power when you receive the Holy Spirit, and this will enable you to be witnesses of Me." Through the giving of the Holy Spirit, Christ's disciples would have the necessary means to be lights to the world and to demonstrate a way to live that glorified God.

David C. Grabbe
The Pentecost Witness


 

Acts 2:2

When the Holy Spirit was given, it came as a mighty rushing wind. It had no shape at all and no life, but it appeared as the power the Father and the Son used to carry out Their purposes in this creation. It is interesting to notice that this power not only filled the people but it also filled the house. In this way, it was directed indiscriminately.

There is no personality in the so-called "third part of the Godhead." This man-made doctrine has no home in the Scriptures. It was devised in the third and fourth centuries and imposed on the church by the force of the Roman government. It is anti-biblical and totally and completely erroneous. No scripture supports it—not even one.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit


 

Acts 2:14-21

It is interesting that Peter does not say that this was the fulfillment of what Joel prophesied. This is because much of Joel's prophecy was not yet fulfilled. It is easily seen that Peter understood this. He knew that it was only the beginning of the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy because God's Spirit was not being poured out on all flesh. The sun and moon had not changed their appearance, and not everybody that "called on the name of the Lord" was being saved. This is something similar to what happened when Jesus quoted Isaiah 61 in Luke 4, as He began His ministry in Nazareth. He left out parts of the prophecy. Likewise, Peter recognized that the events of Acts 2 only began to fulfill Joel's prophecy.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Pentecost and the Holy Spirit


 

Ephesians 5:5

Once again, the Holy Spirit is left out. It is God's Kingdom and Christ's Kingdom, but it is not the Holy Spirit's Kingdom because the Holy Spirit is not a personality. If the Holy Spirit were a personality, why does Paul leave him out whenever the Godhead is mentioned? The reason is clear: because the Holy Spirit is not a personal being.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit


 

Colossians 3:1

Where is the Holy Spirit in this description? Paul is speaking of the throne of all the universe. The Father is there, and the Son is on His right hand. Now, if the Holy Spirit were a personality, why does he not say, "and on the left hand is the Holy Spirit," "at God's feet," "at Christ's feet," "at Christ's right hand," or "standing behind Them"? But he gives no place for the Holy Spirit, and this is because the Holy Spirit is a thing, not a personality. It is an "it," not a "he" or a "she." It is a power, a force that emanates from Them. God's Spirit is that power by which They do whatever it is They want to accomplish in Their purposes.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit


 

 




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