“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” 2 Tim. 3:5
I have been looking at this scripture anew. The first thing that struck me was that godliness does have a form or shape. In the Strong’s concordance godliness is equated with holiness. So holiness does have an appearance. Over the past 20 years I have seen the counterfeit emerging church twist this scripture out of context and label all who profess holiness as people denying the power. These false teachers embrace a more casual gospel (there is no other gospel) that has no form at all. In other words they threw out the baby with the bath water and their appearance no longer has even the “form of godliness.”
Now let’s examine the second portion of this scripture – “denying the power”. How does one deny the power? We know that the power is the Holy Ghost. “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you.” Acts 1:8 We know there are many denominations and sects that do have an appearance of holiness but do not believe the Holy Ghost is for us today. Is that denying the power? Yes, I believe in part it is, for it is unbelief to quench the Spirit of God. Unbelief is one sin that cannot be forgiven. If one does not believe then he is self-condemned. Unbelief is the sin that ties the hands of an omnipotent God who works through His Holy Ghost filled church. There are some of you that have written us that have not received the baptism of the Holy Ghost yet, but you are seeking and you do believe that this gift is for you. We encourage you to maintain an attitude of “I will not be denied.” It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the Holy Ghost.
As we have the privilege of praying for the men and women down at the Dallas County Jail each week, we see how readily they receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit has already been poured out on the Day of Pentecost and all we have to do is bring sincere repentant seekers into the presence of our Holy God so they can tap into that heavenly realm and receive the wonderful gift of the infilling of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.
As I’ve been taking a fresh look at the Book of Acts I’ve wondered how does our modern day apostolic church resemble the early church? We certainly have as much Holy Ghost power as they did and I continually witness it in hearing bold preaching of the Word and witnessing to the lost. However, for some time I’ve felt as if something were missing. So I began this deliberate study of the Book of Acts and saw some things with a fresh perspective.
The first thing I noticed in Ch. 1 of Acts was that “Jesus began both to do and teach.” The emphasis here is that not only did He teach, but His teachings were confirmed by actions of healing and working of miracles. In other words, His teaching was not in word only but in the demonstration of power. As he spoke for 40 days to His followers after His resurrection, He spoke of things pertaining to the Kingdom. Was He referring here to a future Kingdom of heaven or that when the Holy Ghost has come the Kingdom of God would begin and the Church was born? In verse 22 of Chapter 1 of Acts it says “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs.” So the evidence that He was indeed Lord and Christ was the mighty miracles of healing and deliverance He performed on multitudes. My question to you is, “Do we who claim to be apostolics also need to be confirmed with signs following our profession of faith?” “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.” Mark 16:17, 18
(to be continued next week)