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The meaning of the Greek dunamis in Acts 1:8

 

Daniel had the power and authority given by the king of Babylon. 

Dan. 2:48  Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. (NIV)

     The king of Babylon made Daniel ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. This power and authority was political in nature. Jesus had God-given power and authority to preach the word of God. The disciples of Jesus also had the spiritual power and authority given by Jesus through the baptism of the Spirit to preach the word of Jesus.

Pilate the governor had the power and authority given by the Roman Empire.

Luke 20:20  They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said so that they might hand him over to the power (ἀρχῇ ) and authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) of the governor. (NIV)
John 19:10-11 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power (ἐξουσίᾳ) to crucify thee, and have power (ἐξουσίᾳ) to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power (ἐξουσίᾳ) at all against me, except it were given thee from above. (KJV)
NKJ   “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power (ἐξουσίᾳ) either to free you or to crucify you?” Jesus answered, “You would have no power (ἐξουσίᾳ) over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
NIV    “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power (ἐξουσίᾳ) either to free you or to crucify you? Jesus answered, “You would have no power (ἐξουσίᾳ) over me if it were not given to you from above.”
NAS   Pilate therefore said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) to release You, and I have authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) over Me, unless it had been given…”

     While the KJV, NKJ and NIV translate the Greek exousia (ἐξουσίᾳ) in John 19:10-11 as “power,” but the NAS, as “authority.” Pilate the governor had political power and authority given by the Roman Empire. He had military strength over Jesus and all Jews. He was backed by the mighty military strength and power of the Roman Empire. Likewise, the power and authority given to Jesus Christ and the disciples of Jesus is backed by the mighty military strength and power of God.

Before becoming the apostle Paul, he had the authority given by the chief priests.

Acts 9:1-2 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. (NIV)
Acts 9:14  And he has come here with authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name. (NIV)
Acts 26:10 On the authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) of the chief priests I put many of the saints in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. (NIV)
    
     Before his conversion and transformation into the apostle Paul (Saul) Paul worked under the authority of the chief priests and put many saints in prison using that authority. It would have been impossible without this authority.

Gary M. Burge insists that God empowered Jesus with the Spirit.

God not only sent his Son but empowered him with the Spirit. For example, in Jesus’ baptism the central event (from John’s view) was not the water baptism itself, but the anointing in the Spirit that came to Jesus. (Gary M. Burge, The NIV Application Commentary: John, p.558.)

     The note “God empowered Jesus with the Spirit” is quite erroneous since it fails to regard the Spirit as God the Spirit and a divine Person. Luke 3:22 and 4:1,14 confirm that Jesus was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit came on him after being baptized with/in water. It should be said that God not only sent his Son but also empowered him with the power of the Spirit. The note “in Jesus’ baptism the central event was the anointing in the Spirit that came to Jesus” is erroneous.
     Luke 3:22, 4:1,14, Luke 4:18 and Acts 10:38 affirm that Jesus was anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit came on him. The note “the anointing in the Spirit that came to Jesus” should be “God anointed Jesus with the power of the Spirit.”

Eduard Schweizer insists that the Spirit is the power from on high.

It is noticeable that Luke always speaks of the “power” of God in such cases. Of course, it is true that “power” and “Spirit” are closely related. The Spirit is certainly the “power from on high” (Luke 24:49; cf. also 1:17,35; 4:14). (Eduard Schweizer, The Holy Spirit, p.58.)

     The note “The Spirit is certainly the ‘power’ from on high” is quite inaccurate because the Spirit is not treated as God and a divine Person but as an impersonal power. Luke 24:49 records the same promise as Acts 1:8. These verses clearly indicate that believers will receive the power of the Holy Spirit when He comes upon them. It should be noted that the Spirit is by no means the power but the source of the power.
     The Spirit is God the Spirit. The note “The Spirit is certainly the power from on high” should read, “The Holy Spirit is certainly the giver of the power from on high.” Luke 4:14 says, “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Because of this verse it is clear that “the power of the Holy Spirit” means that the Holy Spirit has the power.

Merrill F. Unger insists that the power is the Person of the Spirit.

The power from on high now permanently resides in the church, indwelling each believer individually. The power is the Person of the Spirit, who came at Pentecost. (Merrill F. Unger, The Baptism and Gift of the Holy Spirit, p.160.)

     The note “The power is the Person of the Spirit” is thoroughly unbiblical. There is no scriptural reference which indicates the power is the Person of the Spirit who came at Pentecost. The note is from the misunderstanding of Acts 1:8. The power is not the Person of the Spirit but the source of the power.

Stanley M. Horton comments on the power of the Spirit.

Jesus promised them power (mighty power) which became theirs through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). (Stanley M. Horton, What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit, p.109.)

     Here, the Greek dunamis in Acts 1:8 is inferred as mighty power. Instead, it has the meaning of authority. The meaning/purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to receive the power/authority of the Holy Spirit to be witness and for service.
 

Billy Graham comments on the power of the Spirit.

The members of the early Church, those men, women, and children who knew the realty of the Holy Spirit as a force, were totally transformed. The rush of power they experienced on the day of Pentecost is characteristic of the age that gave us the New Testament. The Holy Spirit can give you supernatural power to face any crisis. Men are sinners, dead in sin. What they need is life, and this can be supplied by the power of the Spirit through regeneration. Have you been regenerated by the power of the Spirit of God? The moment you and I received Christ and were regenerated by the Holy Spirit we were given a new nature. (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.xvi, 61.)

     Contrary to what Billy Graham claims, the Bible does not say that Christians are regenerated by the power of the Spirit. The note “Christians were regenerated by the Spirit” is correct (see John 3:5; Titus 3:5). The erroneous note, “Life can be supplied by the power of the Spirit through regeneration,” should read, “Life can be supplied by the Spirit through regeneration.” The note “The members of the early Church knew the realty of the Holy Spirit as a force” is quite erroneous. Certainly, they knew the reality of the Holy Spirit as a source of power, but there is no scriptural reference to indicate that the Holy Spirit is called a power. The Spirit must not be regarded as a power but the source of power. Graham continues:

I believe God gives us the strength of the Holy Spirit commensurate with the tasks He gives us. We have a friend who is a retired Presbyterian clergyman. His father ope- rated a pile driver. He once told of watching the great pile drivers driving the posts into the river bed of the Mississippi in the process of building a bridge. Each pole was lifted into place and then with a mighty pounding of the pole driver each pole was driven securely into the river bed. So it is with the power of the Holy Spirit. When God calls us to any task He also supplies the power for that task. (Billy Graham, Ibid., p.124,125.)

     Billy Graham claims that the power of the Holy Spirit is like that of a mighty pounding of a pole driver. The power of the Holy Spirit is not like that of a mighty pounding of a pole driver but a supernatural authority. The power of a mighty pounding of a pole driver is quite distinct from a supernatural authority. The note “When God calls us to any task He also supplies the power for that task” seems right but quite erroneous.
     When Jesus called the 12 apostles to preach the gospel, He did not supply the power for that task immediately and automatically. He supplied that power on the day of Pentecost about three years later (The power in Luke 9:1-2; 10:17-20 will be examined). Likewise, the apostle Paul was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit after Jesus called Ananias to pray for him. God did not supply the power immediately and automatically when Paul first responded. Though the experience of Moses was different from that of the 120 disciples of Jesus and Paul, God did immediately supply the power for his task at the time of Moses’ calling. Jesus sent by God the Father to save the world was supplied the power of the Holy Spirit after about thirty years. There is no scriptural reference to indicate that God’s call is accompanied immediately, automatically and unconditionally with power for that task.

 

John F. MacArthur comments on the power of the Spirit.

 

The charismatic view of Holy Spirit baptism actually redefines the doctrine of salvation. According to that view, salvation does not really give us everything we need for spiritual victory. We are still lacking; we need something more. Although they sometimes concede that every believer has the Holy Spirit to a limited degree, they believe the full power of the Spirit is withheld from those who have not yet experienced Spirit baptism with the evidence of tongues. (John F. MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, p.233.)

     It is incorrect to speak of “Holy Spirit baptism and Spirit baptism,” but rather it should be “the baptism of the Holy Spirit or the Spirit’s baptism.” The Holy Spirit is God and a divine Person. While it is correct to say that salvation does not really give us everything we need for spiritual victory, it is incorrect to write, “Every believer has the Holy Spirit to a limited degree.” The Holy Spirit must be treated as God and a divine Person, and every believer, without a single exception, has the Holy Spirit. To receive Jesus is to receive the Holy Spirit. To be filled with the power of the Spirit is to be baptized with/in the Spirit’s fire.
     After accepting Jesus, every believer must receive the baptism of the Spirit to receive His power. To receive Jesus as Savior is quite distinct from receiving the baptism of the Spirit. MacArthur’s arguments are basically from the mistranslation and misinterpretation of 1 Cor.12:13. Though the 120 disciples of Jesus already had salvation before Pentecost, they had not yet received the power of the Holy Spirit, namely the baptism of the Holy Spirit until Pentecost. Therefore, it is confirmed that the statement “salvation really gives us everything we need for spiritual victory” is thoroughly inaccurate. Salvation does not really give us everything we need for spiritual victory. After receiving salvation, we have to receive the power of the Spirit, that is, the baptism of the Spirit for spiritual victory. MacArthur continues:

The Holy Spirit is virtually synonymous with divine power. Just before His ascension, Jesus promised the apostles, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem (Acts 1:8).  (John F. MacArthur, MacArthur New Testament Commentary/Romans p.427.)

     “The Holy Spirit is virtually synonymous with divine power” is thoroughly unscriptural. Acts 1:8 says, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” The Holy Spirit who comes upon believers gives power to believers, that is, the power is given by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not virtually syno- nymous with divine power, but He is the source of divine power. 
 

John F. MacArthur comments on the power in Acts 1:8. 

In Acts 1:8 Jesus said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Clearly, the receiving of power was parallel to the receiving of the Holy Spirit. (John F. MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, p.214.)

     The note “the receiving of power was parallel to the receiving of the Holy Spirit” is from the misunderstanding of Acts 1:8. The receiving of the Holy Spirit means regeneration. To receive Jesus is to be regenerated. To receive Jesus is to receive the Holy Spirit, but the receiving of power speaks of the baptism of the Holy Spirit after regeneration. Before Jesus’ crucifixion, His resurrection and Pentecost the disciples had received the Holy Spirit. They received Jesus as Savior and Lord. They received the power of the Holy Spirit, that is, the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost after the receiving of the Holy Spirit.
     So the note, “Clearly, the receiving of power was parallel to the receiving of the Holy Spirit,” is quite erroneous. The receiving of power is by no means parallel to the receiving of the Holy Spirit. After receiving Jesus as Savior one must receive the power of the Holy Spirit. MacArthur continues:

Dunamis is the same word translated “power” throughout the gospels. It is really the gift of “powers,” then. Jesus’ gift of power was used to combat Satan’s kingdom. The gift of “powers,” then, is the ability to cast out demons. (John F. MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, p.245.) Power translates dunamis, from which the English word “dynamite” derives. All believers have in them spiritual dynamite for use of gifts, service, fellowship, and witness. (John F. MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Acts 1-12, p.19.)

     The note “power is really the gift of powers” is erroneous. The power of the Holy Spirit is quite distinct from the gift of powers mentioned as one of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. 12:8-10. It should be noted that the power of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:8 is composed of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gift of powers is only one gift of nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. The note “All believers have in them spiritual dynamite for use of gifts, service, fellowship, and witness” is thoroughly inaccurate and without any scriptural support. All believers are regenerated by the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus. All believers must receive the baptism of the Spirit, namely the power of the Holy Spirit after regeneration. No believer receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit, namely the power of the Holy Spirit at the moment of regeneration.

All English versions inconsistently translate the Greek exousia.

John 17:2  For you granted him authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. (NIV) 

     The KJV, NJB, RSV, and RWB translate exousia in John 17:2 as “power” but the CJB, CSB, GWN, MIT, NAS, NET, NIV, NIRV, TNIV, NLT, YLT, NAB, NAS, NAU, NKJ, and NRS, as “authority.”

John 10:18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) to lay it down and authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) to take it up again. This command I received from my Father. (NIV)

     The CJB, KJV, NAB, NJB, NKJ, NRS, RSV, RWB, and WEB translate the Greek exousia in John 10:18 as “power” but the ESV, GWN, NET, NIV, NIRV, TNIV, NAS, NAU, and YLT, as “authority,” and the NLT as “right and power.”

John 19:10-11 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power (ἐξουσίᾳ) either to free you or to crucify you?” Jesus answered, “You would have no power (ἐξουσίᾳ) over me if it were not given to you from above.” (NIV)

     The CJB, ESV, KJV, NKJ, NIV, NIRV, TNIV, NAB, NJB, NLT, RSV, NRS, and RWB translate the exousia in v.19:10-11 as “power” but the CSB, ESV, GWN, MIT, NET, NAS and YLT, as “authority.” All English versions translate the exousia as “power or authority.” Jesus said God had granted Him power/ authority over all people. If Pilate had been not given the power/authority of the Roman Empire, he would have had no say in either freeing or crucifying Jesus.

Acts 9:1-2  Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. (NKJ)
Acts 9:13-14  Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. “And here he has authority ἐξουσίᾳ) from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” (NKJ)

     The CSB, ESV, GWN, MIT, KJV, NKJ, NET, NIV, NIRV, TNIV, NAB, NJB, NLT, RSV, NRS, RWB, NAS, and YLT translate the exousia (Acts 19:14) as “authority,” but the CJB and NJB, as warrant. The translation of all English versions on the exousia is inconsistent. The letter given to Paul (Saul) can be assumed to be a certificate of appointment issued by the high priests (Acts 9:1-2). This certificate of appointment carried with the authority to do the work of that appointment. Paul surely received a visible and man-made authority issued by the high priests. After Paul received the authority he did the work given to him.

Acts 8:18-19  When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability (ἐξουσίᾳ) so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” (NIV)
KJV  And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power (ἐξουσίᾳ), that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.

     The NIB and NIV translate the exousia in v.8:18-19 as “ability”; the ASV, BBE, DBY, KJV, NKJ, NAB, NJB, NLT, NRS, RSV, RWB, and WEB, as “power”; the NAS and YLT, as “authority.” The ‘exousia’ in v.8:18-19 should be translated as “authority” since it should be consistent with other Bible passages.

The Bible indicates the relation between power (dunamis) and authority (exousia).

Luke 20:1-2 One day as he was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. “Tell us by what authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority (ἐξουσίᾳ)?” (NIV)
Acts 4:5-7  The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power (ἐξουσίᾳ) or what name did you do this?” (NIV)

     The following phrases, “by what authority (exousia) you (Jesus) are doing these things” and “who gave you (Jesus) this authority (exousia)” are used in the same sense as “by what power (dunamis)” or “what name did you (Peter and John) do this.” The Bible verifies that authority (exousia) is used in the same sense as power (dunamis). Luke 20:1-2 affirms that Jesus preached the gospel with an authority (exousia) given by the Holy Spirit sent by God the Father. Likewise, Acts 4:5-7 affirms that Peter and John preached the gospel with power (dunamis) given by the Holy Spirit sent by God. The apostle Peter and John received this power on the day of Pentecost through the promise of Jesus in Acts 1:8, “You will receive the power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” The power (dunamis) in Acts 4:7 is used in the same way as the authority (exousia) in Luke 20:2. The NT indicates that both instances have the same meaning. It can be shown that power (dunamis) in Acts 1:8 has the same meaning as authority (exousia) in Luke 20:1-2.

Luke 9:1      Jesus gave the twelve power (δύναμις) and authority (ἐξουσίᾳ).  
Luke 10:19  Jesus gave the seventy two authority (ἐξουσίᾳ).
Matt. 10:1    He gave them authority (ἐξουσίᾳ).
Mark 6:7      He gave them authority (ἐξουσίᾳ).
Acts 1:8       You will receive power (δύναμις) when the Holy Spirit comes on.
Rom. 15:19  Paul preached the gospel by the power (δύναμις) of the Spirit.

     These texts indicate that power is used with the same meaning as authority. The Greek kai in “power and (kai) authority” in Luke 9:1 should be interpreted as “namely, that is, and or.” If “power” in Luke 9:1 is dissimilar from “authority,” the words in Luke 10:19, Matt. 10:1 and Mark 6:7 are flawed. For instance, if Jesus gave the twelve both power and authority (Luke 9:1) and Jesus did not give the seventy-two power but only authority (Luke 10:19), it makes no sense at all. Thus, it should be understood that the Bible uses the words “power and authority” interchangeably, that is, power has the meaning of authority and authority has the meaning of power. So power (dunamis) of Acts 1:8 and Romans 15:19 also is used as authority (exousia).

The term “authority” (exousia) often is distinct from the term “power” (dunamis).

Luke 10:19  Behold, I give you the authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power (ἐξουσίᾳ) of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (NIV)
Matt. 10:1  He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. (NIV)

     The NIV translates the Greek exousia (Matt. 10:1) as authority but the KJV and NKJ as power. Luke 10:19 indicates that “authority” can control “power,” that is, power is controlled by authority.

Acts 10:38   how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power (δύναμις), and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power (δύναμις) of the devil, because God was with him. (NIV)            

     Acts 10:38 indicates that the power of the Holy Spirit absolutely can control the power of the devil. The “authority” (exousia) of Luke 10:19 is used in the same as the “power” (dunamis) of Acts 10:38. Here, Jesus affirmed that He gave His disciples authority (power) to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. Jesus also received this authority (power) when He was filled with power of the Holy Spirit, that is, when He was be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire, after water baptism by John.

1 Cor. 2:4-5 indicates that the power of the Holy Spirit is the power of God.

1 Cor. 2:4-5  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.(NIV)
NKJ   And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

     All English versions, without exception, translate the Greek dunamis in 1 Cor. 2:4-5 as “power.” The NIV translates the Greek en apodeixei pneumatos kai dunameos (ἐν ἀποδείξει πνεύματος καὶ δυνάμεως) as “with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,” and the NKJ as “demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” Although both are correct, the NIV is more logical. The “demonstration of the Spirit and of power” is used in the same manner as “demonstration of the power of God.” Paul considers that the Spirit’s power is the same as God’s power. The words “in a demonstration of the Spirit and of power” should not be read, “two demonstrations, that is, in a demonstration of the Spirit and in a demonstration of power,” but only a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.
The authority in John 1:12; Rev. 22:14 is quite distinct from that in Matt. 10:1.

John 1:12  as many as received Him, to them He gave the right (ἐξουσίᾳ) to become children of God, to those who believe in His name. (NKJ)
KJV    as many as received him, to them gave the power (ἐξουσίᾳ) to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
NIV    Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right (ἐξουσίᾳ) to become children of God.
YLT    but as many as did receive him to them he gave authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) to become sons of God-to those believing in his name.
Rev. 22:14-15  Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right (ἐξουσίᾳ) to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and prac- tices a lie. (NKJ)
NIV     Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right (ἐξουσίᾳ) to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.
YLT    Happy are those doing His commands that the authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) shall be theirs unto the tree of the life, and by the gates they may enter into the city; and without are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the whoremongers, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and every one who is loving and is doing a lie.
Phil. 3:20  But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)

     Some insist that the right or power of John 1:11-13 is the same as that of Matt. 10:1 and Acts 1:8. Just as at birth every cat has the power to catch mice, every Christian has the power to drive out and destroy evil spirits at the moment he is born of the Spirit; that is, he was born of the Spirit with the power. Though this argument seems right, but it is quite erroneous because the right (exousia) or power (exousia) in John 1:11-13 is quite distinct from that of Matt. 10:1 and Acts 1:8. The word “right or power” (John 1:11-13) is for becoming the sons of God. The “power” of Acts 1:8 is for being a witness of Jesus, for preaching the gospel and for driving out evil spirit and healing every disease. To become a son of God, anyone must accept Jesus as Savior and Lord and the Son of God sent by God in heaven. To be the witness of Jesus, and to preach the gospel, and to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness, every Christian must be baptized with/in the Holy Spirit and with/in fire after becoming a child of God, after regeneration. To be a citizen of the kingdom of heaven, one must accept Jesus sent by God in heaven. To all who received Jesus, to those who believed in his name, God gave the right (exousia) in John 1:11-13 and Rev. 22:14-15 to become the children of God. All who receive Jesus have right (exousia) to enter through the gates of the kingdom of heaven which has the tree of life. The Greek exousia (right, power, authority) in John 1:12 and Rev. 22:14-15 is the power for becoming a child of God and for entering into the kingdom of heaven. The word used in Matt. 10:1, Luke 10:19, Acts 1:8, 10:38 and 1 Cor. 2:4-5 is for the child of God to become a witness of Jesus, driving out evil spirits and healing every type of disease. So the exousia in John 1:12 and Rev. 22:14-15 is quite distinct from that of Matt. 10:1, Luke 10:19, Acts 1:8, 10:38 and 1 Cor. 2:4-5.

The Lutheran Book of Worship states “the power.”

The Lutheran Book of Worship states, “In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for you, and for his sake God forgives all your sins. To those who believe in Jesus Christ he gives the power to become the children of God and bestows on them the Holy Spirit. Through his Holy Spirit he cleans us and gives us power to proclaim the mighty deeds of God who called us out of darkness into the splendor of his light.” (The Lutheran Book of Worship, p.98,194.)

The Bible indicates that the power to become a child of God is quite distinct from the power to proclaim the mighty deeds of God. It must be concluded that the power of the Holy Spirit for proclaiming the Gospel can be received after becoming a child of God, that is, after regeneration.

God has almighty power and authority.

Ex. 6:2-3    God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty.” (NIV)
Ex. 9:16      But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.
Ex. 32:11    whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand.
Deut. 34:12 For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel. (NIV)

     The texts indicate that God has almighty power and authority.

God has supernatural military strength.

Dan. 7:9-10  As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its heels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. (NIV)
Neh. 1:10   They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. (NIV)
Rev. 19:14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. (NIV)

     The angels of God are called the armies of heaven. They are ten thousand times ten thousand possessing great military strength. So it is obvious that God the Creator has supernatural military strength and power.

Matt.  26:47,53  While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? (NIV)

     In the text Jesus confirmed that God’s angels have actual military systems and great power that can destroy any crowd armed simply with swords and clubs.

2 Kin. 6:14-17  Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (NIV)

     The king of Aram sent a strong force with many horses and chariots to Israel to capture Elisha the prophet. At this time Elisha said to his servant, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” God had surrounded the prophet with many horses and chariots of fire, which were God’s angels. The text confirms that the angels of God were stronger than the army of Aram.

The angel of God also has the power and authority given by God.

Num. 22:31  Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. (NIV)

     The text indicates that the angel of God has actual power given by God.

2 Kin. 19:35-36 That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning–there were all the dead bodies! So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there. (NIV)

     The text shows that the angel of the Lord destroyed a hundred and eighty-five thousand men who had great military power. The angel of God has the power given by God.

1 Chr. 21:14-15  So the Lord sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead. And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But as the angel was doing so, the Lord saw it and was grieved because of the calamity and said to the angel who was destroying the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” (NIV)

     The text shows that the angel of the Lord destroyed seventy thousand men of Israel with a plague. The angel possesses the power given by God.

2 Chr. 32:21-22 And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the leaders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace. And when he went into the temple of his god, some of his sons cut him down with the sword. So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all others. He took care of them on every side. (NIV)

     An angel sent by God annihilated all the fighting men, the leaders and the offi- cers of the Assyrian king. The angel possesses military strength given by God.

Luke 1:18-20   Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.” (NIV)

     The OT and NT affirm that Gabriel came in the power and authority of God.

Satan also has the power and authority given by God.

Heb. 2:14-15 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power (κράτος) of death–that is, the devil–and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (NIV)

     In the text the devil is said to hold the power (kratos, κράτος) of death. This power of death was given by God.

Luke 9:1      When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases. (NIV)
Luke 10:19  I have given you authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power (δύναμις ) of the enemy; nothing will harm you. (NIV)  

     Luke 10:19 testifies that the disciples of Jesus were given victorious power over all the power of the enemy. Here, it can be concluded that demons have the power allowed by God. The disciples’ authority (exousia) given by Jesus can overcome and subdue all the power (dunamis) of all demons. In this case the term authority (exousia) is distinct from the term power (dunamis).


Eph. 2:1-2  As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. (NIV)

     The phrase “the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit” means that the evil spirit has the power and authority as the ruler of this world.

Eph. 6:12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (NIV)
KJV  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, ag- ainst spiritual wickedness in high places.

     In the text the terms “the rulers, the authorities, the powers, and the spiritual forces of evil” speak of the power and authority of the evil spirit. It is confirmed that Satan has the power and authority given by God.

Col. 1:13   For he has rescued us from the dominion (ἐξουσίᾳ) of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. (NIV)

     It indicates the dominion (ἐξουσίᾳ) of darkness means the authority of Satan.

Rev. 9:3       And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power (ἐξουσίᾳ) like that of scorpions of the earth.
Rev. 9:10     They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power (ἐξουσίᾳ) to torment people for five months. (NIV)
Rev. 13:6-8  He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast. (NIV)
Rev. 17:12-13 The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority (ἐξουσίᾳ ) as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power (δύναμις) and authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) to the beast. (NIV)

     The texts indicate that Satan has the power and authority given by God. Satan torments unbelievers and even believers who are disobedient to the word of God.

Satan has the authority given by God to destroy Job’s assets and family.

Job 1:12  The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. (NIV)

     The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands.”  This signifies that God permitted Satan to destroy Job’s assets and family. After receiving the permission, after receiving the power and authority given by God, Satan sent the Sabeans and the Chaldeans. They carried away the oxen, donkeys and camels and killed Job’s servants. Fire sent by Satan fell from the sky and burned up his sheep and other servants. Next came a mighty wind sent by Satan. It swept in from the desert, struck the four corners of the house so that it collapsed and killed seven sons and three daughters (Job 1:13-19). These facts confirm that Satan has the power and authority given by God to destroy any assets of men and to kill those who have committed sins before God after receiving God’s  permission.

Job 2:6-7 The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. (NIV)

     The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” God permitted Satan to afflict Job. The text indicates that after the receiving of the permission of God, that is, after the receiving of power and authority given by God, Satan afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. The text confirms that Satan can afflict the sons of God with sickness with the power and authority given by God, but only as God allows.

Job 42:11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought upon him. (NIV)
 
     The text records, “The Lord had brought ‘all the trouble’ (NIV), ‘all the adversity’ (NKJ), ‘all the evil’ (KJV, NAS, NRS), and ‘all the trials (NLT)’ upon Job.” Here, it is confirmed that God permitted Satan to destroy Job’s assets and family. Satan destroyed Job’s assets and family with the power and authority given by God. Since God allowed this trouble, it is proper to say that the Lord brought it. Proverbs 16:4 says, “The Lord has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom” (NKJ).
     The Lord God did not make the wicked or evil spirits. They themselves became the wicked and the evil because of their disobedience of the word of God. God has permitted the works of Satan and given him permission, power and authority to do his works. The term “Satan” can be added to Proverbs 16:4: “The Lord has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked and Satan for the day of doom.”

Heb. 1:13-14 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (KJV)

     The text indicates that all angels are ministering spirits, namely servants of God. The Satan and the demons are also servants of God because they are controlled by God, even though they are wicked. God is only the head over every power and authority.

The Bible shows that there is a great power and a little power.

Acts 4:33 And with great power (δυνάμει μεγάλῃ) the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. (NKJ)
Rev. 3:8   I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength (μικρὰν δύναμι) have kept My word…(NKJ)
NAS        I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power (μικρὰν δύναμι), and have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

     The NKJ translates dunamis megale (δυνάμει μεγάλῃ Acts 4:33) as great power. The NKJ and NIV translate mikran dunamis (μικρὰν δύναμι Rev. 3:8) as a little strength; the NAS, as a little power. These verses (Acts 4:33; Rev. 3:8) indicate that there are two kinds of power (authority), that is, a great power (authority) and a little power (authority). God gave Satan a measure of power (authority), but it can never match the power (authority) of God. Some disciples received a great power (authority) but some received a little power (authority).

The power of the Holy Spirit is quite distinct from that of the devil.

Acts 10:38   how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power (δύναμις), and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power (δύναμις) of the devil, because God was with him. (NIV)
Mark 1:27   The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching–and with authority (ἐξουσίᾳ )! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him.” (NIV)
 
     The texts show that the power of the Holy Spirit is quite distinct from that of the devil. The power of the Spirit can control the power of the devil. The Satan must obey the power of the Holy Spirit who is superior. The power of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:8 is not a physical or  natural mighty power/authority but supernatural power/authority given by the Holy Spirit sent by God.

Moses preached the word of God with the power given by God.

Ex. 3:1-2   Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. (NIV)

Ex. 4:1-8: Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you?’” Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” Moses replied. The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord, “is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob–has appeared to you.” Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was leprous, like snow. “Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh. Then the Lord said, “If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second.” (NIV)

Deut. 34:9-12 Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses. Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel. (NIV)
 
     These texts indicate that Moses received the mighty power of the Lord God when the Lord God appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Here, it seems apparent that the power given by God includes not only the power but also authority, though there is no term “authority.” Moses preached the word of God with the power and authority given by God to his Israelites in Egypt. He led the people of God from Egypt to the land of Canaan with this power and authority.
     In Ex. 3:1-2, 4:1-8 and Deut. 34:9-12 there is no a literal record which states that Moses received the power of the Spirit. Instead, we read that he received the power of God. 1 Cor. 2:4-5 records that the power of the Spirit is the power of God. So the power given by God to Moses is the same as the power given by the Spirit. The phrase in Deut. 34:9, “Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him,” is a mistranslation. It should read, “Joshua son of Nun was filled with the Spirit of wisdom,” or “the wisdom of the Spirit” because Moses had laid his hands on him. In the original language one does not read the term power but wisdom. The book of Acts and 1 Corinthians indicate that the wisdom of the Spirit is one gift of the nine gifts of the Spirit. The power of the Spirit is composed of the nine gifts of the Spirit. (See the detailed discussion on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.)
It should be con- cluded that Joshua received the wisdom in the power of the Spirit. The case of Joshua is the same as that of Paul. Paul was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit because Ananias laid his hands on him (Acts 9:17-20). Likewise, Joshua son of Nun was filled with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit because Moses laid his hands on him (Deut. 34:9). It should be concluded that Joshua received the power of the Spirit to lead his Israelites into the land of Canaan. What was given by the Holy Spirit is not only the power but also authority, even though there is no term “authority.”

The power given to Samson by God was great physical strength.

Judg. 14:6  The Spirit of the Lord came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. (NIV)
Judg. 15:14  The Spirit of the Lord came upon him in power. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. (NIV)
Judg. 16:6    So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” (NIV)
Judg. 16:17  So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” (NIV)
Judg. 16:28-30 Samson prayed to the Lord, “O Sovereign Lord, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived. (NIV)

     The texts indicate that the “power” given to Samson by God was not “authority” but actually great physical strength. No one could match his great physical power. Judges 16:6,17 indicates that his great physical power left him because his head was shaved. Judges 16:28-30 affirms that God gave him great physical mighty power just once more in answer to his prayer. All these facts indicate that in some case, God gives some actual great physical mighty power (strength).

1 Kin. 18:44-46  The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain came on and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. The power of the Lord came upon Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel. (NIV)

     “The power of the Lord came upon Elijah.” This means that Elijah received the power given by God. This power given to Elijah should be seen to mean actual physical strength. Without this power it would have been impossible for him to outrun the chariot of Ahab all the way to Jezreel. In the cases of Samson and Elijah (See 1 Kings 18:44-46.) the term “power” refers not to spiritual power and authority but to actual physical mighty power. There is no scriptural reference to indicate that the power of the Spirit (Acts 1:8) denotes the same actual physical mighty power that Samson received. Instead, many references indicate that the power in Acts 1:8 is a spiritual and supernatural authority.

Jesus has the power and authority given by the Holy Spirit through God.

Luke 4:1     Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan. (NIV)
Luke 4:14   Jesus returned to Galilee in the power (δύναμις) of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. (NIV)
Luke 4:36   What is this teaching? With authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) and power (δύναμις) he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out! (NIV)
John 5:27    And he has given him authority (ἐξουσίᾳ ) to judge because he is the Son of Man. (NIV)
John 10:17-18 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life–only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father. (NIV)
John 17:2   For you granted him authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. (NIV)
Matt. 26:47,53 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? (NIV)
Matt. 28:18  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority (ἐξουσίᾳ ) in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (NIV)  

     Luke 4:1 relates that Jesus was full of the power of the Holy Spirit when the Spirit came on Him after water baptism by John the Baptist. The doctrine of the Spirit declares that “to be baptized with/in the Spirit and with/in fire is to be filled with the power of the Spirit, that is, to receive the power of the Spirit.” This must be applied to the case of Jesus. After Jesus received the power of the Spirit he began the preaching of the gospel of God.
     The term “power” (dunamis) in Luke 4:14 should be interpreted as “authority” (exousia) in other passages including John 17:2. It may be both “authority and power” in Luke  4:36. Likewise, the power in Acts 1:8 refers not only to the power but also to “authority” or both “power and authority.” In Matt. 26:47,53 Jesus said that God the Father could send more than twelve legions of angels to protect him from the mob sent by the chief priests prior to His crucifixion. “A legion” was ancient Roman’s army corps composed of 3,000 to 6,000 infantry troops including 300 to 700 cavalry. The texts confirm that Jesus Christ has His angels who have the capability to defeat any military power in this world. Any authority lacking actual physical strength is useless.
 

Jesus Christ is the head over every power and authority.

Matt. 28:18  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (NIV)
Col. 2:10  You have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power (ἀρχῆς) and authority (ἐξουσίᾳ). (NIV)
NRS         You have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler (ἀρχῆς) and authority (ἐξουσίᾳ).

Luke 10:17-19 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power (δύναμις) of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (NIV)
James 2:19   You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe and tremble! (NKJ)
Dan. 2:47     The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.” (NIV)

     Jesus is the head over every power and authority. The demons also have the power and authority given by God as noted above, but they must submit to Christ, the head over every power and authority. In Luke 10:17-19 Jesus said, “I have given you authority (exousia) to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power (dunamis) of the enemy.” A principle can be established. The term “authority” is quite distinct from the term “power,” that is, authority can overcome and subdue the power. Jesus’ authority can overcome all the power of the enemy since He has actual great physical strength, as noted above. James 2:19 says, “Even the demons believe and tremble.” Demons tremble since they know Jesus’ authority is accompanied by great physical force.

Heb. 2:8-9 and put everything under his feet. In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (NIV)

     This text says that Jesus, the head over every power and authority, was made a little lower than the angels. The phrase “Jesus was made a little lower than the angels” refers to the fact that He came as the Son of Man to suffer death for the sins of the world. Jesus was made a little lower than the angels since He became a man physically.

Jesus says that the authority given by God is for healing the sick.

Matt. 9:1-8   Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, your sins are forgiven, or to say, Get up and walk? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) on earth to for give sins.” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” And the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) to men. (NIV)

     The KJV and YLT translate the exousia (Matt. 9:6-8) as “power”; the NAB, NAS, NAU, NIV, NKJ, NLT, NRS and RSV, as “authority.” Matt. 9:1-8 states Jesus has authority on earth to forgive sins, and also that God has given such authority to men. This means God gives authority on earth to forgive sins to Jesus and his disciples. The text indicates Jesus healed a paralytic with the authority of God, and that the paralysis had come through sin. Jesus Christ confirms this: if the sins of the sick are forgiven, the sick will be automatically healed. Jesus Christ forgave his sins with the authority and immediately he was healed.

Nobody is physically strong enough to subdue a man possessed by evil spirits.

Mark 5:1-13  A man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. (NIV)

     This demon-possessed man was so strong physically because of the power of the indwelling demons. No one was able to subdue him. How could such a man with such great demonic power be controlled? The following passages have the answer.

Luke 9:1-2  When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (NIV)  
Luke 10:17-20 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (NIV)
Matt. 10:1   And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. (NKJ)
Acts 10:38  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil. (NIV)

     The passages indicate that with the power and authority of the Holy Spirit given by God, Jesus can drive out all demons and cure all diseases. The man in Mark 5:1-13 was so physically strong that no one was able to subdue him. How could such a man possessed by the evil spirits be controlled? The passages mentioned above are clear: only the power and authority given by God overcomes all the power of the enemy. Only the power and authority of Jesus can subdue the man who is possesses the strong power given by demons. Jesus gave and will give this power and authority of the Holy Spirit to His disciples. The power and authority can be received by only the baptism of the Holy Spirit after conversion.

With authority and power Jesus gave orders to evil spirits and they came out.

Luke 4:31-37  Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people. They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority (ἐξουσίᾳ). In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, “Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are-the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without in- juring him. All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) and power (δύναμις) he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!” And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area. (NIV)

     With authority and power Jesus gave orders to evil spirits and they came out. Jesus received this authority and power of the Spirit when He came on Him (Luke 3:21-22; 4:1,14) after He was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River.              

A man possessed by evil spirits jumped on seven men and overpowered them.

Acts 19:11-16  Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. (NKJ)

     In Romans 15:19 Paul says, “I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ by the power of signs and miracles through the power of the Spirit.” Acts 19:11-12 says, “Paul has proclaimed the gospel of Christ by the miracles and the healing and the casting out of the evil spirits.” By comparing the two we can conclude that the words “through the power of the Holy Spirit” are unspoken in Acts 19:11-12. In Ephesus Paul cast out the evil spirits by the power of the Spirit. In Acts 19:11-16 the seven sons of a Jewish chief priest tried to cast out an evil spirit, but the man possessed by the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them. They fled out of that house naked and wounded. A man possessed by the evil spirit has more strength than seven men who have mere physical power. It is impossible for seven men to beat a man possessed by an evil spirit because he has a greater physical strength given by that evil spirit, that is, an actual mighty power capable of destroying seven others. The Bible confirms that the evil spirit is an invisible, spiritual being. The evil spirit possesses a man and lives in him. The evil spirit empowers him with a mighty strength like the mighty pounding of a pole driver or a mighty power like dynamite. The evil spirit gives the possessed mighty physical power and not a spiritual power. This resulted in a mighty physical power given by the evil spirit. The demon-possessed man defeated seven men. If that man had not had mighty strength, it would have been impossible for him to prevail. Likewise, without the power and authority given by the Spirit, without the receiving of the baptism of the Spirit, it is impossible to overcome and subdue anyone possessed by the evil spirit. Luke 4:31-37 speaks of, “With authority and power Jesus gave orders to evil spirits and they came out.” Likewise, with authority and power given by Jesus through the baptism of the Spirit, today the disciples of Jesus can cast out evil spirits who live with/in men and they can heal the sick.
 

Jesus preached with the power and authority of the Holy Spirit.

Luke  4:1,14-15 Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan. And Jesus returned in the power (δύναμις) of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the regions round about. And he taught in their synagogues. (KJV)
Luke 4:32    They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority (ἐξουσίᾳ). (NIV)
Luke 4:36    All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What is this teaching? With authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) and power (δύναμις) he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!” (NIV)
Luke 5:17    And the power (δύναμις) of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. (NIV)
Luke 6:19    because power (δύναμις) was coming from him and healing them all. (NIV)
Matt. 21:23  Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority (ἐξουσίᾳ ) are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority (ἐξουσίᾳ)”? (NIV)
Acts 10:38  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. (NIV)

     Here, “power” is used as synonymous with “authority,” and it should be inferred that the words “the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14) are omitted in Luke 4:32 and Matt. 21:23. Luke 4:1 speaks of “Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost.” This means that he was full of the power of the Holy Spirit, as noted already. The text “He taught in their synagogues” indicates that Jesus taught the word of God with the power and authority of the Spirit. Here, it can be found that Jesus began to preach the gospel after being filled with the power of the Spirit, that is, after receiving the baptism of the Spirit. The texts confirm that the purpose of the power of the Spirit is for preaching the gospel and for healing the sick under the devil.                

Paul and Peter preached the gospel with the power of the Holy Spirit.

     Paul was filled with the power of the Spirit through the laying on of Ananias’ hands. Rom. 15:18-19 indicates that he proclaimed the gospel to the Gentiles by what he said and did, by the power of signs and miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit. Here, Paul confirmed that the power of the Holy Spirit is for the prea- ching of the gospel. R. A. Torrey claims that the one who receives the power of the Spirit is fitted for service. (R. A. Torrey, The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit, p.150.)
The Bible affirms that Torrey is right.)

Rom. 15:18-19 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gen- tiles obedient–in mighty signs and wonders, by the power (δύναμις) of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to…I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. (NKJ)
1 Cor. 2:1-5  And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with per- suasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power (δύναμις), that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power (δύναμις) of God. (NKJ)
1 Thess. 1:5  Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power (δύναμις), with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. (NIV)      
 
     Paul affirms that he preached the gospel not with excellence of speech or of human wisdom but with the power of the Holy Spirit, that is, the power of God.

Acts 3:12  When Peter saw this, he said to them: Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? (NIV)
Acts 4:33  With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. (NIV)
1 Pet. 1:12  the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things which angels desire to look into. (NKJ)

     The apostle Peter was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, that is, the baptism of the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit came on him on the day of Pentecost. Therefore, he spoke of “...those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.” The disciples of Jesus preached the gospel by the Holy Spirit, that is, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Before crucifixion, the disciples did already preach with the power and authority.

Luke 9:1-2   He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. (NKJ)
Luke 10:17-20  The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to rample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy…but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (NKJ)
Matt. 10:1  When He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. (NKJ)
Mark 6:7   He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. (NKJ)

     These texts confirm that the disciples of Jesus Christ did already preach the gospel with the power and authority given by Jesus Christ before crucifixion and before Pentecost.  

After resurrection, Jesus commanded the disciples to receive the power.

Luke 24:46-49  Then He said to them, Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high. (NKJ)
Acts 1:4-5  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.” (NKJ)
Acts 1:8   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. (NKJ)

     Luke 24:49 (“I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high”) is a companion verse to Acts 1:4-5 (“You are not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father”) and Acts 1:8 (“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you”). These passages indicate that the disciples of Jesus Christ had not yet received the power of the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel before crucifixion, before resurrection and before Pentecost, but Luke 9:1-2, Luke 10:17-20, Matt. 10: 1 and Mark 6:7 indicate that the Jesus’ disciples did already preach the gospel with the power before crucifixion, before resurrection and before Pentecost. How then is the power mentioned in Luke 9:1-3 and 10:17-20 distinct from the power mentioned in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8? If this question is not understood, it becomes impossible to build the doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
     Matt. 10:1-8 indicates that Jesus sent out his twelve disciples with power and commanded them, “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” The command “go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” must be understood to mean that at this time their mission was only to a confined area. It can be inferred that their mission might be called a “training mission.” For the training mission to this restricted area Jesus gave them a temporary power, but Luke  24:49 and Acts 1:8 indicate that after Pentecost there was to be no restricted area (no confined area) for mission and no temporary enduement with power to preach the gospel and to heal the sick. The power in Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:8 can not be called a temporary power. It is God’s regular power to preach the gospel.

The following passages indicate that there is a temporary power and authority.

Rev. 9:5,10  They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. (NIV)
Rev. 13:5  The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. (NIV)
Rev. 17:12-13  The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. (NIV)

     These passages indicate that the devil will be given power and authority by God various time periods: five months, forty-two months, and one hour. It is obvious that this is a temporary power extending for a short period. Likewise, the 12 and 70 disciples of Jesus had been given a temporary power to preach the gospel and heal the sick for a short period and in a restricted area (confined area) before cruci- fixion and before Pentecost.
     If the disciples of Jesus had not possessed only a temporary power for only a short period, Peter would not have gone fishing with six other disciples after the resurrection of Jesus (John 21:1-5) and neither would he have denied his Lord. In summary, it should be inferred that the power Jesus gave to his disciples was temporary and useful to train them prior to the crucifixion and resurrection. The power Jesus gave through the baptism of the Spirit at Pentecost is not temporary. This power continues without limits on time or territory.         


The disciples also have the authority given by Jesus to forgive sins.

Matt. 28:17-20  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority (ἐξουσίᾳ) in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV)

     Before ascending into heaven, Jesus said the words of Matt. 28:18-20. It should be inferred that the authority given to Jesus was to be given to his disciples at Pen- tecost for the mission commanded by Him. All Christians can receive the au- thority given by Jesus through being baptized with/in the Holy Spirit’s fire written in Matt. 3:11 and Luke 3:16 after regeneration.
John 20:22-23 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (NIV)

     The phrase “He breathed on them and said, Receive the Holy Spirit” is from a mistranslation, as noted already. It must be translated as “He whispered, ‘Be filled with of the Holy Spirit,’ or ‘Be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.’” In this instance the word “power” is synonymous with authority. John 20:22-23 indicates that the one who has been filled with the power of the Holy Spirit has already received the power (authority) to forgive sins. To be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit is to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. This includes the power (authority) to forgive sins and to heal the sick. Matt. 9:1-8 describes Jesus’ authority to forgive sins and to heal the sick who committed sins. Likewise, the disciples received this power (authority) given by Jesus through the baptism of the Spirit at Pentecost to forgive sins and to heal the sick. With the power (authority) given by the Spirit they too healed the sick who had committed sins.

Peter who has received authority to forgive sins did not forgive Ananias and his wife.

Acts 5:1-10  Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?  Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” When Ananias  heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?’ “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. (NIV)

John 19:10-11  Pilate therefore said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above.” (NAS)

     John 19:10-11 indicates that Pilate had the authority given by the Roman Empire so that it is possible for him to release Jesus or to crucify him. Likewise, if Peter did not have God-given authority, it would have been impossible for him to speak of the death of Ananias and Sapphira. The disciples received the power and authority when the Holy Spirit came on them at Pentecost. Acts 5:1-10 records that even though Peter received the authority given by Jesus through the baptism of the Holy Spirit to forgive sins, he did not forgive either Ananias or his wife. They died because Peter did not forgive them.

What does the phrase “Freely you have received, freely give” in Matt. 10:7-8 mean?

     Matt. 9:1-8 says Jesus had authority to forgive sins and he healed the sick who committed sin. Likewise, in Acts 3:1-9 Peter demonstrated the authority given by Jesus to heal the sick. Matt. 10:1,7-8 includes the phrase “Freely you have received, freely give.” This means “Freely you have received the authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. So freely you drive out evil spirits and heal every disease and sickness, or freely you drive out evil spirits and heal the sick with the gift of the healing because freely you received the gift of healing from the Holy Spirit.” Acts 3:1-9 indicates the meaning of “freely you have received, freely give.” Jesus freely gave His disciples, including Peter and John, the power and authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sick- ness. Freely Peter and John received the power and authority through the baptism of the Spirit, so freely with the power and authority given by Jesus, Peter and John healed a man crippled from birth (Acts 3:1-9).

What does the phrase “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit” in Zech. 4:6 mean?

Zech. 4:4-7   This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by  power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. “What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!” (NIV)
Matt. 10:7-8 The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (NIV)
1 Pet. 1:12    the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things which angels desire to look into. (NKJ)

     What does “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit” (Zech. 4:6) mean? This phrase is related to the phrase “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:7-8) as well as “preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit” (1 Pet. 1:12). Some word is omitted in three passages. Consider the phrase, “What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground.” This should be reviewed to understand the meaning of “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit.”  It should be seen that “Not by might nor power” means “not by the might or power of men.” “By the Spirit” means “by the might and power of the Spirit.” It should be inferred that the terms “might and power” are omitted in “my Spirit.” In summary, it should be translated and inferred, “Not by might of men nor by power of men, but by might and power of my Spirit.” The Spirit is not might and power but God the Spirit is the source of might and power. Consequently, the phrase “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty. What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground” should be inferred to mean, “Not by might of men nor by power of men, but by might and power of my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty. What are you, O Mighty Mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground by might and power of my Spirit.”