WITCHCRAFT OR THE POWER OF GOD? HOW CAN I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE?

In the book Acts, there is not one example of anyone being prayed for to recieve the gift of tongues. Instead, they were prayed for to recieve the Holy Ghost. For example, consider the following from Acts:

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. ~ Acts 8:14-17

Among those in Samaria was a man named Simon who had used sorcery to bewitch the people. This man led the people to believe that his power was from God ~ v 9-11. When he saw the power of God demonstrated by the apostle (Peter and John) he offered them money for this ability.

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, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. ~ v 18-19

Simon was impressed with the miracles which Philip had done, and with the ministry of Peter and John as they prayed for the people to recieve the Holy Spirit. However, he was unrepentant of his soceries and wanted to continue to bewitch the people. He actually thought he could swindle the gift that Peter and John were endowed with by God, by offering them money.

In response, Peter says the following to Simon:

Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. ~Acts 8:20-23

That last phrase of Peter’s “I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity” speaks volumes. Evidently, Simon was bitter that his power of socery to decieve the people had been trumped by the real power of God displayed through Philip and the apostles. He cowardly attempted to sneak in and posses the same abilities without going through the door of repentance.

Much like Simon, who desired to purchase the power the Holy Spirit, I believe we have an epidemic within the Chruch as more and more people want to be known for having the power of God, yet they have not truly repented, and aren’t seeking the Holy Spirit for the right reasons.

In the book of 1 Thessalonians the apostle Paul tells us exactly why God has gven us the Holy Spirit.

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his Holy Spirit. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8

Much of the shenanigans going on within the Charasmitic churches in the name of “the power of God” is no more that witchcraft decieving the people. If the end result does not lead to to a holy life coupled with a real reverance for God, it isn’t God’s power.

The real power of the Holy Ghost brings repentance. In Acts 2, after the 120 disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues, Peter preached the gospel and instructed the people who gave audience to turn from their sins in repentance towards God.

Those who repented, “continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common… ~ Acts 2:42-44

Notice that these who had recieved the gift of the Holy Ghost through repentance, had the fear of the Lord in them.

If there is no real repentance coupled with the fear of the Lord which leads to a holy and clean life for the Lord, the power on dislay is not from the Holy Ghost.

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