God Almighty has vast power which He shares with Jesus Christ. Jesus gave of that power to His disciples, and it is that same power which sustains the Church of God today. WITH A throaty roar, like the deep rumble of several locomotives, the giant 747 Boeing jet thundered down the runway. I felt a surge of power as I was literally pushed back into the seat by the full force of those four huge fan-jet engines turned up to maximum power. Almost instantaneously, it seemed, the giant metal bird was thundering into the skies over Los Angeles.
Many times in many parts of the world, I've experienced the thrill of takeoff of a giant jet airplane. I'm still not so blasť about jet travel that the takeoff of a giant jet fails to impress me.
When I personally witnessed the huge Saturn 5 at Cape Kennedy, I couldn't help but be awed by the surging power of those huge rockets as they soared straight up into the blue sky like gargantuan bullets.
That's real power!
My brother, Richard D. Armstrong, went to Las Vegas many years ago, while still a student at Ambassador College, and was able to witness with his own eyes (though through heavy, special dark glasses) the explosion of an atomic bomb.
He described it to me. With a brilliant flash, brighter than the morning sun, an awesome, mushrooming cloud began to form, instantly rising several thousands of feet above the Nevada desert floor. Then, moments later, a huge rumbling, ear-splitting shock struck the onlookers with actual physical force, just like a blow from some superhuman hand.
This atom bomb blast was only a tiny bomb, a mere "pip" compared to the giant multimegaton hydrogen bombs of today. Actually, it takes the explosive force of an atom bomb to set off a hydrogen bomb.
An atom bomb is just a "match" to ignite a hydrogen bomb.
Air Force planners have considered developing a "Trilloton" H-bomb, named for being equivalent in destructive force to one trillion tons of TNT.
Do you grasp what a trillion tons of TNT really is? One million is a thousand thousand. But it takes one thousand million to make a billion. A trillion is one thousand billion!
If one hundred ten-ton trucks had been laboring mightily, dumping their maximum load of TNT once each minute since the time of the birth of Jesus Christ, over 1900 years ago, there would still not be a pile of TNT big enough to represent the destructive force contained in just this one bomb.
If all the tractors, trucks, loaders and earthmovers on earth were to labor together for the next century, they couldn't amass a pile of earth big enough to represent a mound of TNT weighing a trillion tons.
But that's just the beginning. Compared to even smaller, unnoticed storms on the surface of our sun — even this destructive force is almost nothing in comparison.
And our sun is but a dwarf when compared to other great "suns" or stars in the great universe.
That's real power!
But all this man-made power is nothing compared to the awesome, giant, all-encompassing, unlimited, irresistible, magnitudinous, gargantuan, overwhelming, supreme, absolute power of God!... Our God, the God who rules this Church, who sustains it, who listens to your personal, private prayers.
Think of it. What a fantastic amount of power God has. In the first of these seven great proofs of the true Church of God, we saw how God is the great Ruler of all.
And God maintains and guards His great position of Ruler by means of His great power.
The power of God is the force by which God made all things. It is the power by which He made the universe. It is the force, the energy, the unlimited power by which He sustains and upholds all things.
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his [a] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his POWER, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high..." (Heb. 1:1-3).
That is a glimpse of the power of God.
And that power is available to you. That power is in this Church. That power is another of the great proofs of the true Church of God.
Piquant Signs and Wonders People want a sign. They desire a piquant "wonder."
But Jesus said: "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas" (Matt. 16:4).
Yes — the world seeks a sign.
God says: "When thou art come into the land which the Eternal thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Eternal... " (Deut. 18:9-12).
Charlatans parade before deceived people, claiming great healing powers, or claiming power to produce special signs. These "signs," however, are always in the realm of witchery, of divination, of familiar spirits!
This is not the power of God!
Your Bible predicted there would be many false prophets, and that they would "shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matt. 24:24).
Simon Magus was reputed to be the "great power of God" (Acts 8:10). Yet his was the power of the devil and his demons. Simon kept his followers deceived by thrilling piquant signs and wonders. "And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries" (Acts 8:11).
Make no mistake about it. The false claims about the power of God are perhaps going to be some of the greatest events to yet affect your life. The false miracles — the false signs and wonders of the future — and some of them in the very near future — would deceive even the very elect, if God would permit it.
Don't be deceived. This great proof of the true Church of God is not by any means a minor point you can afford to take lightly. Rather, it is vitally important — whether or not you really, deeply, and thoroughly understand it could affect your eternity.
What Is God's Power? Being human — we are impressed with human power. We see the swelling muscles of a weight lifter, the straining efforts of a pole vaulter, the terrific dexterity of a gymnast, or the smashing right of a boxer — and we're impressed.
Passersby stop to gawk at a giant crane swinging a huge steel ball to smash buildings, or a huge bulldozer shoving tons of material, or the giant bites of earth a huge scoop shovel devours as it excavates for a new building. Seeing these manmade machines, humans are impressed.
But what really should be impressive is the manifestation of God's power.
Compare, in your own mind, the soaring might of a giant Sequoia or Redwood tree to a tiny man. Compare, for a moment, the thundering roar of Niagara, or Victoria on the Zambezi, to a mere man.
Compare the majesty of mighty mountains — the sweep and scope of this vast earth — the surging, tossing expanse of the ageless sea.
And then realize that this whole earth is but a tiny speck when compared to our sun, and to other stars in the milky way, or our own galaxy.
But that's only the remotest beginning. Our sun, the only star of our solar system, is but a "white dwarf" star in comparison to some of the other huge stars of awesome proportions. Betelguese, the supergiant of Orion (as the pagans dubbed one of the distant constellations) is fully five hundred and thirty times larger than our sun — and yet our sun is so gigantic in comparison to the earth so as to defy our powers of comprehension.
For example, of the total composition of the entire solar system — that is, the sun, all the nine planets, their thirty-one moons, thousands of asteroids, billions of comets and all other matter in the solar system — the sun comprises nearly 99.9 percent!
Our sun, which, remember, is but a dwarf in comparison to many stars in many galaxies, is 864,000 miles in diameter. "Sunspots," or solar storms and eruptions, appear as dark, sculptured holes in the "skin" of the sun — and are from five hundred to as much as fifty thousand miles wide!
Other disturbances on the surface take the form of huge, spiraling loops, or solar prominences and arches. Often these arches reach to a height of thirty thousand miles, and bridge a span of more than one hundred twenty-five thousand miles — half the distance separating the earth from the moon.
Leaping, fiery tornadoes tongues of fiery hydrogen — shoot up as far as one hundred thousand miles into space! An eruptive arch, one of the largest solar explosions ever recorded, was actually photographed in June of 1946. It remained visible for over two hours — and stretched more than a million miles into space before it disappeared!
But to your human eye these unusual features of the sun's surface remain obscured behind super-brilliance you can't look at without special, heavy dark lenses. These prominences must be photographed by the means of huge, specially constructed solar telescopes.
Think of it! Our sun, operating on the exact same principle as the hydrogen bomb, is fantastically huge beside our earth.
Yet, the sun is but a dwarf star in comparison to others.
Look at the fathomless, limitless universe. That's power.
That's real power!
The Power of Christ Jesus Christ was the Word (John 1:1) who did wield all this vast power of creation. "God... hath in these last days spoken unto us by his [a] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the, brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high..." (Heb. 1:1-3).
Jesus made Betelgeuse, the spiral andromeda, the vastness of the limitless universe, with the billions upon billions of blazing suns and stars. He made this earth, with the huge mountains, the surging seas, the vast prairies and deserts.
But, even possessing this awesome power, He emptied Himself of every bit of it — and came down to this earth — to be born as a totally helpless little child. "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God [counted not equality with God a thing to be grasped at, clung to, or jealously and tenaciously held]: but made himself of no reputation [emptied Himself], and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men..." (Phil. 2:6, 7).
Then, as a human being, Jesus Christ showed us how utterly and totally powerless He was.
He said, "I can of mine own self do nothing" (John 5:30). He was utterly unable, so far as any physical strength or ability is concerned, to accomplish the great Work God had sent Him to do.
He was powerless.
He said, "The Son can do nothing of himself..." (John 5:19). Yet Jesus had tremendous power. He conquered Satan the devil — He turned the water into wine, healed thousands, cast out demons, fed the thousands, withered the fig tree, paid taxes with a coin from the mouth of a fish.
He walked on water, calmed storms, performed hundreds and hundreds of miracles.
But these signs Jesus performed were only a part of the great works to which He pointed. Notice: "Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them" (Matt. 11:2-5).
Notice — Jesus said the gospel was being preached. The preaching of the message He brought, to even a few hundred, or a few thousand, was one of the great works which Christ said directly proved His Messiahship.
But He did nothing by Himself!
"Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" (John 14:10).
There was the source of Jesus' great power. The Father in heaven worked through Jesus as a human instrument.
Jesus Gave Power — But Why? Jesus Christ not only demonstrated the tremendous power source He had, but also gave that power to others. "Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils [demons], and to cure diseases" (Luke 9:1).
But was this power only for healing — and for casting out of demons?
Notice: "And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick" (verse 2).
When Jesus said the works He performed bore witness of Him, He emphasized the gospel He brought — the truth of God.
After His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples: "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28:18). He told them that great power He had possessed was now His to wield.
Now He was no longer human — no longer weak, physically able to do nothing of Himself — now He was a veritable power source — a dynamo of spiritual power. Now He had the same power that molded the fantastic sun, that compacted the awesome forces into the universe — the power that hurled the giant stars into the blackness of endless trillions of miles of space! Now Jesus was power personified.
What was the big job He intended to accomplish through this power?
"Go ye therefore [in the light of this tremendous power I now have], and teach..." (Matt. 25:19). His first command was to teach, to preach (Mark 16:15) the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
He said: "... Teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world [age)" (Matt. 28:19-20).
Jesus said His great power would always be there — dependable power, constant power, sane, safe, guided, directed power — to accomplish the great commission He was giving His true Church.
You can depend on the rising of the sun — and you know you can. You can depend on the vastness of the power of this gargantuan universe — just as the common, everyday forces, the energies we take for granted are dependable. You depend on inertia, on the law of gravity, on heat, light, and the myriad laws that Christ upholds by the Word of His power.
He said His Church would be imbued with this same power. We can depend on it.
"And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.... And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power [not an empty, meaningless, emotional "sensation," or some satanic counterfeit, designed to conceal the great meaning of the real power of God], after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:4-8). Notice — the power was so they could carry His message to the uttermost parts of the earth — not as a sensual thrill to decorate their own persons.
Jesus said we, today, would be accomplishing even greater works than He accomplished through that great power He supplies.
"Verily; verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12).
Jesus was able to reach only a few thousands at anyone time, at the most, with the truth of the gospel. But through the power He supplies (and He does supply it — it depends on His power, the miraculous power of the transmission -of electrical force and energy, bouncing electrical impulses off the mantle of the ionosphere) Christ uses twenty-five million watts of power to preach His gospel to the world today.
But that power is only the beginning.
You Are to Inherit Power The reason you live is to learn to use power — and use it rightly.
When you first begin to become educated to the powers of this modern, electronic, machine, jet, space age — you learn the dangers of misguided power.
There are safety precautions to be observed. Every child must be taught the dangers of fire, of gas, of moving automobiles, of falling, or of colliding with objects.
Much of all scientific endeavor — and, as a matter of fact, practically all of it — is either a study of, or learning how to harness power, force, energy.
Science knows how to store power in a battery, to convert atomic energy to useful purposes — but science does not know how to control the greatest potential power of all — the human mind.
You are a potential dynamo.
You are a potential power.
You can come to be sheer force — compacted together into huge, limitless, driving, surging, energizing, irresistible, immovable, omnipotent power.
You can become God.
The four living creatures around the throne of God said: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing" (Rev. 5:12). John said he heard every creature in earth and in heaven saying in unison: "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever" (verse 13).
Jesus Christ is going to share this limitless power with us. "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father" (Rev. 2:26-27).
The universe belongs to God. He is going to give it to His children — when they qualify to control its powers.
It defies our limited minds to comprehend the height, the length, the breadth, the scope of God's power. We can only understand but a small fraction of the immensity of God. And yet, that very power is in this Church.
Thousands of lives are being changed. Families are being restored — children's hearts turned to their parents. Many are being healed. Some write of cancers disappearing; deafness being cured; demons being cast out.
But the greatest evidence of God's power in His Church today is that multiple millions are hearing the very same gospel Jesus preached.
Think of the veritable sea of humanity hearing every World Tomorrow program. Of the several millions reading the Plain Truth. Truly, greater works are being done. This really is the one true Church of the great, living God.
God says to each of you: "For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest [even though it would have frightened and awed you, had you seen it], and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words... but ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem [the Church], and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.... Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:18-28).
And that, readers of The Good News, is power!
(To be Continued)