Some years ago, Australian author Bryce Courtenay wrote a book titled The Power of One. That novel became a film chronicling the life of a young black South African orphan who rose above the deprivations of his impoverished childhood to become a hero to his community and to his people when he scored as a champion boxer. As the story goes, young PK, as he is called, had his life turned around through the influence of a failed member of his society—an old prison inmate, who taught him how to box based on a simple philosophy: “Little beat big when little smart.”
The book became a bestseller as people appreciated the basic philosophy underwriting the story—that it is possible for the little man, the deprived person, to rise above the influence of the around and to overcome overwhelming odds by just thinking and acting a little smarter than the big guy.
It’s the classic story of David and Goliath told in different form—and, as the author found out, that old story still sells. Why? Why does a simple story based on that philosophy, “little beat big when little smart,” sell so well? Simply because it appeals generally to the masses, to the broad public, to the host of little people caught in the gap between the rich and the poor with seemingly no means to mend the gap.
There is a lesson here for all of us. For at times we may all feel overwhelmed by the hugeness of the problems and challenges that impinge on our lives, feeling that the sheer weight of those circumstances (too often products of our sins), rather than we ourselves , control our lives.
This can be particularly so if we constantly feel the weight of repetitive sin pulling us down!
It all has to do with the mind and with the power that controls your mind at any given point in time. As Elihu declared before Job, “the greatest of all the men of the east” at the time, “[T]here is a spirit [mind, intellect] in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding” (Job 1:3; 32:8).
Four Primary Influences
The human mind is subject to four primary influences: self will, the influence of the surrounding society, the broadcasts of the one your Bible calls “the prince of the power of the air ” (Satan the devil), and the supreme, Almighty God, Father of mankind. Whichever one of these four powers exercises primary influence over your mind at any given point in time will determine whether your chosen course of action will propel you toward success or failure. As Elihu declared, only one of these powers gives understanding to man—the Almighty!
To the converted servant of God, the instruction of his Maker concerning the chief goal He sets before him is obvious. God revealed that goal to Abraham, father of the faithful, in his 100th year. “[T]he Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect ” (Genesis 17:1).
The Apostle Paul taught how the converted Christian could become perfect: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus ” (Philippians 2:5).
It is plain that none of us can just drift into God’s Kingdom. To quote our pastor general, “God wants more effort from each one of us. He wants more from you. God is about to give us power over the nations. We have a big job to do. One person can do some tremendous things if he just relies on the power of God ” (Daniel—Unsealed at Last!, p. 82; emphasis mine).
There’s the challenge! Can you fully realize that power of one? “One person”—YOU—doing “tremendous things” by relying on the “power of God”?
As more revelation is given to God’s inner court, more is expected of us. Increased effort to study hard to really understand, prove and digest new revelation is part of that extra effort God is calling upon each one of us to give in these final years of His end-time work!
As we pass through the spring holy days and enter the great annual fall holy day season, are you studying harder now than you were this time last year? Mr. Flurry has admonished us, “You will have to study hard to understand this astonishing revelation.” Have you done that since the previous festival season? Have you really studied and truly absorbed the revelation given to us over the past year? Astonishing revelation requires an equally astonishing effort of study to grasp that revelation, holdon to it and never let it go!
“Satan clearly understands what this revelation means for his evil plans and for God’s work. He exerts herculean effort to stop such vital prophecy” (ibid., p. 1).
Does not that then demand of us, God’s chosen remnant, that we, by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, exert at least an equal and opposite “herculean effort” to resist Satan? It takes such an effort to first gain, then to deeply study, and to fight to hold on to, “such vital prophecy”!
You have that power at your disposal! The power of one human being, you, together with the power of God’s supreme gift, His Holy Spirit, the very mind of Jesus Christ, is vastly superior to all that herculean effort of Satan! That’s real power! The power to conquer the prince of the power of the air! To paraphrase the statement of the old prisoner in Bryce Courtenay’s novel, “Little beat big when little use power of the Holy Spirit!”
The way to use that power to face Satan down, to overpower his herculean efforts to stop us gaining, comprehending and holding fast to God’s revelation, is revealed by Christ Himself: “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me …. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 15:26; 16:23-24).
In Matthew 17:20, Jesus Christ declares the extent of the power at our disposal: “… If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” That’s the power of the one!
How can we truly exploit that power as God’s small, remnant Church? Multiply the power of one human mind—yielded in total submission to God’s government, joined with the mind of the one true God by the power of His Holy Spirit—by the number of brethren whom God has called to repentance (Romans 2:4), and then you have a body of faith, a remnant Church, which can, figuratively, move mountains!
Remember Zechariah 4:6: “This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might [an army—great numbers of people], nor by power [fleshly, human power], but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”
By my Spirit! That one Holy Spirit has empowered the heroes of the Bible throughout history to overcome Satan’s onslaughts and be instrumental in perpetuating God’s plan for mankind clear down to our time! Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Peter, Paul, Stephen, John, Polycarp, Peter de Vries, Peter Waldo, Stephen Mumford, Herbert W. Armstrong, Gerald R. Flurry—6,000 years’ evidence of the power of one to shape history!
Thus, in the New Testament era, this world has consistently witnessed the power of one, supplying leadership to God’s Church, under the direction of its Head, Jesus Christ, to resist and survive all that Satan could throw at it, persevering in keeping the flame of truth alive. By that power, the truth of God has passed from era to era in God’s Church, over almost two millennia down to our day, in fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy to Peter, the foundational apostle, as we read in Matthew 16:18: “… I [the one Word] will build my [one ] church; and the gates of [the grave] shall not prevail against it.”
That’s the power of the one true Word of God! The power of one!
Notice how God builds that one true Church: “… I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion” (Jeremiah 3:14). One of a city. The power of one! In some countries, God’s remnant Church has but one member in a whole nation! The power of one, devoted to His supreme service, added to that remnant of one of a city and two of a family scattered across this globe, makes up the one, singular, unified body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13).
It’s the accumulation of the power of these ones that gives the body of Christ its unity and strength and cohesion, so that this power concentrated in one of a city and two of a family comes together in one single international body of support holding up the arms of one prophet, which enables this one special, daily, continual work to be done when other so-called works of God fail!
Notice! From the beginning, the powerofone was vested in two individuals.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1, 3-4).
Work! Life! Light! All this resulted from the power of one vested in two individuals of the one mind—two God beings, in total, absolute unity with each other!
Consider the wonder of God’s plan for mankind, the plan that these two are committed in absolute unity to bring to fruition.
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Revelation 19:7-8). The one bride is preparing to become one with the bridegroom—the power of one!One bridegroom, Jesus Christ, joined to one affianced bride, the Church—fused together in total oneness , through the one Spirit of righteousness, the one Holy Spirit of the Father, the one supreme Holy Father of the family of man!
In time, this all consummates with the Father coming down to be one with His onetruefamily! “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Revelation 21:1-3).
How will this all be made possible?
By one sacrifice for all! The Father, by sacrificing His one and only first-begotten Son, opened up the prospect of us tapping the divine power by which this universe was conceived, created and since sustained. Upon true repentance from sin, and obedient submission to His will, God’s Holy Spirit may be given to you and to me—giving each of us the power to overcome all obstacles, to mature in faith through all test, trial and tribulation into the fullness of the perfection of the character of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:13). It will give us the power to overcome and outsmart Satan and his demons, to conquer our carnal self and withstand all that this society can throw at us—that we may be born into the one true and only first fruits family of God to bring this one singular message of salvation to all!
That’s the power that God opened up to you at the sacrifice of His only begotten Son—one sacrifice for you, for me, for us, for all—diffusing that power of the One, the one true God, throughout His one true, devoted and loyal family, ultimately to continue to disperse that power and its effects throughout the universe forever!