Christ gives power to the disciples to cast out demons and heal the sick which was prior to the giving of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 10:1 KJV

1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

But later after receiving the promised Holy Spirit,the disciples perform more or less the same miracles that they had performed before receiving the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:4,43 KJV

. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles

Was the power they received after the giving of the Holy Spirit different from the one they had received earlier?

  • The filling received in Acts 2:4 focuses on 'tongues' and 'utterance' so is the distinction a matter of further powers ?
    – Nigel J
    Commented Dec 7, 2018 at 8:55
  • First, one has to be free of unclean spirits; but not being unclean is not quite the same as being squeaky clean, which is what being filled by the Holy Spirit implies.
    – Lucian
    Commented Dec 22, 2018 at 3:22
  • Have you considered the contrast between "giving" and "filling?" Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 13:50

2 Answers 2


Matthew 10 didn't include the Holy Spirit; Acts did

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Before Acts 1:8 we don't find the Holy Spirit coming upon people when the disciples preached the Gospel or laid hands on the believers. It happens afterward.

Acts 10:44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.

Acts 8:17 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

We also find that it was only after the power received from the Holy Spirit the disciples were able to endure heavy persecutions with joy. Earlier all their preaching of Good news and working of miracles culminated in deserting Jesus when persecution arose as seen in

Matthew 26:56 But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

But something tremendous happened after they received the power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses of Jesus

Acts 5:40-41 English Standard Version (ESV) 40 and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.

After the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:8 their experiences of power was not only ouward ( objective ) but also inward ( subjective ).

Change was from outward to inward. Samson experienced the Holy Spirit as a Spirit of might outwardly.

Judges 14:6 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

But we know that Samson was not mighty inwardly to endure temptation. But the disciples with the power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses of Jesus endure the sufferings of temptations, trials & persecutions with joy.

Colossians 1:10-12 King James Version (KJV) 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

Before Acts 1:8 they could only be witnesses before people who saw only their outward lives. But by power of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses of Jesus the disciples were able to be witnesses before spiritual beings who saw all parts of their life.

Ephesians 3:9-11 King James Version (KJV) 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

The changes were not only in power but also in outook and expectations:

  1. From Earthly to Heavenly

  2. From Physical to Spiritual

  3. From Temporal to Eternal 2 Corinthians 5:1

  4. From merely posessing outwardy ( objective & shakable ) to possessing inwardly ( subjective & unshakable )

Hebrews 12:26-27 King James Version (KJV) 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

27 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.

The School of Christ by T. Austin-Sparks is a good book on this topic.


I think the answer is found in the verses that follow. On this day, Jesus declared their calling and purpose which marked the beginning of teachings that prepared them for when they would begin after Jesus ascended to heaven. So, they didn't necessarily begin exercising this power then; instead, they began after receiving the Holy Spirit. Matt 10:18-20 mentions that the Spirit of the Father in them would speak on their behalf. We know they receive the Holy Spirit after the ascension. (read until vs 23)

  • Another question we can ponder is, was the statement chronologically documented? I believe the answer to this is no, The gospel of Matthew is written in a logical order and not a chronological order.
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    Commented May 17 at 2:52
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