Receive: Dechomai and Lambanō

Receive: Dechomai and Lambanō

Acts 1:8:
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost [holy spirit] is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

In Acts 1:8 Jesus was referring to the powerful promise from God that would be available on the day of Pentecost—the gift of holy spirit to all who believed to receive. Today and until Christ comes back, men and women still have the choice to believe to receive this gift that God has made available, as recorded in His Word. But what does it mean to “receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you”?

To answer this question, we will consider two Greek words, dechomai and lambanō. We will see that when it comes to the gift of holy spirit, God has made it available for us to live powerfully by manifesting outwardly that which we’ve received inwardly.

In the Bible, there is a distinction between receiving the gift of holy spirit inwardly and receiving it into outward manifestation. The word “receive” can be understood as “to take”; however, it is not limited to this one meaning. Two Greek words translated “receive” in the King James Version are (1) dechomai and (2) lambanō. In the context of receiving holy spirit, dechomai is receiving from God spiritually within oneself. This happens when someone is born again by confessing Jesus as lord and believing God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9,10). Lambanō is receiving the gift into manifestation after having received it spiritually.

Acts 1:8 uses lambanō: “But ye shall receive [lambanō, receive into manifestation] power, after that the Holy Ghost [the gift of holy spirit] is come upon you….” God, by way of His Son Jesus Christ, has made it available for us not only to receive the gift of holy spirit inwardly, but to manifest it outwardly.

How can we outwardly manifest holy spirit power? One way is by speaking in tongues.

Acts 8:14,15,17:
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received [dechomai, received inwardly] the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive [lambanō, receive into manifestation] the Holy Ghost [the gift of holy spirit]:
Then laid they their hands on them, and they received [lambanō] the Holy Ghost [the gift of holy spirit in manifestation].

The believers in Samaria had received inwardly, dechomai, but they had not received the gift outwardly into manifestation, lambanō. When Peter and John came down from Jerusalem, they prayed for the new believers that they might lambanō, manifest forth the holy spirit which they had already received inwardly, dechomai. Verse 17 shows us the result. The believers did lambanō.

Acts 8:18:
And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost [the gift of holy spirit in manifestation] was given, he offered them money.

Verse 17 does not say that these believers spoke in tongues, but verse 18 says that Simon saw something in the senses realm, something visible that was manifested. This must have been speaking in tongues, because in every other instance where the manifestation of holy spirit is mentioned, it is speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 19:6). Simon saw speaking in tongues, the outward manifestation, the evidence of what the believers had inwardly received.

Is this available today? Look at what Peter taught on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:38,39:
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive [lambanō, receive into manifestation] the gift of [from] the Holy Ghost [the Holy Spirit, God].
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Can you see the greatness of what God has made available to all who will believe to receive? This verse depicts the far-reaching effects of God’s promise!

What became available on the day of Pentecost was the power the believers in the Book of Acts experienced. This power is still available in our day and time. It is still available to manifest outwardly that which has been received inwardly. As sons of God, who have confessed Jesus as lord and believed in our heart that God raised him from the dead, we have received inwardly the gift of holy spirit. Now nothing needs to stop us from manifesting God’s power.

You can learn more from God’s Word on how to manifest outwardly the gift of holy spirit in our class series on The Way of Abundance and Power. For information about a class in your area, visit the Contact Us page at

Click Here to download PDF