Yeah, the ESC typically powers the receiver, and will work with any receiver that I know of. Look at the esc (and servo) wire, itís actually 3 small wires. Positive and negative for power, and one for the control signal. The portion of the ESC that provides the power (including for the servo) is called a Battery Eliminator Circuit, or BEC. Pretty standard stuff for at least the 20 years Iíve been screwing around with these toys. Look at the ESC literature, it will generally list the voltage and maximum current capability of the BEC function.
On some old ESCs and Rx the wiring order and plugs might be different, but I believe everybody has standardized on a Futaba J setup (or close enough to it) for many years now.
Like Dad says, you generally need a receiver battery only for nitros. But there are a couple other exceptions: Modified 12th scale cars on 4 cells sometimes use a Rx pack, as voltage drop under load sometimes doesnít provide enough juice to keep the Rx and servo going well. And if you go to a high voltage setup (requires an appropriate ESC) you might need one. Again check the ESC literature, some are rated to a certain battery voltage with the BEC, but can go higher if you donít use it. Then you either use a Rx battery, or nowdays many make an external BEC that you can use to avoid the extra battery. If you do any of these, be sure to pull the red wire from the ESC out of the Rx plug and shrink wrap or tape it up safe. Other wise the 2 power sources will engage in a tug of war until one loses!