Saturday, 13 March 2010

And you shall be witnesses unto Me

“And while staying with them He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, He said, “you heard from Me; for John baptised with water, but you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now... But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be witnesses unto Me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”

Just like many of us believers I had stumbled over this and similar verses of the Bible without realising the full import of its message. However while praying this evening I felt the Lord open my heart to understand it more and realise the error in which many of us have walked into. I will attempt to set this forth in the form of a question. Why did the Lord put so much emphasis in the ministry of the Holy Ghost that was to be given after His glorification, so much so that He ordered the apostles not togo away from Jerusalem until they were baptised in the Holy Spirit? From the emphasis He put into the giving of the Holy Ghost one might have wanted to ask if He, the Lord, had come to fore-run Him, the Holy Spirit. However, it is enough for us to know that the ministry of the Holy Spirit was meant to be the bricks and mortal, that finishes the building whose chief cornerstone and foundation are the Lord Jesus Christ. Our error, and that to our detriment, commences the moment we accord less importance to ministry of the Holy Spirit than the Lord did.
It is clear from the above passage that believers are not meant to witness Christ to unbelievers outside of the ministry of the Holy Ghost. It was a direct order (vs 4)! The work of salvation is wholly to be embarked upon in the strength and wisdom of the Holy Ghost; that is when you can be confident that the seed is divine and it comes from God. It was a divine principle upon which the whole christian structure rests. In I Corinthians 2:4 Paul related how he brought the gospel to the Corinthians “ the demonstration of the Spirit and of power”. That's when the issue of such divine service can be Gods. And that's when the new convert can be energised with Holy Spirit right from birth.
We only have to look around, and that not for too long, when we start to see how we have allowed overzealousness to twist the work of God in our hands. That's why in a country like mine (Nigeria) the 'quantity' of christianity bears no correlation whatsoever with the moral structure of the society. Why? Because we are in such unscriptural haste that we draft the new converts into the field and tell them to start witnessing Christ to the unsaved. That is wrong! (And here I do not in any way suggest that new converts are inexperienced when it comes to witnessing Christ. Instead I use the word new converts as a blanket description for every believer engages in soul winning but is either not baptised in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues or that does not daily continue in walking in the Spirit especially by praying in other tongues.) Every such work leads to a situation where the converts' faith stands in the wisdom of men and rather than in the power of God. Simply put, those converts are products of our ability to join verses from the Bible together while throwing in some philosophical statements and communication skills. We often end up giving birth to our own children, not God's. Apart from the religious air and the name of the Lord that we often call at such time, such exercises are little different from the process of decamping from one political party to another.
We will notice that at new birth the believer already has a 'portion' of the Holy Ghost in him, which the apostles to whom the Lord was speaking too had. In spite of this they were mandated to wait until they're endued with power from on high by the baptism in the Holy Ghost. That's the only time they could be called and become witnesses of Christ. That's the only time they could convert sinners to Christ. And when it comes to us of this age this commandment is essentially the same and it's in two folds. First, before we can be witnesses of Christ we must be filled with the Holy Ghost. And two for those that are already filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues we need to live continually in the habit and strength of God's Spirit, praying daily with all prayers and supplications in the Holy Ghost (which partly entails praying in other tongues, for what will it benefit you if you're baptised in the Holy Spirit but you do not daily pray in the Spirit?). This alone has great impact in birthing Christ in our spirit and ensuring that the converts proceeding from our witnessing are indeed products of the Spirit of God. I pray that the Lord will re-visit all such children born in haste outside of the power of God's Spirit; that He will re-order their christian life after His will. And that the Lord will remind us of this order of the Lord so that we can ensure that conversions coming through us bear fruits from God.
Amen in Jesus' name.

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