Free Bible Study Magazine
The following article by Reinhard Bonnke appears in the May edition of Living Word Magazine, reproduce by kind permission of Christ for all Nations.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” Matthew 28:18-20
The Great Commission; the purpose of the believer: to be a witness and make disciples of ALL nations. A daunting task by any standard, but a task set before the Church. Thankfully Jesus did not give this task and leave us to our own devices. Just before he returned to the Father Jesus told his disciples “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
It is important to note that Jesus spoke of Holy Spirit anointing and evangelism being hand-in-hand. It was not an either/or situation. The disciples were to receive power to be witnesses, he promised power and commissioned them for the task ahead. Before the coming of the Holy Spirit the disciples were in an upper room somewhere in Jerusalem. They had been commanded to stay and wait. They were not to go into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, or the ends of the earth…not yet…they needed power first. They were not going to lecture on the phenomenon of resurrection, trying to convince people it had happened, presenting cold hard facts. A claim of the dead rising was very controversial and people would dispute what they claimed. Listeners would argue, defend their disbelief, or even accept what the disciples said and would push it aside as just another of the strange things that happen in our world, a bit of curious lore. They were not to be controversialists but witnesses.
What the Holy Spirit would do would be their making, turning them into torches. Witnesses obviously electrified by what they announced, examples of what they preached – very much alive. The Holy Spirit would be – and still is – the key to effective witnessing. Jesus said “Apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:15); we have to remain in the vine, deriving life from him. We can do a great deal without the Holy Spirit, but nothing of any lasting or fruitful effect.
On that Pentecost day, they began “to preach the gospel with the Holy Spirit sent from heaven” (1 Peter 1:12). The Spirit did not come quietly. He announced his arrival with wind and fire. He gave utterance to it through the assembled believers in tongues and prophecy. For the disciples and apostles this was their greatest day. What they became was what the Spirit made them.
That event is the model for us today. Believers who already trust Christ can know the Spirit in this further and more dynamic way. This baptism was for individuals, not for the “whole church.” No word in the New Testament suggests that we do not need what the apostles had, or that it would only be for them. On the contrary, Peter’s message was clear: “You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39)
If the disciples needed to be so endued and to preach the Gospel with the Holy Spirit and with manifestation of the Almighty, are we better than them, able to carry on God’s work without the empowerment that they had? We surely need everything that God can give us, and the world needs people equipped like that.
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