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“Ye Shall be Witnesses Unto Me”

March 18, 2007

Mark 16:15-18  “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” 

Acts 2:39  “For this 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.”

Our world today is filled with every form of religion and doctrine imaginable.  As I write this, Islam is making deep inroads across Europe while cults worldwide are growing at an alarming rate.  I recently read a statistic which told of how wicca is currently the fastest growing religion on the nations college campuses.  (I want to do a post on this down the road because I think that this basic mindset will be that of the antichrist religion which honors “the god of forces” acording to Daniel 11:38)  Folks are flocking to psychics and psychiatrists, while John Edwards (the necromancer, not the democratic presidential hopeful) is filling up auditoreums wherever he travels.  Folks are looking for real answers; something thaty will give them a sense of purpose for being. 

While all of this is happening, the church is largely powerless; the exact opposite of what it’s supposed to be.  In the opening passages of scripture, it’s clear that the church is to be powered from on high, that souls can be delivered from bondage.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is one of power.  Power to set the captive free from whatever has dominion over them.  Power to live a holy life and power to carry the gospel into the uttermost parts of the earth.  In the post “Needful Things” (the first one; not the supplemental one) Cumby made a very notable comment concerning a point which I neglected to include in the post.  I want to quote part of the comment it as it tells much concerning the problem of a powerless church. 

“Another one to add to your list, if I may be so bold, is to strive for holiness and purity.  The Holy Spirit will not be able to flow as a river through a vessel that is polluted.  The reason the world flocks to other religions and psychics, is that the church lacks the power to meet their needs.  This is not what Jesus intended when he gave us the great commission.”

Too many of us have settled for a form of godliness.  A scripted program of traditions, programs, and philosophies which have replaced true repentance, sincere humility, and seeking the annointing of the Holy Spirit.  The simple truth is that without Christ we can do nothing.  If we try to do things in our own ability or understanding, we risk ruining a moment in which a deliverance would have been forthcoming.  In his acount of the Azuza street revival, Frank Bartleman told how everything was done as the Spirit led.  There was simply no place for flesh to glory.  Reading this account will cause one to realize just how far the church has drifted since the days of that outpouring.  He (Frank Bartleman) wrote that eventually men started to re-establish their control of things and this ultimately brought the revival to an end; much the same as what took place in Wales where a similar revival had been taking place.  We have this idea that we know how to best run things and that’s when we begin taking on a “form of godliness.” 

Frank Bartlemans book “Azuza Street” is available, I think, from Christ For The Nations but I’m not certain on that.  The copy that I had has since been passed on to others.  If I find a source, I’ll post it somewhere. 

A glance around will reveal a most desperate situation.  Souls; eternal souls for whom Jesus shed his blood, rushing down to road to perdition.  Running ever faster toward a point of no return.  This is a most serious matter and we need to be empowered from on high.  Not to feel good or to be blessed, although it’s a real blessing indeed, but mainly to be effective witnesses for Jesus.  As I write this, I once again find myself needing to be more diligent as souls all around us are hanging in the balance.  We all need to lay aside our own agenda and self-serving designs and seek the Lords will in all things.  We need to seek the annointing of the Holy Spirit if we’re to go forth in power as we’re supposed to.  The stakes are far too high for us to try and “do it ourselves.”

When our kids think they know what they’re doing concerning certain issues, we can sometimes we can let them try it out, knowing that a valuable lesson will be learned when it doesn’t work.  When souls are in the balance, however,  a misstep can be deadly.  A compromised testimony, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, not being atuned with the present situation, talking when we should be in prayer, going to the north when we whould have gone to the south; or just not being ready to give an answer to any who should ask of the hope that is in us.  I know from experience what can happen when we take such missteps as I’ve done more scattering in times past than I care to think about.  I praise God that he forgives us, when we repent of a failure, but I would much rather be able to praise him for a victory.

Acts 1:8  “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost 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.”

Acts 4:29-31  “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.  And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”

 Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.  I heard a testimony by Benjamin Baruch a while back in which he was speaking to a group of unruly youth.  He started with what he had planned when the Lord told him “I’ll speak with this people.”  So he went as the Spirit led and at one point he brought up the four horsemen of Revelations; telling how they are riding now.  He then placed his finger on the arm of a guy in the audience and said “just like on your arm.”  This guy, who was wearing a black leather jacket, left a few minutes later followed by a second guy who was sitting next to him.  Benjamin went on talking until finally the second guy who had left, came back, panicked, and asked “how did you know?”  Benjamin replied “know what?”  Come to find out, that first guy who was out in his car “blown away” so to speak, had on his arm a tatoo of the four horsemen which had been hidden by his jacket.  In telling of the account, Benjamin said “suddenly everyone was paying attention.”

This incident displays just how important it is to be atuned with the Spirit.  To go as he leads, even if it seems contrary to logic.  I’m going to wrap this up as it’s 4:00 am and I have to get up in less than 5 hours.  This post might be edited or added to as it really isn’t finished as I thought.  There’s so much that is needed here, but primarily to strive to be in the will of the Lord.  To lay aside every little sin and attitude which will hinder us and draw as close to the Lord as we can draw.  To be as atuned as we can be and to be obediant in all things.  This is ever so serious and I pray that we would be sober-minded.  Being sober-minded is something that I’m gaining victory over, more so each day.  Jesus paid the sin debt of the world and the gift of eternal life is available to “whosoever will.”  I pray that we would all be about our Fathers business with a fervency like never before in proclaiming this truth.

 I Corinthians 2:4-5  “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of mans wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Daniel 11:32  “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt with flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”

I apolagize for any typos.  I’ll do an “oops” scan tomorrow when I get time.

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10 comments

  1. Wow! The stuff you write really makes me stop and think! You’re sure right – how powerless the church has become. It’s a disgrace to our Lord.


  2. Really good thoughts here Timbob, it is a serious time we are liiving in and we need to be alert and in tune with the Spirit at all times.
    A Spirit led life is the only one that’s worth living!

    The enemy is relentless, always looking for inroads into our mind, which if left unchecked by the Spirit will eventually find their way into our heart, where sin is conceived. And the sin of unbelief is at the heart of most other sin perhaps, rendering one powerless and ineffective.

    Thanks be unto God who has made a way of escape from every temptation that we may walk in holiness and purity, by His grace in and through Christ Jesus.

    We can amen cumbys words; people today, especially those in the under thirty age group a hungry spiritually and seeking, but they will no longer buy into weak and ineffctive “christianity” and are turned off by so much of what the church had become.

    May the Lord help us all to be found in Christ Jesus daily, in the word, in prayer, in worship and in the Spirit!

    Bless you, bless you Timbob! Have a wonderful week!

    Susan


  3. What Benjamin Baruch received was a “word of knowledge” which speaks of things past or present. [1Cor12]

    The worst thing that some denominations and false teachers have ever done to the world, is to tell them that the Age of Miracles is over. They have weakened the Body of Christ to the point that with rare exception, it is practically helpless now to offer anything more than just good advice instead of the “Good News.”

    By doing this they have excused themselves from the need for holiness and obedience. and as timbob mentioned. have left much of the Church with a form of godliness but without the power. [2 Timothy 3:5]

    Unbelief is taught and the fruit of that is powerlessness. Mark 6:3-6 “And they took offense at Him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and among his own relatives and in his own household.” And He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief.”


  4. Thanks for the thoughts Timbob.

    Blessings and prace.

    Steve

    http://newpsalms.wordpress.com/


  5. Hey Timbob. I guess we all make missteps sometimes. I find myself asking God not only to forgive me and teach me so that I can do better next time, but I ask Him to fix it. Fix whatever I might have done or said that stands in the way or that serves as just a band-aid for that person. I want to stand in the gap on others’ behalf, and oh God, not create a gap! I need His help with that constantly.

    Good post, thank you. And God bless you,
    Catherine


  6. I want to stay full of the Spirit. Great post!
    Blessings to you TimBob.


  7. “John Edwards (the necromancer, not the democratic presidential hopeful”

    I wouldn’t even say that about him. He is a fraud (my opinion) and not an actual communicator with demons and spirits.

    J. Kaiser


  8. timbob,

    I hear your hearts cry in this post and can relate with it.
    May God continue to give you the grace, strength, and power to proclaim The Gospel to a dying world full of lost souls.

    Be blessed as you GO,
    Richard


  9. i know that christ die for me i by his i will do my posible best to serve him with all my heart and streant in jesus name amed


  10. Hi Kingsley. Thanks so much for taking time to stop by. Without a doubt we can do all things through Christ. Our own strength will fail us, but Jesus never fails.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.



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