Posts Tagged ‘followers’

Advancing in the Nations

In the Great Commission, Jesus came and spoke to the remaining Apostles, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”  (Mt. 28:18-20)

  • “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Lk. 24:49)
  • “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

The Great Commission was an Apostolic Mandate designed to delegate authority for Kingdom Advancement. The oupouring of the Holy Spirit was the release of power that would accomplish God’s mandate. Without this authorization and spiritual power working together there would be no spiritual progress beyond Jerusalem and no impact in the Nations. But because of it; the Church is a triumphant people fully engaged and fully equipped by the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!

This is our Mandate…

To Go… in the authority and power of our King - Jesus. Christ is Head of the Church and the True Light of Salvation, yet He is also the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. He is the One in whom we hope for fulfilling our call and reaching the unreached.

It Requires Authority & Power:

The Apostolic Mandate cannot function on human strength, it is designed to necessitate an outpouring of authority and power from heaven. We follow Jesus as Lord of the breakthrough, who breaks us out of confined places and leads with Kingdom influence into all the World. This was the purpose for waiting for the Promise of the Father in the earliest moments after the resurrection, to establish the platform for advancement. This was not some optional request, but a central focus for the followers… to wait for power was and still remains the key to success in the future purposes of God, in Christ.

The Prophet Micah says it like this: “The One who breaks open will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate and go out by it; Their King will pass before them, with the Lord at their head.” (Micah 2:13)

The Prophet Joel said: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29)

The Apostle Peter adds to Joel’s words: “And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:18). Note - prophecy is a forward speaking, declaration of God’s purposes empowered by the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is the voice of Kingdom Advancement!

The Early Church Advanced:

  • Beginning in Jerusalem: “So those who received the word were baptized and there were added that day about 3,000 souls.” (Acts 2:41)
  • Advancing beyond the City of Samaria: “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word.” (Acts 8:4)
  • Among Gentiles of Caesarea: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those  who heard the Word.” (Acts 10:44)
  • Into Regions of Galatia: “So the churches were strengthened in the faith and they increased in numbers daily.” (Acts 16:5)
  • Throughout Regions of Ephesus: “So the Word of the Lord grew and prevailed mightily.” (Acts 19:20)

Defining Desiny:

Under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew and Luke are defining destiny. One Apostle lays out the mandate while the other lays out the keys to its fulfillment. They are laying the platform for how we must see our future. Luke speaks to us of the triumphs of the Gospel of the Kingdom, because we must understand where our strength comes from. The Battle Is the Lord’s and we are His volunteers, following our advancing King. We must not just settle for an assignment… we must become people of truimph who take the next step, under the authority and power of the Holy Spirit.

  • “…from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Mt. 11:12)

These are the Days of Great Purpose – Where a People of Triumph… lay hold of their Desiny!

Advance the Kingdom

In the Great Commission, Jesus came and spoke to the remaining Apostles, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” (Mt. 28:18-20)

  • “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Lk. 24:49)
  • “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The Great Commission was the Apostolic Mandate designed to delegate and release authority to the apostles for the Kingdom of God to Advance. It was meant to stir the valiant heart, so that simple men would find their destiny. Yet, that which these men carried was feeble and frail… like dry wood awaiting a flame. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit was the flame, a mighty rushing wind that would release power to accomplish God’s mandate. Without this authorization and spiritual flame working together, there would be no progress beyond Jerusalem and no impact in the Nations. But because of it… the Church is a Triumphant People fully engaged and fully equipped by the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!

This is our Mandate…

To Go… in the authority and power of our King – Jesus! Christ is Head of the Church and the True Light of Salvation, yet He is also the Baptizer in the Holy Spirit. He is the One in whom we hope for the fulfillment of our call in reaching the unreached.

It Requires Authority & Power:

The Apostolic Mandate cannot function on human strength, it is designed to necessitate an outpouring of authority and power from heaven. We follow Jesus as Lord of the breakthrough, who breaks us out of confined places and leads with Kingdom influence into all the World. This was the purpose for waiting for the Promise of the Father in the earliest moments after the resurrection, to establish the platform for advancement. This was not some optional request, but a central focus for the followers… to wait for power was and still remains the key to success in the future purposes of God, in Christ.

The Prophet Micah: “The One who breaks open will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate and go out by it; Their King will pass before them, with the Lord at their head.” (Micah 2:13)

The Prophet Joel: “And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28-29)

The Apostle Peter: “And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:18). Note – prophecy is a forward speaking, declaration of God’s purposes empowered by the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is the voice of Kingdom Advancement!

The Early Church Advanced:

  1. Beginning in Jerusalem: “So those who received the word were baptized and there were added that day about 3,000 souls.” (Acts 2:41)
  2. Advancing beyond the City of Samaria: “Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the Word.” (Acts 8:4)
  3. Among Gentiles of Caesarea: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the Word.” (Acts 10:44)
  4. Into Regions of Galatia: “So the churches were strengthened in the faith and they increased in numbers daily.” (Acts 16:5)
  5. Throughout Regions of Ephesus: “So the Word of the Lord grew and prevailed mightily.” (Acts 19:20)

Defining Destiny:

Under the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew and Luke are defining destiny. One Apostle lays out the mandate while the other lays out the keys to its fulfillment. They are laying the platform for how we must see our future. Luke speaks to us of the triumphs of the Gospel of the Kingdom, because we must understand where our strength comes from. The Battle Is the Lord’s and we are His volunteers, following our advancing King. We must not just settle for an assignment… we must become people of triumph who take the next step, under the authority and power of the Holy Spirit.

“…from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” (Mt. 11:12)

These are the Days of Great Purpose – Where a People of Triumph… Advance the Kingdom of God!

Real Witness

“But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin. Hear this, you leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right; who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness.” (Micah 3:8-10)

Your real Christian witness flows from somewhere deeper than your voice. The Prophet Micah attributed the power of his ministry to the Spirit of the Lord. Our power comes from the same source! Out of the belly of a man; filled with the Holy Spirit, rises a testimony of truth and power (Jn. 7:37-39).

You are more than your story – You are His-story!

We cannot stand on our own righteousness… it is Christ in us that speaks of better things than what people see or hear. Indeed, were we to find ourselves reliant upon our strength, our wisdom or our charm, we would find no hope against the onslaught of this world’s trouble. But we are not at all in the clutches of impending doom… for we are not our own. We live as Christ’s Ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20). We have been purchased by a blood as pure and holy as the whitest snow (Eph 1:7). We have been offered freedom’s highest position (Eph. 2:6). And we have a voice within ourselves that comes streaming forth like a rushing waterfall (Phil. 4:13). Christ has become our strength, our wisdom and our witness, because He is our peace… our focus and our joy. He is our Righteousness!

The Mystery: Its “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27)

Jesus told His followers they would receive power to witness about Him when the Holy Spirit came on them (Acts. 1:8). You can’t witness effectively by relying on your own strength, because fear will keep you from speaking out for God. You can’t witness effectively by choosing the best sermons or knowing the right words to say. You are not smart enough to outwit the devil. You cannot witness effectively by creating the best atmosphere or offering the most attractive invitation. Only by relying on the power of the Holy Spirit can you live and witness for Him! But with that power comes the promise that signs and wonders will follow those who believe (Mk. 16:17).

“Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” (Acts 8:6-8)

This is the witness we have in Christ: “That if God be for us, who can stand against us?” (Rom. 8:31)

“Christ” Means Anointed!

“Christ” – is not Jesus’ last name! That word, “Christ” is a significant title that means “Anointed”. It points to more than just a person named Jesus… He was the “Anointed One”. Jesus carried something with Him everywhere He went… the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Lk 4:18)(Acts 10:38). By calling His followers “Christians”; all the world should see that we too, are “little anointed ones”… and that we carry something significant everywhere we go.

Carrying the Anointing:

There were some radical faith words that Jesus spoke that shaped how His followers perceived what they carried. Christ would not be welcomed in many Christian circles today, because He was so dependent upon the anointing of God. He would have been criticized as an extreme faith preacher. But His words are nevertheless the words from the Father and 100% true for all time. Just listen to a few powerful declarations:

  • “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mk 11:23-24).
  • “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My Name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well” (Mk 16:15-18).
  • “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My Name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My Name, and I will do it” (Jn 14:12-14).

These are just some of the faith words that Jesus spoke in the New Testament. Are these words reliable? Do they make any difference in your life? Could they represent – truth? Can you believe Him… and believe His words?

…because it will make all the difference in how you carry the anointing!

We are called to carry His anointing everywhere we go (2 Cor 1:21)! It is the Holy Spirit’s power poured out (Acts 1:8) and kept fresh (Acts 4:29-31) that breaks yokes (Isa 10:27) and destroys the works of the devil (1 Jn 3:8). Our lives must be lived with passion and power! Walking uprightly before God means more than just observing all that Jesus taught and left us as an example. We are anointed to carry something that makes an impact on the world around us. This requires power from heaven!

The Anointing is Power… to Serve!

The anointing requires a lifestyle of reaching forward for more of Christ’s power. Its not just information; but spiritual knowledge and faith, that shapes the way we think and act toward the issues we face in life. God still does miracles with simple people like fishermen and housewives. Those who make the decision to trust God’s power rather than become desperate, are people He demonstrates His power through. We are not working out our religious duty, but carrying the same substance that rested upon Jesus, so we can approach problems the same way He approached them.

Reaching For Anointing

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

Pressing Toward the Goal:

Believers should be found consistently pressing forward for more of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It becomes a lifestyle! Disciples embrace disciplines that shape the way they see and hear. These disciplines, like prayer and fasting, reading and meditating on the Word of God and creating opportunities for fellowship among other believers… these lifestyle choices are the foundation of a true spiritual relationship with Jesus. They are really all about the exercise of reaching forward to lay hold of Christ – the “Anointed One”! We are letting go of our past, counting all things as loss and pressing toward the upward call of God. He has apprehended us through salvation and He wants us to become His Kingdom Agents in the Earth. This call is not an occupational choice, we are not just working for Him… we are working with Him. We are becoming a people in step with His purposes.

The Prize that is Ahead:

The Apostle Paul emphasizes this reality as he speaks to us about reaching forward to those things which are ahead (Philippians 3:7-16). There is an obvious prize in his efforts… “Christ”. He speaks of four key principles in the prize set before him:

  • To know “Christ”.
  • To gain “Christ”.
  • To be found in ”Christ”.
  • To walk with “Christ”.

As I noted earlier, the word – “Christ” is a significant title that means “Anointed One” and points to more than just a person named Jesus. Jesus carried something with Him everywhere He went… the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Lk 4:18)(Acts 10:38). By calling His followers “Christians”, all the world now assumes that we too are called as “little anointed ones”… to carry something everywhere we go. But you cannot carry – what you do not have… and you will not have – what you are not seeking after!

Carrying the Christ Anointing:

We should and we must carry the anointing everywhere we go (2 Cor 1:21)! It is the Holy Spirit’s power poured out (Acts 1:8) that breaks yokes (Isa 10:27) and destroys the works of the devil (1 Jn 3:8). Yet this will require a lifestyle of reaching forward consistently for more of Christ. Its not information, but power; life transforming power. Its not inspiration, its purity and a wealth of spiritual integrity. Its not desperation, its supernatural faith and trust in a God who still does miracles. We are not working out our religious service, we are reaching forward to carry the same anointing that rested upon Jesus (Jn 14:12).

Revival Fire:

The flame that burns within our heart is fueled by that which we see through the eyes of faith! We are reaching and gaining a more excellent prize than gold or human favor. Our reaching forward is to lay hold of Christ, Himself… The Anointed One!

The Desire of the Nations (Hag 2:7)
…and the Hope of Glory (Col 1:27).

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