Our Mission

Our Mission

Scripture: Matthew 24:14, John 20:21, Revelation 14:6-12
Date: 08/30/2014  Lesson: 9
"Our task is to invite people to follow Jesus, which means to believe in Him, to obey His teachings, to adopt His way of life, and to invite others to become His disciples, too."

Winsome Witnessing by Gary Gibbs

Winsome Witnessing by Gary Gibbs
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Welcome to Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church. We're so glad that you are turning in. Whether it's your first time or you are a die hard and you join us every week, we're so glad that you are ready to open up your hymnals and sing with us and study God's Word together. Today is no exception. We are singing your favorites that have come in from around the world.

So whether you're listening on the radio, watching live on our website at 'saccentral.org' or on the various television networks, we're glad that you are joining with us. So let's start with #318 - 'whiter than snow.' This is a request from abina in dominica, karl, lisbie, pascal, martine and jera in France and joey in new zealand, and there was a whole long list of more names from all over the world. It's so exciting. #318 - 'Whiter than snow' - the first, second and fourth stanzas - join with us. Beautiful.

Thank you so much for requesting that and we will continue working our way through the hymnal. Let's bow our heads for prayer. Father in Heaven, thank you so much for being lord of all and one day in heaven we will throw our crowns at your feet and crown you lord of all. Father, thank you so much for coming to this world, for going to dark Gethsemane because you love us. And you knew that one day there would be many, many people that would have the assurance of eternal life and be able to walk on those streets of gold because of your sacrifice.

I pray that we will each take this seriously and accept the gift that you give us freely. I pray that you will be with our speaker today. Thank you so much for blessing us with the Sabbath and the freedoms that we still have in this country to open up Your Word and study together. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time our lesson study is going to be brought to us by pastor chris buttery.

He is our senior pastor here at Sacramento central. Thank you so much. Beautiful - and good morning. Happy Sabbath to you. I tell you what, you sound spectacular from where I was sitting.

It's always nice to learn a new song too, isn't it? You know, when I was dabbling in the things of the world, we would work hard - I would work hard to memorize all the different songs - the top ten, the top 20, the top 40 - whatever it was - and you'd be singing them all day long. And even today, you go into the store and there's the music and you can hum it - you can say the words - it's not a problem. I remember, in college, we would do chapels and I gave my life to the Lord. I went to Christian college and we would have chapels the first thing in the mornings and there was a gentleman over there - one of the students - and he was singing without a hymnbook. I was like, 'man, how is he doing that?' And that impressed me and I said, 'look, if I can learn the top 40 hits, I can learn hymns.

And so I started putting some in there. I'm raw. I'm fresh. I don't know a lot but getting there - and maybe serve us a good purpose to put some of these songs to memory as well. So welcome - and we want to welcome those who are viewing us, wherever you are - in the comfort of your home, maybe even listening to us on your radio, in the car, wherever you are we're glad that you joined us.

And for those that are viewing us, we want to make them aware of our special offer and it's #780 - '12 steps to revival.' Pastor Doug has put together these biblical steps toward revival and reformation, certainly needed in our lives and in the church today. And so, you want to call in to the number on your screen and that's 866-study-more or -788-3966 and call in for this very special book and special offer. Well, here we are, and studying again our lessons and today's lesson is #9 and it's 'our mission.' We've been looking at the teachings of Jesus and today we're going to look at what Jesus had to say about the mission of the church. Who is the church? It's not a building, is it? Or a great cathedral - it's you and i. We make up the church.

And we're going to learn what Jesus - review what Jesus had to say regarding our mission. What he set us apart to do. Let's go to our memory text. It's Matthew chapter 24 - Matthew 24:14 - I'll get it out - Matthew 24, verse 14 and this is a verse, perhaps, we know very well and, perhaps you want to read it here with me this morning. I'll read it from our lesson.

It says, "and this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations and then the end will come." Alright, so we will certainly talk more about that here in just a little bit. Nothing unites people like a compelling mission - when you're a part of a church even, there's a mission and there's a vision and a focus that rallies people together and people get excited about the mission. It was April 12, 1961 when the soviet cosmonaut, yuri gagarin - he began the first - he was the first person to fly in space and that reinforced American fears about being left behind in a technological competition with the then soviet union. The president at that time was jfk - John f. Kennedy - and he was eager for the u.

s. To take the lead in the space race, for reasons of strategy and prestige. He first announced the goal of landing - a man landing on the moon in a speech to a joint session of congress in that same year - 1961 - may 25. He said this, "first I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind or more important for the long-range exploration of space and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.

" Talk about rallying people, right? 'It's going to be costly, it's going to be difficult.' Now kennedy also made a speech at rice university, which is there in houston, Texas, and that was made September 12 of the following year, 1962, and if you've heard that speech it is rousing. I mean, it just - you feel like you want to send someone to the moon right now. I mean, it was just a very, very rousing speech. He said this, "no nation, which expects to be the leader of other nations, can expect to stay behind in this race for space. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

" The mission - you know, kennedy, he really rallied the nation. Some of you remember those speeches. I wasn't born yet but some of you remember those speeches and you remember the feelings that you had and how proud you were of your country and your president and the mission that was - he rallied the nation through these continual speeches. The mission was so inspiring that a janitor working at the Johnson space center in houston, Texas - that's what it was going to be called, at least, and what it was later - he said that, "I'm helping" - this is a janitor - "I'm helping put a man on the moon." Everyone was involved in the mission. Everyone felt that irrespective of their task, whether it be one that would be menial or great, everyone felt that they were contributing to the mission.

Six years after kennedy's assassination, on July 20, 1969, the first manned space craft landed on the moon. Was the mission accomplished? Yes it was. It certainly was - within the decade that John f. Kennedy suggested. Most successful businesses and companies carry a clear mission statement, don't they? They want people to know what their mission is - what they're all about.

Apple's and, you know, I don't want to be playing favorites but apple - their mission statement says, "the best computing experience through innovative hardware, software, and internet offerings." Pretty clear. Google's mission statement: "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Pretty good. Let's look at another one here. Ritz carlton - don't suspect many of us have stayed there but this is what their mission statement is: "the genuine care and comfort of our guests." That sounds like something that the church ought to embrace, right? Yeah. How about amazon? This is pretty powerful, "every book ever printed in any language all available in less than sixty seconds.

" Hmmmm. And then sony: "change the worldwide image of japanese products as being of poor quality." Alright, fair enough. That's their mission. And what's nike's mission? "Crush adidas." That's it, crush adidas. Does the church have a mission? Does the church have a mission statement? What did Jesus say there in Matthew 28? He said, "go into all the world and" - in essence he said - "make disciples.

" That's the mission of the church - the mission statement. Here at central we've got a mission statement and it's comprehensive and if you don't know it, get familiar with it. But it encompasses this vision: "make disciples - go into all the world and make disciples." During his life, Jesus was preparing his church for that mission. You don't get too far when you read the gospels and you begin to realize that Jesus is setting the stage - setting the pace - for the work of the church - the mission of the church to go into all the world to make disciples. You remember he called Peter and andrew, James and John and he said - called them from fishing for fish and he called them to become fishers of men.

That's right. 'You're going to be fishers of men. I'm going to teach you how to do that' is what Jesus said. And then later, Jesus appointed twelve - he laid hands on them, prayed over them, and he appointed twelve - those were the twelve disciples. And then he sent those twelve out on a missionary endeavor to preach and to lead people to accepting the Kingdom of heaven in their hearts.

And then later he sent out the seventy and said, 'go and do likewise.' You know, 'you're going to be able to heal the sick and the devils are going to flee from you and you'll be preaching the gospel.' So he sent out the seventy. And then, during the forty days after his resurrection, he placed the responsibility of preaching the gospel into their hands again. And so when we - this is what we'll be doing here - reviewing these stories - these affirmations or commissions that Jesus gave his disciples when he walked this earth. While not one gospel writer speaks to everything Jesus said regarding this mission, the various gospel writers say something about what Jesus said. And when we put those pieces together we form a beautiful whole and that's what we'll be doing here this morning.

We'll look at what Jesus said on this subject. So we're going to go to Sunday's lesson as we begin: "to be the light of the world." To be the light of the world. I invite you to turn with me to Matthew chapter 5 and we'll look at these familiar words Jesus spoke on the - that we have come to know as the sermon on the mount - Matthew chapter 5 - Jesus just finished sharing the beatitudes - the blessings - and we go over to Matthew chapter 5 and we read here verse 14. Now just before verse 14 Jesus said something interesting. He talked about his followers being like what? Salt.

And salt makes you thirsty. Salt adds flavor. And so he's encouraging his followers to interact and to be involved and to exert a positive influence and make people thirsty for the water that will allow a person to never thirst again - the water being Jesus and salvation. Then in verse 14, Jesus said, "ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven." Powerful. So there's nothing better than light, isn't that right? You can read right now because the lights are on. If it were dark it'd be very difficult. You'd be squinting and, like folks used to say, "you squint when you're trying to read in the dark, you're going to ruin your eyesight.

I don't know if that happened to anybody but light is a good thing and we have light. The first of day of creation God said what? "Let there be light." That's exactly right because what was happening - the darkness covered the face of the deep. God said, 'let there be light." Light is indispensable to life. Light is indispensable to life. And God, God himself is the source of life and also, therefore, the source of light.

And you can read that in 1 John , verse 5. Because of the close relationship between God and light, the Bible writers often use light to symbolize things like truth, like knowledge, like Godliness and so on. John said of Jesus that he was the light of men, John 1:4, and speaking of himself he said, in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world." So Jesus is the one who dispels darkness, you see, and brings life and light. Now when we read early in Jesus' ministry, he spelled out here - what we're reading here is the early part of Jesus' ministry - and he spells out here what his followers are to be in the world. They are to be the light of the world.

Israel were called to shine for Jesus. This has been God's plan - this was God's plan from way back when he invited Abraham to represent him. He said, 'I want you to be a blessing. I'm going to bless you and I want you to be a blessing to the ends of the earth. And that promise was extended to Israel and Israel was to shine the light of the gospel to the heathen nations.

And it's always been God's plan for his people to be light in a dark world. Dark with respect to the knowledge regarding the character of God - there's darkness with regard to who God is. Is God truly love or is he some vindictive mean landlord overlooking planet earth ready to strike someone down when they do something wrong. People have very contorted ideas regarding who God is. It's a very dark - people have a very dark misconception - dark idea when it comes to who God is.

And God's followers - that's God's plans - God's followers - he set them in the world to be light - to shine the glorious character of Jesus to others. I'm going to read Isaiah chapter , verses 1 through 3. He says, "arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the lord will arise over you, and his glory will be seen upon you." - Then verse 3 - "the gentiles shall come to your light, and Kings to the brightness of your rising." So back there God tells his people 'arise and shine.' And we understand from reading the history of Israel and understanding prophecy, God gave his people a certain period of time to get their act together because they weren't really shining for him, were they? They were actually falling into line with heathen practices and customs than being a distinct, peculiar people. Not peculiar in the sense of weird but peculiar in the sense of straight and obedient to God's will.

They weren't fulfilling their mission. They were being influenced rather than influencing. And so God had plan b in mind with his early church. But he told his people, 'arise and shine. The world is dark and I'm putting you as lights in the world to light the path so people can see the way to the kingdom of God,' you see, to bring the light of God's love to the world.

And gentiles will come. So we're called to be the light of this world. There's no doubt about that. What does that mean? First, what is light? I tried to get all tricky here and be impressive to you here this morning but the further I got involved with studying light - and I was never really great at physics, although I took it - the more I got involved in discovering all the different components of life, the more confused I got. I mean, light is not a simple thing to figure out.

So I just went to a dictionary. Fair enough. "Light is the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible." Now, I could have said that but you knew that. But now you know it again. Light is simply a natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.

That's light. Light is radiant energy, also known as electromagnetic radiation and that's light and we're called to be that. What does it mean to be the light of the world? What does it mean? Two things: first of all, as lights we're intended to illuminate. Again, as I said earlier, to illuminate the pathway to the kingdom of God so that people can see their way to heaven, you see. We're shining lights like the story of the ten bridesmaids that Jesus told.

They were to have their lamps trimmed and burning and the purpose of that was to light the way to the bridegroom's home and so God has called us to be lights to illuminate. You remember in Revelation chapter 1 Jesus is seen walking up and down in the midst of the seven what? Do you remember? Golden candlesticks. And you read the same chapter those seven golden candlesticks are the seven churches. Now specifically, the ones mentioned there in Revelation chapter 2 and verse 3 - also mentioned in chapter 1. But Jesus likened the churches to a golden candlestick to be a light, you see.

And, of course, when we understand the seven churches of Revelation, we understand that they not only represented those literal churches existing back there at that time in the first century, but the churches also represent the history of the Christian church starting in the days - the first century - starting in the days of the apostles and extending all the way until the second coming of Jesus. The reason God has called the church to be light in the world is because darkness envelopes the world. But the light of Christ's love reflected in our lives is to penetrate that darkness. It's been rightly said, 'he who would shine as a light must burn.' He who would shine as a light must burn. No candle can light or give light without the wax being consumed.

Isn't that right? No candle can give light unless the wax is being consumed. No lamp - if you have an old oil lamp - no lamp can give light unless the oil is being used up. No flashlight can give light unless the batteries are being spent. And so if we're going to shine as lights in this world that simply means there's got to be less of me and more of Jesus, isn't that right? It was John the baptist who said - talking of Jesus - 'he must increase and I must decrease.' If we're going to shine, self has got to be leveled. Self has got to be consumed - used up, so to speak, in order to shine for Jesus.

And so that's what we're called to be. First of all, light illuminates. Second of all, lights are illustrious. This is according to Matthew henry in his commentary. Lights are illustrious and conspicuous.

I like how he put that. Not non-conspicuous but conspicuous - seen by all. What did Jesus say there? 'As a city set on a hill.' Much like the homes dotting the hills of palestine back in the days of Jesus, you could see those homes from a distance. Sometimes even at night if you were traveling you could see the homes lit up with a candle or a lamp and you could see those on a hill - like a city set on a hill we're illustrious and conspicuous - a city set on a hill. Some of you are probably familiar with - out here on the west coast - if you drive the big sur down - from san francisco down to l.

a. Or at least that portion of the big sur there known as the big sur. If you're driving there and enjoying the ocean view sights and maybe a whale doing a breaching or you're seeing the fLuke of the whale coming up out of the water, you're just enjoying that. For the driver, you're keeping your eyes on the road because you don't want to get off the road, it'd be treacherous, but as you're coming down further south, all of a sudden, you know, you're looking at the hills and up on this hill over to the left - over to the east - there's a big house - mammoth thing - sitting up there on the hill - kind of like a city on a hill - known as the hearst castle, home of william randolph hearst the newspaper publisher. The guy was a millionaire - whatever he was - a billionaire - I don't know - millionaire - the guy had money and he built this mammoth mansion up on the hill.

Some of you have seen it or have read about it or have seen pictures of it. And, from a distance, you know it is big. And God is calling his people to be like that castle on a hill - visible, noticeable to all - giving light, radiating the love of Christ's love and goodness to those around them, not hiding it. It would be kind of strange if you turned the light on in your house and then you sought to cover the lampshade. It would be kind of odd if you did that, wouldn't it? You turn the light on because you want to give light and Jesus has asked his people to let their light shine.

What does that mean? To let your light shine means if Jesus' light is in your life it's going to spill out and spill over. Doesn't it mean that? Just let it happen. The only thing to prevent it from happening is yours and my stubborn refusal to let it shine. If Jesus is in our hearts and lives, his light will shine through. So we're called to be lights.

Alright, so what is the light? According to Matthew 5, verse , it's good works, isn't it? Let your light so shine before men that they may see your - what? - Good works. Light is your good works. We'll explore those good works as we carry on here, but for now Jesus begins to outline the mission for his followers to undertake and those good works are to draw people to Christ, not to themselves, you see. Alright, let's move over to Monday's lesson, 'to be witnesses.' To be witnesses. Just turn over with me a few pages to Luke 24 and look at a few words that Jesus shared here.

When you think of a witness, or at least when I think of a witness, I think of someone who is called to court to testify for or against a defendant. A witness is someone who really, in essence, has seen an event - witnessed an event. If you've seen a car accident happen right before you you've been - you're a what? A witness to that accident. If you've witnessed a home run it means you saw it, right? If you've witnessed a marriage - a wedding - it means you saw it. And so, to be a witness is to testify or to relate what you have seen - what you have experienced.

Christ has called his people to be his witnesses. We're in Luke chapter 24 and we're going to look at verses 46 through 48. This is after the resurrection and Jesus appears to his disciples in the upper room. They're talking amongst themselves. They're shut in there for fear of the jews - that's John's account - John 20 - and they're concerned about their future - their prospects.

If they've done this to their master, surely it's going to happen to them. He was crucified. Maybe the future doesn't look so bright for them and you can understand why. And so they're up there and Jesus appears to them. He appears - it seems like out of nowhere.

They don't know where he's come from. They think it's a ghost. And Jesus said, 'look, don't you worry. Don't you worry. It's okay.

It's me. Look at the scars in my hands, my feet, and my side.' And he assured them - even ate some fish to assure them that he was not flesh - rather he was not spirit but flesh and blood - flesh and bones like they were, although glorified, radiant - the father's glory shining off his face. So he appeared to them because they needed encouragement. And notice what it says here in verse 46. He opens to them Moses and all the prophets and he explains to them all the prophecies concerning himself and he says, "thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be" - what's that word? - "Preached" - Jesus is gently explaining to them their role - their function.

He said earlier on that you were to be light in the world - salt of the earth. He sent them out to preach and to teach and to heal. He was teaching them - helping them with the mission that he was giving to them. And so he said you are to preach this "in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." - Verse 48 - "and ye are witnesses of these things." Now no one can gainsay a witness account - an eye witness account. These men had seen Jesus.

They lived with Jesus. They walked with Jesus and now they had seen him - they had seen him crucified - now they had seen him alive and here he was alive and well and he appeared to them. He said, 'you are to preach the gospel for the remission of sins - repentance of many - you should preach that you are witnesses of these things. You and i, rescued sinners, have the privilege of telling others about what Jesus has done for us and is doing for us. What he's done for us and what he is doing for us.

When we consider what he's done for us, you can say, probably with me, that he saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I'm found. I was blind but now I see. What has he done for us? He loved me while I even rejected him. He pleaded with me while I turned a deaf ear.

I treated his creation with disdain and disrespect while he treated me with grace and respect. He died for me while I was his enemy. Man, great things God has done for us. Great things. We can testify to what he has done.

He has forgiven me my sins - washed them clean - removed my guilt and set my feet on a rock and set me on a plain path to walk on - given me his spirit so that I might walk after his way and his will. So we should - we're to testify of what he's done for us. You can tell somebody what you were but now, what you are, by the grace of God - what Jesus has done for you. You know where you've been and now you know where you are. We can testify to that.

We also should let people know what he's doing. I was talking with a friend of mine. She - Christ rescued her from witchcraft and she was redeemed and ransomed from that and just - she has an incredible testimony. She told me one day - she said, 'yeah chris, I've been telling this testimony for years and years - about what Christ has done for me. And I don't' - it's a powerful story and we ought to tell people but she said, 'you know what? I need to be telling people what he's doing for me today.

I need to be telling people what he's doing for me now.' It's not once saved always saved here. On March 23, 1959, I gave my life to Jesus and then the rest is history. No, no, no, we're writing history. Jesus is recreating us and making us into his image and what is he doing for us - we got out of bed this morning, didn't we? Put our feet on the floor, so to speak. Our hearts are pumping blood through our veins.

Is that right? Yeah, that's right. Lungs are taking in air. The good things that God does for us. Has he answered your prayers recently? Has he done something special for you recently? Helped you with a problem? Helped you maneuver through a challenging situation. Has he comforted you while you've been hurting? Sure.

We've got something to tell about what he's doing today, don't we. God is so good to us. What is he doing for me now? He died on a cross, but what is he doing for me now? The Bible says that he ever lives to make intercession for me. Jesus is alive and well in heaven today, interceding for you and i. He hasn't lost his love for you or expressed lack of interest in you, he's there for you now in heaven's temple, interceding in that most holy place.

Man, we've got something to tell today, don't we? You know, witness - our witness changes lives. That's why Jesus wants us to share. He's called us to be witnesses. He wants us to share our stories - his story - what he's done in our lives with other people. A witness changes lives.

I remember - and there was some turmoil in my young life as a youth and going through some things in my head - in my heart - and I was wrestling and struggling with the notion of ever giving my life to Jesus. And I was at home at the time, I was about 17, I think, and my mom was pretty crafty. She had invited a friend of my sister's over, who had just kind of recently given his life to the Lord and he was studying over there at a college - studying to be a minister. She invited him over to sit and to just relate his story and invited me to come in and sit down and listen and so he was telling how, you know, what God had done in his life and how he was selfish and prideful and Jesus rescued him and worked a change in his heart and done some incredible things. He was in a band and then he gave up the band and he was playing the bass guitar and he said, 'that's, you know, I'm going to play some heavenly music and God is working certain things in my life and changing me.

And I'm sitting there and I'm impressed. Man, he's so happy and I'm not happy. He's so - he's got a purpose. You can see the twinkle in his eye, you know? I was impressed and I couldn't shake that and that was one of the things that led me to making a surrender to Jesus was his story - his testimony. He was being a witness.

He was just telling his story. He was telling it so nice - he wasn't pressing anything, he was just sharing. 'This is what Jesus has done for me and he can do it for anybody and I'm convinced of that. That's why I'm going to be a preacher' - he said - 'and tell others about what he's done for me and he can do it for them and their lives will be changed and happier and with purpose and with direction. Just like he's given to me.

' Wow. Impressed me. The preaching thing didn't impress me. I had no interest in that, but the thing about Jesus impressed me. Wow, changed life.

So Jesus has called us to be his witnesses. We think of witnessing - maybe going door to door or standing on a street corner on a soapbox preaching or something like that and that's not necessarily the case. Those things we do do and if you want to do that, okay, by all means. But Jesus is asking us just to befriend individuals and share our story - tell them what Jesus has done in our hearts and lives. So he wants us to share our story - to be witnesses - because it'll change people's lives.

I want to be a witness for Jesus every day. How about you? Yeah. Let's go over to Tuesday's lesson. We're continuing here with Jesus' instruction to his disciples and with regard to the mission that he has given the church. What's the relationship between receiving the Holy Spirit and witnessing for Jesus? What's the relationship there? We have several verses.

I have someone reading acts 4, verse 33 for me here this morning. Thank you, jolyne. And we'll look at a few other verses here. If you want to turn with me, you're welcome to. Luke - we're actually there - Luke 24:49.

I want to look at the instruction that - finish up with the instruction Jesus gave to his disciples. He met them in the upper room and he had told them that they were to preach and they would be his witnesses. They were witnesses of these things - of his death and resurrection. Verse 49 - notice this: "and behold" - Jesus isn't finished with the instruction - verse 49 - "and, behold, I send the promise of my father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." Now go over to acts chapter 1 and verse 8 - acts chapter 1 and verse 8 - and we'll notice what that power is that Jesus told them to wait for - tarry in Jerusalem - wait for this power that I'm going to give you. We're talking here and asking the question about being a witness - being on the mission of Jesus and the relationship that has with the Holy Spirit - receiving the Holy Spirit.

Acts chapter 1 and verse 8 - verse 7. Jesus said, "it is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which The Father hath put in his own power." - Verse 8 - "but ye shall receive power," - now we're going to find out what that power is - "after that the holy ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." So the power that Jesus was inviting them to tap into - to tarry in Jerusalem to receive was the power of the Holy Spirit. Power - that word 'power' in the Greek is dunamis, from which we get our english word 'dynamite.' This is explosive power we're talking about here when the Holy Spirit would come upon them and they were to be there and tarry and wait. And you remember that they were there for a number of days in that upper room there. They waited ten days - waiting, you see.

Jesus ministered - appeared to them for 40 days after his resurrection and then they were in the upper room for ten days waiting for that power to descend on them - studying the word, praying together, acknowledging their flaws and their faults and asking individuals to forgive them for the wrong that they had done to each other. They were preparing their hearts to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and on the day of pentecost it happened. John 20 and verses 21 and 22 and then we'll come over to acts 4:33. John 20:21 and 22 - again, we're looking at Jesus' instruction regarding the mission we're putting all these pieces together. John chapter 20, verses 21 and .

Now this is, again, in the upper room when Jesus meets with the disciples for the first time. Luke's account - he's talking about affirming their faith that it's him - the scars in his hands, his feet, side, etc. - Eats the fish. This is John's account of that same situation - that same gathering. Verses 21 and 22, "then said Jesus to them again, 'peace be unto you: as my father hath sent me, even so send I you.

And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, receive ye the holy ghost.'" Jesus was preparing them to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It was a partial fulfillment of the promise 'when you go back, you're going to wait here in Jerusalem, you see, you're going to hang out here. The Holy Spirit's going to descend and give you power to be my witnesses.' And it's interesting, Jesus said, 'as I have been sent.' As The Father has sent me, I also send you.' We'll talk about that in just a moment. Acts 4:33. Thanks jolyne.

"And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all." So this is Luke's account of what was taking place. Thank you. What was taking place after they had received the Holy Spirit - you read the story in acts 2 and you continue the story in acts 3 and acts 4 and the wonderful things God was working out through these willing vessels because the holy spirit can only use someone who's willing. He's not going to force anyone into submission.

Not going to push you out and now do my thing for me. The Holy Spirit doesn't work that way. The Holy Spirit says, 'do you consent? Are you willing? And I will use you.' So here were willing individuals that were witnessing to the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus. Great power was upon them. Great grace was upon them.

Without the Holy Spirit, in essence, our witness is going to be diluted. You know, you can share your testimony and on that particular day when this gentleman shared with me his story, that would have - that would have fallen on deaf ears had not the Holy Spirit been impressing my heart - making an application to my life. It would have been nice words that fell from the guy's lips, but it wouldn't have made an impression. That's the Holy Spirit's job. So when we're called to be witnesses and to share Jesus with others, our job's not to do the convincing, our job is just to share and to tell and certainly we can try to be persuasive.

But, ultimately, the power that will impact a person's life is the work of the Holy Spirit. Our work is dramatically diluted if we don't receive the holy spirit. He comes with convincing and convicting power. He's the one who convicts the world of sin and righteousness and of judgment. That's the Holy Spirit's job and we work alongside of him, you see.

Having the Holy Spirit would bring Christ to his followers even closer than Jesus was when he was in person. I don't know if you've stopped to think about that but Jesus could only be at one place at one time when he walked this earth. But when the holy sprit was sent, Jesus, in the person of the Holy Spirit, could be present everywhere. And so, in fact, the Holy Spirit coming - Jesus could be, in fact, closer to each one of his disciples than if he were walking in human flesh. I mean, that's pretty powerful.

We don't often think about the Holy Spirit as being a person because the Bible says he's kind of like wind - we don't see the Holy Spirit - but he's a person and he brings to us the love of Christ in our hearts and empowers us and gives us courage. These were disciples - in acts 4 - these disciples previously were cowards, running away fleeing. Peter had denied his lord. But after the Holy Spirit had been poured out, these guys were bold for Jesus and they proclaimed the gospel without fear. They even said to the authorities, after they told them 'don't you come back in here and spread Jesus' Name around these parts.

' They came back into the temple court and they were proclaiming Jesus - his death and resurrection - and the religious leaders came back to them and said, 'didn't we tell you not to do this?' And they said, 'we ought to obey God, rather than men.' We've been given a commission and nothing ought to get in that way, not what you say, not what you say, but what God has said must take pre-eminence. He said, 'go.' It's a command so we go and we share the gospel, you see. Now referring to John chapter , verse 21 where Jesus breathed on them and said, 'receive the Holy Spirit.' And where he said, 'peace be to you.' And 'The Father has sent me and i, therefore, send you.' Jesus is referring - this is a commission, really, of Jesus - to the disciples - to you and I - of a continuation of the ministry of Jesus. As The Father has sent me, so I'm sending you. More than just 'he sent me, I'm sending you.

' But 'as he has sent me.' What did Jesus come into the world to do? In John 3:17 Jesus said, 'I've not come into this world to condemn this world, but that the world might be saved through me.' You see? And so this was how Jesus was sent. He was sent into this world to bless and to uplift and to restore and to heal and to teach and to preach. And so, in John 20, Jesus is, in essence, commissioning the church to a continuation of Jesus' own ministry. That's why he could say, 'greater works will you do when I go to my father - than I've done - when I go to my father.' How is it possible that we can do greater things than Jesus has done? Because there are more of us. He's given us the commission to go.

As a matter of fact, it's a complete ministry that Jesus has called us to. Matthew chapter 9 - just turn there quickly with me. Matthew 9, verse 35 - Matthew 9, verse 35. Notice the complete ministry of Jesus and remember, this is the commission the church has been given. This is the ministry the church has been given.

As The Father has sent me, so send I you. Matthew 9 and verse 35. It says, "then Jesus went about all the cities and villages" - what was he doing? - "Teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion." And so the whole ministry - the complete ministry that we've been called to - the continuation of the ministry that Jesus did is a ministry that involves teaching. It's a ministry that involves preaching.

And it's also a ministry that involves healing. They're all essential ingredients to the commission that we've been given as a church. I wish I could spend more time on that but we've got to get through the days, so let's go to Wednesday. Let's go to Wednesday - without the Holy Spirit our witness would be diluted. And so, we need the Holy Spirit.

We need to have less of self and more of him. What do you say? Amen. Alright, Wednesday, 'to make disciples' - we're over in Matthew 28 now - Matthew 28 - these familiar words Jesus told his disciples. Now a disciple - just to clarify terms here, a disciple is, in essence, a student or a teacher - of a teacher, rather - a student of a teacher. In the biblical sense, a disciple is a follower or an imitator of Jesus Christ.

That's what a disciple is. And did Jesus make disciples? Yes. And so if we are disciples of Jesus, what will we be doing? Making disciples of - for Jesus, yeah. Not disciples of me. You don't want another me in the world, I can assure you of that.

We're making disciples of Jesus. True disciples follow Jesus, they receive His Word, they're baptized, they continue to grow in his grace and in the knowledge of truth and they make disciples just as Jesus did, you see. That's, in the biblical sense, what a disciple is. We work on the plan of addition while he works on the plan of multiplication. Don't you like that? That's a great program right there.

Matthew 28, verses 18 to 20 - it says, "and Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, 'all power is given unto me" - now I like that - all power is given unto me. They had seen Jesus walk on water, calm the raging sea, give sight to the blind - Jesus raised the dead and he did that as a man. And now - certainly he was the Son of God as a man, but as, now, the glorified son of man - Son of God, he is saying, 'all power is given to me. I laid my power down when I became a man and now all power has been given to me and this is the reason why I am sending you - "all power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore," - based upon the fact that I have all power, go.

Based upon the fact that you've seen me do all these things but I have more now than I had then. Go, go - and what was - what did he say? "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations," - or make disciples - "baptizing them in the name of The Father, and of The Son, and of the holy ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.'" And Matthew writes "amen." So here we are given, in essence, four verbs here in this particular - these particular verses. Go, make disciples, baptize, and teach. There are the four of them right there. Make - apparently, in the original Greek, is the only imperative verb - meaning the other three are dependent on making disciples.

So, in other words, to make a disciple, it encompasses those other three. To make a disciple you must go. To make a disciple you must baptize. To make a disciple you must educate - or you must teach. That's exactly right, you see.

And a lot of discipling has to do with modeling the life of Jesus. People watch from a distance. It's kind of more passive learning, but others walk alongside of you and say, 'why do you do this and how come you do that? And you're explaining to them, 'well, you know, the Lord has said this and here I am claiming his promise.' And this is more intimate discipling. This is helping someone out - getting close to somebody. Jesus mandates these three activities.

Go, baptize and teach, which are involved in making disciples and are very important aspects of discipleship. Baptism is not the end of the journey. Sometimes churches view baptism as a graduation service. 'Whew, finished the Bible studies. Baptism - graduated - now finished.

No, baptism is the beginning of the journey, is it not? Sure, it's the beginning of the journey. And even if we're told to go to all people and share this gospel, not everyone is going to receive it, unfortunately, but we are still told to go because Jesus has all power, amen? And we're to teach. A lot of folk are baptized and they walk out of the church as quickly as they came in because they don't know what it means to be a Christian. They don't realize that they're going to be inundated by temptations and challenges and they don't know how to deal with that. They don't understand the concept of surrender and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in that person's life.

And so, as quickly as they've come in, they quickly leave. They're not educated. They're not taught. They don't know the main teachings of Scripture and what it means to be a Christian and so this is what's involved in making disciples. And so, that's our job.

That's our mission as a church - to make disciples. Let's go to the last day, Thursday. I have less than four minutes to pull it off. Here it is. 'Preach the gospel' - we're in Mark now, chapter 16, verse 15 - Mark 16 and verse 15.

Mark presents the commission in conciseness and in clarity. That's Mark's style. Mark 16, verse 15 - this is Jesus - "and he said unto them, 'go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to" - how many people? - "Every creature." Every person. Every single person. Go into all the world and preach.

That's 'caruso' - to proclaim aloud - to announce - to preach to every creature the gospel, you see. Not just to Israel anymore - even though Jesus had told them 'go to the house of the lost sheep of Israel.' But go - I want you to go to the entire world. Go to samaria. Go to the outer ends of the earth and proclaim the gospel. Be my witnesses all over the place.

And what gospel is God's people encouraged to proclaim? Go to Revelation chapter 14 - real quickly here - Revelation and I will not read all of this, but I want to reference it. Revelation 14, verse 6 - there's a specific message that God has given his church in these last days to proclaim to the entire world. Notice verse 6, "and I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the" - what friends? - "Everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." And then he proceeds to highlight three distinct points that fall under the umbrella of the everlasting gospel: "fear God, give glory to him for the hour of his judgement is come and worship him who made the heaven, the earth, the sea and the fountains of water." The second angel followed saying, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen." And then the third angel followed saying, 'you don't want to worship the beast, nor its image or receive the Mark of that beast.' So that's the message - gospel message. The gospel is certainly Jesus Christ who came in the flesh and lived and then suffered and then died and rose again the third day. But if we're going to proclaim the gospel, then we also have to consider that there is a judgment happening right now.

There is a call to worship the creator God, Babylon is fallen, and then the call to not worship the beast - contrasting with worshiping the creator, you see. The everlasting gospel. Will the work get done? It's good to have a mission, but will it ever be accomplished? Yeah, when jfk said, 'ten years - it's going to be done.' That was serious. They had goals. They had plans.

It was their focus. It meant everything to them and they pulled it off. The gospel's got to go to all the world. What does Jesus say in Matthew :14? We're going to end with this verse. It's the one we started with, "and this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations then the end shall come.

" There it is. There's the promise right there. 'The gospel will be preached. The end will come.' If you want to just Mark it down too, you could Mark down Romans 9:28, "the Lord will cut short the work in righteousness. In righteousness will he cut short the work.

" God is going to get the work done. He wants to use you and I - faces lighted up spreading across this globe, sharing the gospel. We have a great opportunity before us, in a time of relative peace and ease, to get the job done. If we don't get it done, we're going to have to get it done under the most forbidding discouraging circumstances. God has called us to do the work and the job, by God's grace, is going to get done.

It's not up to the preacher to do it alone. We all need to pitch in and do it together. A united effort proclaiming the gospel. I want to see Jesus come back again. How about you? The way that's going to happen is for this gospel to go to the entire world.

You and I are to be a part of that. Let's go forward with all we've got under the unction and power of the Holy Spirit. Surrender to Jesus. What do you say? Sure. We want to thank you for joining us from wherever you've been viewing today.

Don't forget to call in for your free offer, '12 steps to revival' - offer #780 - you want to call -866-study-more or -866-788-3966. Thank you so much for joining us, thank you. Amazing Facts has impacted my life. I just praise God for amazing facts. Amazing Facts actually did have an impact on my life.

It's all a process, getting to where I am today. Amazing Facts has been - I feel good about that - I began reading the Bible. I got baptized into the seventh day adventist - I realized that there had to be more to life. God is really doing this. The life that he's given me.

This message was so powerful. Amazing Facts - more than 45 years of proclaiming God's message around the world. And then the logo pops across - Amazing Facts presents. I've listened to a lot of different ministers, but he was - this was the first time that he's actually saying something where I had to grab my Bible and actually pick it up - and I've never heard this before let me - let me look through and find this. I just couldn't get enough.

And so I started doing Bible studies. Every single one of these guys started being changed - including myself. My question was 'why did that happen to me, God?' the Lord was able to reach out and - and I actually saw him as a father. I lost everything and that was when I realized that it was God missing in my life. I went to a prophecy seminar which knocked me out.

This message was so powerful and so irrefutable and I just went 'this is real. This is - this is amazing.' If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs, visit our website at 'amazingfacts.org'. There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs, including amazing facts presents. One location. So many possibilities.

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