A VIVID EXAMPLE OF THAT NEED – GOD’S BRILLIANT PLAN TO REACH FALLEN MAN
A VIVID EXAMPLE OF THAT NEED
Jesus gave a vivid example of the need of Holy Spirit in the Apostles lives. Please consider this vivid lesson of the need for God’s divine power as illustrated by Jesus surprising command. The Apostles had been part of all the lab sessions where Jesus demonstrated the principles of training soul-winners and disciplers; BUT AFTER ALL OF THAT TRAINING JESUS WOULD NOT LET THE APOSTLES GO.
After all the great teaching message’s on the Beatitudes, The Sermon on the Mount, The Parables, and the coming future kingdom; JESUS WOULDN’T LET THEM GO INTO ALL THE WORLD.
After all the pressurized moments of standing before hostile crowds and religious leaders and demonstrating to young apostles how to face hostilities with calmness and faith; HE WOULD NOT LET THEM GO. He said, “TARRY.”
The apostles had the Bible college training behind them. They were graduates BUT JESUS WOULDN’T LET THEM GO! (+)
Thousands were dying each day with many of them going to hell; BUT HE WOULDN’T LET THEM GO. (+)
WHY WOULDN’T JESUS LET THE APOSTLES GO? THE ANSWER: THE DISCIPLES WERE NOT FULLY EQUIPPED YET.
Jesus knew that with all their Bible knowledge, with all their training in the mechanics and materials of disciple-making, and with the goal of preaching the gospel to every creature that they were not equipped to go yet – they needed two more principles to be embedded into their minds and souls before they were equipped to go. (+)
TARRY IN JERUSALEM UNTIL YOU ARE ENDUED WITH POWER
Luke first records this command for the disciples to tarry or wait for the empowering of the Holy Spirit in Luke 24:49 and again in Acts 1:4. (+) Jesus knew it would take the divine power of God to make the divine plan of God successful. THE WAITING ALSO EMPHASIZES THAT THEY COULD DO NOTHING WITHOUT THE ENERGIZING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BUT IN CHRIST THEY COULD DO ALL THINGS.
In John 16:7, Jesus said it was necessary for him to go away (back to heaven) but if I depart I will send Him to you.” Jesus in the body of man could only be in one place at a time.(+) He needed to be with every disciple all of the time.
- Jesus promised never to forsake or leave a person.
- Jesus promised to give wisdom to any who ask.
- Jesus promised to give grace for every occasion.
- Jesus promised to illuminate the minds of believers.
- Jesus promised to give supernatural power for service and soul winning (to every believer at the very same time in multiple places).
As a man he couldn’t do it, but through the Holy Spirit He was able to minister and help any believer, in any place, in any way the believer needed help.
That is the reason that Jesus said He had to go away but He would not leave them comfortless (orphaned) but the comforter (Holy Spirit) would abide with them always. John 14:16-18. Again in John 14:26.
JESUS HAD TO TRANSFORM THE APOSTLES IN AT LEAST FOUR AREAS
FIRST, the apostles were fearful followers that must be transformed INTO FEARLESS LEADERS. (+) Often times these young preachers were afraid. They were scared to death as they fought hopelessly against the severe winds and high waves. Jesus combated their fears and calmed the sea by saying. “Peace be still.”
Toward the end of his ministry when word was sent that officials were planning to kill Jesus, as Jesus prepared to go to the graveside of Lazarus, the Apostles were scared but Thomas said, “Let us go and die with him.”
The apostles fled like timid men when the mob came to arrest Jesus and hovered like scared rabbits behind locked doors during his entombment. There were other occasions where it was obvious that the apostles were fearful followers. THEY MUST BE TRANSFORMED INTO FEARLESS LEADERS. Therefore, the command, “TARRY…UNTIL YOU ARE ENDUED WITH POWER.”
After fasting and praying for ten days and nights, the apostles emptied themselves of selfish ambitions and their self-centeredness and became empty vessels which the Holy Spirit could fill and control. (+) NOW THE FEARFUL FOLLOWERS BECAME FEARLESS LEADERS. They were threatened and whipped as they fearlessly risked their lives in preaching the Gospel and training their converts. They had been transformed so well that they could inject the same boldness and confidence into their followers.
SECOND, the apostles must be transformed from powerless followers into powerful men of strength and ability as leaders. Again the command, “Tarry, until you are endued with power.” These powerless preachers who could not cast a demon out of a young boy (Matthew 17:20) were now transformed into men of boldness (Acts 4:31) and of “great power gave the apostles witness.” (Acts 4:33). They were later referred to as men who had “turned the world upside down” as they lead the assault against the gates of hell to “set the captives free.” THEY BECAME FEARLESS LEADERS.
THIRD, they had to be transformed from men who were overwhelmed by the huge task (to every creature in all the world) to men who looked to the sky, expecting His coming. In the final service that Jesus conducted before His crucifixion, He comforted His disciples with words which they would rehearse over and over again. He said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” John 14:1-3. No doubt the words, “I WILL COME AGAIN…that where I am, there ye may be also” rung in their ears for the rest of their lives.
The day came when Jesus was taken from them and He ascended back into heaven. They stood motionless and stared aimlessly up into heaven. Suddenly, two angels spoke words which would cause the apostles to always keep their eyes focused toward heaven. They said, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
In Acts 1:3 the wording of “being seen of them forty days” seemed to indicate that Jesus would suddenly appear in their midst with a start and after a period of time disappear just as quickly. He seemed to appear and then disappear on several occasions during the 40 days. No doubt he helped them focus their eyes toward heaven by saying, I’m going away but one of these days just like the past 40 days you men will be working for me and suddenly – I will materialize in a physical body just as I have during the past few days. They were transformed from men whose focus was on the events of this world to men whose focus was upward to the skies – WATCHING FOR THE IMMINENT SECOND COMING OF THEIR LORD.
FOURTH, They must be transformed from men who walked by sight to men who would walk by faith. They had heard all his great teachings and “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God,” but they still walked by sight. They were used to seeing Jesus with them.
They had seen all of his miracles and deeds and had great confidence in his power and ability, but now he was gone and they still had a tendency to walk by sight.
They had been taught that although Jesus wouldn’t be with them in bodily form any longer but he would be there in the invisible form of the Holy Spirit. His bodily absence made them feel shaky and uncertain in their walk for Christ.
THEN JESUS GAVE THEM ON-THE-JOB-TRAINING IN LEARNING TO TRUST HIM BY FAITH. (+) They were taught and convinced that the promise, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” was true.
How were they taught? How were they transformed from men who walked by sight (fear and trembling) into men of faith and power?
Again, the wording in Acts 1:3 “BEING SEEN OF HIM FORTY DAYS” indicates that Jesus would suddenly burst into the sight of the apostles and teach them things about the coming kingdom and then just as suddenly disappear. He would appear at various times, reinforce the principle about the millennial reign and then vanish. He was there bodily, then he wasn’t there bodily but he reassured them that he was with them all the time whether in the body or in the Spirit he was there – this happened until they comprehended – JESUS IS ALWAYS WITH US, whether we are together or separated by miles of distance He is with us.(+) Just as we depended on Him to lead us for 3 ½ years we can depend upon Him now. The only difference, we could see him bodily then; but now we cannot see Him bodily but He is with us now just as much as He was with us then. (+)
Click to Purchase
A STORY THAT ILLUSTRATES THEIR FAITH
It is one thing to believe something theologically but it is quite another to believe it in trusting faith with one’s life hanging in the balance. (+)
A man would demonstrate his skill and balance by pushing a wheelbarrow several hundred feet across a dangerous gorge while the unpredictable winds were blowing. The man would often do tricks while he was pushing the wheelbarrow across the gorge.
Huge crowds would cheer as he did so. He would ask the crowds if they thought he could push the wheelbarrow across the wide chasm again?
The crowd would cheer and chant “yes, yesss!”
Then he would silence them by asking if anyone believed he could do it enough to become his passenger in the wheelbarrow(+). HE HAD NO TAKERS.
It was one thing to believe the man could push the wheelbarrow across but it was an entirely different matter to trust him with their lives.
WHAT WAS THE SECRET TO THE GREAT BOLDNESS AND POWER OF THE APOSTLES faith in the invisible Christ? Their faith grew to where they would get into the wheelbarrow and let Jesus push them across even though he was no longer visible to the human eye. (+)
They learned this great principle and were transformed from men who walked and lived by sight into fearless men. WHO CONQUERED BY FAITH. THEY WERE EMBOLDENED AND MOTIVATED BY THE ENERGIZING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. (+)
These apostles learned this lesson so well that they taught and wrote in the Bible how that Jesus was still on the earth, NOT IN A LIMITED FORM OF A HUMAN BODY BUT IN THE UNLIMITED PRESENCE OF THE BLESSED HOLY SPIRIT. Now, to live within and to give grace and strength to every believer in all places of the earth AT THE SAME TIME.
What a difference the presence of Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, makes! Dear friend, accept this important fact and live your life in the light that he is literally with you and will never leave or forsake you. He will empower you just as much as your faith will trust him to empower you.
Please memorize the last phase of the great commission found in Matthew 28:19-20. Jesus states; (a literal translation) “I will be with you perpetually, on every occasion until the very close and consummation of the age.” (+)
That is Jesus’ lingering promise to every believer!
ACT UPON IT AND LET HIM DO GREAT AND MIGHTY THINGS THROUGH YOU!!