"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,”
Being witnesses to Christ means to be demonstrators of all that Jesus was and is. In preparation for the arrival of the Holy Spirit Peter reminded everyone present there had to be a replacement to make up the 12.
Of the approximately 120 who were present only a fully qualified man would "become a witness with us of His resurrection” (Acts 1'21-22).
They were obeying what the Lord had told them:
“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,” Luke 24'49.
It is important to keep in mind that the Lord said that they would be witnesses and not evangelists. While the idea of "evangelism" is not wrong, it is not what Jesus said Believers' lives would be all about after the Spirit comes.
The proposition that they should evangelise generally makes Believers uncomfortable and they feel somewhat pressured by it.
One of the main points of this study is that Kingdom witnessing is not necessarily equal to doing "the work of an evangelist" (2 Timothy 4'5).
Not surprisingly, those Believers who do "evangelise" comfortably are often God-appointed Evangelists!
The word speaks mostly to Believers as a body, so Christ says you shall be "witnesses", plural. Of course, in practice there is both the collective witness and the individual witness.
But, what does it mean to be a witness to Jesus? Firstly, it means that the activities of a Body of Believers and the individual Believer are done in the name of Jesus.
However, the way of life of a Believer who truly is a new creation (1 Corinthians 5'17) witnesses to Him every day.
There are some very powerful and encouraging scriptures about that.
"... we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing," 2 Corinthians 2'14-15.
“You are the salt of the earth ..." Matthew 5'13.
And there is no striving involved:
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven," Matthew 5'14-16.
It's all a matter of letting His aroma emanate, letting His light shine. Jesus said: "you shall be witnesses". It's a state of spiritual being. Because:
"... it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness,
who has shone in our hearts
to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us," 2 Corinthians 4'6-7.
That's truly awesome!
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light," Ephesians 5'8.
All these things contribute to witnessing powerfully, even unconsciously.
Jesus has commissioned His Followers, who have the glorious treasure in their hearts, with these amazing words:
"As the Father has sent Me, I also send you," John 20'21.
Jesus, as the Anointed One, sends His "earthen vessels" into the world in the grace, love and power of the same Holy Spirit as He did. Like these did:
"And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs, Mark 16'20.
It has been said that signs only accompany those who lead but do not accompany "ordinary" Believers. Not so! The Lord said:
"Most assuredly, I say to you,
he who believes in Me,
the works that I do he will do also;
and greater works than these he will do,
because I go to My Father,"
THE LORD'S PROMISE
Jesus promised His People: "I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper
that He may abide with you forever -
the Spirit of truth,
whom the world cannot receive,
because it neither sees Him nor knows Him;
but you know Him,
for He dwells with you and will be in you,
The first occasion when the Father gave, and Believers received, the Spirit was on the Day of Pentecost. For the Believer who asks the Father in Jesus' name He fulfills it today too:
"If you then ... know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him," Luke 11'13.
If you haven't asked before, ask now. (There's more about this in the article "Immersion in the Holy Spirit" on the Menu.)
Prayer. Heavenly Father. Thank you for the good news of Jesus and Your Kingdom.
Thank you, too, for the power and fruit of the Holy Spirit by whom we are witnesses to the Lord as we live in Him every day.
In Jesus's name. Amen.