Preparing for Mission

MEMORY SELECTION: “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit 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.” —Acts 1:8

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16

WHEN the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles at Pentecost they did receive power. They received the power of discernment in spiritual matters. The Bible, as they knew it, consisted only of the Old Testament. The words of God had been faithfully recorded down through the centuries. In it were contained history, instruction with respect to the keeping of the Law, prophecies, how to keep certain rituals that had meaning then but also had typical significance, etc. Some of these things were understood, but much was not decipherable to their minds. God had concealed spiritual truths that were to be revealed only when the Holy Spirit came upon the firstfruits of the Spirit.—Rom. 8:23

The Apostle Paul, in I Corinthians 2:9,10, writes: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

A new time feature of God’s divine plan of the ages began at Pentecost. The new age which the apostles initiated is known as the Gospel Age, a time during which the good news of the kingdom would be preached as a witness unto the uttermost parts of the earth. This was God’s will for this particular time, but to know this and the details concerning the kingdom required the enlightened discernment provided by the Holy Spirit.

Those who are called to this mission are also made aware through the Holy Spirit that God’s will for them during this time is to endeavor to walk in the footsteps of the Master. This way, the disciples of Jesus learn, leads to a life of self-denial, suffering, and eventually death. But the promise held forth to those who are faithful under these difficult and trying circumstances is immortal life on the divine plane of existence. (Rom. 2:6,7) And in addition they are promised a share with our Lord in the privilege of bringing blessings to all the families of the earth during the kingdom. Jesus said: “Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”—Matt. 19:28,29

Jesus received his commission and the substance of his ministry from God. This is recorded in Isaiah 61:1-3. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Where Jesus quoted this prophecy in Luke 4:18,19, he stopped at this point and stated, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” (vs. 21) He did this because his mission, or responsibility, stopped here at his first advent. The prophecy in Isaiah, however, continues with additional aspects of his mission that have been carried out by our glorified Lord and his spirit-begotten footstep followers down through the Gospel Age. “To proclaim … the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”

If we are truly ambassadors for Christ and workers together with him, this wonderful proclamation of the mission of Jesus becomes our mission also.—II Cor. 5:20; 6:1

Dawn Bible Students Association
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