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Chapter 25: Be My Witnesses

9 June, 2012
38 So in the present case, my advice to you is not to interfere with these people, but to leave them alone. For if this idea or this movement has a human origin, it will collapse. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them; you might even find yourselves fighting God!” They heeded Gamli’el advice. Acts 5
“Use Me”
performed by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
This chapter begins with the timeframe of 33AD in Galilee, on a mountain where Yeshua leaves His last “Great Commission” to His eleven disciples.
18 Yeshua came and talked with them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples from all nations, immersing them into the name of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age.”  Matthew 28
The apostles waited in Jerusalem until the promised gift of the Holy Spirit was given to them by Yeshua’s Father God.  This spectacular event of The Power Within: Chapter 17 describes the third person of the Trinity.  The Mind of Almighty God, the body of Yeshua Messiah and now, the power of the Holy Spirit coming to live within believers!

“I Will Follow”
performed by Chris Tomlin
The prime example of God’s all-powerful Holy Spirit within each believer is shown in these passages given by Peter to the Jewish people.  Yes! The one and the same disciple that denied, not once, but three times that he even knew Yeshua the night before Yeshua was crucified!!
22 “Men of Isra’el! Listen to this! Yeshua from Natzeret was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God performed through Him in your presence. You yourselves know this. 23 This Man was arrested in accordance with God’s predetermined plan and foreknowledge; and you, through the help of wicked men,  put Him to death by executing Him on a stake!  24 “But God raised Him from the dead, freeing Him from the agony of death; because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him. 25 For David says this about Him: ‘I saw the Lord ADONAI always before me, for He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken. 26 For this reason, my heart was glad; and my tongue rejoiced; and now my body too will live on in the certain hope 27 that you will not abandon me to Sh’ol or let your Holy One see decay. 28 You have made known to me the ways of life, You will fill me with joy by Your presence.’ 29 “Brothers, I know I can say to you frankly that the patriarch David died and was buried – his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Therefore, since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that one of his descendants would sit on his throne, 31 he was speaking in advance about the resurrection of the Messiah, that it was He who was not abandoned in Sh’ol and whose flesh did not see decay. 32 God raised up this Yeshua to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact! 33 “Moreover, He, Yeshua the Messiah, has been exalted to the right hand of God; has received from the Father what He promised, namely, the Ruach HaKodesh; and has poured out this gift, which you are both seeing and hearing. 34 For David did not ascend into heaven. But he says, 35 ‘ADONAI said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”‘ 36 Therefore, let the whole house of Isra’el know beyond doubt that God has made Him both Lord and Messiah – this Yeshua, whom you executed on a stake!” 37 On hearing this, they were stung in their hearts; and they said to Kefa and the other emissaries, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Kefa answered them, “REPENT from sin, return to God, and each of you be immersed on the authority of Yeshua the Messiah into forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Ruach HaKodesh! 39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for those far away – as many as ADONAI our God may call!” 40 He pressed his case with many other arguments and kept pleading with them, “Save yourselves from this perverse generation!” 41 So those who accepted what he said were immersed, and there were added to the group that day about three thousand people. Acts 2
Other accounts recorded of Peter and the apostles included a man crippled from birth, sitting by the temple gate begging for money.
6 Kefa said, “I don’t have silver, and I don’t have gold, but what I do have I give to you: in the name of the Messiah, Yeshua of Natzeret, walk!” 7 And taking hold of him by his right hand, Kefa pulled him up. Instantly his feet and ankles became strong; 8 so that he sprang up, stood a moment, and began walking. Then he entered the Temple court with them, walking and leaping and praising God! 9 Everyone saw him walking and praising God. 10 They recognized him as the same man who had formerly sat begging at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and they were utterly amazed and confounded at what had happened to him. 11 While he clung to Kefa and Yochanan, all the people came running in astonishment toward them in Shlomo’s Colonnade. 12 Seeing this, Kefa addressed the people: “Men of Isra’el! Why are you amazed at this? Or why do you stare at us as if we had made this man walk through some power or godliness of our own? 13 The God of Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya’akov, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Yeshua – the same Yeshua you handed over and disowned before Pilate, even after he had decided to release him. 14 You denied the holy and innocent One, and instead asked for the reprieve of a murderer! 15 You killed the author of life! “But God has raised Him from the dead! Of this we are witnesses. 16 And it is through putting trust in His name that His name has given strength to this man whom you see and know. Yes, it is the trust that comes through Yeshua, which has given him this perfect healing in the presence of you all. Acts 3
1 Kefa and Yochanan were still speaking to the people when the cohanim, the captain in charge of the Temple police, and the Tz’dukim came upon them, 2 greatly disturbed that they were teaching the people the doctrine of resurrection from the dead and offering Yeshua as proof. 3 The Temple police arrested them; and since it was already evening, they put them in jail overnight. 4 However, many of those who heard the message trusted; the number of men alone was about five thousand. Acts 4
The next question asked by the ruling scribes and Pharisees was:
 16 “What can we do with these men?” they asked each other. “Why, anyone in Yerushalayim can see that a remarkable miracle has come about through them – we can’t possibly deny that. 17 But to prevent it from spreading any further among the people, let’s warn them not to speak any more to anyone in this name.” 18 So they called them in again and ordered them under no circumstances to speak or teach in the name of Yeshua. 19 But Kefa and Yochanan answered, “You must judge whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than God. 20 As for us, we can’t help talking about what we have actually seen and heard.” 21 They threatened them some more but finally let them go – they couldn’t punish them because of the people, for everyone was praising God over what had happened, 22 since the man who had been miraculously healed was more than forty years old. 23 Upon being released, they went back to their friends and reported what the head cohanim and elders had said to them. 24 When they heard it, they raised their voices to God with singleness of heart. “Master,” they prayed, “You made heaven, earth, the sea and everything in them. 25 By the Ruach HaKodesh, through the mouth of our father David, your servant, you said, ‘Why did the nations rage and the peoples devise useless plans? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand; and the rulers assembled together against ADONAI and against his Messiah.’ 27 “This has come true in this city, since Herod and Pontius Pilate, with Goyim and the peoples of Isra’el, all assembled against your holy servant Yeshua, whom you made Messiah, 28 to do what your power and plan had already determined beforehand should happen. 29 “So now, Lord, take note of their threats; and enable your slaves to speak your message with boldness! 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and to do signs and miracles through the name of your holy servant Yeshua!” 31 While they were still praying, the place where they were gathered was shaken. They were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh, and they spoke God’s message with boldness.  Acts 4
The Apostles filled with the Holy Spirit and healed in the name of Yeshua.
12 Meanwhile, through the emissaries many signs and miracles continued to be done among the people. United in mind and purpose, the believers met in Shlomo’s Colonnade; 13 and no one else dared to join them. Nevertheless, the people continued to regard them highly; 14 and throngs of believers were added to the Lord, both men and women. 15 They went so far as to bring the sick into the streets and lay them on mattresses and stretchers, so that at least Kefa’s shadow might fall on them as he passed by. 16 Crowds also gathered from the towns around Yerushalayim, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits; and every one of them was healed. Acts 5
performed by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

The apostles were arrested again:

17 But the cohen hagadol and his associates, who were members of the party of the Tz’dukim, were filled with jealousy. 18 They arrested the emissaries and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night, an angel of ADONAI opened the doors of the prison, led them out and said, 20 “Go, stand in the Temple court and keep telling the people all about this new life!” 21 After hearing that, they entered the Temple area about dawn and began to teach. Now the cohen hagadol and his associates came and called a meeting of the Sanhedrin (that is, of Isra’el’s whole assembly of elders) and sent to the jail to have them brought. 22 But the officers who went did not find them in the prison. So they returned and reported, 23 “We found the jail securely locked and the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened it, we found no one inside!” 24 When the captain of the Temple police and the head cohanim heard these things, they were puzzled and wondered what would happen next. 25 Then someone came and reported to them, “Listen! The men you ordered put in prison are standing in the Temple court, teaching the people!” 26 The captain and his officers went and brought them, but not with force; because they were afraid of being stoned by the people. 27 They conducted them to the Sanhedrin, where the cohen hagadol demanded of them, 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name! Look here! You have filled Yerushalayim with your teaching; moreover, you are determined to make us responsible for this man’s death!” 29 Kefa and the other emissaries answered, “We must obey God, not men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Yeshua, whereas you men killed him by having him hanged on a stake.  31 God has exalted this man at His right hand as Ruler and Savior, in order to enable Isra’el to do t’shuvah and have her sins forgiven. 32 We are witnesses to these things; so is the Ruach HaKodesh, whom God has given to those who obey him.” 33 On hearing this, the members of the Sanhedrin were infuriated and wanted to put the emissaries to death. 34 But one of the members of the Sanhedrin rose to his feet, a Parush named Gamli’el, a teacher of the Torah highly respected by all the people. He ordered the men put outside for a little while 35 and then addressed the court: “Men of Isra’el, take care what you do to these people. 36 Some time ago, there was a rebellion under Todah, who claimed to be somebody special; and a number of men, maybe four hundred, rallied behind him. But upon his being put to death, his whole following was broken up and came to nothing. 37 After this, Y’hudah HaG’lili led another uprising, back at the time of the enrollment for the Roman tax; and he got some people to defect to him. But he was killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 So in the present case, my advice to you is not to interfere with these people, but to leave them alone. For if this idea or this movement has a human origin, it will collapse. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them; you might even find yourselves fighting God!” They heeded his advice. 40 After summoning the emissaries and flogging them, they commanded them not to speak in the name of Yeshua, and let them go. 41 The emissaries left the Sanhedrin overjoyed at having been considered worthy of suffering disgrace on account of him. 42 And not for a single day, either in the Temple court or in private homes, did they stop teaching and proclaiming the Good News that Yeshua is the Messiah. Acts 5
Does this sound like the same Peter that denied Yeshua? Does this sound like the disciples that fled when the soldiers came to arrest Yeshua in the garden of Gethsemane the night before He was crucified? Does this sound like the disciples, together with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, after Yeshua had been raised from the dead?
The Apostles witnessed throughout Jerusalem with the gospel that upset the establishment; they were thrown into prison and counted it all for joy that they could witness for their Lord Yeshua.  They rejoiced in their sufferings, beatings and persecutions for Yeshua’s name. Being a witness for Yeshua in the world today is likened to the same persecutions as described by the apostles.  Every believer is a missionary and every unbeliever is a mission field.  The only way to be an effective witness, you must be taught, trained and motivated by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Never, never underestimate the power and work of the Holy Spirit!
You have now read the testimonies and witnesses of the apostles and new believers.
The question is this:
After 2000+ years, was this movement of human origin (it would collapse), or of God (forever eternal)?
Herein lies a great born-again, body of believers – the Church.

“The Way”
performed by Jeremy Camp

From → Witness

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