People tend to give more attention to the spectacular. So in considering the ministry of Jesus Christ, many Christians think mostly about the miracles. As great as they were, though, the training of His disciples was more important. He knew that the day would soon come for Him to ascend to the Father. His earthly ministry as Jesus the Nazarene would come to an end and it would be the responsibility of His disciples to carry on the ministry of Christ. His words to them were: As the Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. John 20:21.
There is no record of Jesus ministering to the multitudes during His post-resurrection ministry. Those were the days of final preparation for His disciples. It was then that He opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:45). After opening their understanding He taught them of the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). Then His last instructions before His ascension were, “Don’t go anywhere yet! Do not leave Jerusalem until you receive the promise of the Father!” And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, said He, you have heard of Me. For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence…But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. Acts 1:4-5,8-9.
Even with all the training those disciples received under the Lord Jesus, they were still not ready for the responsibility of ministry that lay before them. They needed to be endued with power from on high. A few days later on the Day of Pentecost it happened. The mantle of anointing that had been upon Jesus came upon them, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4.
The Church today is facing a similar task. The end-time harvest and the establishing of the Kingdom of God is upon us, and the Church is not prepared for it. We need an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, an infusion of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Time has proven that the Church doesn’t have what it needs to accomplish this end-time ministry. The new day of His Kingdom will not just happen; God’s people will have to violently take it. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12.
The closest thing to an anointing from God for ministry in these last days has been the outpouring of the Spirit that took place at the beginning of this century. Out of it came the Pentecostal Movement and later the Charismatics. They, more than any others, have emphasized a baptism in the Holy Spirit. However, the last one hundred years have proven that their experience is not enough either. The latter day outpouring of the Holy Spirit that empowers the Church for end-time ministry has not yet taken place.
We can be the generation that moves into the Kingdom and sees the fulfillment of all that God has promised and provided for. We can be the Joshua Company that enters into the land of promise. However, if we sit back and do nothing, then it will remain for another generation. The worst thing we can do is to be satisfied with our present spiritual state. We must begin seeking God for the anointing to make it happen. We will need more of God than any generation before us. We will need a greater anointing than even the Early Church had. There is also more of God available now than ever before, but it remains for us to appropriate the provision. We must shake off the lethargy, quit playing church, and be the end-time remnant God is looking for! It’s time for us to realize that we don’t have enough of God and do something about it.
Jesus said, But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only (Matthew 24:36). The day and hour is not known to a great extent because it depends on God’s people. It won’t happen until we stop playing church and become the will of God. It’s time to stop worrying about going to heaven and realize that there is a job to be done right here.
Matthew 24:14 And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end (completion) come.
At best, present day evangelism has delivered a watered-down message. The church-world is trying to do a work without the preparation and anointing needed. It left Jerusalem before it received the promise of the Father. It would be wise to enter into the “upper room” and seek God until we are endued with power from on high. We cannot expect to do the greater works without the greater anointing (John 14:12).
Copyright © 2000 by Henry DuBose