Witnesses – First In Our Own ‘Jerusalem’

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Series: Kingdom Evangelism

Sun am 14 October 2012 – Kobus Swart

1 John 1:1-4; Luke 4:1-13; 2 Cor. 3:1-3; Acts 1: 8

What non-Christians want to see in us is what we have experienced. What we have experienced will become visible to others. What will have an impact in this Western world is what is flowing out of us; our attitude, our smile, the tone of our voice. What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life– and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us–what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.  These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete (1 John 1:1-4).

The only thing that Satan still has is a mouth and with that mouth he will try everything to deceive you and me because he is the father of lies. The only tool Satan has is to deceive. How can a defeated enemy whose works have been destroyed still attack me? Satan can put thoughts in my heart and my mind and I can think I am under attack. The devil hates the light! Move out of the shade and into the light and he will leave. When does Satan leave us alone? Look at how Jesus made him leave. Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry. And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God.” (the first thing that Satan attacks is the identity of Jesus. This is the first thing he challenges in all of God’s children. Know who you are in God!)If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE.'” And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. “Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, (Jesus was not just quoting scripture; He stood there as the word made flesh)‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'” And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here;(this time Satan also starts with the words) for it is written, ‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU TO GUARD YOU,’ and, ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.'” And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'” The difference between Jesus saying “it is written” and Satan using the same words, is that Jesus was the Word made flesh! When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time (Luke 4:1-13). The enemy will only stop tempting us when we can say that it is written on the tablets of our hearts. We can quote the latest apostolic revelation but the test will be whether it is written on our heart. The world is in desperate need of a gospel that works.

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some, letters of commendation to you or from you? You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts (2 Cor. 3:1-3). The Bible that will convince the world will be you and me walking it out as living bibles or living epistles. Wherever we go we are being read by the world.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses (martyrs) both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Act 1:8). The Scriptures that I remember most are the ones written on my heart when I went through some painful experience; the Word that helped me survive and come out of the situation. It only worked when it was burned into my heart and life. For example, I can say “Yahweh Jireh is the God that provides” because I have experienced that side of Him. We have to experience it to be able to impart. The different names of God are to be experienced before we can carry any power in our testimony.

The witnessing starts in Jerusalem, ie. in our home town, in our home. A light is brightest at its base.

What is one of the most important aspects of being believers that we must manifest to an unbelieving skeptical world? We must manifest family. Let us become more sensitive to one another’s needs. “When one member suffers the whole body suffers”. If we are an integrated spiritual family we should pick up the signals of distress or need.