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Logo of Talking Points, 3rd Quarter 2020: Making Friends for God

05-Spirit-Empowered Witnessing

Mark Howard Kameron DeVasher
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Pastors Kameron DeVasher and Mark Howard share study and teaching tips for Quarter 3, August 1 lesson “Spirit-Empowered Witnessing”

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  • July 27, 2020
    9:00 AM
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Cameron The baser and I'm Mark Howard this is talking points we're going through making friends for God and this week we're looking at Lesson 5 a spirit empowered witnessing Yes So what do we learn this week about spirit empowered witnessing pastor Howard Well we learned a lot. There's a lot of good stuff this week about spirit empowered witnessing the. The the role of the Holy Spirit in witnessing is everything yeah and so it's almost I overstate I mean it's hard to know well yeah you know you almost you can't overstate it but you certainly can understand it and I think we've done a lot of that when we talk about witnessing it has to be clear that everything we do witnessing wise is empowered by the Holy Spirit and as we're going to talk about in this lesson it doesn't exempt us you know a lot of times you hear this in discussions about it that's the Spirits job but as the lesson points out. Jesus said The Holy Spirit will come upon you yes and you will be witnesses and to me you will witness the holy you write the witness you're not going to take you know again I want to bleacher seats and you know and sit down and all right is going to be good. Anyway so this week we're talking about a Holy Spirit in power witnessing and the Bible refers to acts for where they prayed in the place where they prayed were shaken our memory verse and they preached word of God with boldness that's right so speaking of prayer should we start with a word of prayer and then Well walk us through the point where we let let's read before we pray let's let's look at this introductory statement on Sabbath afternoon lesson the last is the 2nd paragraph the last part of it it says the empowering of the Holy Spirit would an able to believers to share the message of the cross with a life changing world changing power the Holy Spirit may bear witness effective in a few short decades the Gospel impacted the entire world acts declares that these early believers turn the world upside down the Apostle Paul as that the Gospel was preached to every creature under heaven in this week's lesson we will especially focus on the role of the Holy Spirit and empowering our witness for Christ and we're going lot to cover let's pray and then walk through our points gently Father thank you so much for this day that you've given us thank you for these important things that we have to discuss and specifically as we look at the work of the Holy Spirit in relation to our work in saving souls Lord help us to understand what your Word teaches us and help us to apply it in our lives for the success of your mission for praying in Jesus name Amen amen So let's talk about a key points this week going to the lesson what I drew out of the lesson for key points were. Point number one the promise of the Spirit just introducing the promise of the Holy Spirit and I drew that from primarily Sundays lesson Jesus in the promise of the Holy Spirit. Number key point number 2 the outpouring of the Holy Spirit so there's a promise of the Holy Spirit that Jesus said before hand in everything that led up to the site was looking forward to it praying for it cetera and then when they prayed for the Holy Spirit the Spirit was poured out how did that affect the early church well that's Monday Tuesday and Thursday as bulk of what we cover this week is the effect of the outpouring of the spirit on the early church and then finally my final key point is the word of the spirit and resting phrasing there and I've actually taken that phrasing from scripture the lesson on Wednesday that's based primarily on Wednesdays lesson which is the Holy Spirit the Word in witnessing But again I've taken at length from Scripture have done that for a reason and we'll see that when we get to that key point so that the promise of the spirit the outpouring of the Spirit and the word of the spirit those are key points that we're looking at Ok so let's start with a promise of the spirit and I'm going to go ahead and read Acts chapter one verse really can't talk about the promise of the Holy Spirit to the New Testament church without reading Acts Chapter one. This is where of course Jesus and his very final moments were right disciples gives this instruction gives the instruction that I am still it's an extra turning to read and find that more frequent more fame and when you get there. And it says but 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 now my Bible has a reference back to Luke 2448 where you know Luke wrote both obviously the Gospel of Luke in the book of Acts but at the end of Luke is where Jesus said Terry in Jerusalem wait in Jerusalem until the promise of the Holy Spirit so Jesus had given the great gospel commission you can find that in all the Gospels in some form or another and then he told the disciples but before you go out to fulfill that commission I want you to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Holy Spirit and so it doesn't mention the waiting here but he tells them they're going to receive power and just to put it in perspective as we talk about the promise of the Spirit. It was the it was the great commission that that impressed the disciples with their great sense of need yes and it's important for us understand this be. The early church he said the disciples you got the 11 and then added Matthias and you've got 12 you go to the upper room where you have 120. If you even brought in the number to the 120 the great commission was to reach the world with the gospel and and so honored 20 is about the size of one of our medium churches in Russia going here and if you were just to take one of our medium sized churches and say Now your job as a church is to reach the entire state of Michigan that alone would be daunting yes Jesus told a group that size your job is to reach the entire world yes now that had to be overwhelming. If they were embracing it well this was talk about light of like they knew that Jesus was going to be there and he was his goal is to win the world but now Jesus is leaving That's right so as long as Jesus is there helping me like we believe in you you can do it we're supporting but now he's like no I'm going to leave you go when That's right and I'm glad you brought that up it's brought up in the lesson a little bit I mean the verse is in John 607 were Jesus said it is to your advantage that I go away if I don't go away then helper won't come to you and this is create a lot of confusion I know in pastoral ministry had people say Sosa saying that the Holy Spirit wasn't given before the New Testament Well the spirit hovered about the waters in the book of Genesis the Spirit came upon Samson empowered him David said Lord take not your Holy Spirit for me I mean you've got examples all through it over in the Old Testament of the Holy Spirit No the Holy Spirit isn't new to the New Testament but and there could be many reasons given for this what Jesus was meaning by this but one clear one and we find this corroborated in the book as our ages in other places and in Illinois writings is that Jesus knew that as long as he was with the disciples and as his personal presence was with them they would never think. They need to of meeting the Holy Spirit in something hit me as I was going through this lesson that is along as Jesus was with them and you kind of alluded to this. They comfort themselves with the belief that Jesus is going to do everything that needs to be done and that Jesus would do what he was preparing them to do right right so he Jesus is here with us got as far as witnessing it all they it's like you said things change when Jesus gave the commission and then he said Oh by the way I'm going to x. temper wonder say a few verses later he's ascending out of their sight up into heaven you know and now it's on them the last words he says will now go yeah and I'm going to leave and wait a minute wait a minute so there was a there was a dynamic there where they were put in a position where they had to embrace that great commission personally and I and I believe that that was key in driving them to the upper room and to their knees and praying visible what their response was you know I see the same thing later in the book of Acts you see next chapter 8 where the great persecution comes after the death of Stephen Yes and they're scattered right and this is what makes this point because in the chapter 8 you know it talks about how they were all scattered but then it says except the Apostles were right in Jerusalem so the all is the later members right and this is what makes this point it's in the book actually Apostles commenting on that very thing says and this is page one of 6 when they were scattered by persecution they went forth filled with missionary zeal they realized the responsibility of their mission they knew that they held in their hands the bread of life for famishing world and they were constrained by the love of Christ to break this bread to all who are in need and the idea being that up until the end she if you I would encourage you to read that chapter sometime because up until that point the disciples which were in my I'm saying the disciples now I mean lowercase d i mean the general church members they have their own experience but they were always looking at the Apostles well they'll preach the word they'll stand for the faith they'll pray for me they'll distribute because whatever but when that is the Apostle stay back and they went out. Scriptures tell those are they realize their new need much like when Jesus left and said Now you're going to go in the world I'm going to leave it dawns on them in a way that they hadn't really consciously realized or the onus is on him and said I need help that's where the need for the Holy Spirit comes in well I'm going to bring this now and in now before I forget it but one of the key roles of a teacher is to point bring out of the lesson things that are relevant to the class we could talk all day long about this power empowering the spirit Pentecost all the other without really getting down to the fact the reason that one of the reasons that we're drawing out what we are from the lesson is because I I see it as relevant that this is where we are today a lot of us are in this place where you know the Holy Spirit was poured out why don't we see the same power in the church today I don't think we've embraced the Great Commission among them in fact and I'll make more comment as we go I have a statement here in our notes it's a testament for the church going one page 3 a 3 and a says the reason why there is so little of the Spirit of God manifested is that the ministers learn to do without it and I think that you go with the members to another Wes listen to what's being said the reason so little of the Spirit of God is manifested what that says is he's here he's present to be clear but it's not really being seen right right it's not like he's not become We're not just but we're not taking advantage of the power of the Holy Spirit provides for the church because and here it's giving the concept context of ministers but they learn to do without it they don't see the need of it and this goes for members as well yes so what would this statement is telling us is that. When we don't see our need for the spirit we're not going to see as much of the Spirit Well you know I You've heard me rail about Pastor dependency the problems we have there too but you notice how Jesus with his own disciples said I need to leave and it's better for you that I do you have to rely on the Holy Spirit they saw in the early church the Apostles needed to stay back in Jerusalem and that if you read that chapter about it actually Apostles commenting on acceptor 8 it talks about how it was God's ordained blessing that persecution would come up to push them out right yes then you see in this evangelism page $382.00 if the ministers would get out of the way if they would go forth in a new fields the members would be obliged to bear responsibilities and their capabilities would increase by you 3 so there from Jesus to the disciples to our own pastors at all those insisting that nothing there says the members be happy about it if the law is to their capabilities will grow but you know how many times I've been thrown into something like our man on the other side of it you can say on so I wouldn't listen here it was you know but yeah there's there's a constant theme of like we need to wean off of the immediate presence of someone else to do it because we have been tasked with being witnesses for Jesus on our own to salute the anyway so on Sundays lesson the last paragraph it says witnessing is simply cooperating with the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus it is the spirit's power and under his in the spirit's power and under his guidance we testify of this amazing Christ has transformed our lives now a point that I thought was important there in the promise of the spirit of Jesus again he told the disciples Terry in Jerusalem he says. You receive power when the Holy Spirit come upon you and you will be witnesses and to me I bring this up to say. It you know people will say well witness this is the Spirit's work we can't change hearts and we can if that's true as in fact one of my favorite statements is evangelism 127 and it says there is far more being done by the universe of heaven the universe of heaven and just the Spirit of God Jesus the angels. Then we have any idea of him preparing the way so that souls should be converted we want to work in harmony with the messengers of heaven we want more of God We do not want to feel that is our talking in our sermonizing that is to do the work we want to feel that unless the people are reached through God they never will be reaches a point of emphasis yeah we want to make sure that we're trusting in relying on God But it's interesting to me that says we don't want to feel that it's our talking our servant izing but that's not saying that we're not doing talking we're not giving sermons Wright is saying that's not where the power is right but yet the Lord uses it the reason I say that is for many people to say it's the Holy Spirit's job which it is ultimately is is equivalent to passive it underscores sit back host fear is going to do it right you will find that anywhere in Scripture where you see that in your own we talk about this when we talk about victory over sin and struggles with temptation people say well you know you don't want to work too hard and we even hear you know people caution like well don't work don't work too hard because because we that would be standing in place of the Holy Spirit and trying to save your sight and that's our problem in the church today is we were not so hard what is very soul in the same thing working on it for souls work out most of ourselves like well don't you are so you could get to the place with the ultimate spiritual of virtue is passive ity that I don't do anything for myself I don't do anything or others because it's all God do it well and the reality is that all the power from God The command is from God The Enabling is from God but the work has to be done in our own experience and in essence that passively that passive attitude totally counteracts everything that this is talking to others it was because the disciples were being passive it's because they realized it was their responsibility that drove them to have the kind of fervor they needed to pray for the Holy Spirit if they'd been able to say you know what it's just the Holy Spirit's job they would have been in the upper room they wouldn't been on their knees and then there's a leg and so this in and we see that I think we're seeing this in the church today this pass. Mentality has crippled us yes where we need to be empowered by the Holy Spirit so so let's test the Holy Spirit will come upon us so we can have the witness the witnesses in the Holy Spirit is doing the work but he's doing it through so the outpouring of spirit this is a big rock in the jar this week right the most time is spent to it. What one body but there must be there is there is right and it's also what different aspects of went Ok so there was the promise of the spirit early church senses the need to go to the Upper Room The pray spirit is poured out Ok this is the outpouring of the Spirit this is our key point number 2 Jesus promised it but the promise of the Spirit doesn't equivalent to the outpouring of the Spirit Ok because they prayed for it because the spirit promised to us today yes but it's not seen as much as it should be because we've learned to do without it we already read that stand right so the outpouring of the spirit the lesson brings out one of the things the 1st things rather brings out on Monday in the read section it gives several verses Acts 24142 x. 4 forward 31 acts 51442 Acts 67 acts 165 every one of those verses talk about the number of souls that were saved 3000 here 5000 here a multitude here so the point of the contributor elder Finley. And of the scripture in these passages is God is concerned about the number of souls say and there in the the manifestation of the Spirit will be seen in increase of course qualitative believe it quantitatively quilts or increased numbers of people who hear and believe this message. And we don't have time to get this is been a this been a debate in the church as long as I've been in the church and I'm sure there have been times that somebody has just counted numbers of people baptized for personal gain that I'm seen it on occasion where somebody will baptize people who are even ready so they can give a number well you can just about counting evangelist a cli when it was really 5 but right like 50 it was a sea of people but that God forbid that lead us not to one it write a great number of soul write the Bible says it in in Revelation it is a great multitude that can even be numbered it so big you know God is concerned with numbers and the reason I think this is great a great point the lesson brings out on Monday. Paragraph for us is the important point here is that behind each of the large numbers are individual human beings each one a child of God for whom Jesus Christ died you know it's not just about counting up numbers but. You would I want to see souls saved I want to see if I've got 15 family members that outside the Lord might be like oh I don't care how many no I don't want to be 15 out of the 60 you know is that about it cos it wasn't just a mass of 3000 people for that chunk of it what were you looking at those are 3000 individuals who have chosen life over death and that's incredible So we see one thing we see the outpouring of spirit is a multiplication and exponential increase and in souls saved yes another point that was brought out in the lesson is you know the official title of the book of Acts is acts of the Apostles and elephant brings out that that sometimes the book has been called Acts of the Holy Spirit which it technically it really is I mean if you think every great thing the Apostles did was through the empowerment of the Spirit and it brings this up on. This day's lesson there's a number of texts there and the stories reflected in those texts are for example the Spirit filled the Apostles on Pentecost Stephen was filled by that with the spirit before the Sanhedrin this Holy Spirit escorted Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch transported him there and this divine you know transported to him moved upon the household of Cornelius and revealed the matter to Peter in advance those spirit brought unity amid doctoral controversy and the Holy Spirit guided the missionary journeys of the Apostles So all of this you see this very active intentional and intense working of the Holy Spirit in the local travel school back could be a good interactive element that you could have with your students right the church members as you read through those and you can discover that clearly that's what's being talked about that this is the Acts of the Holy Spirit through individuals yes Tuesdays lesson toward the bottom of the of the last paragraph bottom of the page says the Holy Spirit was active in the New Testament church and is active in the life of the church today he longs to empower us strengthen us teach us guide us unify us everything that was reflected in those passages that he did for the early church. Unify us and send us out on the most important missions in the world which is the least most were mission in the world which is leading men and women to Jesus in this true Holy Spirit wants to work in the church today just as much as he did in the early church the book of Acts is not just a fairy tale that we read in it's like all that was a need that may have been in the story that never really happened in it it happened in it should be happening today in God's church at least we talk about those religious themes as though they're mythology instead of Faith theology right yes a living God He wants to do the same thing now anyway we have this other point here still as your study guide we flip the page empowering yowling the believers in the example given is the gift of tongues at Pentecost Right right that when they prayed for the Holy Spirit Of course it was poured out it wasn't just a personal a feel better kind of thing it was a tool to do something with it that or to hear him equipment to do a mission people sometimes get so focused on the gift of the whole of tongues is all the gift of tongues is a bit instead of realizing that what was happening is the Holy Spirit gave the particular skill that was needed at that time to really souls in our take away from that shouldn't be everybody should speak in tongues to do it should be that the holy spirit is willing to give whatever tool necessary to reach the last and I found this fascinating statement actually Apostles preached 39 it says a whole is commenting on this it says the Holy Spirit and able them to speak with fluency I'm sorry let me start again oh spirit enabled them to speak with fluency languages with which they had here to for Been unacquainted. So so they were just Ok at the language and they that rounded off the or in fact it goes on to say the Holy Spirit did for them that which they could not have accomplished for themselves in a life time and so more could be said but the point is. The Holy Spirit can enable us to do what we could never do all that she says in a lifetime all the study mission school. Going to the cemetery whatever you I'm not just talking about for us the languages I'm talking about any you know we say why can't we because I don't know enough theology I got to do more studies I got to do the Holy Spirit gave them in a moment more than they could have had in an entire lifetime and we put too much dependence on human means I'm not knocking forms of education ever else but they were educated by the spirit in a moment in a way it says From that time forth they were always able to speak not only those languages but he said even if they spoke in their native tongues they were able to speak with a clarity that they never were able to speak with before making things plain and clear to those they were teaching I mean to take away is the Holy Spirit to give the Holy Spirit He will empower the believers and he will empower every one of us to give us whatever tool is needed at that moment that is needed when I think sometimes we focus on spiritual fruit which is growing in the life and praise the Lord for it but it's a it takes time to life time you'll see and that's a good that's a little legitimate but the same Pollie spirit that over time grows those fruits in us yet also will gift in a moment if he so desires if he sees the need for it and in the work of the Lord he'll give you what you need whether it's to give the administration of the gift of tongues the gift of healing you know for instance and it Acts chapter 2 you don't see it in the gift of healing but as I say it's legit No it just didn't need to do that time for that's right and we may not receive the gift of tongues but if we are about our father's business and we come upon a situation that we need something we can trust of the same Holy Spirit that's growing in us the character of Christ will empower us with whatever gift we need to accomplish his work that's right it's powerful and that moves us into our last key point and that is the word of the Spirit is I've taken actually if you look at the Gospel of Mark for example Mark Chapter 12 verse 36. If you get there before me you can read it 1230 saw God I mean my hand here but Jesus says for David himself said by the Holy Spirit the Lord said to my Lord sit at my right hand to let me get so he's quoting scripture but he says David said by the Holy Spirit another verse is in. Acts Chapter 2025 where it says the Spirit said thus and so and it's what Scripture says and the point here is in the makes us in the lesson sometimes we talk about this the outpouring of the spirit almost as if it's transcending the word and we talked about that in our last quarter towards a good start but then the Comes to take it and it takes you to the next and it's important understand that the Holy Spirit uses the word employs the word. The best way can bring this up you know you go to the New Testament church and if you look at Wednesday's lesson there's a number of texts there under the 1st read section that just talk about how they preach the word just search new words or to preach the word you see the early church they preach the word they preach the word they were priest the Scriptures Paul went into 37 and preach to them from the Scriptures and cetera. Here's what really grabbed me about this in fact it's on Wednesdays lesson bottom of the page the very last 2nd the last sentence it says God has promised to bless His Word not our words and you and I were talking about this there was a period in my ministry and I have to backtrack a little bit and just say as long as I've been back in the church now it's pushing 25 years doctrine has been a bad word and it is like oh a doctrine is treated like this stainless steel room it's it's it's impersonal it's cold and and we talk about relationship and how we in. I'm not I understand some of that but what happens is that effects that affected me in my ministry to the point that there was one period in my ministry I remember going to give Bible studies and I have a particular one of that particular Bible say lessons and the person that I was studying with would be struggling with something and I became the therapy counselor. And my Bible studies became therapy sessions I'm not talking about one study and it just seemed that every week and that person was struggling with something again and so we would we divert from the study and I spent. Almost 2 years of my ministry not that I didn't get any Bible studies but there was so much of it that was just to me doing this counseling thing and I realized that at the end of all that. They connected with me but they didn't know they were any more spiritual their life wasn't changed because my word doesn't change anybody and I think what we do I don't think what we do I know what we do and I apologize if this is offensive to our readers but it it's something we've got to come to terms with because I know a lot of our church members are still not mindset like well the Bible's just so impersonal it's not is the word of the Living God in what we do is we degrade the word because we can't explain how it works like how is that going to meet somebody who needs it done just because the Word of God and you undertake to try to do it and you can feel like the hero when you're in there and you're been there all you made him feel better but your word in the words of the lesson here God has promised to bless His Word not our words the early church knew that that's why they preached the word in the Holy Spirit empowers the word he works through His Word you know it's had an opportunity to visit with a young lady just recently who was struggling in her faith and she had talked about how a pastor had come to visit her and she had said like I'm not really sure what faith in her circumstances physically geographically isolated from other church members and stuff she started to drift and she's like I know the doctrines I know the truth is we hold you know and I want to stay through those and he basically his counsel was like well it's not really about the doctors I don't know why we emphasize this so much which really she and she was like that's not what I need I need to exactly know one thing I need is to be held tighter to those doctrines and we think that the church connection is like well the friendships you make and the all of which is fairly short and that's fine but the reason I'm assessment they haven't is because of this message there is no other really good there are other places you can get cultural connections you can have societies and personal in a personal activities but the message of this word is the only reason to be a 7 to have it that's it because it's the Living Word the who is right works through it you know Ellen White makes a statement where she says the reason the Holy Spirit is called the comforter is because there is comfort in the truth but there is no comfort in falsehood and in. Back that statement can be found there are 2 recommended readings and I recommend both of them on Friday's lesson. From Ellen White in the book Acts of the Apostles the chapter The Gift of The Spirit see the page numbers there on Friday's lesson and in desire of Ages let not your heart be troubled that chapter that is one of the most awesome is one of my favorite chapters in all are writings both of those very powerful and there's a quote from The Gift of The Spirit chapter that we're going to close with if you want to read it sure this is actually Apostles page 50 the lapse of time has wrought no change in Christ parting promise to send the Holy Spirit as his representative it is not because of any restriction on the part of God that the riches of His Grace do not flow earth were to men if the fulfillment of the promise is not seen as it might be it is because the promise is not appreciated as it should be if all were willing all would be filled with the spirit wherever the need of the Holy Spirit is a matter little thought of there is seen spiritual drought spiritual darkness spirits of the Clinton and death whenever minor matters occupy the attention the divine power which is necessary for the growth and prosperity the church and which would bring all other blessings in its train is lacking though offered in infinite plentitude and you can guarantee that the needed the Spirit is going to be a matter little thought of any place where we are not embracing the mission Christ gave us an individual impersonally like the early church on a lot in this lesson but let's close with the word purpose for our Yes Father in heaven oh Father forgive us for not availing ourselves of this most precious gift of the Holy Spirit. For becoming so self-sufficient oftentimes and I can I can say for myself Lord perhaps some of our viewers can say the same Lord help us to again as a deeper sense of our need help us to embrace the mission that you've given to us. Not looking at our own inabilities but trusting that you'll provide whatever we needed through the all powerful moving of the Holy Spirit we have on record in the book of Acts and throughout the scripture the New Testament Scripture especially in the New Testament church the what the Holy Spirit was able to do with the church he wants to do the same thing for us today Father help us to avail ourselves of this most precious gift and we thank you for hearing and answering as we prayed in the name.

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