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Witnesses of Jesus Christ

BUT YE SHALL RECEIVE POWER, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: AND YE SHALL BE WITNESSES UNTO ME both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8, KJV).

The Greek word for “witnesses” is “martus”. Apart from meaning one who bears witness in a lawsuit, it also means proof of the manifestation of the strength of another. Thus, one becomes proof of Jesus Christ in this world by showing proof of Him in mighty power, signs and wonders. Additionally, the word “martus” means a martyr. The baptism in the Holy Ghost by Jesus Christ emboldens the believer with the power to testify of the word of Christ and also to completely give up his will even if it means death! The moment you are baptised in the Holy Ghost by Jesus Christ, you are signed up as
a martyr of Jesus Christ.

Many claim to have been baptised into the Spirit and yet are not witnesses of Jesus Christ. They shudder in the face of persecution and affliction and shut their mouths from proclaiming God’s message because they fear it will cost them their lives and ministry.

However, the experience of the early church, when they were baptised in the Holy Ghost was entirely different from what we usually see today. Suddenly, they were transformed from timid and frightful men who had shut themselves indoors to brands that had been plucked out of fire. They stepped out with the fire of the Spirit, proclaiming the gospel to the same Jews they once feared to preach to. What changed? They had been baptised in the Holy Ghost and had received power to become witnesses of Jesus Christ. At this stage, death was not a bother to them, and yes: church history proves that they were indeed persecuted and martyred on a large scale. Yet this was not enough to deter them.

One observational sign of the early church when they had this baptismal experience was speaking in other tongues. They had been brought into communion of the language of the Spirit. It must be noted that speaking in tongues is not evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit; it is only an observational sign. “WHEREFORE TONGUES ARE FOR A SIGN, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.” (1 Corinthians 14:22).

Tongues speaking, as a sign, is a means to an end. This end is the ultimate purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit which is POWER. No wonder Jude, the Apostle, who had this experience on the day of Pentecost admonished believers in Jude 1:20; “But you, beloved, build yourselves up [ founded] on your most holy faith [make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], praying in the Holy Spirit” (AMP). Pathetically, many believers, based on erroneous teachings of tongues-speaking as the evidence of the baptism in the Holy Ghost, remain at the level of the observational sign and ignore the advancement and progress toward the showing of the evident manifestation of power.

Today, in the church at large, what has been made of the baptism in the Spirit is speaking in tongues. Yet, this is only an observational sign of this kind of baptism. The purpose of baptism in the Spirit is to receive power to be a witness of Jesus Christ. The primary work of a witness is to speak forth the message of Christ, which is subsequently confirmed with signs and wonders. “Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” (Acts 14:3).

The expression of your baptism in the Holy Ghost by Jesus Christ is short-circuited if all you have done with it is speaking in tongues. That is not all that God intends for you to enjoy. In the Bible, there were awesome spiritual experiences when men were baptised in the Holy Ghost by Jesus Christ. Why is it that today, we only allow people to mumble a few words and claim the evidence of their having been baptised in the Spirit? Then, these same individuals walk away without any sign of power to be witnesses of Jesus Christ for the rest of their Christian lives. This ought not to be so!

There is power available for you to be a complete witness for the resurrected Jesus. Take this power and preach Christ to the uttermost part of the earth. Shalom!

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