In the book of Acts we see Christ, the resurrected and ascended Head of the Body, propagating Himself in His heavenly ministry not through a group of “trained preachers” or “highly qualified teachers of the Bible” but through a body of His witnesses who bear a living testimony of the incarnated, crucified, resurrected, and ascended Christ.
Today Christ is in His heavenly ministry propagating Himself through His disciples by the Spirit to produce the churches as the kingdom of God, and we need to cooperate with His heavenly ministry.
We need to realize that we are not just Christians – we are a group of people who are resurrected and ascended with Christ, having Christ within us as our life and Christ upon us as our power and authority. Therefore, we need to live a life not by our natural human life but by the Triune God within us as our life, and we need to act by the Triune God as our strength, power, and authority.
Everything we do in our Christian life and work needs to be in the spirit and by the Spirit, for the move of God is in the Spirit.
For us to cooperate with Christ in His heavenly ministry, we need to work and act in the Body and for the Body, doing nothing in an independent way. May the Lord save us from having individualistic actions or works, which are not related to the Body.
May we seek to have the one accord and do everything in the one accord, moving and acting in the Body, through the Body, and for the Body. The Body of Christ is the goal; the building up of the church is for the building up of the Body, and everything we do today should be for this.
God has only one divine stream, one unique flow, one move; everything we do has to be in this one unique stream, one current of the Lord. May we be such people. May we be the ones who know the meaning of resurrection and ascension to live in resurrection and ascension.
May we live and act by Christ as our power and authority, realizing that we are members of the Body and everything we do and act has to be in the Body and for the Body in the divine stream.
May we be those who learn to cooperate with our ascended Head in His heavenly ministry for Him to be propagated on earth through us, His disciples and members.
The Ascended Christ has a Body of His Witnesses who Bear His Living Testimony for His Propagation
Our ascended Christ, the Head of the Body, is now in the heavens carrying out His heavenly ministry for the propagating of Himself so that the kingdom of God might be established for the building up of the churches as His fulness.
For His propagation, however, He doesn’t use a group of preachers trained by man’s teaching to do a preaching work, but He uses a body of His witnesses who bear a living testimony of the incarnated, crucified, resurrected, and ascended Christ (see Acts 1:8).
The book of Acts clearly shows us that Christ doesn’t use professional preachers or outstanding teachers to promote and teach His sound doctrines and thus have the world be amazed and convicted; rather, He uses a group of living witnesses of Christ who testify of what they have seen and heard of Him.
What we see in the book of Acts is that Satan instigated the Jewish religionists and he utilized the Gentile politicians to bind the apostles and their evangelical ministry, but he could NOT bind Christ’s living witnesses and their living testimony.
The more the Jewish authorities and the Gentile politicians tried to bind and stop the apostles and their ministry, the stronger and brighter these witnesses of Christ and their living testimony became.
When the Lord called Paul, He told him, I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a minister and a witness both of the things in which you have seen Me and of the things in which I will appear to you (Acts 26:16).
Paul was prepared by God, trained by Him, and then called by Him not to preach or teach but to be His living witness. Our ascended Christ uses a body of His witnesses who would bear His testimony for His propagation.
This is what we need to be today. We need to know the truth, read the Bible, and be constituted with the divine truths, but above all, we need to know the Lord and bear a living testimony of the resurrected and ascended Christ in life.
Those who propagate Christ are not preachers and teachers but witnesses – living witnesses who bear His living testimony!
In Greek the word for “witness is the same as for “martyr”; the Lord’s witnesses testify of what they have seen of Him at a cost, and they do it joyfully, because they have seen something and are willing to pay the price.
The Lord’s disciples are not mere “preachers” or worse, hirelings, but they are people who witnessed the resurrected and ascended Christ, experienced Him, and now they bear a living testimony of Him for His propagation.
In His ascension the Lord carries out His ministry in the heavens through a body of His witnesses, in His resurrection life and with His ascension power and authority, as recorded in Acts, to spread Himself as the development of the kingdom of God from Jerusalem unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Lord Jesus, thank You for calling us not to be preachers or teachers but Your witnesses to testify of Your resurrection and ascension for Your propagation! Hallelujah, we are part of a body of His witnesses to bear the Lord’s living testimony wherever we go. Lord, we are here for Your propagation by the Spirit for the producing of the churches, the kingdom of God. Give us the experiences we need to witness the resurrected and ascended Christ so that we may bear a living testimony of who He is!
We are Ministers and Witnesses of Christ to bear His Living Testimony for His Propagation
Just like the apostle Paul, we are appointed as a minister and a witness of the things in which the Lord has appeared to us and will appear to us (Acts 26:16).
To testify is different from teaching; we can teach something without enjoying it, experiencing it, or realizing it, but in order for us to testify of something, we need to witness it.
For example, if you see the Grand Canyon, you will have the stunning view and amazing sight you see in your being; you can tell others about it, explain it and describe it, but they won’t understand it unless they see it.
Teaching doesn’t help much: we need to see. We need to not only know that Christ was resurrected and ascended, but realize that we have been resurrected and ascended together with Him, and experience this resurrected and ascended Christ to the extent that we testify of Him, the One whom we see, enjoy, and experience.
We are ministers and witnesses of Christ to bear His living testimony for His propagation. We need to have the Lord’s fresh appearing every day, enjoying Him and experiencing Him, so that we may bear a living testimony of His resurrection and ascension.
The Lord appears to us in many things, and we testify not of these things but of the resurrected and ascended Christ who appears to us in these things.
May we be the living witnesses of Christ, part of the body of His witnesses on earth, who testify of His appearing based on our experiences of seeing, participating, and enjoying this Christ.
May we not merely preach and teach but witness, testifying of the things in which the Lord has appeared to us. On the one hand we are ministers – this is related to our work; on the other hand we are witnesses – related to our person, to what we are.
The focus of the testimony of the disciples in Acts was the Lord’s resurrection; they have witnessed His resurrection, and now they testify of it to all those whom they meet (see Acts 1:22; 2:32; 3:13, 15, 26; 10:39-40; 13:33; 17:3, 18).
The Lord’s resurrection refers back to His incarnation, humanity, human living on earth, and God-ordained death, and it points forward to His ascension, ministry, and administration in heaven, and coming back.
What we testify of today is the all-inclusive Christ whom we enjoy and experience, based on the divine revelation in the Scripture.
May we realize who we are and what the Lord called us for, and may we give our best cooperation to His heavenly ministry to propagate the living Christ in His resurrection and ascension by the Spirit for the producing and development of the kingdom of God in all the local churches.
We first experience repentance unto God and faith in the Lord Jesus, and then we testify of what we have enjoyed and experienced of Christ to be His living testimony for His propagation.
Lord Jesus, keep us in Your appearing day by day. We want to enjoy You, experience You, and participate in all that You are to us so that we may be Your living witnesses on earth for Your propagation. May we realize that we are ministers of Christ to impart Him to others and living witnesses of Christ to testify of Him and the things that He has appeared to us. Amen, Lord, we treasure Your appearing. Make us a part of the body of Your living witnesses on earth who bear Your testimony for Your propagation and spread on earth!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Mark R. for this week, and portions from, Life-study of Acts, msgs. 10, 68 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Cooperating with the Heavenly Ministry of the Ascended Christ (2017 Spring ITERO), msg. 4 (week 4), Propagating the Resurrected Christ under the Heavenly Ministry of the Ascended Christ.
- Hymns on this topic:
# “With one accord,” until the mighty gift / Of pentecostal power was outpoured; / Then forth as witnesses possessed of God, / To preach the resurrection of the Lord! (Hymns #258)
# Lord Jesus, take me, break me; I’d hold nothing back from Thee; / Fill me till it is no more I that live; / That by Your resurrection life, we would Your testimony be. (Song on being the Lord’s testimony)
# Outreach of the glorious gospel / Is the flow of life within; / It is by our testimony / That lost sinners we may win. (Hymns #925)
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