Pt. 4 – Empowered to See
Saving the best for last
Now Jesus had told the disciples to wait, sit tight and not go anywhere until they received this promised Holy Spirit. And we all know the last thing someone says to us before they leave is really important and we should definitely pay attention.
Well, after Jesus died, rose again, hung out on earth for 40 more days, then He says this. The very, very last thing He tells His disciples before His final ascension is…
“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria
and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Power is awesome, but power for what? To be witnesses. Now this is pretty interesting because we Christians are just about the only people on the planet who understand witnessing to be something you do with your mouth.
We think of witnessing as evangelizing, and talking to people about Jesus. Which is actually more “witness bearing.” Other verses talk about that, but not this one.
This verse is talking about “witnessing,” which is something you do with your eyes. You look, see, watch, observe. That’s witnessing.
And He said we would “be” witnesses so it’s actually even less about what we do and more about who we are. We’re the watchers and observers.
So what are we watching or who are we observing? Jesus. We’re fixing our eyes on Jesus. Well, how can we see Him if He’s gone to heaven? Impossible, until we get baptized by the Holy Spirit. Then we receive our supernatural night vision anointing and realize that heaven is not so far away and we can actually see into it and hear from it anytime we want.
In the beginning the Garden of Eden was heaven on earth. No sin, no sickness or death. Satan had no authority until we gave it to him. And there was perfect fellowship with God.
And if we fast forward to the book of Revelation we know it talks all about those same characteristics of our heavenly home.
But as I’ve mentioned before, heaven is just too awesome for me to wait around until I die to experience it. And Jesus said I don’t have to. He told His disciples to pray in this way, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” On earth as it is in heaven? On earth as it is in heaven!
And when does Acts 1:8 say we are witnesses and observers and watchers of Jesus? Well, He was only on earth as a man for about 33 years, so if I were going to look at Him in the natural world, it would have needed to be a couple thousand years ago.
But Jesus said you will be witnesses and watchers. Which throws this whole observation and seeing Him thing into the future, for sure. It’s not about watching Him in Israel way back when, it’s about what He’s been up to every day since, and what He’s doing right now.
Speaking of locations…
When Jesus lived in a physical body in the physical world, He actually had a fairly small area of ministry. I mean yeah, He was in Jerusalem, Judea, and even Samaria, but not a whole lot farther out than that. He only ever traveled about 200 miles from where He was born.
Yet, this verse talks about seeing Him where? In the remotest part of the earth. The ends and the uttermost. This has got to be a future thing, because Jesus never got to the ends of the earth when He was here as a man.
And He’s talking about us seeing Him there. Watching Him and observing Him and being a witness of Him as He currently lives and actively works and ministers in Buffalo and Beijing and Buenos Aires. The farthest parts of the earth.
Because the invitation is still the same. Jesus is still calling us now just as He did then with a simple, “Follow Me.”
It’s not an impersonal, cold religion or pile of doctrines and theology. It’s a relationship. That’s what God’s into. That’s all He’s ever been into. It’s just us who’ve gotten sidetracked with rules and laws and boxes to live inside.
Just like a little kid learns by imitating her father or big brother, we’re seeing our heavenly Father and we’re imitating Him. We’re watching our elder Brother Jesus and we’re modeling Him. This has gotta be easy enough for a child to do, so we just hang out with Him and follow the Leader.
I shared about this with my small group: that to be a witness means to be a watcher, and that it is the baptism of the Holy Spirit that anoints us with the power to be witnesses. Current and in-the-moment seers, watchers, lookers and observers of Jesus.
It is the baptism of the Holy Spirit that opens the eyes of our hearts and gives us the power to look into the supernatural realm, see what Jesus is doing and follow His lead. Holy Spirit is the one who anoints us to be active, present tense, real time witnesses of Jesus.
See what He’s up to and join Him. Work and play alongside Him. Do life together with Him.
That is the Great Invitation.
Ready for more?
If you haven’t been baptized by Holy Spirit yet and want to be, check this out. He will open the eyes of your heart to the kingdom of heaven that is upon you and within you. Blessings on your journey!