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WITNESSES.pdf

WITNESSES.pdf

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT




" But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come tipon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me Hoth in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 1 ACTS I. 8.
BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT




" But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come tipon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me Hoth in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 1 ACTS I. 8.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 02, 2013
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WITNESSES.BY REV. WILLIAM ARNOT" But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come tiponyou: and ye shall be witnesses unto me Hoth in Jerusalem, and in allJudea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 1ACTS I. 8.THE chosen band, diminished now by the fall of Judas,are clustering affectionately yet reverently round therisen Lord, as they ascend together the slope of Olivet,looking their last look upon their Master, and eagerlydrinking in his last words. They knew, for he had toldthem, that his departure was expedient ; but in their22 The CJiitrcli in the House.hearts they felt it sad. With a presentiment that theseparation was at hand, they united all in one final question, "Lord, wilt thouat this time restore again the king-do:n to Israel ?" In these circumstances a desire to pryinto the future was natural; but in the estimate of theMaster it was unwise. Accordingly, he firmly checkstheir disposition to speculate about the date of the Millennium; but he does not leave them dangling idle forwant of an object, when the object which they endeavoredtograsp was placed conclusively beyond their reach. Inremoving the speculative inquiry from their mental vision, he placed a great practical work in their hands.This is the Lord s method, and it manifests a Divinewisdom. As often as any of his disciples evinced aninclination to follow a curious speculation regardingother persons, he diverted the stream of their energiesinto some channel of practical duty for themselves. The
 
normal example of this method is the reply to Peter sinquisitiveness regarding the rumored immortality of John: Question "And what shall this man do?" Answer " What is that to thee ? Follow thou me." Awayfrom other people and other times the word of the Lordalways called the disciples, and fixed them down towhat concerned themselves and the present.It is of great importance to observe that the Lorddid not cut short their speculation into the secrets othe Divine purpose, and stop there: he gathered up thebroken ends of their energy, and fastened them to animmediate work. If the planets should at any timestand still in their course, they would be drawn intothe central fire and consumed. It is necessary to theirwell-being that they should be flung with all their forceon a path of activity. Disciples of Christ, both in ancientand modern times, lie under a similar necessity. Unlessthey are thrown out in a course of vigorous action, theywill be drawn into an orbit so narrow that action willbe no longer possible.The specific office to which the disciples are calledis to be witnesses unto Christ; and yet for that officethey were and are unfit, except in as far as the Lordimparts the power through the communication of theHoly Spirit. " Ye shall receive power after that theHoly Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnessesWitnesses. 2 3 jnto me." The power of witness-bearing depends onthe Spirit, and the Spirit is the gift of Christ. Althoughthose men were themselves saved, they were not fit towork any deliverance in the earth by their own wisdomor strength. Their demand for fire from heaven mighthave consumed their adversaries, but could not haveconverted them. On this method it would have been
 
long ere they had filled God s guest-chamber by a multitude gathered from the highways and hedges of theworld. Wanting the Spirit, even the apostles were inclined to persecute; and, wanting the Spirit, the self-styled successors of the apostles have persecuted in allsubsequent times.The Spirit is like the air. The Lord breathed on hisdisciples, and said, " Receive ye the Holy Ghost." Wecould not live our present natural life without air. Thesun in the heavens would not warm us if the atmospherewere not wrapped round the globe. The air is near,and the sun is distant. It is the sun s heat that sustainsJife; but the sun s heat could not be communicated toplants and animals without the intervention of the atmosphere. The earth is as completely dependent onair for its supply of water as for its supply of heat. Theair obtains a supply from the ocean, and pours it on thedry land. Thus disciples in every age obtain grace fromthe Lord through the ministry of the Spirit.But the specific function which a disciple is fitted,through the ministry of the Spirit, to discharge, is to bea witness unto Christ. Whom Christ saves from theworld, he employs in the world. The captives takenfrom the enemy in this warfare are one by one incorporated into the army of the great King, and sent intothe field to fight against their former master. Conspicuous and instructive, in this aspect, is the experienceof Paul. When the Lord overcame and took captivethat emissary of the Wicked One, the victory was theseed of other victories. The subdued enemy became agood and great soldier of Jesus Christ. The captive,when smitten to the ground, and seized and disarmed,was not sent to prison; was not, except for a very shorttime, sent even to the rear, but ordered to the front,where the battle between Christ s kingdom and the godof this world was raging.

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