Just before Jesus’ departure, He told them they would be baptized in the Holy Spirit and they would be witnesses. A “witness” is someone who has seen and heard something and they testify these facts others. The church in Jerusalem began with “witnesses” who had seen Jesus at His death and after He was resurrected. This wasn’t one or two witness, but many; Paul said He appeared to over five-hundred believers after His resurrection (1 Cor. 15:6). If Jesus didn’t die and rise from the dead, why were there so many “witnesses” that said He did. These weren’t people that were just speaking some religious tenets; they were saying they saw the resurrected Jesus! Does someone want more proof? Many of them died for their testimony. Even if you could get hundreds of people to lie and say they saw the resurrected Christ, could you get them to die for that type of lie? The Holy Spirit continues to do miracles today through those who believe the Gospel, but even without that, history gives us ample proof that Jesus is the resurrected King!
With so many firsthand eye witnesses, someone may think that no other proof would be necessary, but Jesus is emphatic about believers bringing the power of God when they preach the Gospel. He said in Mark 16:17-18, “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." When Peter and John went to the temple in Acts chapter 3, they gave their testimony, but first they brought the power of God. God will bear “witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit” to the Gospel (Hebrews 2:4). Praise God!
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan