By Apostle Aje Pelser, Harvester Reformational Church, Cape Town
To view the presentation about Harvester and the new church building, click here.
Act 9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.
Act 9:16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
Act 9:17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Act 9:18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.
Saul Proclaims Jesus in Synagogues
Act 9:19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.
Act 9:20 Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.
Act 9:21 Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?”
Act 9:22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
Saul Escapes from Damascus
Act 9:23 Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him.
Act 9:24 But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him.
Act 9:25 Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.
Saul in Jerusalem
Act 9:26 And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple.
Act 9:27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
Act 9:28 So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out.
Act 9:29 And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him.
Act 9:30 When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.
Act 9:31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.
The roles disciples play in apostolic ministry:
Notice the importance of how one receives an apostle.
1. God needs a Barnabas character to bring in new converts with potential and to vouch for them.
2. Once the disciples and brothers received Saul, they continually helped him along and transported him and let him down through the wall in a basket!
3. Churches today should convey apostles in the same way so that the benefits of apostolic ministry can be felt completely in every region.
4. The brothers also sent Saul on a mission to Tarsus.
Once they received the apostle through the negotiating skills of Barnabas, things started to change for the persecuted early church.
Embracing the apostolic ministry requires a divine connection and a brotherly reception.
Consequences of Supporting Apostolic Missions
Here are some divine consequences of supporting apostolic missions:
1. The Church throughout the region will have peace – unbroken tranquillity. A further meaning of peace, is in the sense of rest and prosperity. During war we have seen how Christians and churches were broken up in Cote D’Ivoire. However, the teachings and Reformational mind sets helps the true church to survive and the leaders asked for apostolic input to rebuild the church after the war.
2. The Church will be built up and go forward.
Edification means to be built up and to embolden. Like a house being built or constructed. Apostolic ministry is like master building in the spiritual realm.
1Co_3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.
Our church building should reflect some of what we are doing in the spirit. The devil has sought to discredit all the work we do around the world by hindering our building in the physical – but he is defeated and people will come from around the world to be built up in our new venue too, for form will follow function and people will receive their functions and be equipped to fulfil them from this place in Jesus’ name.
3. The Church will fear the Lord and build accurately with Jesus.
The fear of the Lord is essential in a growing church because all the members will work out their salvation with fear and trembling. That reverence keeps you as things grow and expand. We walk circumspectly and always remember that it is Jesus building His church – it is not our kingdom but His!
4. The Holy Spirit will be able to comfort, instruct and exhort the believers.
Many of the regions this ministry reaches are very remote and few travellers venture in there for fear of danger or because the cost is too great. That is where apostles thrive. The effect of apostolic visits to a growing church needs to be viewed long term. Often 3 to 6 months after a church has received impartation from an apostle, they will start to see fundamental changes in the operations and functioning gifts of the church.
God often removed people who have hindered the growth of the church after such visits and a cleansing takes place on every level as they embrace the reformation of Jesus in His church. The opposition is often fierce and people forget to pray for apostles thinking they are fine.
Apostle Paul regularly asked his friends and the church to pray for him for boldness. He knew what awaited him.
Our resident Apostle Andre has often faced near death experiences for the sake of the Gospel and continues to go regardless of his personal health.
It is therefore of paramount importance to stress the benefits and consequences of apostolic ministry when we build a church that is to be a training centre for such apostolic work.
We are not just another Christian city or club where we are trying to feel good about ourselves and seeing how many people we can get together on a Sunday.
Our command is to love all nations and go to them with Gospel making disciples.
Making a disciple of Jesus is a mark of a true apostolic church and ministry.
We centre all we do on Jesus Christ and His purpose and that releases a mighty force into the world.
5. The Holy Spirit will encourage the church through missions. There are so many wonderful reports of gratitude for what we do as a church. We are being blessed constantly for what we do and those who support missions are reaping everlasting returns in this life and in the life to come.
Mar 10:29 So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,
Mar 10:30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.
Mar 10:31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
6. The church and believers multiply.
The word used for multiplied is:
Multiplied G4129 plēthunō pronounced ‘play-thoo’-no’
to increase (transitively or intransitively): – abound, multiply.
It has a connotation based on G4128 plēthos pronounced ‘play’-thos’:
a fulness, that is,
a large number,
throng, populace: –