Events and happenings on the world scene alarm cause many to see a doom and gloom scenario ahead. In this video segment of a pre-election prophetic round table Prophet Russ Walden points out that this isn’t the devil getting the upper hand but rather God’s people being COMPELLED INTO THE HARVEST. Let the times we are in be an encouragement to bold exploits of faith to step up and fulfill your destiny. Enjoy the video:

In the early days of the first century church there was a significant community of unified believers.

Act 4:32-33 KJV – [32] And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any [of them] that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. [33] And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

It wasn’t until the persecution that arose around Saul that the disciples started to obey the command to go and even then the apostles stayed behind. This was inspite of the fact that Jesus instructed them to go out after the day of Pentecost:

Luk 24:49 KJV – [49] And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Even when persecution came the apostles were reluctant to go out and fulfill the command of Christ:

Act 8:1 KJV – [1] And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. – [4] Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.

If you study the chronology of the book of Acts you will find that decades after the day of Pentecost the apostles were still inexplicably keeping close to Jerusalem.

Quote from Roland Clark: A Dialogue Between Muslims and Christians:

Six hundred years after Jonah’s time the Lord commissioned his twelve disciples to proclaim his message of salvation to the world. We call it the Great Commission. Like Jonah, the apostles were more than a little reluctant to obey. They started well, preaching the gospel throughout Jerusalem. But they were hesitant to go beyond Jerusalem in obedience to the Lord Jesus. Was it perhaps, outside their comfort zone, to go and be witnesses in Judea and Samaria?

A close look at the book of Acts shows that if there had not been a “great persecution” in Jerusalem the Christians probably would have stayed in the capital indefinitely (Acts 8:1). This is the first time in Acts that we see any indication of believers preaching the gospel outside Jerusalem. Apparently God had to providentially allow a great persecution to thrust them into “Judea and Samaria” – the next two areas their Master had specifically instructed them to go to (Acts 1:8). The result of this persecution was that “they preached the Good News wherever they went.”

Acts 8:2 tells us that “all the believers except the apostles were scattered.” (bold font added for emphasis) Having the benefit of hindsight, it is easy for us to find fault with the disciples for not joining this venture. It may seem overly critical and unwarranted to imply that the apostles procrastinated about going to Judea or that they were reluctant to go to Samaria. However, there is strong evidence to support this.

The Samaritans were a people that the disciples had previously been disinclined to engage with. It was not uncommon for Jewish leaders to brand Samaritans as being demon-possessed (John 8:48). Moreover, two of Christ’s closer companions – James and John – wanted to call fire down from heaven against a Samaritan village because the inn-keeper turned them away (Luke 9:51). Furthermore, when one considers the longstanding history of debates between Jewish and Samaritan leaders,1 this fiery outburst suggests that the disciples were affected by the same bitterness and prejudice that had prevailed among their fellow Jews for centuries.

This reluctance on the part of the Apostles to leave Jerusalem was in direct contravention of the ascension assignment given to them by Christ:

Mar 16:14-20 KJV – [14] Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. [15] And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. [16] He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. [17] And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; [18] They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. [19] So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. Mar 16:[20] And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with [them], and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. 

John Mark wrote his gospel just about the time that Jerusalem was destroyed. It wasn’t until that point that he could pen that description “they went forth…” without it being a lie. Even the way it was worded the truth is there were decades between verse 19 when Jesus was taken up and verse 20 when the disciples actually obeyed the command to go.

The apostles were notoriously reticent in many areas to emulate Christ even in the preaching of the kingdom. Jesus’ teachings were replete with references to the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven (stressing that it is IN you not “out there” somewhere). A reading of the new testament will reveal that the apostles completely didn’t “get” the kingdom message. Of the 77 references to the “kingdom” in the New Testament 70 of them are in the words of Jesus and only 1 by one of the eleven remaining apostles and 2 by Paul himself.

Conclusion:

The western world and culture as we know it exists because of the Gospel. Our culture owes a great debt not only spiritually but culturally and in our society as well. The modern world as we know it would look quite different than it does today were it not for the coming of Christ and the establishment of the Church.

Yet in the west the United States is filled with generations of Christians who live out their lives without any frame of reference to “seeking first the kingdom” and fulfilling the great commission. They are told “you can’t go but you can send your money…” That is a despicable lie designed to assuage the responsibility of every believer to find their role  and their ministry portion in the earth.

As it was in the early church so I believe it is today that God is allowing pressure to come upon our society to force us into the mission field like never before. I believe you will see in time to come people giving themselves to the gospel like never before because the things and people and values that kept them from doing so have been stripped from their lives.  This is not God’s first choice but what he directs in the kindness of  His spirit He will compel by the discipline of His hand.

It isn’t going to get better in the United States or the west. The political, economic and social climate will continue to be in flux because it is through instability change is provoked. Witness the greatest revivals we’ve seen in our lifetimes precipitated by two world wars and a world wide Great Depression.

We have the option to obey now and position ourselves to be used of God as obedience children. The unusual assignments of many men and women of God and the emergence of market place ministry models is a harbinger of a pressure driven dispersion of men and women throughout the world to a fresh proclamation of the gospel.

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