Are you a witness?


Well-Known Member

After Jesus’ resurrection but before He ascended into heaven, He left His disciples with this; Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Was this a command, a statement of fact to the disciples, or a promise given to all believers? I believe it is all three.

Jesus commanded the disciples in what is known as “The Great Commission,” when He said, Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;[1] Acts 1:8 then gives specificity to the order in which to preach, (Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria, uttermost parts of the earth) and the timing of that preaching to all nations, (…both in Jerusalem, Judea, ... that is, at the same time.)

Acts 1:8 can be taken as a statement of fact when He said “…you shall be witnesses of me.” We are witnesses. That is, we belong to Jesus, and whether we are aware of it or not, we are a living testimony of Jesus’ life in us. The picture we portray, depends on whether we are walking in the Spirit or walking after the flesh.[2] Recognize here that He said we are witnesses, not lawyers. A witness testifies of what has been seen and heard. A lawyer argues.

Finally, Acts 1:8 is a promise. “You shall receive power…and you shall be witnesses.” The Holy Spirit is that power, whom we received by promise[3] when we believed the Gospel. We need not fear what to say when we witness to people because Jesus said, But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.[4]

So, whether Acts 1:8 is a command, a statement of fact, a promise, or all three, what matters is that we do it. He will provide the opportunities.

[1] Matthew 28:19,20
[2] Galatians 5:16
[3] John 14:26, 16:7
[4] Mark 13:12