Acts 1:6-8 (KJV)
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, it is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 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.
When Jesus rose from the grave on the third day He didn’t ascend immediately to heaven but stayed with His disciples for forty days during which He gave them infallible proofs about His true deity:
Acts 1:3 (KJV)
To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
After forty days of shewing himself alive unto them and giving those infallible proofs about himself, all their doubts were cleared. They came to a place where they knew of a truth beyond every reasonable doubt that Jesus was more than a rabbi or a prophet. They knew of a truth that indeed, in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.
John later wrote in his book:
1 John 1:1 (KJV)
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
Shortly before Jesus was taken up into the heavens right before their eyes at mount olives, his disciples (about five hundred of them) asked him a critical question that all along had been burning in their hearts concerning the political situation of their land while He was with them in the flesh ” Lord will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?
Israel became a nation ruled by monarch right from the days of Samuel; their dynasty began with Saul the first anointed king in Israel but by the reign of the Romans. The seventh empire of bible, it was all gone .When the Romans invaded Israel, the Jews practically lost everything. They lost their kingdom, they lost the control of their land, they lost their tradition, and they lost their pride and their economy and came under the prolonged detested tyranny reign of Rome.
All over the Jewish clan, the Romans established various jurisdictions:
Luke 3:1 (KJV)
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,
None of these public officers were Jews. They were Gentiles. The nation of Israel and the world were subjected to undue taxation:
Luke 2:1-3 (KJV)
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3 and all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
The Romans handpicked few among the Jews like Zacchaeus and appointed him as a tax collector over Jericho. Zacchaeus himself was seen in a bad light and was regarded by his own people as a publican because of his fraternity with Rome.
The nation’s currency (denarii or shekels) bore the symbol of Caesar a Gentile:
Luke 20:22-24 (KJV)
Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 23 But he perceived their craftiness and said unto them, why tempt ye me? 24 Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar’s.
The economy of the land was so bad that the average daily income of a Jewish worker from sunrise to sunset was a penny.
Soldiers manned everywhere and extorted wages from the hapless Jewish civilians, John the Baptist in his era lightly rebuked soldiers and instructed them in the way of righteousness:
Luke 3:14 (KJV)
14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, and what shall we do? And he said unto them, do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; nor be content with your wages.
Their political scenario was like ours today. With the coming of the messiah, the Jews expected a David -like deliverance of Israel from the hand of Goliath, they thought Jesus would rescue them from the oppressive rule of Rome but He came for something bigger than the Roman’s oppressive rule. He came to set them free from the power of Satan – every man’s adversary.
With the coming of the messiah, every Jew in Israel anticipated their liberation from the oppressive rule of Rome and the restoration of their monarchy system of government as it was in their history but Jesus came and focused on a heavenly kingdom agenda. He was a political throughout his earthly ministry. When He died on the cross, his own disciples expressed utter disappointments. The chances of being redeemed as a nation from the grip of Rome perished in them with his crucifixion:
Luke 24:21 (KJV)
But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done.
After knowing all power on earth and in heaven had been given to Him by the father after the resurrection, they sought Him for their nation’s political peace and restoration shortly before He ascended to His father at mount olives saying “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?
The Jews had a culture of inquiry. They know how to place demand on God to understand times and seasons. Jeremiah prophesied to the Jews about the 70 years Babylonian captivity but the prophecy also indicated that when they completed seventy years in exile, God would visit them and bring them back to their own land once again. When it was 70 years in Babylon, Daniel went before the Lord and sought to understand the season of the restoration which God in his mercies had promised Israel. They had this culture of inquiry. It is something woven into them. They had a tribe among them gifted with the understanding of the time and season (The Issachars) but in reply, Jesus said to them …it is not for you to know the time and the season the father had appointed in his power but you shall receive power and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost part of the world.
What is the connection between the question and the answer?
The question was … Lord will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? It was a political demand but when the answer came, Jesus said but ….YE SHALL RECEIVE POWER after that the Holy Ghost come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth.
What is the connection between the question asked and the answer which Jesus gave?
Could this infusion of power by the Holy Spirit be the solution to the political crisis in their land?
Did Jesus answered the question or shy away from it? Yes He did answered the question asked!
When they asked Him….will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? He answered but you shall receive power!
He answered the question and the answer He gave was the solution to the problem!
“You shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you shall be witnesses unto me”.
Now, what kind of Witness was Jesus talking about?
The Witness he was talking about was to the fact that in the beginning was the word, the word was with God, He became flesh and dwelled among men; He was crucified and laid in the grave, but the grave couldn’t hold him ,He broke the chains of death, He is alive for forever more !
What the Lord said in essence to His disciples was this “You don’t need to bother yourselves about the time and season the father has appointed in his power for the restoration of Israel as a kingdom from the reign of Rome, but you shall receive power when the Holy Ghost is come upon you and when you receive this power, you will become a living witness to my resurrection from the grave under the same oppressive reign of Rome and as you do this in the power of My Spirit, it will affect the polity; you will break the power of the reign of Rome and fixed the nation! The restoration you seek for your land is in you getting under the power of the Holy Ghost and witnessing to my resurrection.
Jesus meant to say: not by might, not by power but by My Spirit;
Zechariah 4:6-7 (KJV)
6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, this is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying,
Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit,
Saith the Lord of hosts.7 Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain:And he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shouting, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
That visitation and infusion of Power at Pentecost can produce anything in the nation politically, economically and spiritually! It can change government and their policies. The message of his resurrection has no limit to what it can deliver to a nation! Its influence cannot be quantified. We can’t limit the message to the four walls of a building week in week out. It is a nation changing witnessing, it is a world changing witnessing! It is a kingdom subduing witnessing!
God is a God of pattern. What He said to the disciples who desired earnestly a political restoration for their land at mount olives before He departed out of their sight is the same thing He would say to the church in any harsh economy or hostile environment. YOU SHALL RECEIVE POWER AND YOU SHALL BE WITNESSES UNTO ME.
It has always been His pattern to empower his people whenever they cry to him for the political restoration of their land from the hands of their oppressors. Let us borrow a leaf from the Old Testament:
Samuel 9:15-17 (KJV)
Now the Lord had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying,
Tomorrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.
The nation of Israel came under the oppression of the philistines and the people Israel cried out to God and he heard their cry in heaven but in response to their cry, what did God do? Did he come down? No. Did he sent an angel? No, He instructed a man to be anointed!
God said to Samuel, the cry of my people has come up to my ears; anoint a man, he is the solution to the cry of the people.
God doesn’t fix a nation’s political issues by merely giving them a new government, don’t get me wrong we surely need a government to rule in the land but far beyond this, the empowerment of the church within the nation is where the restoration of the nation lies! That is where the answers to the agony of the people lies. The church was never born to know one single limit.
By the time we begin to witness to the nation that we serve a God in heaven whose son is not in the grave, it will affect the entire nation! Please don’t underestimate the power of Pentecost, it can fix a nation politically. When the gift of joseph manifested in Egypt, it didn’t help a local church, it saved a whole nation! Please don’t underestimate the power of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is unlimited in power and influence.
Richard Femi Bolaji is an endtime prophet /teacher and a vessel of real Holy Ghost revival privileged to have ministered across major denominations of the body of Christ in Africa and other parts of the globe .
Dr Bolaji’s ministry is thrilling , lively ,and tremendously encouraging and impactful .He has been anointed by God this hour to bring to the body of Christ ,one of the most important, one of the most anointed, and timely prophetic revelations and truth .
His inspirational teachings and ministrations imparts fresh faith , courage , hope and strength and they also attack spiritual forces and break through spiritual barriers. Atmosphere shifts, The spiritual Climate changes , things changes, And growth comes