Lesson 8

CHAPTER EIGHT

REAPING BY REVELATION

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

C Explain God’s methodology of multiplication.

C Identify the spiritual tool which enables reaping by revelation.

C Go beyond blessing to experience spiritual power.

KEY VERSE:

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. (Acts 1:8)

INTRODUCTION

It is not enough to know strategies for spiritual harvest. You must also understand the method and tool for harvesting. The method is the way you use the strategies you have learned. You must do God’s work His way. His way is that of divine revelation and results in spiritual reproductivity .

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand and when ye turn to the left.

Then shall He give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous… (Isaiah 30:21,23)

This is reaping by revelation from God rather than by man’s methods.

STEWARDS OF THE MYSTERY

Believers are "stewards of the mysteries of God.” A steward is one in charge of

something on behalf of another. A mystery is something not known by others. God has given us a commission to…

…make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the

beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.

According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Ephesians 3:9-11)

God has revealed to the church the mystery of salvation through Jesus Christ. By the church He is making known this mystery to the universe:

Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself;

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him. (Ephesians 1:9-10)

The church is the instrument through which the mysteries of God are revealed to sinful humanity. Our mission is one of "reaping by revelation.”

A SEED SHALL SERVE HIM

The natural cycle of harvest is based on the principle of multiplication. The seed is sown and produces a harvest. Within the fruit of that harvest are the seeds of further
reproduction:

And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind.
(Genesis 1:12)

These seeds can multiply and bring forth another harvest. The cycle is unending. In this natural cycle is a great spiritual truth. It is one of the reasons Jesus used the harvest to illustrate the vision of reaching the world with the Gospel.

Just as each grain or fruit harvested has the capacity for reproduction in the natural world, so it is in the spiritual world .

Jesus was referred to as a seed:

All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

A seed shall serve Him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. (Psalms 22:27,30)

When Jesus died on the cross for the sins of all mankind, the seed of His life was planted.
What a rich harvest it has yielded as multitudes have been saved from sin to salvation and
from death to life. Each born-again believer is like a seed in the natural world . Within
each one is life and the capacity to reproduce. This is true both in the natural and spiritual
worlds.

THE WORLD WAS REACHED

It was a great vision with which Jesus challenged His followers. The harvest fields of the world spread before them. They had no modern technology such as printing presses, radios, televisions , and computers to enable their task. They had no rapid transportation such as buses, cars, trains, or airplanes. Yet the Bible records that in a short time they literally turned the world upside down for Jesus Christ:

And when they found them not, they drew …certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also. (Acts 17:6)

The vision was accomplished by men who understood God’s method of multiplication and knew how to harvest spiritually.

All over the world there are ripened spiritual harvest fields but souls are perishing despite modern technology. The reason is that many have not understood the method and tool for reaping in revelation harvest.

THE METHOD

Modern churches have tried many methods to spread the Gospel and increase church membership. They have used contests, prizes , and special programs to attract a crowd . They have used many man-made plans in trying to accomplish spiritual work. Spiritual work is done by spiritual methods. God would not leave His followers with such a great vision to fulfill without providing a method to make it become reality.

The method can be seen in the natural parallel of the fruit of the harvest which has the ability to reproduce. It is summarized in II Timothy 2:2:

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
(II Timothy 2:2)

The world was not reached by just the eleven disciples of Jesus Christ. Every believer was a reproducing Christian. The world today will never be reached by only the
professional ministers and missionaries. There are not enough of them. Ninety-nine percent of the church is composed of laymen. This is the labor force that must be
motivated if we are to reach three billion souls for Jesus Christ.

The Bible records that great persecution came against the early church in Jerusalem and…

…they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles…

Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the Word. (Acts 8:1,4)

The apostles, who were the church leaders and full time ministers , remained in Jerusalem. It was the scattered believers who went everywhere preaching the Word. Each believer was reproducing other believers and discipling them in the Kingdom of God. Those
scattered were fishermen , tentmakers , and seamstresses by occupation, but their main concern was the spread of the Gospel message.

When Saul was persecuting the early church it is recorded that he not only entered the

temples but also into "every house" to arrest believers (Acts 8:3). This was because every home was a center of spiritual harvest. With every believer reproducing and every home a center of evangelism, closing the church doors would not stop the spread of the Gospel.

Just as every believer in the early church was reproductive, every home had a special mission. For example, the following events occurred in the homes of believers:

– Acts 2:1,46: Pentecost came in the upper room of a house. After Pentecost the believers met daily in homes.

-Acts 9:1 1,17 : Annanias went to the house of Judas and ministered to Paul. This resulted in the spread of the Gospel to the Gentiles.

-Acts 10-11: While praying in a home Peter received a revelation which resulted in the extension of the Gospel to the Gentiles.

-Acts 1 2:12 , 16:15 , 21-2 4, 40: Prayer meetings of believers were held in the home of Mary, Lydia, Jarius.

-Acts 20:20: Paul not only taught publicly but also in homes.

-Acts 21:8-14: Prophetic revelation was given to Paul in the house of Philip .

-Acts 28:30-31: Paul preached and taught in a rented house.

-Romans 16:5 ; I Corinthians 16:1 5,19; Colossians 4:1 5; Philemon 2:

References are made to the churches in the homes of Priscilla and Aquilla, Stephanas, Nymphas, and Archippus.

Every home was a center of spiritual reproduction. Every believer was reproducing.

Your home is not to be a center of defensive spiritual warfare where you constantly must be protecting from the attack of the enemy. It is to be a stronghold of offensive spiritual warfare advancing the Gospel message and claiming enemy territory for God.

TEACH ONE TO REACH ONE

The method is simple: Each believer reproducing other believers, teaching faithful men who are able to teach others. Just as in the natural example of the fruit of the harvest, the cycle is unending. But the results of this plan make it easy to understand how the early church "turned the world upside down" with the Gospel message.

Look at the chart on the following page. This chart uses the period of a year as the

average time necessary to reach a person with the Gospel and train him to be a

reproductive Christian. In reality, the process could take more or less time depending on the people involved.

But using one year as an average time, if a believer would reach just one person and

disciple them each year and have them pledge to disciple one person each year thereafter, the world could easily be reached with the Gospel message. The chart shows that during the first year the Christian is discipling one person. At the end of that year, there are now two faithful people (the believer and the person he has discipled).

During the next year, each of them reach one person. At the end of the second year, there
is a total of four people , each of whom will reach one person the following year. Look at
the top of the chart and observe the results of this process if it is followed over a period of
years.

If you are a member of a local church, take the total membership of your church and

multiply it by 131,072. Your answer is the number of people your church could harvest in the next 17 years if each member was reproducing.

DISCIPLER(S) DISCIPLE(S) TOTAL

YEAR 17 65,536 65,536 = 131,072

YEAR 16 32,768 32,768 = 65,536

YEAR 15 16,384 16,384 = 32,768

YEAR 14 8,192 8,192 = 16,384

YEAR 13 4,096 4,096 = 8,192

YEAR 12 2,048 2,048 = 4,096

YEAR 11 1,024 1,024 = 2,048

YEAR 10 512 512 = 1,024

YEAR 9 256 256 = 512

YEAR 8 128 128 = 256

YEAR 7 64 64 = 128

YEAR 6 32 32 = 64

YEAR 5 16 16 = 32

YEAR 4 8 8 = 16

YEAR 3 4 4 = 8

YEAR 2 2 2 = 4

YEAR 1 1 1 = 2

God has always used men and women to fulfill His will. God’s method for harvesting

requires men. Man searches for better methods, but God seeks for better men. The world takes able men who are talented and tries to give them character. God says to take men of character, faithful men, and He will develop them into able men.

As a steward of the mysteries of God, all that is required is that you are faithful:

Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (I Corinthians 4:1-2)

It is not required that you are educated or talented. It is only required that you are faithful.

Faithful men and women committing the Gospel to other faithful men and women who are able to teach others…this is God’s revelation for reaping the harvest.

THE TOOL

In the natural world there are not only strategies for harvest and methods of using these strategies, there are also tools for harvest. The tools may vary from a simple sickle to complex machinery .

God has also provided a tool for spiritual harvest. Jesus said:

…All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

(Matthew 28:18-20)

There are four important references to the word "all" in this passage. Believers are commissioned to:

-Teach ALL nations
-ALL things

These two duties are our responsibility. They are a summary of the vision of the harvest. God’s responsibility is to:

-Provide ALL power to enable our task. -To be with us alway (ALL the way).

Jesus told His disciples:

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. (Acts 1:8)

The power of the Holy Ghost was the tool which Jesus gave His followers to fulfill the responsibility of the vision of the harvest. To be effective, the method of multiplication must be empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Many experience blessings of the Holy Spirit. They feel the anointing, they rejoice, and they speak in other tongues. But the true evidence of the Holy Spirit is not just blessing or speaking in unknown tongues. The true evidence of the Holy Spirit is power. This

power is not political power or physical power. It is spiritual power.

You must not be satisfied to experience only the blessings of the Holy Spirit. You must go beyond blessings into the revelation of God’s power.

DIRECTED POWER

Undirected power is dangerous. The same mighty flow of a waterfall which can provide water and energy can destroy an entire community if it is not channeled properly.

The power with which Jesus endued His followers was directed power to enable them to be witnesses to the world. It was the tool they were to use to fulfill the vision.

God is the source of this power:

God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this, that power belongeth to God. (Psalms 62:11)

Believers are commanded to receive this power:

Tarry ye until ye be endued with power from on high. (Luke 24:49)

The word "endued" means to be clothed with power. God wants to cover you spiritually with His power to enable you to be witnesses to the world.

THE PURPOSE OF POWER

The power of the Holy Spirit is necessary to make you an effective witness because it is the Word of power:

His power will take the words you speak and make them effective:

…His word was with power…And they were all amazed and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. (Luke 4:32,36)

His power confirms the Word:

And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following. (Mark 16:20)

God confirms His Word with signs following. You cannot wait for miraculous signs

before you begin sharing the Word of God . You must start sharing His Word and then He

will work with you confirming the words you have spoken.

Think of the impact on the spread of the Gospel if every believer witnessing and every minister preaching had the demonstration of powerful signs confirming the Word as it goes forth! Here is what this power does:

IT BRINGS HEALING:

His power will be present with you to heal:

And the power of the Lord was present to heal them. (Luke 5:17) IT BRINGS DELIVERANCE:

As you enter the harvest fields of the world the power of God will bring deliverance to suffering humanity:

When He called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power

against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. (Matthew 10:1)

IT PROVIDES PROTECTION:

God’s power protects as you labor for Him:

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions… (Luke 10:19)

IT VERIFIES THE GOSPEL:

To "verify" means to prove something. The power of the Holy Spirit proves the reality of God’s Word:

And a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His miracles which He did on them that were diseased. (John 6:2)

It was the powerful miracles of Jesus which brought people to Him.

Men and women will not be drawn to the Gospel through organization, denomination, or a great speaker . They will come because of demonstration of the power of a living God.

IT DIRECTS PEOPLE TO GOD:

Paul wrote:

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (I Corinthians 2:4,5)

Paul had a good education and could have spoken with the wisdom of man. Instead, he ministered in the power of God and the demonstration of the Holy Spirit.

His reason? That the faith of the people should not be based on the wisdom of men but on the power of God.

ALL POWER

Jesus said:

Behold, I give you power…over ALL the power of the enemy. (Luke 10:19)

All power was given to Jesus (Matthew 28:18). Through the Holy Spirit He has delegated that power to believers. As you enter the harvest field your method is multiplication.
Your tool is power.

POSSESSING THE POWER

In every promise of God there are two parts: The promise and possessing the promise.

Jesus promised all power . Your responsibility is to accept possession of that power. To do this you must:

RECOGNIZE IT IS FOR TODAY:

In John ll when Jesus came to raise Lazarus from the dead, Martha met Him and said:

Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. (John 11:21)

Jesus told her:

Thy brother shall rise again. (John 11:23)

Martha said to him :

I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection in the last day. (John 11:24)

Jesus answered with a statement which contains a powerful principle:

I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. (John 11:25)

Martha believed her brother would have been healed in the past if Jesus had come in time. She also believed her brother could be raised in the future resurrection.

But when Jesus used the words "I Am" to answer Martha He was revealing an important truth . There is no such thing as a past or future day of miracles . In every age there is power to meet the needs of the people. In every age, God is (I Am) sufficient to meet the need. "Martha, today is the day of miracles. I am (present tense) the resurrection and the life."

There are some who say the day of miracles is past. They do not accept the power of the Holy Spirit. The Bible warns of those …

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (II Timothy 3:5)

The Amplified Bible translates it that they have a form of godliness but are "strangers to the power of it.”

They are like the fig tree which Jesus cursed. They have the outward appearance of godliness but there is no fruitfulness. Just as the fig tree did not have the flow of sap to produce fruit, they have no flow of the power of God and are not spiritually productive.

UNDERSTAND THE SOURCE:

The source of the power is God:

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:5,7)

You are the branch. Jesus is the vine. The life comes from the vine. The branches just bear the fruit. You do not produce the fruit, you just bear it.

Jesus is the one who works the works. When Jesus was questioned, "What shall we do that we might work the works of God?" He did not give them a course on divine healing or show them how to perform a miracle. He answered:

This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent. (John 6:29)

He was the work of God. He was the source of the power, the miracles, and the healings.

The power is not in man or anything man possesses. The fulfillment of the promise of power is in God Himself and His Word.

Jesus is the vine which provides the support. We are the people of the branch. From the vine flows the power which will fulfill the vision.

ACCEPT THE AUTHORITY:

When you are given the responsibility to do something you must also have the authority to
do it.

Jesus gave believers the responsibility of the harvest and the authority to carry out this responsibility , but you must personally accept this authority. Jesus said "all power" [authority ] was given to Him. He delegated that power [authority] to you. You must accept it and use it properly to extend the Gospel.

Believers must also acknowledge this power in their churches. In a parable given by Jesus He said:

Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.

Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. (Luke 14:21,23)

God’s plan for the church is that it be the center for demonstration of His power. In many cases it has become the recreation center, the sewing circle, or the social center.

If we do not have the power of God flowing in our churches, then the poor, the blind, and those lost in sin will exit through our doors unchanged . They will leave in the same condition in which they came.

The church is composed of individuals. If the church is to experience the flow of the power of God, then its members must experience that power individually.

PETER: BEFORE AND AFTER

The power of God is the tool that will change you from being an ineffective reaper to one who knows how to reap in revelation harvest. Consider the example of the Apostle Peter.

We find a sleeping Peter in the greatest hour of the ministry of Jesus Christ (Mark 14:32 -34). We find a cowardly Peter denying He even knew Jesus (Matthew 26). We see a man who turned his back on the call to harvest and to be a fisher of men . He went back to his own selfish pursuits (John 2 1).

But then suddenly there bursts on the Biblical record a new Peter. The first time this man boldly speaks the Gospel message, 3,000 are saved . The next time he preaches, 5,000 are added to the church. What happened to change this running, fleeing, cursing man into a powerful leader of the early church?

Peter received an experience of power. It was a power that enabled him to say to a crippled
man :

…Look on us…In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up; and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. (Acts 3:4,6-7)

You do not tell suffering humanity to "look on us" unless you know you have something to meet their need. You do not take a crippled man by the hand and lift him to his feet unless you know you have a power greater than your own. Peter had nothing in himself but he had the power of God flowing through him . God’s power puts cripples on their feet, it doesn’t just help them exist in a crippled condition.

The experience of power transforms fishermen like Peter into fishers of men.

THE EXPANDING CIRCLE

Jesus outlined the pattern of the ever expanding circle resulting from the powerful witness of the Gospel:

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. (Acts 1:8)

The strategies for harvest were revealed in His Word:

-The method was multiplication.

-The tool was the power of the Holy Spirit.

-The power was directed. It was given to enable the disciples to become witnesses.

-The target of the power was the nations of the world, an ever expanding circle . ..Jerusalem , then Judaea, Samaria, and the uttermost part of the earth.

Starting where they were , using the method of multiplication and the tool of power, the Gospel would be extended to the ends of the earth.

POSSESSING THE PROMISE

The promise is claimed often by believers:

…lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:20)

But remember, in each promise of God there is a condition for possessing that promise. This promise was made to a special group of believers. It was made to those who would fulfill the vision of the harvest:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

(Matthew 28:19-20)

To those who are willing to see the vision…To those who are willing to go forth with a powerful witness to the nations of the world …To them He has promised…I am with you all the way…