It’s Not Over, It’s Just Begun: I’ve Ascended, But I’ve Left A Work For You to Do

Today’s selected reading is found in the New Testament book of Acts which was written by the beloved physician Luke concerning the spiritual body of Christ which remained on the earth after the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus the Christ. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first chapter of this second treatise written by the physician Luke. When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find the four gospels high we’re written concerning the life and ministry of Jesus drawing to a close and being completed. When you come to the end of the New Testament gospel which was written by the apostle Matthew you will find it ending with Jesus speaking words which have commonly been known as “The Great Commission.” In the final verses of the gospel which was written by the apostle Matthew you will find Jesus having risen from the grave and speaking unto His disciples the words of calling, the words of destiny, the words of ministry, the words of purpose and the words of responsibility. You cannot come to the end of the New Testament gospel of Matthew and not be immediately confronted with the tremendous reality of the words which Jesus spoke unto His disciples atop the mount called Olivet and declaring unto them how all authority and power under heaven has been given unto Him, and as a direct result of that authority and power given unto Him He instructs and commands His disciples to go into all the world teaching them the good news of the kingdom and of His commandments, and baptizing them in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son and in the name of the Holy Spirit. The final verses of the gospel written by the apostle Matthew is incredibly critical and crucial for our understanding of the new text meant book of Acts which was written by the beloved physician Luke. I am convinced that if we are to truly understand that which is written and that which is found in the book of Acts which was written by Luke it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we come face to face with the words which are found at the end of the gospel written by Matthew, for with those words we find Jesus emphatically instructing and commanding His disciples to go therefore unto all the world and all the nations teaching and baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Any discussion of the New Testament book of Acts must have at the very heart and foundation of it the words which were written and recorded by the apostle Matthew concerning the call and commission which Jesus spoke unto the disciples before He ascended unto heaven and unto the right hand of His Father. When the gospel written by Matthew comes to a close we essentially find the torch being passed along and given unto the disciples, as well as the strong sense that the work which Jesus Christ began in the earth would not come to an end and was not over. Oh how absolutely wonderful and remarkable it is to think that even though Jesus ascended unto the right hand of the Father in heaven, the work which He began would not be finished, nor would it be completed.

ITS NOT OVER! THE WORK IS NOT FINISHED! THERE IS STILL MORE LEFT TO DO! ASCENDED UNTO THE FATHER YET LEAVING A WORK TO DO! THERE IS SO MUCH THT WAS LEFT UNDONE! THERE IS SO MUCH STILL TO DO! As I stand here this morning I can’t help but read the words which were spoken by Jesus the Christ—words which were recorded in the final verses of the gospel written by the apostle Matthew—and consider the fact that His words strongly suggested that there was still so much that was left to do. Even though Jesus—when praying unto the Father—declared that He had finished the work which the Father has given Him to do, there was still a great work which was left behind when and after He ascended unto the right hand of the Father. We cannot, we dare not, we must not read the words which Jesus the Christ spoke unto His disciples atop the mount of Olives and not be confronted with and by the fact that there was still a great and important work which needed to be done amidst His departure from the earth. In fact, the chapters we find toward the middle of the New Testament gospel of John—chapters thirteen through seventeen—are entirely centered around and centered upon the reality that Jesus the Christ was departing from this earth and was returning unto His Father. These specific chapters found within the gospel written by the apostle John bring us face to face with the incredible reality that Jesus the Christ would in fact depart from the earth and would return unto the Father who was in heaven. What we find and what we learn from these chapters and the verses which are contained within them was that Jesus was in fact departing from this earth and that the hour had come for Him to be glorified with the glory He had with the Father before time began. What’s more, is that these words bring us face to face with the fact that Jesus had finished the work which He was sent to fulfill and accomplish, yet even though He finished the work He had been sent; ordained and appointed to do, there was still a great work that still needed to be done. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand that even though Jesus has in fact finished the work which He was born and sent into the world to compete and finish, that didn’t mean that He accomplished everything that needed to be done in the earth. There is the temptation to read and consider the gospels and come to the end of them and think and even be deceived into thinking that the work which Christ fulfilled and accomplished somehow fulfilled and completed everything that needed to be done in the earth. It is absolutely false to think about and consider the fact that when Jesus departed unto the Father who was in heaven that He somehow completed and finished the work which needed to be done in the earth and that there was nothing left to do in the earth.

If there is one thing the New Testament book of Acts demonstrates, proves and reveals, its that the work which Christ had finished and completed on the earth would not be the end of the story. Through the words we find in the book of Acts we find and discover that the work which Christ fulfilled and accomplished on the earth was essentially a work of preparation for a work that would continue on and be carried out in His absence. Within the book of Acts we encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that the work which Jesus Christ began in the earth was not over, and that there was a work which still needed to be finished and completed. We ought not come to the end of the gospels and conclude that when Jesus the Christ ascended unto the right hand of the Father that the work which needed to be done in the earth was somehow finished and completed. I sit here this morning and I can’t help but be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Christians which were located in the city of Philippi. If you read the first chapter of this epistle you will find the apostle emphatically declaring that He was confident of this one thing—namely, that He who began a good work in you would be faithful to complete it until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have long read the words which are found within this verse and considered them in the context of an individual work that must be done and performed within our lives as the saints of God and disciples of Christ. We tend to think that the words which are written in this verse only apply to the individual work which is done within our hearts and lives. I am convinced that this verse was never meant to be understood in n indivisible setting, nor in an individual context, but was meant to be understood as something much larger and much greater. There is not a doubt in my mind that the words we find written within this verse being us face to face with something much bigger than we have even though about and considered. For too long we have read the words found and contained within this verse and considered them to be words that only pertained to an individual work which needed to be done and completed within our lives as individuals. The truth of the matter is that when we read these words written by the skiffle Paul we must understand that they weren’t written to an individual, but were written to a collective and corporate body. We must come to terms with the fact that the words which the apostle wrote unto the Philippian Christians weren’t meant to be understood in an individual context and setting. We have long and have often read these words and directly linked and connected them to an individual work which was to be done and manifested within our lives without truly recognizing and understanding the greater context surrounding these words. We have spent a considerable amount of time reading these words and internalizing and personalizing them in such a way that we have lost sight of the greater context surrounding that which the apostle Paul originally intended and meant.

Please understand that when I speak of the dangers of taking this single verse out of context and declaring unto you that we have misused and misused this verse to cater to our own individualistic thinking and mindsets, I do not for one minute believe that there is not an indivisible work which must be done within our hearts and lives. I do not for one minute believe that there is not a work which does not need to take place and be done within our hearts and lives. I firmly believe that there is a true and authentic work which needs to be done and needs to take place within our hearts and lives, and we cannot and must not discount and discredit that work. We must continually and fault come before the throne of God recognizing and understanding the work which needs to be done within our hearts and our lives, and we must never ignore of neglect that work. What I am speaking about when I speak to the reality of He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the time of the coming of Jesus the Christ is a work which takes place in a corporate context and a corporate setting and is not based on this individualistic mindset we have long and often allowed to creep and enter our minds and deceive us. I believe that we continually face the challenge to take a verse such as what is written in the first chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Philippian saints, and to interpret that verse in an individual context and setting. There is a strong temptation to take the words which are written and found within that verse and to seek to understand it solely in the context of what is being done, or what will be done within our own heart and life. The truth of the matter is that the words which were written by the apostle Paul in this particular epistle weren’t written to individuals, but were written unto a specific church and congregation. In fact, if you read the words which are found within this particular verse you must read it in terms of the context which comes before, as well as the context which comes after it. There is an ever present danger in isolating verses within the Scripture in order to create a false doctrine and false gospel, and even to cater to our own individualistic mindset and way of thinking. It is absolutely and incredibly dangerous to read such a verse as the sixth verse and not read and understand it in the greater context—first and foremost that it was written unto a specific church, and secondly that there are words and verses which are found before and after it. I would strongly suggest that if we are going to truly understand that which is written and found within the sixth verse of this first chapter of the epistle written unto the Philippian congregation we must come face to face with the context surrounding the verse—namely, that which is found before it, and that which is found after it. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded in the first chapter of the epistle written unto the Romans beginning with the third verse:

“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:3-11).

Now you might be sitting here reading the words which are found within this writing and wonder what on earth the words of the apostle Paul could possibly have to do with the New Testament book of Acts, and that which I have taken the time to begin writing concerning the conclusion of the gospels. The more I sit here and think about the New Testament gospels which were written concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, and the more I think about and consider that which is found within the New Testament book of Acts, the more I can’t help but be directly and completely confronted with the fact that when we read a verse such as what we find in the first chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Philippians we must understand it in the context that He who began a good work in you [“you” meaning the Church and body of Jesus the Christ] can and will be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus Christ is a word which was written and spoken unto a collective and corporate body of saints and disciples of Jesus the Christ. The words which the apostle Paul wrote within this particular epistle bring us face to face with the fact that there is and there was a work which was begun in the church and congregation found within Philippi, and the apostle Paul was confident that He who began a good work in the saints and disciples there in Philippi would be faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus the Christ. The reason I find this verse to be so incredible captivating and so breathtaking is when I think about the work which Jesus the Christ began while He walked upon the earth among the seed of Abraham having taken upon Himself flesh that He might dwell among and in the midst of us. I cannot help but read the words which the apostle Paul wrote concerning “He who began a good work in you” and think about it the context of even the work which Jesus the Christ began and set out to accomplish as He walked among us for three and a half years within and upon the earth. I sit here this morning and think about and consider the fact that the apostle Paul believed that He who began a good work within the saints at Philippi would be faithful to complete and carry it out until the day of Jesus the Christ, and how while Jesus walked among us in the form of human flesh, He began a good work within and upon the earth. While Jesus walked among us in the form of human flesh, He did in fact begin and carry out a good work which was performed within and upon the earth—a work which He emphatically declared in the hearing of the Father He had faithfully completed and finished. The words which we find and read in chapters thirteen through seventeen of the New Testament gospel of John not only bring us face to face with the fact that Jesus the Christ would depart from this earth and return unto His Father in heaven, but also that He had finished and completed the work which He had been given to do, and which He had begun within and upon the earth. Consider if you will the words which Jesus spoke in the hearing of the disciples, yet unto the Father who is in heaven:

“Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give enteral life to as many as thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I HAVE GLORIFIED THEE ON THE EARTH: I HAVE FINISHED THE WORK WHICH THOU GAVEST ME TO DO. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:1-5).

Please pay close attention to the words which I emphasized within this passage, for not only did Jesus emphatically declare that He glorified the Father within and upon the earth, but Jesus also declared and proclaimed that He had finished the work which He had given Him to do. While we must indeed take and understand this at face value, and while we must understand that when Jesus the Christ declared that He had finished the work which the Father had given Him to do, it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand that even in the completion of the work which was given unto the Son within the earth, there was still a great work which was left to be done. We dare not read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture and think about and consider the fact that Jesus somehow completed the only work that needed to be done within and upon the earth, and that there isn’t and there wasn’t still a work which needed to be done. It is true that when speaking unto the Father on the night in which He was betrayed, Jesus declared that He had finished the work which the Father had given Him to do, and it is true that even while hanging upon the cross—just before He yielded up the ghost and commended His spirit into the hands of the Father—He emphatically declared and cried out with a loud voice that it was finished. In all reality, there were two separate occasions when Jesus spoke of the work being finished and completed—the first being found when speaking and praying unto the Father on the night in which He was betrayed, and the second being found as He hung naked, bleeding, broken and bruised upon the cross at Calvary. What we must recognize and what we must understand, however, is that even though Christ emphatically declared that He had finished the work which He had been given to do—that didn’t and doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a work that has been left for us to do. Perhaps one of the single greatest realities I can’t help but be directly confronted with right now as I sit here this morning is that there is no one else who can do the work which you yourself have been called to do. There is no one else on the face of this earth who can fulfill the calling that is upon your life, nor is there anyone else upon the earth who can do what you have been called to do. With that being said—although Jesus did in fact finish the work which He was called, ordained, appointed and sent to do—there is and there was still a great work which was left undone and unfinished upon the earth. We cannot and must not think that just because Jesus finished the work which He had been called and sent to accomplish that there isn’t still a work which we ourselves have been sent to fulfill and accomplish. It is true that Jesus did in fact finish and complete the work which He had been sent to do, however, even with that being said we must understand that the work which He performed within and upon the earth was a work of preparation just as much as the work which John the Baptist was preparation for that which the Son of God would fulfill and accomplish within the earth. It’s quite interesting to note that the Spirit of the living God ordained and appointed a divine messenger and forerunner to go before the face of the Messiah and to prepare the way for Him, and yet even though there was a forerunner who would go before the face of the Messiah, the work which the eternal Son performed upon the earth was in and of itself a precursor and preparatory work that would take place in His absence after His departure. Consider if you will the words which are found at the conclusion of the gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, and that which He spoke unto the disciples concerning the work which must needs be completed within and upon the earth:

“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 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 always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:16-20).

“Afterward He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upgraded them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen Him after He was risen. And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; IN my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 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” (Mark 16:14-18).

“Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endured with power from on high” (Luke 24:45-49).

It is quite clear and quite obvious from the words which we find written and recorded within each of these passages that although Jesus did in fact finish and complete the work which He had been sent to do, there was still a great work which was left undone and unfinished upon the earth. The very end and conclusion of the Snyoptic Gospels bring us face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that Jesus did in fact finish and complete the work which He had been called and sent to do, and yet even though He finished and completed the work which He had been sent to do there was still a great work which was left to be done. I mentioned and spoke of the words which the apostle Paul concerning He who began a good work being faithful to complete it until the day of Jesus the Christ, and I firmly believe that while Jesus the Christ was upon this earth He did in fact begin a work within and upon the earth, and yet even with Him beginning that work upon the earth, He would be faithful to complete that work until the day when He will come in like manner as when He left. What’s more, is that there seems to be this strong link and connection between the work and ministry which we as the saints of God and disciples of Jesus the Christ have been called to do and the ascension of Jesus the Christ which leads and paves the way for His return. If you read the conclusion and ending of each of the Synoptic gospels you will find that directly linked and connected to the words which were spoken by Jesus Christ unto the disciples was the reality of His ascension unto the right hand of the Father. Even with that being said—if and as you read the New Testament book of Acts—you will find that there is hidden and concealed within the ascension of Jesus the Christ a mystery concerning His imminent return unto the earth in the same manner in which He left. In fact, I feel compelled to present you with the words which Mark wrote at the conclusion of the gospel account he wrote concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, as well as the words which the beloved physician Luke wrote—not only at the conclusion of his gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, but also concerning the church of Jesus Christ, which is the spiritual manifestation of the body of Christ upon the earth. Consider if you will—first the words which are found at the end of the New Testament gospel of Matthew, as well as the words which the beloved physician Luke wrote within his treatise concerning the life and ministry of Jesus, as well as his treatise concerning the life and ministry of the spiritual body of Christ:

“So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen” (Mark 16:19-20).

“And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the Temple, praising and blessing God. Amen” (Luke 24:50-53).

“The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after that He through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 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: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith He, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 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. 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. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, hey men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey. And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, and Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren” (Acts 1:1-14).

As you read the words which are written and recorded at the end of the New Testament gospel of Mark, as well as the words which are found at the beginning of the New Testament book of Acts, and at the end of the New Testament gospel of Luke you will not only encounter an intrinsic link between the words of commission and calling which Jesus spoke unto the disciples prior to His ascension and His ascension unto the right hand of the Father, but you will also notice a direct and apparent link between the ascension of Jesus the Christ and the return of Jesus the Christ in the same manner in which they saw Him depart. Thus, one might naturally and logically conclude that directly linked to the work which Jesus the Christ left unfinished is not only linked to His ascension, but also linked to His return. What’s more, is that based on this apparent link we can conclude that the words which the apostle Paul wrote concerning He who began a good work being faithful to complete it until day of Jesus the Christ can and most likely do have a direct application and implications for the work which we have been called to complete, as well as the return of the Lord Jesus Christ in like manner as He departed from the earth. There is not a doubt in my mind that although Jesus the Christ did in fact finish and complete the work He had been called to do, there is still a work which was left undone and unfinished—a work which we must come face to face with in this life and in the world in which we have been left within. When speaking unto the disciples, Jesus not only declared unto them that He would depart from this world unto the Father, but He also declared unto them that He would leave them behind in the world, yet would not leave them behind in the world without responsibility and without a task. In all reality, I am convinced that this is what was and what is so incredibly powerful about the parable of the talents, for this parable centers around the reality that the Lord and Master would depart and go on a journey, however, before he departed, he would give unto his servants talents—talents which could very well equate to responsibility and a task which they were to fulfill, complete and accomplish. When we read the words which are found within the New Testament book of Acts we are directly confronted with the fact that after Jesus departed from this earth and returned unto His Father who was in heaven there was still a great and mighty work which needed to be fulfilled and accomplished within and upon the earth. When and as we read the words which are found within the New Testament book of Acts we must recognize and understand it as pointing us to the reality that there was still a great work which needed to be done—a work which was placed within the hands of the spiritual body of Christ, which would be His hands and His feet in and upon the earth.

THERE IS STILL MUCH TO DO! THE WORK ISN’T OVER! THE WORK HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN! What I so love and appreciate about what we find within the New Testament book of Acts is that while the New Testament gospels present us with the work which the physical person of Jesus Christ fulfilled and accomplished within the earth, the New Testament book of Acts presents us with the work which the spiritual body of Christ would accomplish and fulfill upon the earth. Even at the very outset and beginning of the book of Acts we find Luke writing and declaring unto Theophilus—that one for whom this second treatise was written—that the first treatise was written concerning all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up. Luke would go on to write how Jesus ascended unto the right hand of the Father after He through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen—those whom he showed Himself alive after His passion by man infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. When you read the New Testament book of Acts you must consider it in light of that which was written and recorded within the New Testament gospel of Luke, for while the first treatise written by Luke describes the work which the physical person of Jesus the Christ fulfilled and accomplished upon the earth, the book of Acts describes the work which the spiritual body of Christ would fulfill and accomplish within and upon the earth. At the very outset of the book of Acts—not only do we find an intrinsic and apparent link to the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus written by Luke, but we also find a direct link and connection to the ascension of Jesus the Christ, as well as to the work which Jesus had called and commanded them to do. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we read the first chapter of the New Testament book of Acts and see the link between the ascension of Jesus the Christ and His declaration that they would receive power after the Holy Ghost had come upon them, and they would be witnesses unto Him both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. If there is one thing the New Testament book of Acts demonstrates proves and reveals it’s that although Jesus the Christ finished and completed the work He had been sent and given to do, and although Jesus had in fact departed from this world and ascended unto the right hand of the Father in heaven, there was still a great work which was left unfinished, untouched and undone. It was absolutely impossible for Jesus to fulfill and complete the full work which needed to be done among mankind—particularly and especially considering the fact that while He walked upon the earth he did so absent His omnipresence, thus signifying that He could only be in one place at one time.

NOT EVEN JESUS COULD FINISH AND COMPLETE THE FULL WORK WHJICH NEEDED TO BE DONE WITHIN AND UPON THE EARTH! How absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that even though Jesus the Christ finished the work which He had been called and sent to do, He did not and could not finish and complete the full and complete work the Father had ordained within and upon the earth. Pause for a moment and think about that, for knowing what we know about Jesus the Christ being one hundred percent man and one hundred percent God within and upon the earth, and knowing what we know about Jesus finishing the work which He had been given to do, He could not and did not finish the entire work the Father had ordained and appointed to be done upon the earth. This reality isn’t merely manifested in and through His departure, but is also evidenced when Jesus called unto Himself twelve disciples and apostles and then sent them out two by two to engage themselves in the same ministry which He Himself had been sent to do. If you read the New Testament gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ you will find that even while He walked upon the earth, He could not complete the work which needed to be done alone and by Himself, but needed to enlist the assistance of twelve disciples and apostles whom he would send out before Him two by two. What’s more, is that you will find that not only did Jesus send out twelve disciples two by two, but He also sent out seventy others—also two by two—with authority and a power to carry out a very specific ministry within and upon the earth as an extension of the ministry which He Himself was sent to do. Even though Jesus finished the work which He had been called and sent to do, He did not do it absent, without and apart from sending out the twelve disciples while He was still with them, as well as the seventh others whom He had sent out ahead of Him and before His face. This reality is absolutely remarkable and astounding—not only when you consider it in light of that which was needed while Jesus walked upon the earth, but also after Jesus had ascended unto the right hand of the Father who was in heaven. While on the earth Jesus enlisted twelve disciples and apostles to partner together with Him in the ministry for which He had been called and sent, as well as enlisting seventy others to partner together with Himself and the twelve disciples and apostles in the work that needed to be done upon the earth. Oh we must recognize and come face to face with the absolutely incredible reality that what Mark wrote at the conclusion of his gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ paints a wonderful and tremendous picture of a work which Jesus the Christ and the Father left unfinished and untouched within and upon the earth, for Mark wrote how Jesus partnered together and worked with the disciples after He ascended unto the right hand of the Father, and how He worked with them in the ministry which He had left them to do. Isn’t it interesting to think that on the one hand we find the disciples working together with Jesus while He was still present within and upon the earth, and after He had ascended unto the right hand of the Father, He worked together and partnered with them in the work which He and the Father had left them to do. Oh that we would read the words which are found—not only in the first chapter of the book of Acts, but in the entire book itself, and would come face to face with the fact that there is and there was a work that was left untouched, undone and unfinished, and that we have a responsibility in the life we have been given to carry out and complete the work for which we have been called, ordained and appointed.

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