It’s Time to Get Off the Sidelines: From Spectators to Participants

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically today’s passage is found in the first twenty-seven verses of the ninth chapter of this New Testament book. “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick. And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where” (Luke 9:1-6). “Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead; and of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him” (Luke 9:7-9). “And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belong to the city called Bethsaida. And the people, when they knew it, followed him; and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God and healed them that had need of healing. And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place. But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people. For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. And they did so, and made them all sit down. Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of the fragments that remained to them twelve baskets” (Luke 9:10-17). “And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God. And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. And he said to them all, If any will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and loses himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be shamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s and of the holy angels. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:18-27). When you come to the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke you will find the third account of something which we first saw in the New Testament gospel written by the apostle Matthew. As you begin reading with and from the first verse of the ninth chapter you will find Jesus calling unto Himself His twelve disciples together. What we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in these verses is that not only did the Lord Jesus call unto Himself His twelve disciples but He also called them unto Himself that He might give them power and authority over all devils, and to curse diseases. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which we see in this passage of Scripture for eventually and at some point within the public ministry and life of the Lord Jesus we find Him calling unto Himself His twelve disciples that He might give unto them power and authority to carry out the same ministry which He himself had engaged in during those days. Up until that point they had witnessed and beheld the Lord Jesus healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, casting out unclean spirits and the like. At this point, however, Jesus would call His disciples unto Himself and send them out to participate in the same ministry He Himself had engaged in—and not only that which He had engaged in but also that which they had witnessed and beheld Him doing during that time He walked among them as the Word made flesh. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for there is something truly wonderful and powerful about this when you think about the Lord Jesus calling unto Himself these twelve disciples that they might participate in the same ministry which He Himself had given Himself to during those days in which they would walk with and follow Him. I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found within these passages of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the truth surrounding this encounter which the disciples themselves would have with the person of the Lord Jesus and how He would not only invite but also send them forth participating in something they had—up until that point—not done themselves. Up until this point the disciples had walked with and followed the Lord Jesus and watched as He healed the sick, watched as He raised the dead, watched as He cleansed the lepers, watched as He restored sight to the blind, watched as He restored hearing to the deaf and so much more. Eventually, however, the time would come when the disciples themselves would be invited by the Lord to participate in the same ministry which He Himself had carried out during those days. Scripture is unclear at what point during those three and a half years the disciples walked with and followed the Lord Jesus He called them unto Himself and gave them power over unclean spirits and over all manner of sickness to drive and cast them out, however, we must needs recognize and understand that the disciples had undoubtedly witnessed and watched as the Lord Jesus had given Himself unto this ministry unto and among those who were present during those days. We must needs recognize and pay close attention to this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the incredibly wonderful and powerful truth surrounding that which the disciples were called and invited to participate in. These same disciples who were called to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus in fellowship were now being called and invited to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus in ministry—and not only in ministry but also in participation with the ministry of the kingdom of heaven. The more you read the words which are found within these passages of Scripture the more you can and will be brought face to face with the awesome and wonderful truth surrounding the disciples and how they were indeed called and invited to walk with and follow the Lord Jesus in fellowship. It would be the Lord Jesus who would call and invite the disciples to walk with and follow Him and they would abandon, leave and forsake everything they had known that they might walk with and follow Him in fellowship. For some time now the disciples would have walked with and followed the Lord Jesus and witnessed how He had indeed healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, cast out unclean spirits and raised the dead and yet now there would be a powerful shift and transition as no longer would they be permitted to “sit on the sidelines” and/or have a front row seat to Jesus engaging in this ministry in the earth. For quite some time the disciples themselves would have watched, witnessed and observed Jesus healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers and casting out unclean spirits and yet now the time had come for them to participate in the very same ministry which He Himself had engaged in during those days. The disciples had walked with the Lord Jesus and had watched the works which He had performed during those days and now the time would come for them to give of themselves for the same ministry the Lord Jesus. I am sitting here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but be brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the disciples of the Lord Jesus for they would indeed be called and invited into the place where they would be ordained, appointed, and sent forth to participate in the same ministry they had witnessed and observed the Lord Jesus Himself engage in during those days. What a truly wonderful and powerful truth is found within these passages of Scripture for eventually the time would come for the disciples themselves to be those who would be called and invited to participate in the same ministry they had watched and observed the Lord Jesus engage in during those days. The Lord Jesus would Himself heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out unclean spirits and the disciples would be front and center as they witnessed and observed these miracles taking place before their very eyes. Now what we find here is the Lord Jesus emphatically declaring and proclaiming unto them that they were no longer called to walk with and follow Him as spectators but were now being invited to be active participants in the very same work and ministry. Pause for a moment and consider how absolutely incredible the words we find in this passage of Scripture for although the Lord Jesus would not declare unto the disciples they were no longer able to be spectators who watched, witnessed and observed His healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead and casting out unclean spirits the message and implication would indeed be the same. The words we find in this passage of Scripture paints a powerful picture of how at this point in time the Lord Jesus would indeed call and invite the disciples themselves to walk with and follow Him as active participants in the work and ministry unto which He had been called and sent. On this particular occasion the Lord Jesus would call and invite the disciples to come unto Himself that He might not only send them forth but might also give them power and authority for the work of the ministry during those days. That which we find presented here in this passage of Scripture is incredibly important when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the truly wonderful truth surrounding the disciples of the Lord Jesus—those who had walked with and followed Him in fellowship for some time now. The disciples had up until this point walked with and followed the Lord Jesus as witnesses unto the work and ministry which He had given Himself to during those days. Oh it is indeed true they would walk with and follow Him in fellowship with Himself as well as with others, however, I must also add that the disciples themselves walked with and followed the Lord Jesus as witnesses who beheld the works which He had done during those days. The disciples would spend a considerable amount of time during those days watched and witnessing as the Lord Jesus would heal the sick, as He would cleanse the lepers, as He would raise the dead and as He would drive out unclean spirits. The time would now come for the disciples to not merely be witnesses to the works and ministry of the Lord Jesus Himself but actually become active participants in the very same work and ministry. On this particular occasion we find the Lord Jesus calling and inviting the disciples to become active participants in the works and ministry which He Himself would give Himself to during those days. The Lord Jesus would indeed call and invite the disciples to participate in the very same work and ministry which He Himself had been entrusted of by the Father. Oh what a wonderful and beautiful picture is found here for within it we find the Lord Jesus entrusting the disciples with the very same works which the Father had entrusted Him with. Oh if there is one thing we must needs understand when reading the words found in these passages of Scripture it’s that the Lord Jesus would indeed call and invite the disciples to become active participants in the very same works and ministry which the Father had entrusted Him with. Within the four gospels we find the Lord Jesus emphatically declaring that His meat was to do the will of the Father who sent Him—and not only do the will of the Father who had sent Him but also do those works which He saw the Father do. During those three and a half years Jesus walked among us as the Word made flesh we find Him engaging in the works which were entrusted of Him by the Father which was in heaven. During those days Jesus would be anointed by the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out unclean spirits and preach the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and now He was calling and inviting the disciples themselves to participate in the very same works and ministry he Himself had been entrusted with of the Father. How absolutely wonderful and incredible this is when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the call and invitation given by the Lord Jesus unto the disciples to begin participating in the very same works He Himself had been entrusted with during those days. It would be during those days the Lord Jesus would engage Himself in those works which were entrusted unto Him by the Lord Jesus and now we find Him calling and inviting the disciples themselves to become active participants in this work. The disciples had up until that point been witnesses to the works they had seen the Lord Jesus perform among men—works of healing, works of cleansing, works of deliverance and works of resurrection. Now the time was coming for the disciples themselves to no longer be witnesses to these works but to themselves be active participants in the very same works the Lord Jesus had called them to. The time would come for the disciples themselves to begin to walk in the very same works and ministry the Lord Jesus Himself had done during those days in which He walked among them as the Word made flesh. What we find in this passage of Scripture is a truly beautiful and wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus calling the disciples unto Himself that He might give them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for we are brought face to face with the absolutely wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the Lord Jesus calling and inviting the disciples themselves to become active participants in the work of the ministry which He Himself had been entrusted of by the Father. Oh how truly wonderful and powerful this is when you take the time to think about it for there is something truly astounding and captivating about the Lord Jesus calling the disciples unto Himself and ordaining and appointing them as apostles whom he would send forth as active participants in the work of the ministry of the kingdom of the living God. Jesus would call and invite the disciples unto Himself that he might ordain and appoint them as ambassadors of the kingdom of heaven during those days. Oh how wonderful it is to think about the fact that the disciples did not have to wait until after Jesus had suffered in the flesh, after Jesus had died upon the cross, after Jesus had been raised from death to life and after Jesus had ascended unto the right hand of the Father which was in heaven to participate in the works which the Father Himself had entrusted unto the Son. It would be while the Son of the living God would still be walking among them the Lord Jesus would indeed call and invite them to become active participants in the work of the kingdom—that which the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord had ordained and appointed Him to do in the midst of the earth. The Lord JesusHimself would indeed be sent into the earth to participate in the works which the Father had ordained and appointed Him to do and now we find Him calling and ordain the disciples to participate in the very same works which the Father had entrusted Him with. The more I read the words present within this passage of Scripture the more I am confronted with the incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus calling, inviting, ordaining and appointing the twelve disciples to become active participants in the very same works and ministry the Father had entrusted Him with. The Lord Jesus would indeed call and invite the disciples themselves to come unto Himself that He might give them power and authority over unclean spirits and over sicknesses, disease, infirmities and illnesses. What’s more is that when you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find that the Lord Jesus didn’t merely give them power over devils and to cure diseases but He gave them power over “all” devils. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth that the Lord Jesus would give the disciples the ability to carry out the very same works which He Himself had done. Pause for a moment and think about this and how truly astonishing it is that the Lord Jesus would call, ordain and appoint the disciples to participate and engage themselves in the very same works which He Himself had done in the earth. The Lord Jesus would indeed call and invite the disciples to no longer walk with and follow Him as witnesses to the works he Himself engaged in during those days but would call and invite them into the place where they would be active participants in the work of the ministry of the kingdom of heaven. The Lord Jesus would call, ordain and appoint the disciples to participate in the works of the ministry and of the kingdom of heaven which He Himself was sent into the earth to perform among men. The Lord Jesus would indeed be sent into the earth and anointed by the Spirit to heal the sick, to cleanse the lepers, to give sight to the blind, to restore hearing to the deaf, to drive out unclean spirits, to raise the dead and now we find the Lord Jesus calling, inviting, ordaining, appointing and entrusting the disciples themselves with the very same work which He Himself was given to. With this in mind I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew. Within the tenth chapter of this New Testament gospel we find the first record and account of the Lord Jesus calling, ordaining and appointing the disciples themselves to no longer merely be witnesses unto the works which He would engage in during those days but actually become active participants. When we come to the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we are brought face to face with the Lord Jesus calling the twelve unto Himself and ordaining them apostles—those who would no longer merely walk with and follow Him in fellowship but those who would walk with and follow Him in works and ministry. No longer were the disciples merely permitted to be witnesses and spectators to the works the Lord Jesus would engage Himself in during those days for Jesus would now call in invite them into the place where they would begin walking in the same power and authority He Himself had walked in. This is something we needs recognize and acknowledge when seeking to understand the words in the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke. It would be in this passage of Scripture we find the first record and mention of the Lord Jesus calling the twelve disciples unto Himself that He might give unto them power and authority to carry out the works of the ministry of the kingdom of heaven. Oh it was indeed true that up until that point the Lord Jesus would be the one who would heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, give sight to the blind, give hearing to the deaf, open the mouths and loose the tongues of the mute, and drive out unclean spirits and yet now Jesus would call and invite the disciples themselves to participate in the very same works. The Lord Jesus would Himself call and invite the disciples to be those who would indeed participate in the very same works rather than merely being witnesses and spectators. It is have said this I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew beginning with the first verse. We must needs recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we encounter the Lord Jesus calling and inviting the disciples to walk with and follow Him in the works of the ministry. What’s more is that not only do we find the Lord Jesus calling and inviting them to walk with and follow Him in ministry and the works of the kingdom but we also find Him calling them to walk with and follow Him in discipleship. There is absolutely no denying or mistaking the words the Lord Jesus would speak unto the disciples for they would be invited to be those who would participate in the very same works which the Father had entrusted Him. Oh stop for a moment and consider the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for whereas it would initially and originally be the person of the Lord Jesus actively engaging Himself in the works of the Father within and upon the earth he would now ordain and appoint the disciples themselves to participate in those very same works. The very same things the Lord Jesus Himself had given Himself to while walking upon the earth as the Word made flesh would now be those works which the disciples themselves would be called to participate in. Oh that we would recognize and understand these words and come face to face with the invitation the Lord Jesus would give unto them to rise up and to become active participants in the works of the kingdom of heaven during those days in the midst of the earth. Oh consider if you will the words which the apostle Matthew wrote in the tenth chapter of the gospel bearing his name beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse: “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publicans; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him” (Matthew 10:1-4). “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any of the city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils:freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for th workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your pace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day judgment, than for that city” (Matthew 10:5-15). “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house of Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the Houston’s. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:16-33). “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loveth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:34-39). “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward” (Matthew 10:40-42). OH please don’t miss the incredible beauty that is found within these verses for within them we are brought face to face with the incredibly awesome and wonderful truth surrounding the Lord Jesus calling and inviting the twelve disciples to participate in the very same works which the Father had ordained and appointed for Him to do. Oh there is something we must needs recognize and understand that the Father could have sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the earth in the flesh that He might suffer in the flesh, be killed and crucified and then raised Him up on the third day before receiving unto Himself as He ascended unto the right hand. Jesus could have very simply and easily came unto the earth and suffered briefly in the flesh, been killed and crucified and been raised from death to life before ascending unto the right hand of the Father. The truth of the matter is that the Lord Jesus would spend thirty years living in the town of Nazareth in the region of Galilee until the appointed time would come when He would be baptized by John the Baptist in the waters of the Jordan River. It would be as He came forth from the waters of the Jordan River the heavens would be opened unto Him, the Spirit would descend upon Him in the form of a dove and the voice of the Father would speak unto Him and declare that He was His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased. It would be after His baptism the Spirit would drive Jesus into the wilderness where He would fast forty days and forty nights before being tempted of the devil there in the midst of that desert. Once the temptation had been completed Jesus would return unto Galilee in the power of the Spirit before declaring unto those in the synagogue of Nazareth that the words which the prophet Isaiah had prophesied concerning the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord being upon Him and anointing Him to preach good tidings unto the poor and to heal and restore. What we find after this is the Lord Jesus going forth throughout Galilee teaching and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and calling men and women to repent for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. Not only this but the Lord Jesus would also begin teaching and preaching the gospel of the kingdom of heaven as well as healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, giving sight to the blind, restoring hearing to the deaf, casting out unclean spirits and the like. The words which are found in the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew are such which we must needs pay attention to and recognize for they call and draw our attention to the tremendous and wonderful truth surrounding the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ being called and invited into the place where they wouldn’t be spectators, observers and witnesses of the works which the Lord Jesus Christ would engage in but would actually be active participants. On this particular day the Lord Jesus Himself would call the disciples unto Himself that He might ordain and appoint them as apostles who would have authority and power over and against all unclean spirits and all sickness and all disease. The Lord Jesus would deliberately and intentionally ordain and appoint the disciples themselves whom He had first called and invited to walk with and follow Him to now participate in the works of the ministry. Oh how absolutely wonderful and incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and His ordaining and appointing the disciples as those who would join Him in the works of the ministry of the kingdom. The Lord Jesus would indeed call and invite the disciples to become active participants in the works of the kingdom and the very same works which He Himself had done. What’s more is that when you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find the disciples actually did engage themselves in the works which the Lord Jesus had ordained and appointed them to. It would be the beloved physician Luke who would write how the disciples would return unto the person of the Lord Jesus and speak unto Him of all they had done during those days. It would be in the tenth verse of this chapter found in the gospel written by Luke we read of the apostles returning and telling Jesus of all they had done thus suggesting and signifying that they themselves would carry out that which the Lord had ordained and appointed unto them during those days. I absolutely love the words which we find in the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew for within it we are brought face to face with the awesome reality of the Lord Jesus calling and inviting the disciples to step into the works which He Himself had walked in up until that point in time. Up until this point during the public ministry and life of the Lord Jesus He Himself had been the main vessel and conduits of the works of the kingdom of heaven upon the earth and now He was inviting the disciples themselves to participate in the works. How absolutely incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about and consider it for it calls and draws our attention to the beautiful reality of Jesus who would call the disciples unto Himself that He might ordain and appoint them as apostles. What’s more is that we must needs recognize is that this mountain which the Lord Jesus would call the disciples unto Himself upon would not be the first time He would call and invite them into this place. If you turn and direct your attention to the final chapters of the four New Testament gospels you will find that prior to the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ unto the right hand of the Father which was in heaven He would once more call and invite them to join Him in this place that He might once more ordain and appoint them as His ambassadors and apostles who would carry out and fulfill the work of the kingdom in the midst of the earth. It would be in this particular place the Lord Jesus would indeed call and invite His disciples to come unto Himself that He might give them power and authority—much like power, authority and dominion was given unto Adam the first man within the garden. You will recall that after the living God formed Adam from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life causing him to become a living soul He would place Him in the garden where he would be given dominion and authority over everything that moved upon the face of the earth, and in the sea and even in the air. I read the words which are present in the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew and I am brought face to face with the beautiful truth surrounding the power and authority that was given unto the disciples by the Lord Jesus. Up to and at this point the Holy Spirit was not yet released as He would be on the day of Pentecost and yet the Lord Jesus would give power and authority over unclean spirits and over all sicknesses and diseases. There is something truly remarkable about the words we find in this passage of Scripture for before the day of Pentecost would arrive and the Spirit would be released upon the one-hundred and twenty in the upper room Jesus would give authority and power unto His disciples having ordained and appointed them as apostles to participate in the works of the ministry. Oh we must needs recognize how incredibly powerful and important this truly is for although these men had walked with and followed the Lord Jesus in fellowship for three and a half years He would now bring them into a place of works and ministry together with Him. It would be in the ninth chapter of the same New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew the Lord Jesus would declare unto the disciples that the harvest truly was plentiful and the laborers were few. Not only this but the Lord Jesus would invite them to pray therefore unto the Lord of the harvest that he might send forth laborers into that harvest. What truly makes this worth considering is when you take the time to see how the Lord Jesus would invite them to pray unto the Lord of harvest that he might send forth laborers into the harvest and yet in the very next chapter we find Him giving them power and authority over all sickness and disease as well as over unclean spirits. The Lord Jesus would invite them to pray therefore unto the Lord of the harvest that He might send laborers into the midst of that harvest and yet now we find the Lord Jesus ordained and appointing the twelve disciples and sending them forth into the harvest. If there is one thing we must needs understand when reading the words found in the ninth chapter of the gospel narrative written by Luke it’s that the disciples themselves did go forth in the midst of the harvest as Jesus had spoken. Jesus invited them to pray unto the Lord of the harvest that he might send forth laborers into the midst of it and it would be the disciples themselves who would be sent forth as laborers into the harvest. It is within the New Testament gospel written by Luke we find the disciples returning unto the Lord Jesus speaking of and declaring all they had accomplished in His name within the earth. The disciples would indeed return unto the Lord Jesus bringing with them a full report of that which they had accomplished in the midst of the earth much like the twelve spies who returned unto Moses and brought back a report of the Promised Land. You will recall in the Old Testament book of Numbers there were twelve spies which were sent forth by Moses into the Promised Land to scout it out and bring back report of what the land was like with its cities and the inhabitants therein. Of course we know and understand from Scripture that the twelve spies did in fact return unto Moses and the congregation of the children of Israel and would bring a report concerning the land which they were journeying toward that they might enter into it and lay hold of it as their inheritance. These twelve spies would spend forty days in the land of Canaan scouting and spying it out and would eventually return unto Moses and the congregation of the children of Israel. What we must needs recognize and understand concerning this particular passage within the Old Testament book of Numbers is that although the twelve spies would indeed spent forty days in the land of Canaan scouting it out there would be ten of those twelve spies who would return and bring back a negative report of what they had witnessed and beheld. Oh they were indeed permitted to see the land of Canaan and journey through it and yet their hearts and spirits were troubled, fearful and anxious when they say the descendants of the giants in the land and even the cities with its walls and fortifications. I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to another group of twelve individuals who were sent forth into the land and yet how ten of those twelve spies returned with a negative report. Of the twelve spies which were sent forth into the midst of the land there were only two whose hearts were steadfast and faithful before and in the sight of the living God. There were indeed a tot of twelve spies who were sent forth by Moses into the land of Canaan to scout and spy it out and yet of those twelve spies there were only two whose hearts were filled with faith and confidence in the promises spoken by the living God and the power, the strength, the might and the authority that was given unto them. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand concerning the congregation of the children of Israel it’s that they were given power, authority and dominion within the land of Canaan and over the inhabitants which dwelt in the midst of the land. Even before the children of Israel were slaves within the land of Egypt the LORD would speak unto Abraham and promise the land would be given unto His descendants as an inheritance according to promise. What’s more is that it would be unto Moses at the burning bush the living and eternal God would proclaim and declare unto him that not only would he give them the land of Canaan but also that they would enter into it and dispossess the inhabitants therein. Even before the children of Israel were delivered out of the slavery, bondage and oppression of the land of Egypt the LORD God had already declared and promised them victory within the land. As I sit here today thinking about the narrative and account of the congregation of the children of Israel it’s how the LORD God had promised them victory and triumph over their enemies and adversaries within the land. If there is one thing we have to recognize and understand concerning the congregation of Israel it’s that they weren’t entering into the land of Canaan without the promises of God. What’s more is that they weren’t entering into the land of Canaan absent power, authority and dominion given them by the living God over their enemies and within the land. The congregation of the children of Israel would indeed prepare to enter into the land of Canaan knowing that the living and eternal God had not only given them power but also promises and yet before they would actually enter into the land Moses would send forth twelve spies to scout the land out. These twelve spies would enter into the land of Canaan knowing and having seen everything the living God had done for them from the time they had witnessed the ten plagues and judgments the LORD executed upon the land of Egypt and the gods therein. These twelve spies would have seen the mighty and powerful work and hand of the LORD at the Red Sea when He divided the waters and not only allowed them to pass through to the other side but also drowned their enemies and adversaries with those same waters. These spies would have seen the LORD God turn bitter waters into sweet, bring forth water out of a rock, provide manna from heaven and even grant them victory over the first enemy they would face in the midst of the wilderness—the Amalekites. Even with everything they had seen and witnessed during their time in the wilderness they would return from the land of Canaan unto the congregation of the children of Israel bringing back a negative report—not only of the land but also of the inhabitants of the land, the descendants of the giants, the cities with their walls and even their defenses and weaponry. I have to admit I am absolutely and incredibly captivated by the account of the twelve spies who entered into the land of Canaan and spent forty days in the land and would return unto the congregation of Israel once their time in the land was finished. There is something incredibly challenging and convicting about the narrative which we read in the Old Testament book of Numbers. It is within this passage of Scripture we are brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding these twelve spies who entered into the land of Canaan—not only having seen and witnessed everything the LORD God had done in the wilderness but also knowing that which He had promised and spoken concerning the land. These twelve spies would indeed enter into the land of Canaan knowing that which the LORD had spoken and how He had declared they were given power, dominion and authority over all the inhabitants which dwelt in the midst of the land. There is not a doubt in my mind the twelve spies who entered into the land of Canaan were well aware of that which the living and eternal God had promised unto Abraham, unto Isaac, unto Jacob and unto Moses who was used by the living God to not only lead them out of the land of Egypt but also lead them through the wilderness. I firmly believe these twelve spies were well aware of the promises spoken by the living God as well as the power which would be given unto them over their enemies. In the New Testament we find Jesus giving the disciples power and authority over sickness and over unclean spirits as well as power to tread upon serpents and scorpions. In the Old Testament we find the living God giving power and authority unto His servants and people over the enemies and adversaries within the land. Oh there were prophets such as Elijah and Elisha who were used by the living God to perform miracles during their generation, however the bulk and vast majority of healing(s) and miracles would be performed in the New Testament. It is at this point I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the following words which are found in the Old Testament book of Numbers. Within this Old Testament book we find Moses sending forth the twelve spies which were present among the congregation of the children of Israel into the land of Canaan where they would spend forty days scouting and spying out the land. For forty days these twelve spies would be present in the midst of the land as they would survey, scout and spy it out that they might bring back a report unto Moses and the congregation of the children of Israel. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for while they wouldn’t return speaking of the mighty exploits they engaged in within the land they would bring back a report of the land as well as the inhabitants which were present in the midst of the land. With this being said there is something worth mentioning and recognizing concerning this particular occasion within the history of the congregation of the children of Israel for there would be twelve spies who would enter into the land of Canaan to spy out the land to bring back report unto the congregation of Israel and Moses. When they returned from the land of Canaan there would indeed be two different reports that would be brought unto Moses and the congregation. There would be the report which was delivered by Joshua and Caleb who had a different spirit within them and there was the report of the other ten spies who had a fearful and anxious spirit within them. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding these conflicting reports that would be brought before the congregation of the children of Israel. This is something we must pay close attention to for in the New Testament we find the disciples returning unto the Lord Jesus after going forth within Judaea and Galilee moving in the power and authority given unto them by the Lord Jesus. In the Old Testament there would be twelve spies who would enter into the same land and yet ten would bring back a negative report while only two would bring back a report that was full of faith, trust and confidence in the promises spoken by the living God and the power He had bestowed upon them. Oh consider now if you will the following words which are found in these passages of Scripture beginning with the thirteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Numbers: “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribes of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them. And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel. And these were their names: of the tribe of Reuben, Shammua the son of Zaccur. Of the tribe of Simeon, Snapchat the son of Hori. Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the the son of Jephunneh. Of the tribe of Issachar, Igal the son of Joseph. Of the tribe of Ephraim, Oehsa the son of Nun. Of the tribe of Benjamin, Patti the son of Raghu. Of the tribe of Zebulun, Gaddiel the son of Sodi. Of the tribe of Joseph, namely, of the tribe of Manasseh, Gaddi the son of Susi. Of the tribe of Dan, Ammiel the son of Gemalli. Of the tribe of Asher, Sethur the son of Michael. Of the tribe of Naphtali, Noah I the son of Vophsi. Of the tribe of Gad, Geueul the son of Machi. These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshau the son of Nun Jehoshaphat. And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way shoutward, and go up into the mountain: and see the land, what it is; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many; and what the land if that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; and what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstfruit grapes. So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath. And they ascended by the south, anc came unto Hebron; where Ahriman, Shesia, and Talmai, the children of Ana’s, were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zaandam in Egypt.) And they came unto the book of Eschol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and that bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs. The place was called the brook Eschol, because of the cluster of grapes which the children of Israel cut down from thence. And they returned from searching of the land after forty days” (Numbers 13:1-25). “And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to call the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kaddish; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Ana’s there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go put against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we see in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Ana’s, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:26-33). “And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our child Ilene should be a prey? Were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, let us return into Egypt. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: and they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and that the LORD is with us: fear them not. But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORd appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? And how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they. And Moses said unto the LORD, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;) And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that’s thou LORD art among this people, that thou LORD art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness. And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my LORD be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, THE LORD is long suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now. And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD< Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not harkened to my voice; surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: but my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereunto he went; and his seed shall possess it. (Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwelt in the valley.) To morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea” (Numbers 14:1-25). “And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcasses, they shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness. After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise. I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die. And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by plague before the LORD. But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of the men that went to search the land, lived still. And Moses told these sayings unto all the children of Israel: and the people mourned greatly” (Numbers 14:26-39). “And they rose up early in the morning, and gat them up into the top of the mountain, saying, Lo, we be here, and will go up unto the place which the LORD hath promised: for we have sinned. And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? But it shall not prosper. Go not up, for the LORD is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and ye shall fall by the sword: because ye are turned away from the LORD, therefore the LORD will not be with you. But they presumed to go up until the hill top: nevertheless the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and Moses, departed not out of the camp. Then the Amalekites came down, and the Canaanites which dwelt in that hill, and smote them, and discomfited them, even unto Hormah” (Numbers 14:40-45). I have to admit that I find the words present in this passage of Scripture absolutely captivating when you truly take the time to read it for within it we find another group of twelve men who were sent out with an assignment. These twelve men were sent by Moses according to the command of the LORD to not only enter into the land to scout it out but also to bring back and a report concerning the land. If there is one thing I find incredibly amazing about this account it’s that these men spent forty days in the midst of the land of Canaan and would even cut off a cluster of grapes that was so large it would need to be borne upon a staff and carried upon the shoulders of two of them. These twelve spies would return from the land of Canaan carrying and bearing the fruit of the land and yet even with the fruit that was present within the land there were ten of them whose hearts were still filled with fear, terror and dread. That which we find within this passage of Scripture is absolutely incredible when you take the time to think about it for these men would enter into the land having the fruit of their testimony and what the living God had done for the congregation of the children of Israel. These twelve spies would have undoubtedly seen a good amount of the works which the LORD God had done on behalf of the children of Israel in the wilderness and how He had not only provided for them but also how he protected them from their enemies and adversaries. Scripture is entirely unclear if these twelve spies were present in the land of Egypt and witnessed the ten plagues and judgments which took place in the land of Egypt and against the gods of the land. Even if they weren’t present in the land of Egypt during those days they would have heard stories and accounts of what the living and eternal God did for them. IN all reality I find it absolutely necessary to state that these men were most likely present in the land of Egypt when HE stretched forth His right hand in judgment against the false gods of the land of Egypt. There is a part of me that can’t help but believe these men were present in the land of Egypt and saw the judgments and plagues the living and eternal God exacted against the false gods of the land as well as the land itself. What’s more is these men would have undoubtedly witnessed the miracle at the Red Sea and how the living God not only parted the waters before them to the right and to the left but also allowed them to pass through on dry ground. Not only this but the living God would also drown their enemies and adversaries in the very same waters He would use to bring the children of Israel safely through. Undoubtedly these twelve spies would have seen the mighty and outstretched arm of the living God on behalf of the children of Israel and how He would bring deliverance, salvation, protection and provision for His people. With this being said, however, we must needs understand that despite everything these twelve spies had witnessed and observed from the time of the judgments of the living God in the land of Egypt until that time there were still ten of them whose hearts were fearful and anxious. There were ten spies who witnessed the mighty and powerful works of the living God on behalf of the children of Israel and would even bring with them the fruit of the land of Canaan and yet they would still be fearful and afraid of the giants, the walls, the cities and the weapons. If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the words found within these passages of Scripture it’s that although these ten spies would carry the fruit of the land back unto Moses and the children of Israel they would not carry the fruit of their testimony with them into the land. There is something we must needs acknowledge when reading this passage of Scripture for it brings us face to face with the truth that despite the fact these ten spies brought the fruit of the land back from the land with them unto the congregation of Israel they would not enter the land with the fruit of the witness and testimony in their hearts and souls. I am absolutely convinced that when these twelve spies entered into the land of Canaan there were only two of them who did something they all should have done—bring the fruit of their witness with them into the land. There is not a doubt in my mind that Joshua and Caleb experienced the joy and delight of the Promised Land because they not only brought the fruit of their witness with them into the land but they also brought the fruit of the land itself out of the land with them. Joshua and Caleb brought the fruit of their witness—the fruit of the testimony of the mighty power of the living and eternal God manifested in the land of Egypt, at the Red Sea and even in the wilderness—and that provided them with the courage, the confidence, the boldness and the bravery they would need to enter into the land. I am convinced that were it up to Joshua and Caleb on this particular day they would have been some of the first—if not the first ones to lead the charge into the land of Canaan. These two spies which were present among the twelve were such who brought the fruit of the witness from the manifestation of the power and might of the living God with them into the land of Canaan and at the same time beheld and brought back the fruit of the Promised Land unto the children of Israel. These two men brought fruit into the place of the promises of God and brought out of that place the fruit of the land which was sworn on oath unto their ancestors and fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I have to admit there is something truly wonderful and captivating about the words and language that is found in these passages of Scripture for they bring us face to face with the truth surrounding the fruit of witness and the fruit of promise. On the one hand there was the fruit of that which the living and eternal God had promised while on the other hand there was the fruit of that which lie before them. The fruit of their witness looked back to that which the LORD God had indeed done for them in the midst of the congregation of the children of Israel while the fruit of the land would be that which would look ahead to that which the living God would do—and not only would do but also promised to do. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the truly wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the fruit of that which God has done in the past and the fruit of what lies before us and what God has promised to do. The fruit which they brought back from the land was indeed fruit that not only confirmed that which the LORD God had spoken concerning the land but also provided them with a powerful witness of what the land would provide and what the living and eternal God had promised. The fruit of the land not only demonstrated the promise of God but also the provision of the land and that which the LORD their God was willing to do on their behalf. We must needs pay close attention to this for it brings us face to face with the truly powerful reality of the fruit which we are to bring with us as we enter into that which the living God has prepared for us. Ooh how absolutely incredible it is to think about the fact that the LORD God would allow these twelve spies to not only enter into the land but also enter into the land with the witness and testimony of that which He had already done among them—not only in the land of Egypt but also in the wilderness. These twelve spies would enter into the land of Canaan with an unseen fruit which is desperately needed within the hearts and souls of countless men and women among us within our generation. I am completely unable to escape the truth and reality surrounding the fruit of the land and the fruit of the witness for when Joshua and Caleb returned from the land of Canaan after forty days they would not only bear within their hearts and souls the fruit of the witness of the power of God but also carrying the fruit of the land. WHEN THE FRUIT OF WITNESS MEETS THE FRUIT OF PROMISE! WHEN THE FRUIT OF WITNESS MEETS THE FRUIT OF PROVISION! Within Joshua and Caleb we see a wonderful and powerful manifestation of the marriage of the fruit of witness and the fruit of provision—not only as they entered into the land of Canaan but also when they returned. I find it truly captivating when reading the words presented in the thirteenth chapter that the other ten spies could have the same fruit of witness and testimony that Joshua and Caleb had and they could even have the fruit of the land of Canaan which would be carried upon the shoulders in addition to the pomegranates and figs and yet their hearts would be full of fear, full of anxiety, full of terror and full of dread. Despite the fact they had the fruit of the land with them as they returned to the congregation of the children of Israel they would be consumed with fear, terror and dread. The fruit which they had brought forth from the land and the fruit of their witness from the land of Egypt and even from the wilderness was not enough to cause them to walk in rest, in confidence, in trust and in courage in the sight of the living God. The living God had given them fruit in the land of Egypt and fruit in the wilderness and yet they were completely ignorant and blind to this fruit within their hearts and minds. These ten spies were such who had the fruit of the ten plagues and judgments, the fruit of the deliverance from Egypt, the fruit of the salvation at the Red Sea, the fruit of their enemies and adversaries being drowned in the Red Sea, the fruit of manna from heaven, the fruit of bitter waters made sweet, the fruit of water coming forth from a rock and much more and yet it wasn’t enough within their hearts and souls to cause them to walk by faith and not by sight. These ten spies allowed themselves to walk by sight and not by faith because they did not allow the fruit of the witness and testimony of the land of Egypt and the wilderness to lay hold of and guard their hearts. These ten spies would choose to not allow the fruit of the witness and the fruit of testimony to be present within their hearts, their souls and their spirit that they might be able to move within and out of the land of Canaan with faith, with trust and with confidence. As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke for within it we are brought face to face with another group of twelve men—men who were not sent forth by Moses into the Promised Land to scout and spy it out nor men who were sent forth to return and bring forth report of what the land, the cities and the inhabitants of the land were like. These twelve men were sent forth into the land with power and authority given them by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is within the opening verses of the ninth chapter of this gospel we find the Lord Jesus giving power and authority unto the twelve disciples that they might go forth throughout the land and to cast out unclean spirits and devils as well as curing all diseases. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for within this passage of Scripture we find something incredibly similar to what was found in the Old Testament book of Numbers. Although the twelve spies were not given power and authority in the midst of the land of Canaan—at least not to enact the divine plan of the living God over the enemies and adversaries which were present in the midst of the land—they moved throughout the land knowing the living God had given power and authority unto the children of Israel to conquer, defeat and overcome the enemies and adversaries which were found in the midst of the land. These twelve spies were not given exclusive authority and power over the nations, enemies and adversaries which were present in the midst of the land, however, the entire congregation of the children of Israel were given power and authority over the enemies and nations which were present in the midst of the land. I am absolutely convinced we must needs recognize and understand the words which are found within this passage of Scripture for within it we find Jesus and not Moses sending forth twelve men within and throughout the land during those days. These men were such who were given power and authority over all unclean spirits and devils and all manner of diseases. The apostle Matthew also writes how they were given the command and charge to heal the sick, to cleanse the lepers, to drive out unclean spirits and to raise the dead while they would also preach the gospel of the kingdom. These men would indeed return unto the Lord Jesus and would tell Him all that they had done which suggests that they did in fact walk in that which they were given power and authority to do. Oh that we would recognize and pay close attention to the words which we see in this passage of Scripture for these men were indeed given power and authority in the midst of the land—not over earthly and natural enemies and adversaries but over spiritual and unseen enemies which would manifest themselves in the physical and natural realm. When the Lord Jesus sent the disciples forth with power and authority He would give them power and authority over the unseen enemies and adversaries of sickness and disease, over the unseen enemies and adversaries of death, over the unseen enemies of leprosy, over the unseen enemy of death and the like. These men were indeed sent forth with power and authority over those enemies and those giants which were present in the midst of the land. What a truly wonderful truth is found within this passage of Scripture for Jesus would give power and authority unto these twelve disciples to overtake and overcome the giants which were present in the midst of the land. Just as there were giants in the land during the days of Moses and the twelve spies so also would there be giants in the land during the days of the Lord Jesus and His twelve apostles. I bring this writing to a close by calling and inviting you to think about and consider the absolutely wonderful and powerful truth that is found in the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke as well as the words which are found in the ninth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the beloved physician Luke for within it we are brought face to face with the incredible land wonderful truth surrounding the Lord Jesus giving power and authority unto these men over the giants which were present in the midst of the land. The giants which were present in the land were not the sons of Anak nor were they literal and physical giants which could be seen with the natural the eye. The giants which were present in the midst of the land were the giants of blindness, the giants of deafness, the giants of mute tongues, the giants of leprosy, the giants of death, the giants of the palsy and that which caused men and women to be lame. The giants which were present in the midst of the land were the unclean and evil spirits which would oppress, torment, afflict and possess men, women and children. What a truly wonderful and powerful truth it is to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and consider how the Lord Jesus would give power and authority unto these twelve men whom He would send forth to engage in open season and open combat against the giants which were present in the land. With this being said it is absolutely necessary and imperative we recognize that the same power and authority which Jesus walked in and the same power and authority which He gave unto these twelve men is the same power He can give unto us within this generation. This same power and authority which was given unto these twelve men is indeed available and can indeed be given unto us as the people of God to engage ourselves in open conflict and open season against the unseen and invisible giants which are present in the midst of the land. Oh that there would be a people who would indeed walk in the power and authority that is available by and through the person of the Holy Spirit given unto us by and from the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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