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BE A WITNESS

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BE A WITNESS 

Scripture: Acts 1:1–8, 4:31–33, 26:16, Galatians 5:22–26

Memory verse: Acts 1:8
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses...."

Lead—In

Let us begin today's study by defining the word "witness." It means to see, hear or know by personally being present or experiencing something personally. Thus, a witness is one who gives personal testimony, saying: "I was there, I heard it, I saw it and this is what actually happened."

Ask: Have you ever watched an accident take place or attended a special event? How would you describe it? (Allow responses.)

Being a witness for Jesus means to tell what you have seen in the Bible, tell about answers to prayer and how Jesus has transformed your daily life.

Ask: Has anyone shared your faith in Jesus with another student or a family member or some stranger? How did you go about it? (Allow responses.)

Hearing God's Word

Jesus wants our personal witness to impact the lives of unbelievers so that they will decide to become a believer in Jesus Christ too. This is why He wants to baptize us with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given to empower our witness, our presentation of the gospel to others. Jesus wants us to testify about Him and see amazing results—people repenting of their sins and finding forgiveness. (Ask the students to say the memory verse.)

Jesus' Example

Jesus relied upon the Holy Spirit to give clear instructions to the apostles He had chosen (Acts 1:2). We, too, need to rely on the Holy Spirit to assist us in clearly presenting the plan of salvation.

Jesus appeared to His disciples several times following His resurrection from the dead. He presented Himself to them over a period of 40 days in order for them to process the reality of His resurrection (Acts 1:3). It takes time to convince another person to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Jesus must be presented to the person—introduced to the living Christ. Plan to spend time with the young person you are trying to win for the Lord. Jesus is living in you. Give them the opportunity to see Jesus in you and in the message you proclaim.

Jesus gave many convincing proofs that He was alive (Acts 1:3). Jesus performed miracles that proved He was the Son of God. He wants to confirm your witness by working powerful, supernatural miracles through your prayers. Jesus promised, "These signs will accompany those who believe..." (Mark 16:17).

Ask: How did Jesus demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through Him? (Allow responses.)

The Holy Spirit empowered Jesus' teaching and introduction of Himself as the living Christ who work miracles. The Holy Spirit will do the same today for those who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Apostle's Example

The promise Jesus made in Acts 1:8-- "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you"-- was fulfilled in Acts 2:4, "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit." The apostles personally experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It gave them boldness to preach and to witness.

Thousands of people came to observe the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the 120 meeting in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost. They were all amazed to hear the newly-baptized believers speaking praise to God in the languages of the people gathered to observe the event. "Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd...'God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it'...and about three thousand were added to their number that day" (Acts 2:14,41).

A few days later, the believers were gathered to pray about the threats against them. "After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly...With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 4:31-33).

Early Church's Example

The apostles and other believers who had been baptized in the Holy Spirit began meeting on a regular basis. "Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts...And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:46–47).

Accepting God's Word

Jesus, the apostles and the early church are examples of how the Holy Spirit can come upon believers and give them boldness to witness in word and deed. The good news is that as a young person you too can be mightily used of the Lord. The same baptism of the Holy Spirit and the same power to witness is available to you today. The apostle Peter makes this clear at the close of his sermon on the Day of Pentecost. "The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:39).

Ask: Do you want to be Jesus' representative at home, at school and in your community? (Allow responses.)

If your answer is "yes," then ask Jesus to baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

Jesus in Acts 1:8 describes the baptism with the Holy Spirit as "When the Holy Spirit comes on you." The baptism with the Holy Spirit is not a one–time experience. A Spirit-baptized believer will continue to speak in other tongues during personal prayer times and sometimes in worship services at their church. The apostle Paul spoke in tongues often and gives teaching concerning this practice in 1 Corinthians 14.

We speak of the Holy Spirit's coming on believers, after their baptism in the Holy Spirit, as an anointing. The Spirit's anointing can rest upon you in every aspect of your daily life, when praying or witnessing or worshiping. The secret is to allow the Holy Spirit to fill you on a continual basis. The apostle Paul makes this clear in Ephesians 5:18, "Be filled with the Spirit."

Be a witness! Go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit!

Present the information about the Fulani tribe given below.

Meet the Fulani of Niger

LOCATION

Niger: 1,563,000

RELIGION

Islam: 99.87%   
Born-Again Believers: 0.13%

SEE THE VIDEO
http://linkupafrica.com/media-gallery/detail/70/1454

The Fulani, who call themselves Fulbe, number nearly 20 million spread across 19 African countries in an area stretching from the shores of Senegal, south to Cameroon, and as far east as Sudan and Ethiopia. The Fulani range covers an area larger than continental United States and Western Europe combined.  Acculturation, assimilation and adaptation are always taking place among Fulani. These forces significantly affect changes in the Fulani lifestyle. Therefore, any generalization about Fulani culture is tentative.

Niger hosts three main Fulani clans. The Western Fulani number about 630,000 and are considered the purest of all Fulani.  Their customs have changed little in hundreds of years, and they have retained a code of high moral behaviour. The Sokoto Fulani, who number 864,000, are a semi-nomadic group. Some live in temporary settlements, while others have become influential people living in towns and cities. The Wodabe Fulani is the smallest group, numbering 69,000. They are strictly nomadic herders who consider farming a rejection of their heritage.

ASSESSMENT

It is said that to be a Fulani is to be a Muslim. However, the Wodabe have resisted Islam and kept much of their pre-Islamic way of life and beliefs. Most Fulani practice a version of folk Islam, integrating animistic practices into their Muslim religious duties. Most Fulani will frequent local shamans for healing, and many of the witch doctors and medicine men double as Muslim religious leaders.

Currently, some Fulani are returning to their historical jihadist roots and are linking with terrorist groups in an effort to stamp out Christianity. This makes it increasingly difficult to provide them with a genuine introduction to Jesus, the Saviour.

APPEAL

As in Jesus' days on earth, "The kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it" (Matthew 11:12). Fewer than 200 known Fulani believers live in Niger. They face persecution, but they continue to hold firmly to their faith. National church organizations are sending messengers to assist these believers in their efforts to proclaim the gospel to their people.

What about you? Will you commit to advancing the gospel to the Fulani? They are among the largest unreached people groups in the world and have resisted the overtures of gospel messengers for centuries. Is God speaking to you about making a difference by participating in penetrating the Islamic deception blinding the Fulani?

MORE INFORMATION: www.linkupafrica.com

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for the Fulani Tribe

1. Parents to see the value of schooling,
2. Youth to be exposed to the world beyond their tribe,
3. Girls to be granted the opportunity to attend secondary school.

Prayer Promise

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (Matthew 21:22). 

Remember: BE A WITNESS

Memory verse: Acts 1:8
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses...."

1. I want to be Jesus' witness, God's representative to those around me.
2. The Holy Spirit will anoint me to impact their lives.
3. The Holy Spirit will enable me to disciple those who accept Jesus as their Saviour.

Pray for the Fulani tribe.

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Study 6 | Come Holy Spirit/Born Again | africaatts.org/go-teach

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