This is God’s reaping time – by Reinhard Bonnke

Bible Study

This is God’s reaping time

The Spirit of Elijah and Elisha, of John, of the Apostles and of the early Church has never left. He has been among men ever since, generation after generation. And this same Holy Spirit is now our inheritance. We were born to belong to his company.

God’s Revival Team

We are in God’s revival team, right alongside Whitfield, Wesley, Evans, Wigglesworth, Price and Jeffreys. We share the platform, hand in hand with all of God’s anointed ones. We – yes, we – come in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit and the power of Elijah. What belonged to the great men of God in the past is ours, and what is ours was once theirs. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the prophets, poured out upon all flesh today.

These believers were all Elijahs, and we now are all their Elishas. What they did, we shall do. Jesus said, “Others have labored, and you have entered into their labors” (John 4:38). We identify with them all. They brought us the flame of Pentecost right from the Upper Room in Jerusalem, and now we carry it further. What inspired them inspires us – the same Gospel, the same Book, the same love, the same Christ and Cross of Calvary, and the same Holy Spirit.

The men of the historic revivals have passed away. All have gone except for the chief figure, Jesus Christ. The One who met Saul on the Damascus Road, and Peter in Galilee – He is here! He is with us! He is still baptizing into the Holy Spirit.

With anointing comes opposition

Often with the same anointing, the same persecutions will come. The Great Commission, the anointing, and opposition all go together. As always, the followers of Jesus will be defamed and mocked by the wise of this world. They will consider you, as a believer, to be out of touch if you do not follow them in their

unbelief and in their so-called science of biblical rationalism. Those who accept this rationalism begin with a non-miraculous creed, and then take the scissors to Scripture to make it fit.

If we share Christ’s work, we share in his suffering. But “if we endure we shall also reign with him” (2 Timothy 2:12). If we are derided for our faith in God, we shall reign by our faith in God. When people say the same things about you as they said about God’s people in the past, rejoice that you are identified with them! Whoever treats you in the way that New Testament people were treated proves that you belong to that glorious New Testament company. When you carry out the same Commission that they did, with the same authority, you also will have the same enemies. Whenever the devil treats you as his foe, rejoice! He is paying you the greatest respect and best compliment possible. He is ranking you with those he hated in the past, the beloved servants of the Most High God.

David Livingstone’s Prophecy

In 1986 we had one of our great Gospel Campaigns in Blantyre, Malawi in East Africa. Blantyre is named after the town in Scotland where the great missionary David Livingstone was born. Livingstone had planted a Christian mission in the area, and had founded a city that now has 300,000 inhabitants, making it the largest city in Malawi today. Let me quote from his diary:

“We are like voices crying in the wilderness; we prepare the way for a glorious future. Future missionaries will be rewarded with conversions for every sermon. We are their pioneers and helpers. Let them not forget the watchmen of the night – us, who worked when all was gloom, and no evidence of success in the way of conversion cheered our paths. They will doubtless have more light than we; but we can serve our Master earnestly and proclaim the Gospel as they will do.”

Livingstone died in 1873, so we were there more than 100 years later. What about Livingstone’s prophetic word? Was it merely wishful thinking? I rejoice to tell you what we saw. The seed sown

so long ago is now blooming into harvest. For instance, we ourselves, saw 150,000 gathered in a single meeting. The people of Malawi heard the same God as Livingstone’s, the same Savior as Paul’s, the same Gospel as Peter’s. We were there 16 days, and tens of thousands responded to Livingstone’s message as we preached it for him and for Jesus. It reverberated throughout the whole country.

The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “You are walking on the tears of former generations.”

Suddenly, I saw it all. In God, we are linked to a single, mighty Gospel movement comprising his earlier and latter-day workers. We are all one together – we belong to their team – they belong to our Gospel Campaign. We are reaping with joy where they have sown in tears before us. We did not have this harvest because we were superior to those precious men and women who went before, but only because the harvest season had arrived. Jesus said:

He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together … I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors. (John 4:36-38)

This is harvest time – believe it!

The world’s multitudes have multiplied. The opportunity is vast, exciting. And we, you, all of us, are the privileged ones chosen to do the reaping. Knowing that so much had already been done, long before we arrived on the scene, should keep us humble in the times of success. We must not fail the sowers. We have been entrusted with a great task. We owe it to them to put in the sickle, or, better still, to use a combine harvester!

The Elijahs, the Pauls, the Justin Martyrs, and the Livingstones, they all relied on us for the future. They expected us to take advantage of all their labors. We cannot be proud, only privileged!

A remarkable meeting

In 1961, at 21 years of age, I completed my Bible college studies in the United Kingdom. I could now go home to northern Germany. The route took me via London. My train was not due to leave until evening, so I had time to do some sightseeing. I just walked as my feet took me, without a plan, and somehow wandered south of the River Thames into the pleasant avenues of Clapham.

Then, at a certain corner, behind a high wooden fence, I saw a name on a door plate, “George Jeffreys.” I had just read a book by this evangelist, and could hardly imagine that I had chanced upon the very house where that same man might be. George Jeffreys came out of the Welsh revival and, with his brother Stephen and other members of the Jeffreys family, had introduced the Full Gospel message publicly to the people of Britain. His work shook cities, and tens of thousands of people had witnessed mighty miracles.

Eagerly I ventured through the gate, up the path, and rang the doorbell. A lady appeared and I asked, “Is this the home of George Jeffreys, whom God used so mightily?” To my great delight, she affirmed that it was. I asked, hopefully, “Could I please see Mr. Jeffreys?” The reply was firm, “No, that is not possible.” But then that deep, musical Welsh voice that is said to have held thousands spellbound with its authority, spoke from inside, “Let him come in.” Thrilled, I entered, and there he was. He was 72, but looked to me like a man of 90.

“What do you want?” were his words to me. I introduced myself, and then we talked about the work of God. Suddenly, the great man fell on his knees, pulling me down with him, and started to bless me. The power of the Holy Spirit entered that room. The anointing began to flow and, like Aaron’s oil, it seemed to run over my head and “down on the edge of my garments,” (Psalm 133:2) so to speak.

I left that house dazed. Fours week later, George Jeffreys passed away. I had been led to see him just before he died. But I knew that I had picked up something from this former Holy Spirit firebrand evangelist. The Lord, I am sure, had arranged that meeting. How else would it have been possible for me to stumble upon this one house in a city of ten million people, when George Jeffreys was not even on my mind? Whatever this experience did for me, one thing I can claim. Seeing this man of God made me understand that we build on the people who went before us. The city of God is built on the foundation of the Apostles.

A divine relay race

We can liken it to a relay race. One man runs with a baton, another man grabs it, and runs, and then another and another – they all share in the race and in the victory. If one drops the baton, or even runs a little badly, the efforts of all the rest are spoiled, and the whole team loses.

In the book of Hebrews, we read about the “cloud of witnesses” – the saints of God. They stand looking over the battlements of glory, cheering us on. We are running for them. We must do a little more than they did, not a little less. It is the last lap before Jesus comes. We cannot rest on their laurels. The great finish line is in sight. Do you see, now, what the following Scripture means?

And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 4:14)

What is the theme of the hour, or the slogan for today? Not our theme, mind you, but God’s theme. It is “Evangelism by Fire” which is in and of itself an initiative for revival. It is evangelism by the gifts, the power, and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is revival!

Rely on the miracle power of Jesus

Doubters like to be clever. They analyze the situation and point out the impossibilities with impressive language. They “prove” that nothing can be done, using words like pluralism, hedonism, insularism, and narcissism, trying to show, with high-sounding terms, that the situation is hopeless. They way they talk, you would think that God has not taken any of this into consideration.

The doubters are wrong. This is God’s reaping time. Something can be done. God has prepared for everything – “‘not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” This is what we are to rely upon, not television, radio, money or education, as necessary as these things may be, but on the miracle power of Jesus.

We have only one generation to reach this generation. The original Gospel mandate is impossible without the original power. The perfect strategy of God is complete. He included you in it, and He included me in it. We are woven and enmeshed into His plans which cannot fail. If we know that, then no matter what, we will be able to do it!

Reinhard Bonnke