Kenneth F. Haney
There are five things needed to fulfill our mission:
The United Pentecostal Church International is a church of destiny! We are a movement that has been commissioned for this FINAL HOUR. We have the biblical truth that the New Testament church taught and that
Jesus set forth in His instructions to His disciples. We have His Spirit within us, although we need to be baptized anew with a fresh touch of His Spirit. We need to be more unified in our approach in reaching the world. We are not an island unto ourselves, but we are integrally woven together by the blood of Jesus Christ. We cannot allow ourselves to be laid back or filled with apathy. There is need for more zeal and passion among us. This book will give a clear sound of what our vision is. The time is ripe; we must move into the field for it is ripe unto harvest.
“Therefore said he [Jesus] unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” Luke 10:2
In Luke 10:1, Jesus sent seventy disciples out into the harvest field two by two. Jesus sends His disciples forth as shown in John 20:21: “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”
We can never forget who has sent us into this world to preach the gospel. It should be pulsating through our veins, throbbing in our minds, “I am sent on a mission. I am sent on a mission by God Almighty to do His bidding.” Every day should be looked upon as an adventure into a world characterized by His Spirit.
As Nehemiah was released by the king to do what God had put in his heart to do, we the church have been released. As he was equipped for the job, the Spirit has equipped us. As Nehemiah considered the need and state of affairs and told the people that the hand of God was upon him, so must the church do the same!
THE COMMISSION SENT
As Nehemiah was sent by King Artaxerxes, so our King has also sent us on a mission. It is our greatest mission in life. King Jesus is our example. He gave His life for the people of this world.
It was His mission.
“Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” John 18:37
The United Pentecostal Church International is right at four million constituents, and we have 33,500+ congregations worldwide. Sounds significant, but it is like Gideon in comparison to the world. We have been commissioned to go into the whole world and preach the gospel. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
The power to witness and do all the things Jesus intended for the church to do as the anointed ones would bring about the fulfillment of the Great Commission and thus it would be said about us, “These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also” (Acts 17:6).
“Unction cannot be learned, only earned-by prayer.” The two prerequisites to success in God are vision and passion, both of which are born in and maintained by prayer.
We are commanded to be, “Fervent in spirit, serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11).
Galatians 4:18, “It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing.”
Now, more than ever before, the church must be zealously passionate about spreading the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Nothing could throttle the passion of the early church. It penetrated into Caesar’s household. The FIRE and PASSION broke through the pagan walls of darkness and brought light into the Gentile world. Though the resistance of the heathen produced grave persecution, nothing could hinder the Pentecostal experience and message from spreading into every region, country, and continent of the world.
Even today the church is passionately declaring the gospel in nations around the world at the expense of persecution. Passionate believers are proclaiming Christ in Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and other countries that have had “underground” churches for many years.
Passion does not stop at anything. It is a floodtide of power that will sweep aside any obstacle that hell puts in its way.
When the rushing mighty wind of the Spirit, the breath of God, blew through the upper room and cloven tongues like as of FIRE, sat upon each one, spontaneous combustion took place that ignited into a worldwide revival. The FIRE of the Spirit became uncontrollable, unpredictable, and irresistible to those who felt its power. The Sanhedrin could not control this FIRE, nor could they predict where the FIRE would break out next. It was a raging, massive FIRE that could not be quenched by persecution, false accusations, or even death!
This is the kind of passionate FIRE that is needed by the whole church today. When this becomes a reality, there will be unprecedented revival FIRES that will burn all around the world.
In order for the mission to be accomplished, the people must willingly cry, “Let us rise up and build.” Nehemiah 2:18: “Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.” They worked together for one common cause.
Ephesians 4:1-6 states: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to KEEP THE UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is ONE BODY, and ONE SPIRIT, even as ye are called in ONE HOPE of your calling; ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE GOD and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”
Endeavoring means to make a concerted effort toward; an earnest attempt; to (give) diligence to and to labor after. Sometimes it is work to keep the UNITY, but it is worth it. In the preceding verse, Paul tells how to keep the unity. The task is accomplished by forbearing one another. Forbearing means to put up with one another; bear with one another, and to endure one another.
It is ONE all the way through to the end. We are ONE in Christ. Benjamin Franklin once said, “On the matter before us, if we do not hang together, gentlemen, we will most assuredly hang separately.” With equal vigor and determination, the United Pentecostal Church International must hang together or the enemy will separate us so that he can destroy us.
The following story is taken from my book Baptism of Fire, which proves the power of unity:
Aesop tells us that there were four bulls which were good friends. They went every where together, fed together, and lay down to rest together, always keeping so close to each other that if any danger were near they could all face it at once.
Now there was a lion which had determined to have them, but he could never get at them singly. He was a match for any one alone, but not for all four at once. However, he used to watch for his opportunity, and, when one lagged the least bit behind the others as they grazed, he would slink up and whisper that the other bulls had been saying unkind things about him. This he did so often that at last the four friends became uneasy. Each thought the other three were plotting against him.
Finally, as there was no trust among them, they went off by themselves, their friendship broken. This was what the lion wanted. One by one he killed them, and made four good meals.
Likewise, this is the devil’s strategy. As in the story of Nehemiah, the enemy tried to scare them and fragment them, confusing their minds, but Nehemiah told them, “Stay working together on the wall; don’t leave because of the taunts of the enemy. Just keep doing what the Lord has told us to do.”
The church started with a group of people being in ONE PLACE, in ONE ACCORD, praying and waiting for ONE THING: the gift of the Holy Spirit.
At the UPCI World Conference in Athens, Greece, leaders from every nation were asked to speak ten minutes. One after another they spoke on UNITY. One of the brethren said, “We don’t pray for revival, we pray for unity.” Revival will come when we are united. Divisions, schisms, envy, and strife are the enemies of revival. Jesus prayed a prayer in John 17:21 that is still echoing down through the ages: “That they all may be ONE; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be ONE in us.”
People often affix importance to a biblical subject based on how many times it is mentioned in the Scriptures.
The following list are important subjects and how many times they are mentioned in the Bible:
– Tithes 25
– Holy Ghost 90
– Water Baptism 100
– Fasting 102
– Prayer 114
– Offerings 265
– Gathered Together 97
– Together 484
Nothing can restrain a people who are ONE in spirit, ONE in purpose, and who are in ONE mind! This is proven in the story told in Genesis 11:5-6: “And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”
God said that nothing could restrain a people from accomplishing their goal as long as they spoke the same things, worked together for the same goals, and were ONE in spirit. This is what God wants for the United Pentecostal Church International: There is ONE GOD, ONE WORLD, ONE CHURCH, and ONE VISION.
The task at times seems difficult, but we must remember we are not doing it in our own power as so powerfully stated in Zechariah 4:6: “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Gideon had only 300 men to fight against the great host of the Midianites, but by following God’s instructions and by His Spirit, they won the war.
Jesus chose twelve men as His disciples and from this small beginning, Christianity has grown in great proportions. It was a group of 120 men and women in an upper room in Jerusalem that first received the outpouring of His Spirit and who were baptized in His name. It started small, but it did not remain small. In the space of two years all of Asia had heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.
‘And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 19:10).
Someone might say, “I’m not as big as this guy over here, I can’t do anything.” You may have a church of thirty-five, but it should not remain at that figure. If it is God’s church it is going to grow. Anything that is alive will grow
Some people have a mentality of smallness. We once had a couple in our church that said they were going to leave our church because it was getting too big. I told them, “That’s fine, but you are going to go into a little church because it is comfortable to you, but if it is God’s church it is going to grow”
CAPACITY: As John and Charles Wesley were once praying, Charles, who was receiving a great blessing, said, “My God, I can’t stand anymore. You’re so great!” John, his brother, corrected him by saying, “Don’t tell God you can’t stand it anymore. Ask him to increase your capacity.”
This is what needs to happen among us. Jesus talks about people bringing forth fruit, “some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred” (Matthew 13:8, 23; Mark 4:8, 20).
If you are at a thirty-fold capacity, ask God to increase you to sixty. If you are at sixty, ask God to increase you to eighty. If you are at a hundred, ask Him to double that. We need to be increasing ourselves. Pray, “God, enable me to increase my vision.” If you have a vision then you will have a burden to achieve it.
Romans 11:29 states, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” There is no retirement. When God calls a man, he is called forever.
A called man of God after many years may change from carrying the heavy load of administration to more teaching, travelling, and helping others, but if he is called there is no stopping.
We must go to the time of departure as Paul said, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing” (II Timothy 4:6-8).
Every called minister must work until the Lord comes until he is called home, but in a different way as he grows older.
1 Our Foe: Satan. Ephesians 6:12 states: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
He wants to hinder revival! That is his business.
Several years ago in the city where I was pastor, there occurred a tragic event at one of the local schools. A young man created a distraction while the children were playing on the playground. He set a car on fire in front of the school. While the teachers responsible for watching the children were focusing on the burning car, the demented man murdered five of the children while they were at play.
Satan has created many distractions in order to divert the attention of the church and the pastor
away from their true purpose. He creates church trouble or problems and more problems. He will do anything to keep us from focusing on the ONE thing Jesus called us to do: Reach the lost!
The devil would have us believe the church is to be a social club. While it is important for the church to have its social times, and the man of God to have his recreation time, there must be a balance.
2. Focusing on the wrong things. It is imperative to have a right spirit, stay focused on our mission, keep the vision clear, and to preach the Word.
I Corinthians 10:6 names five things which caused the children of Israel to wander in the wilderness instead of reaching their promised land: “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.”
d. Tempting Christ
3. Fear. When Shemaiah came to Nehemiah it was first with anger and ridicule. They tried every conceivable way to stop the building up of the walls, but they saved FEAR for their last tactic. Nehemiah recognized what they were trying to do and immediately called it by what it was-an evil report. Notice also Nehemiah said that if he would have listened to their report and been afraid that he would have sinned. “Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me” (Nehemiah 6:13). The enemy’s tactics are so that God’s children can be reproached for their fear and lack of trusting in the Lord. We must go forward no matter how many Shemaiah’s speak their words of fear and doubt!
NEVER GIVE UP!
Set your face as a flint. The enemy sent opposition five different times to Nehemiah, but he always had the same answer, “We are doing a great work, and we can’t come down.” Just as the enemy never wants to give up, so should the church be just as relentless, never giving up until the task is completed.
The above article, “Our Mission” is written by Kenneth F. Haney. The article was excerpted from chapter four of Haney’s book One God, One World, One Church, One Vision.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.