WHY REACHING PEOPLE GROUPS IS THE ESSENCE OF FULFILLING THE GREAT COMMISSION
With Dr. John H. Musser- Missions Strategist
FROM THE VAULT
I was going to edit and revise the following outline and even cut it into sections to be more readable online, then decided NOT to for a few reasons:
- Training Strategy: First of all, even though this outline was used to train a group of missionary students from Dallas, Texas, over 14 years ago, I find that it’s still as relevant today, even more so, than it was then. My first recorded outline of this was in Tambaram, India (17 years ago) speaking to mission leaders from every state in India and 15 countries. THIS TEACHING WAS USED OF THE LORD TO START GREAT MISSION MOVEMENTS IN INDIA. May the Lord use it once again! One of our groups of native leaders said they had researched, detected and was beginning the process of reaching over 300 distinct people groups in southern India as a direct result of this training. They kept extensive documentation from a list of PEOPLE GROUPS WE HAD GIVEN THEM with the help of RALPH WINTER. When Dr. Winter was alive, he personally gave me permission to use all his materials. A lot took place in northeast India as well through our mission base there (this would require a few pages). Later we landed in Orissa (now Odisha), India, through the research of our student missionaries. They found that this region has the largest concentration of un-reached people in the entire subcontinent. Most are hidden tribes residing in the forests of the Eastern Ghats. Today we work DAILY in this region with the Lord’s great favor.
- Good memories: Some of my former students remember the days when we were together for the sake of reaching the last of the lost (ethos). May God bless your journey in missions wherever you are today!
- Duplicatable: We have hundreds of native workers in our network who can copy this message and preach right from the outline. They can revise it a little and make it their own. Some of these sermons have propelled hundreds of students and adults into a deeper understanding of the great commission along with thousands of native leaders. It combines the native missionary movement with the people’s movement along with wonderful teachings of the exchanged life or the need of resurrection power (for dead people only…. but alive unto God) to fulfill our Lord’s mandate for global missions.
- URGENCY of the times we live in: This word needs to get out! So-called prophets are putting dates on every moon that shines, but the Son has an important clue for us starting from His prophecy in Matt. 24:14:
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Key words in this prophecy are: “Testimony”, “nations” and “end will come” to an era (dispensation) which many believe is the church age or time of the Gentiles.
Why don’t you get your bible out and follow along?
Many things could be said about FULFILLING the Great Commission, but it all boils down to reaching and disciplining “people groups.” The Greek word for nations in Matthew 28:19 and 20 is ethnos or in our terms “people groups.” Jesus commissioned us to reach “people groups,” (He said “GO and disciple them.”) A close, yet loose paraphrase could be put like this (I have taken the basic commission scriptures and put them together with the Greek and various translations ):
“The power of the universe has been given unto Me. Because I have this power, I delegate authority to you to pierce through the spiritual strongholds, find all peoples, and give them the Good News that I have come to set them free. Once they have received my free gift of eternal life, mentor (disciple) these people groups that are scattered throughout the planet to the degree that they will reproduce themselves in the lives of others and keep a reproductive cycle going. Make sure what you instill within them are my doctrines and not man’s. You will not have to fear. As you obey my commission to you, special grace and power will be imparted into your lives. You will tread on serpents both physically and spiritually. The POWER I will give you will be so strong that even deadly poisons will not kill you, and my special favor will be with you to the end of this age.”
1. A Core Nucleus of Every People on the Planet.
- Based upon Rev. 5:9, it is my belief that a core nucleus of every “people group” on the planet must be reached with disciples before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof; for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood, from every kindred and tongue, and people and nation, (And nation – Εθνους Ethnous) 10 and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth.”
- Our motto is: “A church for every people and every people discipled, this is the Master’s GREAT plan.” All nations will worship Him.
- Proof: Notice that in Revelation 5:9, representatives of every tribe, people, tongue, and nation (ethos) are in Heaven singing the Great Song of the Redeemed unto the Lamb. This song was heard by God before the world began, and it is music to His ears.
- For a better understanding of this see. http://biblehub.com/commentaries/revelation/5-9.htm
2. The Mission of Gospel Revival Ministries
What GRM is all about is reaching and discipling tribes, villages, and especially peoples (ethos) very strategically. Using the Master’s plan, we plant Great Commission Churches and raise up Great Commission Christians. We work with the Native Missionary Movement to do this. It is a quick and economical method of reaching these groups for the Lord.
Really it is quite simple. But somehow we have complicated things in missions today. We get carried away with the glamorous, but missions is all about reaching people groups and discipling them to the point that they will keep the reproductive cycle going until all nations (all people groups) hear.
You can put here what your church does to reach the peoples of the world. Your people need to know that their local church is fulfilling the Great Commission. Never underestimate the value of sharing your church’s vision and plan to fulfill the Great Commission. Keep the vision before your people!
3. Ask Yourself: “What Insights Are Needed to Empower Us to Reach and Disciple People?
- One thing is for sure. You won’t pull down the fortifications of ancient principalities in the energy of the flesh (Eph. 6:10 – 18; Isa. 61: 4). It can only happen in and through our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught His “Green Berets” doctrines (teachings) that imparted unto them dunamis power and the yoke-destroying anointing they were to receive from On High!
- Gain a spiritual sensitivity and begin to listen to Heaven’s Executive, the Holy Spirit. Be ready to respond when He calls, to obey when He speaks, and to follow through on what you begin in the Spirit at His direction.
- Discipling “people groups” demands four basic doctrines. We will call them the Apostles’ Doctrine:
■ Salvation (Being born again) through faith in the PERSON and WORK of Jesus Christ, the Anointed One.
1) After this, Jesus gives the next three doctrines that we find as His major teachings or the three teachings of the Great Commission Christian. Jesus, separating the men from the boys, said, “If any man will come after me let him pick up His cross, deny self, and follow Me.” He also said to His disciples that His teachings would be explained more fully later on. The Apostle Paul was the instrument used by the Holy Spirit of grace and illumination to give us a fuller understanding of what Jesus meant.
■ Picking up our cross – “The exchanged life”
- Paul amplifies this and gives a fuller understanding and relevance in Galatians 2:20.
- “I (the old Saul) am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I (the new Paul) yet it really isn’t I, but Christ (the Anointing of God) that lives in me.”
- It is Christ in us and our working through Him that will enable us to fulfill the great task of reaching the nations.
- This is what I call “taking the fork in the road and beginning great adventures with God.” Many never make it to this point. Sometimes it takes many years for a person to submit to taking, “the road of discipleship.”
- This new dimension and potential for fresh revelation and spiritual insight, illuminations and empowerment is only available to those who abandon themselves totally and place their lives into God’s hands.
■ Deny Self – “New Man living”
- Life becomes new in Christ Jesus. The old way of living is passed away, and everything becomes new.
- “Be filled with the Spirit;” walk and live in your “spirit man.” Continually build up your “inner man” – Eph. 6:10.
- This “new man,” created in the image of Jesus Christ, must have the Holy Spirit to illumine, empower, and guide.
- We must put to death the works of the flesh and literally “die to self.”
- Recognize that the old way of life (the old man) has been (past tense) crucified with Christ.
- Reckon this to be true. Count on it as a fact of God.
- Yield continually to the Holy Spirit, the way of God deliberately and daily, “putting off the dirty grave clothes of the past,” and “putting on” the new man.
- By letting: Phil.2:5-8
- By doing: Phil. 4:4-9
■ Jesus said, “Follow Me.” Therefore, we pattern ourselves – our lifestyle – after His way of life, Jesus’ lifestyle. We mimic Him and His ways.
1) Examples of Jesus’ exhortation to His disciples to “Follow Me”
- Jesus: receiving the mighty baptism of power.
- Jesus to the Twelve Disciples: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
- Jesus acceptance of His Father’s Will and purposing to walk in that will.
- Jesus: regarding serving mankind.
- Jesus: of fellowship and unconditional love.
- Jesus’ a redemptive heart and redeeming lifestyle.
- Jesus as He discipled and reproduced the Anointed life in the lives of others. (2 Timothy 2:1,2)
2) Examples of Paul the Apostle using the term: “Follow me as I follow Christ.”
- Paul urges Christians to follow biblical PROTOTYPES. Beware of following man, especially in such as hour as this. Let Christ live in us, and do all things through Christ.
- Follow Christ’s pattern of doctrine and philosophy of ministry. “Looking unto Jesus” we realize that Paul is the great master builder for God’s plan (see I Cor. 3:10-17). We learn how to follow Christ in Paul’s epistles.
3) When we follow long enough it will always lead to a redemptive heart and an adoption of God’s global agenda: “making of all peoples one people in Christ.” This is our Great Commission! (See Eph. 2:11 – 22)
4. Meat For Missionaries (sent ones)
For many years I traveled to India. One time the Lord spoke to me and said, “I want you to focus on two things when you speak to the GRM leaders: (1) reaching people groups and (2) unity.”
I instantly knew what the Lord was talking about. In essence, the Lord said, “Give them a target to shoot at and teach them that the only way they will make it through the ancient strongholds of Hades itself is to have love and unity among themselves.”
The first time I preached these two basic things at a conference of 500 of our pastors and evangelists the months afterward resulted in the greatest harvest our mission agency ever witnessed, reaching over 1,300 villages, and making connections with 330 of the 336 people groups within one state alone.
Jesus prayed in John 17 that we (His followers) would be one and unified regarding His purpose. And why? So that the world might recognize the great value and power of that unity and therefore believe that His Father sent Him.
We need GOD’S FOCUS and LOVE! Only a person who lives “in Christ and through Christ” can live in the realm of the supernatural.
“That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:21
HELP US TO FULFILL THE GREAT COMMISSION WE WORK WITH 14 PEOPLE GROUPS (ethnos) IN ONE REGION OF INDIA. THEY ARE ALL JUST BEGINNING TO COME TO THE LORD AND WE ARE BUILDING GREAT COMMISSION CHURCHES.