Wade E. Taylor
“But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses to Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit was given that we might receive the enabling to “become” a witness. This speaks of far more than our receiving power to do witnessing, as we ourselves are to become this witness – not something that we are to do or say.
The ministry of Jesus did not begin immediately following His baptism in the Jordan.
“And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him. And lo a voice from heaven saying, This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17
The approbation, or favor of God, clearly rested upon the life of Jesus as He had fully pleased His Father. Yet, this alone did not qualify Him for ministry.
“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” Luke 4:1
While Jesus was in the wilderness, Satan tempted Him through a series of testing’s that lasted for forty days. He overcame each of these on the principle that He only worshipped, and always obeyed His Father.
In the strength of this overcoming victory, Jesus then went forth and ministered to all of Galilee.
“And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of Him through all the region round about.” Luke 4:14
Jesus entered the wilderness in “blessing,” (the fullness of the Spirit), but He returned in the “power” of the Spirit. The result of this experience of testing was a life and witness that manifested spiritual power and authority.
“But you shall receive power after….” Acts 1:8 KJT
Notice that the power to become a witness was given “after,” not “when.” Whatever prophetic word we may receive, whatever gift or blessing we may have been given, these must first be translated into our life experience through a process of testing, before they can effectively be ministered and imparted to others, with results.
The word “witness” in Acts 1:8 can also be translated “sample.” Jesus became a “sample” or a visible demonstration of His Father, that the world might see and know Him.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life: for the life was manifested and we have seen it.” I John 1:1-2
The purpose of the life and ministry of our Lord among men was to bring forth a witness, which would become an extension of His life and ministry, after He paid the penalty for our sin upon Calvary’s cross.
“Verily, verily, I say to you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.” John 12:24
That which comes forth will be exactly like that which was planted. Jesus died that we might live in His image and likeness – a “sample,” or extension of His life being lived through us.
“…You shall be witnesses to Me….” Acts 1:8
Notice that this is not our being a witness “of Me,” or a witness “for Me,” but rather, “to Me.” As we witness to Him, we become so one with Him that His life is then reflected through us to others, with the same power and results that He experienced.
As the blessings of the infilling of the Holy Spirit are translated into power in our lives through His workings, we become an effective witness, or a sample of Him. The world will treat this “witness” just as they did His witness. Jesus overcame all that He faced and was victorious, leading captivity captive. He then said:
“To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His Throne.” Revelation 3:21
The gift or blessing is not enough. It must come through a life experience of being tested before it will be able to function in power.
The Lord is digging deep within our lives to transform and change us. He is conforming us to the image of His Son, that we might become this witness, or sample of Himself, which He desires in the earth today.
We are made joint heirs with Jesus Christ. The Word tells us that we are “members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones” (Ephesians 5:30). We are not just “like” Him, but rather we are made through the miracle of Holy Spirit regeneration, a “partaker” of the Divine nature; and then we are fitted into His body as a “lively stone.” (I Peter 2:5)
We are being called today to come beyond the realm of blessing, into becoming a finished product of His workmanship, that the Christ within may become manifest and be revealed as His witness in the earth, with substance and power.
This witness that He desires to bring forth is not the result of something that we are to do, but rather, it is the revelation of what we have become in Him. It will emerge from the power of a tested and proven relationship, that as we become one with Him, the work that He did, He will continue to do through us.
The Lord will set us out as a sample in the presence of those whom He desires to receive to Himself. Then those who are attracted to the quality of the “sample” will purchase what they see, and receive the Lord into their lives.
It is not what we can do for Jesus, but rather, how willing we are to become what He would have us to be ‑ a witness.