BECOMING A WITNESS
BY: WADE E. TAYLOR
MARCH 29, 2002
But you will receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Acts 1:8
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is received at the time of salvation, in which we are grafted by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ.
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. I Cor 12:13
The Baptism in Acts 1:8 is the Baptism of Jesus in the Holy Spirit. The word baptize is an untranslated Greek word which means to immerse. Thus, our self-life is buried, and we come up from being immersed, with the Holy Spirit in total control of our entire being.
I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and (in) fire. Matt 3:11 ASV
The purpose of this Baptism in the Holy Spirit is to receive the enabling power (dunamis) to become witnesses unto Jesus. The words dynamite and dynamo are derived from this Greek word. Dynamite produces one big bang, and all is over. A dynamo produces a constant, ongoing flow of power.
This Baptism is not intended to be a one-time intense experience (dynamite) that when received, we record the date, relax, and rejoice that we have it. Rather, it is intended to be the beginning of the enabling, ongoing, power of God flowing into our lives (dynamo).
The Greek word for witness is martyr. Thus, we receive the enabling power to become an expression of the life of Jesus. We die to our self-life, that His life might find expression through us.
But you shall receive power, after… Acts 1:8a.
When Moses went up into the Mount, the children of Israel said, All that the Lord has spoken, we will do. (Exodus 19:8)
This was a tremendous statement, but they utterly failed. The Old Testament is a testimony that good intentions cannot fulfill the law of God. Something more is needed.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 reveals a new covenant in which the ability to obey is given by the Lord.
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you… and cause you to walk in my statutes…
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of this promise you shall receive power. It is this power that will cause, or, enable us to walk in obedience to His statutes. The power in Acts 1:8 and the cause in Ezekiel 36:27 are one and the same.
The intended purpose of this Baptism in the Holy Spirit is that we ourselves are this witness. Thus, the Baptism is to empower us to become this witness; not to do witnessing. I so die to my self life, that I become the expression of His life. Ministry is what I do. The Lord is going much deeper than saying we will receive power to serve. Rather, Jesus is saying that we ourselves are to become the substance and expression of His presence in the earth, after He is taken up from the earth. This experience of being immersed in the power of the Holy Spirit will enable us to become this witness.
If I am doing witnessing, I am telling another something about the Lord. But if I am being a witness, I am demonstrating what Jesus would both say and do, if He were present in that situation. When Philip said, show us the Father, Jesus reply was, You have been with Me all this time, and you have not seen the Father? (John 14:8-9). Jesus was saying, My life is so one with the Father, that I am doing exactly what He would do, if He were here. Therefore, when you see Me, you are seeing the Father.
We will serve better through the power of the Holy Spirit being imparted within us, but there is more. We are to witness (be a sample) of Jesus Christ. Through the power of the Spirit, I should be able to say, What I am saying and doing is a reflection of Jesus; as you see me, you are seeing Him.
The King James translation gives the correct rendering of this verse; You shall receive power after. We have received the Baptism, or the immersion in the Holy Spirit. Now the power is potentially available to us, but there is something more that is required of us (after), before we can experience this power. When we rightly respond, the power will become ours.
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
This strength, or power is received after we spend time waiting in His presence. Thus, the word after in Acts 1:8 tells us that we receive this power, after we wait in His presence.
This is the secret; as we wait upon the Lord in His presence, the power of God flows into us. Only then will we be able to witness, or function in what we have received. Our strength will run down and we will fail, as Israel did. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. The word renew is to exchange our weakness for His power, or strength.
In Hosea 4:6, the Scripture says, My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. All too often, in a church service, we are called to the altar to make a new consecration. Then we are left there, until another speaker comes to lead us in making yet another consecration. The result is that we never go further in our spiritual development.
The time has come when we must go beyond this cycle of repentance and consecration. We are to come into an active on-going relationship with the Lord in order to become His witness in the world. The enabling power that is available to us, as a result of our being baptized in the Holy Spirit, helps to make this possible.
Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers. Song of Solomon 1:4a
There are three steps that will lead us into this active relationship with the Lord. The first is spiritual hunger – Draw me.
This hunger will bring me into the experience of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, as I cry out for the Lord Himself. It will further result in many re-fillings of His dunamis (enabling power) as I hunger in His presence, desiring to receive more from Him.
The second is my consecration – We will run after Thee.
This means that I will act upon that which I have received from the Lord. In all that I do, I will remain in a listening attitude so I will be available to respond to His beckoning call, and, I will spend time waiting upon Him in His presence. The third is my responding to His manifest presence – The King has brought me into His chamber.
Here, I commune with the Lord in fellowship with His Word. I give expression to the Lord in worship, and I move with Him in a cooperative relationship in the outworking of His purposes.
I avoid all those things that could lessen my sensitivity to His presence, or could hinder my coming into His presence. I will be careful to maintain a right attitude toward others, so the Lord will feel welcomed and comfortable when He communes with me, within His chamber.
The ultimate purpose of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is to so move within us in power, that Jesus will be able to reveal Himself through us, in every part and aspect of our being.
Now we are ready to be a witness (sample) of Him; revealing and making Him known unto the uttermost parts of the earth.
BECOMING A WITNESS [Wade E. Taylor] 1