The Alternative of God - BUT
The purpose of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
By Wade Taylor
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost
is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in
Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the
uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8
One of the major transitions in the Lord’s dealings
with His people takes place in Acts 1:8. In this verse, the
word “BUT” becomes the pivotal point. The disciples
were very concerned with the setting up of a literal kingdom
and their place in it and had asked when this would happen.
Had Jesus answered that it would be at least two thousand
years away, His disciples would have been greatly discouraged.
Rather, He gently said: “It is not for you to know the
times or the seasons . . . “BUT.” He then turned
the focus of their attention from something they would do,
(“rule”), to something they would become, (“qualified
to rule”). They were to become an expression of His
very life on the earth.
His purpose now was to give them the power to make this possible.
“Ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come
upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me,” that is,
“I will so enable you and work in you that the manifestation
of your life among men will be just as mine was. You will
be a witness (sample) of what I would have been in the very
situations you find yourselves in. This will bring about the
growth and maturity that will qualify you for the coming day
of my kingdom. This is my purpose for now, rather than the
establishing of an external kingdom at this time.”
This is restated in Acts 15:14-17 where these two steps are
given. “God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to
take out of them a people for his name.” And secondly:
“After this I will return, and will build again the
tabernacle of David . . . that the residue of men might seek
after the Lord . . .” Today we are close to the end
of this first part—the taking out of a people for His
name. The second part was the “WHEN” of the disciple’s
question. It will come in His time.
Jesus always speaks to us in terms that we can understand,
but Peter did not understand this. He had said to Peter, who
was a fisherman, “Come ye after me, and I will make
you to BECOME fishers of men.” Peter heard the FISHING
rather than the process—“make you to become.”
He was constantly concerned with the aspect of time—“When?”
He was more interested in what his position in the kingdom
would be rather than in his being made ready for his place
in the kingdom.
It is the same today. A message on WHEN draws much attention.
The divine alternative “But” still rings clearly.
There is yet to be a people so completely identified with
Jesus that they will be able to say as Jesus said to Philip:
“He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John
14:9). Does my life so completely reflect Jesus that His life
can be recognized in me? “Ye shall be witnesses (samples)
unto me.” The “unto me” means our life is
to perfectly mirror His life. Jesus said concerning Himself:
“Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die,
it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit”
(John 12:24). The seed is to bring forth after its own kind.
This is a law of harvest, that the harvest will be exactly
like the seed.
This power that has been made available to us, the Baptism
in the Holy Spirit, is far more than just being blessed or
speaking in tongues. It is the enabling power to bring us
to maturity, that we might be qualified to rule with Him.
“But ye shall receive power . . . and ye shall be .
This must be fulfilled. Our Lord will have a people that
are qualified to rule with Him in the coming day of His Kingdom.
Then the question of when will be fully answered.