The Alternative of
Wade E. Taylor
One of the transitions in the Lord's dealings with His people
takes place in Acts 1:8.
"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 Judaea, and
in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the
earth" Acts 1:8
This word, "But" is a pivotal point in the program
The disciples were concerned about Jesus setting up the Kingdom,
and what their place would be in it. They had only one thought
in mind and asked, "When?"
Had Jesus said, "Two thousand years from now,"
they would have lost heart. 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 away from what
they would do, to that which they would become,
"Ye shall BE witnesses unto me."
That is, "I will so work within you, that the manifestation
of your life among men will become as mine was. You will be
a witness, a "sample" of what I would have been
in that very situation in which you find yourselves. At this
time I am about to give you the power to make this possible.
This is my present purpose for you."
Jesus did not say that there would not be an external kingdom,
but rather, "it is not for you to know the times or seasons."
This is restated in Acts 15:14-17 where two steps are given.
"God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to
take out of them a people for His Name."
"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 the first part, the taking
out of a people for His Name, as "witnesses unto Him."
The second part is the "when" of the disciple's
Jesus speaks to us in terms that we can understand. Thus,
when He called Peter, who was a fisherman, He used words that
were familiar to him.
"Come ye after me, and I will make you
to become fishers of men" Mark 1:17
Peter heard the "fishing" rather than the process,
"make you to become." He was constantly concerned
with the aspect of time (when) and was more interested in
what would be his position in the kingdom, than in his fellowship
with the King.
Today is no exception. A message on "what" or "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 your life so completely reflect Jesus that His life
can be recognized in you? "Ye shall be witnesses unto
me." This "unto me" means that our life is
to 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 always brings forth after its own kind. This is
a law of harvest, that the harvest will be exactly like the
The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is far more than our being
blessed, or our speaking in tongues.
"Ye shall receive power to BECOME."
This must be fulfilled. Our Lord will be joined to a body
that is fully matured. Then the question "when"
will be fully answered.