Acts 1:4-8 – “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” NKJV
The last words or instructions of a leader are usually very important and this is most assuredly true of our Lord Jesus’ last words or instructions to His followers. The question that had haunted the twelve still was paramount in the minds of those hearing Him on this occasion. They were still heavily locked into an earthly mentality believing that their Messiah (Jesus) had come for the explicit purpose of restoring the natural kingdom to Israel. Jesus had communicated to them time and again that His kingdom was spiritual but they, as we, often hear what we want to hear not what is actually said.
On this particular occasion, when asked again the driving question of natural Israel Jesus was a little terse and said: “It is not for you to know times or seasons the Father has put in His own authority.” Simply, “It is none of your business or that is not what is most critical here so listen…” Then He makes an incredibly powerful declaration. He had instructed them to WAIT in Jerusalem for the Promise of the Father which was the HOLY SPIRIT. He then further informed them of one of the significant purposes and ministry of the Holy Spirit in the earth and their lives. He said, “But you shall receive POWER when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” One of the results of the empowering of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer is to EQUIP and ENABLE them to WITNESS.
In the strength that comes with the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives is an EMBOLDENING which gives us a sense of purpose, strength and fearlessness. There is an ANOINTING that comes with that presence as well and when we speak we are not just speaking some learned rote of man but the GOOD NEWS of God and in the power of the Spirit of God the Word of God in our mouths demonstrates that it is ‘quick and powerful’ and can cut to the chase and bring conviction leading to repentance and life. No wonder the apostle Paul wanted to know of the disciples at Ephesus, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They responded that they had not even heard of the Holy Spirit and Paul instructed them so as to lead them to the EMPOWERING of the Spirit of God that they too might more fully and effectively carry out the Great Commission.
Jesus did not leave us comfortless but the Father has given the Comforter to walk with us, live in us, guide us and empower us as we fulfill our purposes in this generation we live. When I hear someone say, “I can’t witness” as a justification or excuse for being silent regarding their faith I want to ask Paul’s question regarding the Holy Spirit for when He comes, Jesus advised in John 16:13-15 – “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”
We have the secret to eternal life and we dare not fail to share it with WHOSOEVER. May God be with you, equip you and empower you for His service as you go through this day!