BAPTISM AND DRINKING
"In one Spirit we have all been baptized into one body...and we have all been made to drink of one spirit" (1 Cor. 12:13, Gk.). Here we have another aspect: drinking of the Spirit. To be baptized into the Spirit means that you are put into the Spirit; to drink of the Spirit means that the Spirit is put into you. These are two aspects. On the one hand we have to be put into the Spirit. On that day when I was speaking and something descended and overshadowed me, I was put into the Spirit. However, I still need to take the Spirit into me, to drink of the Spirit daily and hourly. Even as we must drink water every day, we need to drink of the Spirit again and again. To have the churches as the kingdom of God is not a matter of doctrine, knowledge, gifts, or miracles. It is altogether a matter of drinking of the Holy Spirit. When you pray, you should drink of the Spirit. When you read the Bible, you should also drink of the Spirit.
Ephesians 6:17 reads: "Receive...the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God." The relative pronoun "which" refers to the Spirit. Receive the sword of the Spirit, which (Spirit) is the Word of God, by means of all prayer (v. 18). We should not consider the Word of God in the Bible merely as letters in black and white. We must take it as the Spirit. In John 6:63 the Lord Jesus said, "The words which I have spoken unto you are spirit." Since His words are spirit, we should not just read them as black and white letters. We must take the Word of God by means of all prayer. This is why we need to pray-read the Bible. Ephesians 6:17-18 is a base, a ground, in the Bible for pray-reading the Word. It tells us to take the Word of God, the living Word which is the Spirit, by means of all prayer. We need to pray every word. By praying we will make every word of the Bible something of the Spirit. This is what it means to drink of the Spirit. To call, "O Lord Jesus!" is to drink of the Spirit. To pray the Word is also to drink of the Spirit.
We must realize that the Triune God is the Spirit. Do not think that the Father is the Father, the Son is the Son, and the Spirit is the Spirit as separate persons. These three are the all-inclusive Spirit. Second Corinthians 3:17 declares, "Now the Lord is the Spirit" (lit.). Second Corinthians 1:21-22 says that we have been firmly attached unto the Anointed One (lit.). The Anointed One is Christ, and He is the all-inclusive Spirit. We have been anointed and sealed and have been given the Spirit as the earnest, the guarantee. The anointing gives us the taste of God. By being anointed we receive the essence, the element, of God. By being sealed we have the image of God. By having the earnest we have the taste of God. We have the element of God, the image of God, and the taste of God. Hallelujah! All of this is related to the all-inclusive Spirit which is the Lord Himself. By the all-inclusive Spirit we are filled, saturated, and mingled with God.
The result is that we are transformed. For this to be fully accomplished, we need to have our face unveiled (2 Cor. 3:18, lit.). To be unveiled means to be without a cover. If you read 2 Corinthians 3, you will realize that the veil mentioned there is the Scriptures in black and white letters. I am concerned that many Christians are still veiled by the Bible. Others are veiled by their charismatic experiences or by some other experiences. We need the Lord’s mercy to remove all the veils and to give us an unveiled face, without concepts, ideas, and preoccupations. We need to be unveiled and to gaze upon Him as the all-inclusive Spirit. Then we will be transformed into His image.
Now we come to the harvest in the book of Revelation. We have seen the seed in Matthew and the growth in the Epistles. The harvest of the Spirit in the book of Revelation is the seven Spirits and the seven-fold intensified Spirit. Every local church needs the seven-fold intensified Spirit for the seven stars. All the leading ones in the local churches must realize the need for this intensified Spirit. In Revelation 21:6 the Lord said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him who thirsts from the spring of the water of life freely." The Spirit and the Bride are one and they say come to drink the water of life freely (Rev. 22:17). This is our need today. Forget the forms, the rituals, the doctrines, the gifts, and the miracles. Forget everything and come and drink of the water of life. This is the consummation of being baptized into the Triune God and of drinking the Spirit.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 20, by Witness Lee)