BAPTIZED INTO THE BODY
In Matthew 28 there is the seed of baptism into the Triune God, and in the Epistles there is the growth of the seed. We have already referred to Romans 6:3, which says that we have been baptized into Christ Jesus. First Corinthians 12:13 tells us two things: "In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body." It is not simply a matter of being put into the Triune God. Once we have been put into the Triune God, we become the Body. The charismatic movement stresses speaking in tongues, but neglects the point that the genuine baptism in the Holy Spirit is to produce the Body. If you have had a genuine experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, you will be for the Body. You will not be content with individuality; you will care for the Body. Not every experience of speaking in tongues is genuine. If the experience is genuine, the person will care for the Body. The real baptism in the Spirit is for the producing of the Body. The Body is a strong test as to whether or not the baptism we have experienced is genuine.
According to Matthew 13 the seed grows and brings in transformation, and transformation issues in the building. What is the building? The building is the Body. Although I have no intention of criticizing anyone, I must speak the truth to say that many tongues-speaking people do not have the transformation in life. I saw many who were the same in China. Three times we practiced Pentecostalism in our churches, and each time it was a debit to our spiritual accounting. We did have some credit, but eventually our spiritual accounting was "in the red," showing more debit than credit. We suffered a loss. Eventually, all the co-workers spontaneously made the decision to drop the practice. We did not continue that "business" because it gave a poor return. I should not say that there is no profit in the Pentecostal things, but the loss is greater than the gain. Both in China and in this country I have seen the damage caused by the "Pentecostal" things.
TESTS OF THE GENUINE BAPTISM
The genuine baptism in the Holy Spirit must be checked by several points: the growth in life, the transformation in life, the building up in life, and the practical Body life. Satan is very subtle. No one will attempt to cheat you with counterfeit money that is obviously false, but they will use a counterfeit currency so similar to real currency that only experts can discern the difference. Therefore, the best protection is not to accept currency at all but to accept only gold. Do not think that you are smart enough to discern the counterfeit from the true. Few of us are that smart. Therefore, in the long run and for the safety of the church, it is better not to take any "currency." Just take the gold. Some may occasionally take the "currency." But you must warn them not to use "currency" too much or they will be cheated. This is true not only for tongues-speaking, but also for all the other gifts. The gift of knowledge must also be proved by the growth in life, the transformation in life, the building in life, and the practical Body life.
This is not only the situation today; it was also the situation when the Lord Jesus was on the earth. John 2 tells us that the Lord did many miracles in Jerusalem and, as a result of these signs, many people believed in Him. However, He did not commit Himself to those who were drawn by the miracles. In John 3 Nicodemus came and the Lord turned him to the matter of life, saying that he needed to be born again. It is not a matter of miracles, but of being born again. When Nicodemus came to the Lord Jesus, his concept was that of knowledge and he called the Lord "Rabbi." "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God" (John 3:2). But the Lord Jesus told him, "You must be born anew" (John 3:7). It is not a matter of miracles or of knowledge; it is a matter of receiving a new life by rebirth. The local churches need one thing: life with its growth, transformation, and building. Eventually this life will produce the Body.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 20, by Witness Lee)