COMING TO THE MEETINGS WITH LIFE AND POWER
Let us pray that we all will be brought to the point that we have the infilling and the outpouring. Then whenever we come together, there will be something powerful upon us and through us toward others. This is the proper position, condition, situation, and issue. May we pray in this way that we may be enabled to realize how much we need the Holy Spirit within and without, for life and for power. If we pray in this way, whenever we come together, our meeting will be changed much. We will honor the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will be with us. When we come together, we will be full of the Holy Spirit within us, among us, upon us, and outside of us, and in whatever we do there will be the presence of the Holy Spirit. Even if we have a little talk after the meeting, we will be full of the Holy Spirit. The outsiders will sense that there is something different with us. The real Bethel of Jacob’s dream in Genesis 28:12-19 will be fulfilled in us. Heaven will be opened, and this place will be the very place of God’s dwelling. People will sense the presence of the Lord, and this will be the real place for the stones to be poured upon with oil, that is, with the Holy Spirit.
We should not say that we do not need power. In all Christian matters we need life and we need power. Therefore, we must go to the Lord to pray and deal with this matter. Certain ones should not read too much. They should close their books and use more time to pray for the experience of the infilling and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Then when they come to the meeting, they will be very different. Their prayer will not be dry; it will be full of the living water and full of the oil. By listening to our prayers, people can realize to what extent we experience the Holy Spirit.
I do not look down on knowledge; rather, I respect and value knowledge. However, all our knowledge must be in the Holy Spirit. If it is not in the Spirit, it is merely knowledge in letter with no reality. I respect the proper knowledge, but I do not care for so-called theology with every kind of “ism.” Let us forget about the “isms.” We need to exercise our spirit to pray more to experience the Spirit. Then we will be living and powerful whenever we come together.
Many people have told me that when they come to the meetings they are very impressed, not by the teaching or doctrine, but by the living atmosphere, the living water, and the oil, the anointing. However, I am still not satisfied with our Lord’s Day meeting. Many come to this meeting in a loose way. They should not think that they have no responsibility for the meeting. They have responsibility simply because they come to the meeting. If the brothers and sisters come to the meeting with power, even before the ministry starts, there will be the moving, the current, the flowing of the Holy Spirit in the meeting place.
A TESTIMONY OF THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT
Between 1941 and 1943 in north China, every time the brothers and sisters came together, even before the meeting started we could already sense the Spirit. In 1943 we had a continual meeting for one hundred and eight days, day by day. It was wonderful. When people came into the meeting, they would begin to weep. No one would talk lightly. Instead many would sit there and weep without speaking. Eventually the unbelievers realized that if they came to our meeting place, they could not resist the Spirit. When they came in, they fell down, not physically but psychologically and spiritually. They were subdued by the living power. Some people even were saved by walking past the meeting place. A certain unbelieving school teacher rode a bicycle past the meeting place and noticed a verse painted in large characters on the wall. He was very moved by it, and he stopped, took off his hat, and prayed a short prayer, saying, “God, I am a sinner. Save me. I believe Jesus is my Lord and Savior.” After a few weeks, he came to be baptized and told us his story.
A number of others were saved through dreams. One man was the husband of a sister, a deaconess, in the church. He came to a gospel meeting, and he and his friend were saved. The night before this friend came to the gospel meeting, he had had a dream. Then when he came to the meeting, he saw the meeting hall and said, “Last night I saw this in a dream. What I saw was exactly the same as this.” On that day at that very moment, he repented with tears and was saved. This happened due to one reason: Most of the believers among us at that time were very much under the power of the Holy Spirit.
In that meeting place there were many rooms, but there was no noise. Instead, everyone was praying much in groups of three or five in each room. There were not many voices; the saints were silent but were praying all the time. During the preaching of the gospel, some would kneel and pray until the message was over. After that, they came out to take care of the after-meeting work.
I cannot relate how wonderful this situation was. However, I did not observe that even one person spoke in tongues. We do not oppose speaking in tongues; rather, we are open to it. Yet there was none at that time, but the situation was very prevailing and powerful. By this we should realize that we do need the power of the Holy Spirit. If we all experience the power, our coming together day by day will be different. It will be another kind of situation. The release, the liberty, the power, the presence of the Lord, the living water, and the oil will always be ministered to others, and there will be a living flow in the meeting.
In those years in China, whenever we came together, we sensed something flowing and moving. At that time, no one could resist the Lord’s table meeting. Whoever came was melted by that meeting. I cannot relate how wonderful the presence and anointing of the Lord was.
Once during the one hundred and eight days, I gave a prayer before I ministered. I could not stop praying. I prayed for more than a half hour. The words came out like a waterfall. At a certain point, I lifted up my hands, although I did not notice it. A brother who was taller than I came to the platform to help support my arms. Later, people told me that the whole congregation also lifted up their hands. That was a unique and wonderful time. The words and sentences of that prayer shook the heavens, shook the earth, shook the hearts, and shook the families. We witnessed that nearly everyone was filled with shaking. The shaking and prayer went on for more than half an hour with no repetitions but with different sentences and utterances. This was a marvelous manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
This is the kind of Christian meeting we should have. I expect that one day our general Lord’s Day meeting will be like this. Therefore, we need power to come to the meetings. What happened in China was the ultimate issue of the work of the Spirit, the outward working of the Spirit mingled and mixed together with the inward working. This was the complete, full work and experience of the one Holy Spirit.
(The Work of the Holy Spirit, Chapter 6, by Witness Lee)