EXPERIENCING THE RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION BY THE SPIRIT
How can the wonderful, objective facts accomplished by the resurrection and ascension of Christ be our experience? It is only possible by the experience of the Holy Spirit. It is in the Spirit that all these wonderful facts are applied to us and experienced by us. Without the Spirit, these facts are merely facts and are objective and unrelated to us. Therefore, we need the Spirit.
Regarding the Holy Spirit there are two aspects. On the one hand, the Holy Spirit comes into us as life, while on the other hand, the Spirit comes upon us as power, as authority. Both of these comings have been accomplished. After His resurrection, on “that day” (John 20:19), Christ came to His disciples to breathe Himself into them as the Holy Spirit. When He breathed into the disciples, He said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (v. 22). The Holy Spirit is the very breath of Christ. Our breath which comes out of us is a part of our very being. On the day of resurrection Christ came back to His disciples to breathe Himself into them as the Spirit of life.
The Spirit of life is Christ Himself as the breath of life breathed into the disciples. We should not believe that the Holy Spirit and Christ are separate and have nothing to do with each other. In actuality, these two are one. As we have illustrated before, although water becomes vapor, the water and the vapor are different only in form; in substance they are one. In the same way, Christ is the very Spirit of life which He breathed into the disciples on the day of resurrection.
Following this, Christ ascended to the heavens, and on the day of Pentecost He came down, not to enter into the disciples but to blow upon them as a rushing violent wind (Acts 2:1-4). On the day of resurrection there was the breathing, but on the day of Pentecost there was the rushing of a violent wind. Breathing is for life, while the rushing is for power.
If after Christ resurrected, He did not come back to the disciples on the day of resurrection and breathe into them, what He accomplished by His resurrection would have had nothing to do with the disciples. It was by His breathing that what He accomplished in His resurrection was applied to them. In the same principle, by the blowing of the wind on the day of Pentecost what He accomplished in His ascension was applied to the disciples. By His ascension He was enthroned, and we as His members were also put into the same position, but it was only by the blowing on the day of Pentecost that the enthronement was applied to the disciples.
The day of Pentecost was a day of “inauguration.” On election day, a man is voted into the office and position of president, but it is not until the inauguration day that he assumes the real authority as president. We have been put into a heavenly position by the ascension of Christ. However, what was accomplished by His ascension was applied to us on the day of Pentecost when the Spirit came down from the heavens as a rushing violent wind upon the disciples. At that time all the disciples were inaugurated, appointed, with the heavenly power and authority.
APPLYING THE RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION BY FAITH
On the day of resurrection Christ imparted Himself into His disciples as life, while on the day of Pentecost Christ put all of His disciples into Himself. Just as we take water in, Christ dispensed Himself as the living water of life into His disciples on the day of resurrection. Then, just as we baptize people into water, Christ baptized His disciples into Himself on the day of Pentecost. On the day of resurrection Christ put the “water” into the disciples, while on the day of Pentecost He put the disciples into the “water.” This water is Christ, the very Triune God. The Triune God was put into us as our life on the day of resurrection, and we were put into the Triune God on the day of Pentecost. The Triune God is power to us; because we have been put into Him, we have been put into His power and authority. Therefore, within us we have the Triune God as our life, and upon us we have the Triune God as our power and authority. We have Christ, the Triune God, as our living drink within and as our clothing and covering without.
All of this has been accomplished and applied to us in Christ’s resurrection and ascension. Now all we need to do is to receive it by faith. We should simply take it and say amen. If we would say amen to the Lord, we have it. Christ has resurrected, and on the day of resurrection He applied His resurrection to us. In the same way, the heavenly position and enthronement which Christ obtained in His ascension was applied to us on the day of Pentecost. Even the application of it has been accomplished. Now we need only to say amen to the Lord, and when we say amen, we experience the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is the application of the enthronement and the heavenly position of Christ.
We must be clear that we were already appointed, inaugurated, and authorized on the day of Pentecost by the ascension of Christ. Because many believers do not have this vision, they are weak, low, and poor. However, if today we do have this vision, we will say, “Amen, Hallelujah! Everything is mine.” We will enjoy and experience all these things by faith.
(General Sketch of the New Testament in the Light of Christ and the Church, A - Part 1: The Gospels and the Acts, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)