HOW WE CAN EXPERIENCE THE HOLY SPIRIT
Perhaps you are now wanting to ask, "How can we have this kind of experience?" The answer is so simple that you will hardly believe it! For the filling of the Holy Spirit inwardly, you only need: (1) to learn how to exercise your spirit to contact the Lord in a living way, and (2) to deny yourself continually. Be assured, you will be inwardly filled with the Holy Spirit! Whenever a struggle arises between you and the Lord, always let the Lord defeat you. Never try to defeat Him! Always be ready to say, "Lord, I surrender." Never try to be strong like Jacob. If you wrestle with the Lord, He will touch your thigh and make you limp. Learn to exercise your spirit and deny yourself all the time. Then you will be inwardly filled with the Holy Spirit. Do not ask when. The matter of time is not in your hand. And do not ask how it will be manifested. Leave that to the Lord.
Then, how can we be clothed with power from on high? Let me illustrate: I am a brother who knows nothing about cooking. I only know how to eat! So it is very simple—I just sit down and eat what is ready! Everything is on the table. I just take it. Do you know that the baptism in the Holy Spirit has been accomplished already? It was accomplished almost two thousand years ago. Now all we need to do is just to take it.
THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
In the book of Acts there are five cases of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The first is on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). The second is with the Samaritan believers (Acts 8:14-17). The third is that of the Apostle Paul after he was saved (Acts 9:17). The fourth is in the house of Cornelius (Acts 10:44-47; 11:16-17). And the fifth is with the believers in Ephesus (Acts 19:1, 2, 6). All these five cases have nothing to do with the infilling of the Holy Spirit; they are all related to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples. In Samaria, when two of the apostles laid their hands on the believers, the Holy Spirit came upon them. It was the same in the case of Paul, in the house of Cornelius, and with the believers in Ephesus. None of these five cases are concerned with the infilling of the Holy Spirit; yet only two of them are called the "baptism in the Holy Spirit"—the one on the day of Pentecost and the one in the house of Cornelius. On the day of Pentecost, Christ the Head baptized the Jewish part of His Body in the Holy Spirit; and in Cornelius’ house, Christ the Head baptized the Gentile part of the Body in the Holy Spirit. Thus both parts were made one and baptized into the one Body in one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). By this, the baptism in the Holy Spirit was accomplished once for all. Now what we need is not to be baptized in the Holy Spirit again, but simply to experience the baptism in the Holy Spirit already accomplished. Even as we need not be crucified again because of the finished work of Christ on the cross, so also we need not be baptized in the Holy Spirit again. Christ the Head has already baptized the whole Body in the Holy Spirit. We need only experience what the Head has already done to the Body.
(The Four Major Steps of Christ, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)