Acts 2 shows us clearly what resurrection is. It also shows us what the Holy Spirit is. Resurrection destroys the bondage of death for us. The resurrected Lord has transcended over everything. What then is the Holy Spirit? When the Lord resurrected, He was raised up by God’s right hand to His side. Once He reached the right hand of the Father, He poured out the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the power of the Holy Spirit is the power of resurrection. The Lord put both resurrection as well as the power of resurrection in the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit brings these down to earth. Therefore, we cannot separate resurrection from the Holy Spirit. Anyone who touches resurrection touches the Holy Spirit. Anyone who touches the Holy Spirit touches resurrection. On the day of Pentecost, that which was poured out from on high, which was seen and heard by men, was the Holy Spirit. What was the purpose of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? It was to testify that the Lord has resurrected. Does the Holy Spirit testify in words only? No, everyone who touches the Holy Spirit knows that the Lord Jesus has resurrected.
When the Lord Jesus was on earth, some leaned on His bosom; others received things from His hand. Some touched the hem of His garment, and some had their feet washed by the Lord. The Lord raised up the body of one person and touched the eyes of another with His spittle mixed with clay. Now the Lord Jesus has resurrected; He is now in the Holy Spirit. The Lord we see could not be seen or touched by those who saw Him when He was on earth. The Lord we see today is much deeper than the Lord they saw. The Lord we touch is the resurrected Lord. Those who knew the Lord when He was on earth could say that His wisdom and stature grew. Those who encountered Him could say that they had met Him when He was twelve or when He was thirty years of age. They could say that they knew His brothers, His parents, and His history. But the Lord we have touched has transcended all "growth." This Lord has transcended over all boundaries. Even the last boundary, death, has been broken through.
How can the church extend itself for two thousand years? It continues to exist because at various times men have seen the resurrected Lord. During the past two thousand years of church history, various people here and there were clear within; they saw the Lord within them. Concerning the outward Christ, we admit that we cannot see as clearly as the men in the Gospels; we have not seen what they saw. We do not know what the Lord was like when He was in the flesh. Nevertheless, our knowledge of the Lord today is far clearer than the men in the Gospels. Within us, we are clearer than they were. We are touching the Lord from within.
Therefore, what is the Holy Spirit doing on earth today? The Holy Spirit is conveying to us the resurrected Christ. If anyone tells me that he knows the Holy Spirit but does not know resurrection, I will say that this is impossible. This Christ has transcended over everything; He has transcended over time, space, death, and all barriers. This Christ is now in the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is the Spirit that raised Jesus from among the dead. The power of the Holy Spirit is the power of resurrection. Wherever the Holy Spirit works, there is the manifestation of the power of resurrection. Wherever the Holy Spirit is, there is resurrection.
Let us read Ephesians 1:22-23: "And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church, which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all." Brothers and sisters, have we seen what is the church? When the Lord Jesus was living on earth, He was a perfect man. However, He was not the Head of the church, because He was limited and the possibility of death was still upon Him. The possibility of death had not yet been shattered. If we say that He was the Head of the church at that time, then the church was limited also. After the Lord resurrected, He became the Head of the church, and the church became His Body. He has transcended over everything, and the church has also transcended over everything. It is true that the Lord was powerful when He was on the earth. If we had the power that the Lord had on earth, we would be satisfied already. But God was not satisfied; this was not enough. The Lord Jesus had to resurrect from the dead to destroy the greatest barrier, and God had to put all things under His feet and make Him the Head over all things to the church before the church could become His Body. After the Lord’s resurrection, the church became His Body. The Lord Jesus has resurrected from the dead. He is now the Head of the church, and the church is now His Body. The Head and the Body are of the same nature and are the same in everything. Just as the Head has transcended over everything, the Body has transcended over everything. Just as Christ is unlimited, the church is unlimited.
Humanly speaking, we are still living in the flesh and still limited by time and space. But as far as the nature of the church is concerned, it is the Body of Christ, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. It is the vessel that holds the resurrection life of Christ. Therefore, the church can experience the resurrection power of Christ. Brothers and sisters, we have to remember that "we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not out of us" (2 Cor. 4:7). On one hand, we cannot deny that we are useless earthen vessels, but on the other hand, we must see that God has given us the resurrection life of Christ. Faith will bring us the experience of this resurrection power. Church history tells us that the church experiences resurrection a little here and a little there throughout its time on earth. We can say that the church is built on the foundation of resurrection. One day when the saints are raptured and their bodies are redeemed, we will fully and completely manifest the power of this resurrection.
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 19: Notes on Scriptural Messages (3), Chapter 11, by Watchman Nee)