VIII. THE LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT, THROUGH THE PRAYERS AND PETITIONS OF THE BELIEVERS, MINGLING WITH
THE LORD’S WORDS TO MAKE THEM SPIRIT AND LIFE, THAT IS, THE SPIRIT WHO GIVES LIFE
The life-giving Spirit, through the prayers and petitions of the believers, mingles with the Lord’s words to make them spirit and life, that is, the Spirit who gives life. In John 6:63 the Lord Jesus said, "The words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life." Ephesians 6:17 says, "...which Spirit is the word of God." Although it is not easy to understand these words, in our experience we can comprehend them. In John 6:63 we cannot figure out how the words spoken to us by the Lord are spirit and are life. But we can find out in Ephesians 6. When we receive the word of God through prayer and petition, the word becomes the Spirit and life. If we want to enjoy the Spirit and life in the word, we must do so through prayer and petition (v. 18). Using today’s word, this means that we need to pray-read. It is not enough to merely read. Those who have experience can testify that in reading the Bible, we need to repeat our reading a few more times. When we are reading, we must turn it into prayer. For example, we may read John 3:16, which says, "For God so loved the world..." If we merely read these words, we will have only the word and not the Spirit. But if we read these words in a spirit of prayer, saying, "Oh, God loves the world. God loves the world. Praise the Lord, this is too good. God loves the world...," this word becomes the Spirit. We will be enlightened and will pray with weeping, "Oh, God loves me. Lord, thank You that You love me." In this way the word becomes spirit and life. It is through prayer that the word can become spirit and life.
Many times when we pray-read the word of the Bible in this way, it causes us to be inspired and weep. Not only the word of the Bible but even the hymns affect us in this way. A few days ago I sang Hymn #1 in Hymns. I love that hymn very much. The first stanza says, "Glory be to God the Father, /And to Christ the Son,/Glory to the Holy Spirit—/Ever One." Stanza two says, "As we view the vast creation, /Planned with wondrous skill,/So our hearts would move to worship,/And be still." When I came to this stanza, my tears came down. Then stanza three says, "But, our God, how great Thy yearning/To have sons who love..." By reading this I knew that what God wants is not even the beautiful creation; He yearns to have many sons. Regardless of whether it is the word of the Bible or the hymns, if we read with a spirit of prayer, often we will be moved and will shed tears. This experience shows us that the life-giving Spirit, through the prayers and petitions of the believers, mingles with the Lord’s words to make them spirit and life, that is, the Spirit who gives life.
IX. THIS SPIRIT BEING ALSO THE SPIRIT
POURED UPON THE BELIEVERS, AS A MANTLE CLOTHING THEM, TO BE THE SPIRIT OF POWER
TO THEM FOR ACCOMPLISHING GOD’S WORK
This Spirit is also the poured out Spirit (Acts 2:18, 33; Luke 24:49). He is water that we can drink and that can also be poured out. This Spirit was poured upon the believers to be the mantle Spirit clothing them, like the mantle of Elijah clothing Elisha to become his power (2 Kings 2:12b-15). This mantle Spirit is the Spirit of power for the believers to accomplish God’s work.
X. BECOMING THE SEVENFOLD INTENSIFIED SPIRIT
Finally, this Spirit becomes the sevenfold intensified Spirit. Revelation speaks of the seven Spirits (1:4; 4:5; 5:6). This is the sevenfold intensified Spirit as the One who strengthens the believers in the degradation of the church. The degradation of the church is so deep that without the seven Spirits there is no way to overcome it. In these last days the seven Spirits enable the believers to become overcomers in the midst of the degraded situation of the church. Today, in order to be the overcomers in the midst of the degradation of the church, we must have the sevenfold intensified Spirit.
In conclusion, we see that the Holy Spirit has eighteen statuses for God to become man and to make man God that God and man may be joined and mingled as one. These eighteen statuses are 1) God; 2) the Triune God; 3) the Holy Spirit; 4) becoming man; 5) passing through human living; 6) passing through death; 7) resurrecting from death; 8) ascending to the height of the heavens; 9) becoming the life-giving Spirit—the Spirit of life; 10) becoming the compound Spirit as the anointing ointment; 11) becoming the consummation of the Triune God; 12) becoming the Lord Spirit; 13) becoming the Spirit; 14) becoming the Spirit of Jesus Christ; 15) becoming the Spirit of reality; 16) as the Spirit in the word of God; 17) as the outpoured Spirit—the mantle Spirit—the Spirit of power; 18) becoming the seven Spirits.
I hope that you will study this message thoroughly and also will do your best to prophesy in the meetings. Especially the co-workers and elders have to take the lead in this matter. You have to become newer. If you stand up to speak, you will become new. If you do not speak, you will become old. If one speaks every day, he will become new. If one closes up and does not speak, he will become old. Not to speak for the Lord is to be old; to speak for the Lord is to be new.
(The Issue of the Union of the Consummated Spirit of the Triune God and the Regenerated Spirit of the Believers, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)