We have briefly given the proper definition of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. We must now see the proper way to experience it. First of all, we must realize that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is an accomplished fact. It is an item of the testament, the will given to us all, and we are all entitled to it as members of the Body. However, we must not stop here. We must go on:
(1) We must be right with the Body of Christ and stand in it. Since the baptism in the Holy Spirit has been accomplished upon the Body of Christ and still exists upon it, we must be properly related to the Body and maintain this proper relationship with the Body in order to be one with it. Of course, we ourselves must get right with the Lord. Any sin, anything wrong between us and God, must be thoroughly dealt with through the cleansing of the blood of Christ. Nothing between the Lord and us should be allowed to remain. But we must also get right with the Body of Christ. Anything that frustrates, distracts, or separates us from the Body must be fully dealt with and real oneness and harmony maintained with the Body and its members. Nothing should remain between us and the Body. If some separation exists, if we are wrong with the Body, if we do not stand and keep our position in the Body, we will lose the ground for claiming and partaking of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Since the baptism is on the Body, the Body is the ground for us to claim and take it. Therefore, a real identification and proper relationship with the Body are necessary for the experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
(2) We must take the baptism in the Holy Spirit by living faith. If we are right with the Body of Christ, we are in a position to take the baptism in the Holy Spirit. We should realize that it has been already accomplished and now exists upon the Body of Christ. As members of the Body of Christ, maintaining a right relationship with the Body, we are entitled to claim it through the exercise of living faith. We must take it just as we took the value of the Lord’s redeeming death. We did not take that according to our feeling or any kind of so-called manifestation. We received the Lord’s redemption simply by believing, and the Lord honored it. When we believe in the accomplished fact of the Lord’s death for our sins, the Holy Spirit quietly honors our faith; forgiveness of sins and divine life are imparted to us, and we have peace and joy within. We just believe what the Lord has accomplished according to what we are told in the will. The will also tells us that the baptism in the Holy Spirit is accomplished upon the Body of Christ and waiting to be taken. We who are rightly related with the Body of Christ should simply take it by living faith. If we mean business with the Lord, He will honor our faith.
There is no need for us to seek feelings, manifestations, or signs. We should never trust in these things. If we seek them, we have an evil heart of unbelief. We are trying to prove or tempt the Lord. The third chapter of Hebrews tells how the children of Israel tested and proved the Lord in the wilderness because of their unbelief. They did not know the ways of the Lord, but we do. There is no need to put the Lord to the test. We must simply take His Word while abiding in the right position. His Word is here in the will. Signs and proofs are not necessary. We should tell the enemy, Satan, that we do not need any signs or proofs. Only one proof is good enough—that is the will! It is a strong and complete proof to us that the baptism in the Holy Spirit has been accomplished and given. Since we are now on the proper ground, standing in and with the Body, we may take it.
I can testify to you that when we believe in the Lord’s Word in this way, He will honor our faith. Leave the signs in His hands. Stand in the Body and believe in the will. Then whenever you need power, the Lord will grant it. Look at the martyrs of church history. Before their martyrdom, they may not have been so concerned with the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but they loved the Lord. They would even sacrifice their lives for the Lord’s testimony. When they were brought forth to be martyred, at that very moment the power was manifested. Their faces looked like angels’ faces. There are many stories like this.
Many times we preach the gospel in an unbelieving way. We just believe a part, not the whole; so we do not have the power. We believe the Lord has died for us, but we do not believe He has baptized us in the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we do not have power in preaching the gospel. If we stand in the Body, believe in the whole will, and take the accomplished fact of the baptism in the Holy Spirit upon the Body by living faith, we will bind the strong man and shut his mouth. All the walls of Jericho will fall down. We will see the real power in the gospel preaching.
To stand in the Body, believe in the will, and take the accomplished fact by claiming faith is the proper and effective way to experience the baptism in the Holy Spirit. May the Lord, by His mercy and grace, grant us to be rich in its experiences.
(The Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)