THE SPIRIT TODAY BEING IN US AND ALSO POURED UPON US
I like to tell you that on that day of Pentecost God’s work to save us was completely accomplished. God not only had become a man, lived the human life on earth, and died on the cross to bear our sins, but He also resurrected to become the life-giving Spirit, entered into His disciples, and poured out the Spirit. Therefore, this Spirit is the Triune God—the Holy Father, the Holy Son, and the Holy Spirit. The creating and redeeming Triune God has become the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit, who is omnipresent.
From that day to the present, for close to two thousand years, He has always been on the earth and has never left. If we read world history, we will see a remarkable thing that from Christ’s ascension to the present day the name of Jesus Christ has been widely proclaimed as the gospel. For the past two thousand years war, famine, and death have occurred incessantly on this earth, and they are on the increase. However, at the same time another thing has also been happening continuously; that is, the gospel of Jesus Christ has been and still is being preached throughout the whole earth. Therefore, it is marvelous to realize that today the name of Jesus Christ and the gospel have been preached to every race and nation in every place and corner of the world. Furthermore, every believer of Jesus has the desire to preach the gospel. Another wonderful thing is that although there are oppositions to the gospel in various parts of the world, where the opposition is stronger, there the preaching of the gospel is stronger and the number of those who believe is also greater.
Why is the gospel being widely preached? Why do we, the saved ones, desire to preach the gospel? The reason is that within us we have a mysterious and unexplainable Spirit. Anyone who has this Spirit has the desire to preach the gospel. As Christians, we all have the desire to preach Jesus. We feel good when we preach Him; all our illnesses are gone and our worries are forgotten. We feel healthy mentally and physically when we talk about Jesus.
Believing in Jesus is also a wonderful thing. We are saved ones, but we cannot explain why we have believed in Jesus. Although we do not know what this is all about, we just believe in Him and love Him. All this is a story of the Spirit.
Today this Spirit is the Triune God Himself, who passed through the steps of the creation of the universe, incarnation, death, and resurrection for the accomplishment of redemption, and who also passed through ascension to become the unlimited Holy Spirit to enter into us, to be poured upon us, and to move on the whole earth. Wherever the name of Jesus is preached, He is there. His name is He Himself, His person; Jesus is His name, and His person is the Spirit. Today the Spirit comes to us whenever we call on the name of Jesus, praying to Him and praising Him. This is the story of the Spirit.
NEEDING TO DIG THE WELL THAT THE LIVING WATER MAY FLOW
Dear brothers and sisters, simply speaking, this Spirit has already descended. The second stanza of Hymns, #250 says, “Christ, the Rock, is riven; / Living water’s flowing.” This Rock is the Lord Jesus, and the living water is the Spirit. Today the Holy Spirit is filling the whole earth. Whenever and wherever anyone would open his heart and his mouth to call, “O Lord Jesus!” there and then the Holy Spirit enters into him whether or not he knows it. This is the experience of our salvation, and this is the gospel of God. The gospel is that God created the heavens and the earth; then He became flesh and passed through death and resurrection to become the Spirit moving on the earth. When you hear the gospel and call on His name, the Spirit enters into you, and you become one spirit with the Lord. Then it is too late for you to change your mind, and you cannot give Him up even if you wanted to. Not only will He not leave you, but He will also be in you to transform you continually.
We, the saved ones, have the Spirit in us; this is an accomplished fact. Therefore, we do not need to ask again for the Spirit to come into us. Moreover, we do not need to ask for the Spirit to come upon us. What we need is to “dig the ground.” To “dig the ground” is to pray and confess our sins. If we desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit, we must pray. When we pray, God, who is light, will shine on our condition and make manifest our thoughts and intentions. Then we must confess and ask the Lord to forgive us of the evil thoughts within us. This kind of confessing will cause our inner spirit to be living and strong. The problem today is that we do not pray, and as a result the “mud” piles up and obstructs the flow of the river of living water within us. Therefore, in the Old Testament types, there is not only the water flowing out of the smitten rock but also the digging of the well. When the mud is dug away, the water gushes up from the well. This is the experience we need today.
Some of the largest farm lands are in Texas. I was in Texas for a while, and I visited a special region where there is good agricultural production. The production there depends not only on the rain from heaven but also on the water drawn from the flow of water under the ground. There is a city in New Mexico which also has a large underground water flow. Part of California was a desert previously, but now all of Southern California is irrigated by the underground water drawn by electric power. This is a method of production in the southern part of the United States. In the same manner, today we do not depend on the Spirit to strengthen us from outside because the Spirit is already in us. We only need to pray, and even pray unceasingly; then the Holy Spirit will be flowing unceasingly in us. If we do not pray, we do not feel that we are dirty. The more we pray, however, the more we will see our filthiness, and the more we will then confess our sins. Just as in house cleaning, if we do it superficially, we will not see that things are very dusty, but if we do it carefully, we will see that the place is full of dust.
Stanza 3 says, “I will dig by praying, / Dig the dirt entirely, / Thus release the Spirit, / Let the stream flow freely.” When we first begin to pray, we are inexperienced and awkward like those who have just learned to walk. If we practice daily, however, we will become skillful. If we do not pray, we will not become skillful, but the more we pray, the more skillful we become. To pray is to dig the well. When you first practice to pray, you may not have any feeling, but if you pray a little longer, the love toward the Lord will gush up from within you. Sometimes you will even weep because you see that although you are so wicked, the Lord loves you so much. This is the release of the Spirit. Then when you continue to pray according to the feeling within you, you have a sweet experience. If you stop praying, however, you will be like a car whose ignition is turned off and needs to be restarted. Initially you may not like to pray, but the more you practice, the more you will taste the sweetness of praying, and the more you will like to pray. This is to dig the well.
(Abiding in the Lord to Enjoy His Life, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)