The Work of the Holy Spiritby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
We may now come back to the five cases of receiving the Spirit outwardly in the book of Acts. In the first case, all the disciples were powerful on the day of Pentecost, and they had the release, boldness, and encouragement. They dared to speak as the Lord led. They also had the gifts; they spoke in tongues, in different human languages. Peter and the others also had the gift of preaching. Before the day of Pentecost, Peter spoke foolishly many times. Only once, in Matthew 16:16, did Peter speak clearly according to the heavenly vision. He recognized the Lord as the Christ, the Son of the living God. This was the clearest and most accurate word he spoke. Besides this, whatever he spoke was often foolish. However, his message on the day of Pentecost was wonderful. It was clear, powerful, and given in a good way. At that time he received the gift of preaching. He had not only the power to preach but also the gift to present the gospel in a good, effective, prevailing, and brief way in a good order. This was the sermon, the message, given by Peter, an unlearned fisherman, who received a gift.
In the second case, the case of the Samaritan believers in Acts 8, there is nothing concerning speaking in tongues. However, people could see that the believers had the Holy Spirit upon them. There must have been certain signs that indicated to those present that the Spirit was upon the believers. Some today may insist that what they saw was speaking in tongues. However, the Holy Spirit in composing Acts 8 does not mention speaking in tongues, and what the Scriptures do not say may be more meaningful than what they do say. There is nothing mentioned by the Spirit about speaking in tongues, yet people saw that the Holy Spirit came down upon the saints. Many times I have seen people receive the Holy Spirit upon them without speaking in tongues. There is some kind of sign by which we know that the Holy Spirit is upon a person.
The third case is concerning Saul, who later became the apostle Paul. Shortly after he was saved, a disciple, a believer by the name of Ananias, came to him and laid hands on him, and Saul received the Holy Spirit. In this case, nothing more is mentioned. The Scriptures in Acts 9 tell us only that the Holy Spirit came upon Saul. Later, the apostle Paul said that he spoke in tongues more than others (1 Cor. 14:18), but when he received the Holy Spirit upon him, the record of the Scriptures says nothing about speaking in tongues. Therefore, we should not insist that speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the Holy Spirit. We have at least the two cases of the Samaritan believers and of Saul, in which the Scriptures do not mention speaking in tongues.
The fourth case is concerning the house of Cornelius. This case is very wonderful. At the time the people in that house were regenerated, they all received the Holy Spirit upon them, and they spoke in tongues (Acts 10:44-46). The people there received almost everything. They received the Holy Spirit within as life, and at the same time they received the Holy Spirit without as power. They received life, they received power, and they received a gift. This is the normal case. In the normal condition, a person is saved in the way of the house of Cornelius. At the same time that the Holy Spirit comes into him as life to regenerate him, He comes upon him as power. Then this person has life within and power and gift without. However, the experience of many believers is not normal.
The fifth case is concerning a small group of believers in Ephesus. When the apostle Paul came to them, he laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues (19:6). They had speaking in tongues as the manifestation of the Spirit.
We have the Holy Spirit within as life and without as power and gift. If we are truly filled with the Holy Spirit within, we have the riches of the life of the Lord. If we do not have the riches of the spiritual life, this proves that although we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we are not filled with Him. In the same way, if we have the Holy Spirit upon us, we have power and a certain kind of gift. We cannot say that we have the Holy Spirit upon us if we are not powerful and are unable to do anything. We must have power and gift.
All of the above show us the two aspects of the work of the Holy Spirit. However, we must realize that these are not aspects of the work of two Spirits. They are different aspects of the work of the one Holy Spirit.
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