THE ALL-SUFFICIENT SPIRIT
THE SPIRIT IS THE TRANSMISSION OF GOD
In chapter 1 we saw that God’s economy is to dispense Himself into us by means of the three persons of the Godhead. Electricity can be used to illustrate the economy of the Trinity. It includes the source, the current, and the transmission. These seem to be three different kinds of electricity, but in reality they are one. The source, the current, and the transmission are the electricity itself. If the electricity did not exist, neither the source, the current, nor the transmission could exist. Just as there is one electricity with three different stages, there is one God with three persons. At one end is the source or the storage of electricity, and at the other end is the transmission of electricity into our homes. Between the two ends is the current. This is an example of three stages of one and the same thing. God as the Father is the source, God as the Son is the course and the very expression of the Father, and God as the Spirit is the transmission of God into man. Therefore, the Father is the Spirit, the Son also is the Spirit, and the Spirit, of course, is the Spirit. The Father is in the Son, the Son is in the Spirit, and the Spirit is in us as the very transmission of God, transmitting constantly all that God is and has in Christ.
THE SPIRIT IS THE ALL-INCLUSIVE DOSE
In this modern era man has perfected many drugs in the field of medicine. Some drugs are composed of a great number of elements and can be dispensed in one single dose. In just one dose, some of the elements can destroy germs, others can relax the nerves, and still other elements can nourish and refresh the body. This is an all-inclusive dose. Have we ever realized that the Holy Spirit is the best “dose” in the whole world? Just one dose is enough to meet all our needs. All that the Father and the Son are and all that They have are in this wonderful Spirit. Consider how many elements are within this dose: God’s divine nature with Christ’s human nature, His human living with its earthly sufferings, the wonderful effectiveness of His death, His resurrection, His ascension, and His enthronement. Such a dose is beyond our imagination. Yet, praise the Lord, every day we can enjoy it. No scientist or medical doctor on earth could analyze this wonderful dose. This dose is what we enjoy in the economy of God, which is nothing else but God dispensing Himself into us.
The sixty-six books of the Scriptures are a full record of this one dispensation—the dispensing of God Himself into us. Our urgent need is to partake of Him all the day as the all-inclusive dose in the wonderful Spirit. Let us enjoy God Himself, not the dispensational doctrines.
If you are weak, there is a dose, a wonderful dose, to strengthen you with might and divine power. If you are troubled, the cure is in the dose. One dose of the Holy Spirit will cure all your troubles.
The dose of the all-inclusive Holy Spirit contains the killing element. When we are in the Holy Spirit, there is no need to reckon ourselves dead, because we are enjoying Him as this wonderful dose. Spontaneously the many germs within us are killed.
Within this Spirit of Jesus there is an all-sufficient supply. The word supply in Philippians 1:19 is a special Greek word referring to a bountiful or all-inclusive supply. The Spirit of Jesus is an all-inclusive supply in which all our needs are met. What do we need? Do we need comfort? No one can truly comfort us—not even our children, our parents, or our dear wife. Real comfort comes from the indwelling Spirit of Jesus. When we fellowship with Jesus in this Spirit and when we live in this wonderful Spirit, we automatically have inward comfort. Regardless of the outward environment, there is inward rest and comfort.
We may say, “I do not know what to do. I need guidance.” Living guidance is in the Holy Spirit. When we fellowship with the Lord and walk in the Holy Spirit, we will spontaneously have inward light for guidance. Everything—including guidance—is in the Holy Spirit. Today He is in us as the all-inclusive dose. We need not ask or cry. We need only to take Him, enjoy Him, and praise Him.
For example, a sister was in trouble and did not know what to do. Although she had no clear guidance, she went to the Lord and said, “Lord, I praise You that I have no guidance. I praise You that I do not know what to do. I praise You that I am in darkness.” What happened? The more she praised, the more she was in the light. Let us do the same thing. When we are weak, let us go to the Lord, saying, “I praise You, Lord, that in this situation I am weak.” By contacting Him, we will see what a wonderful Spirit He is, dwelling within us to be the bountiful and all-sufficient supply.
Too many doctrines in Christianity are distracting the Lord’s people from the Lord Himself, causing them to miss the mark of God’s economy. What is this mark? It is simply the all-inclusive Holy Spirit dwelling in our human spirit. During the whole day we need to learn how to contact and follow the Holy Spirit. We need to learn how to fellowship and deal with Him. Christianity teaches us to deal with forms, regulations, and doctrines. Christians even read the Scriptures in a wrong way, since they make little or no contact with the Holy Spirit in their reading. They merely learn doctrines in black and white letters. We need to read the Scriptures by exercising our spirit to contact the Holy Spirit, not by merely using our eyes to see the words and exercising our minds to understand the teachings. From morning to evening we must deal with the One who dwells in us, for He is the bountiful supply of the Lord Jesus.
THE SPIRIT IS THE MUTUAL ABODE
John 14:23 says that the Father and the Lord will come to make Their abode with us. What does this mean? Have you ever experienced the Father and the Son coming to make Their abode with you? This is the mark of God’s economy that we are considering. This abode has two aspects—the Father and the Son become our abode, and we become Their abode. Thus, it is a mutual abode. How is this mutual abode possible? Only as we are in the Spirit, just as the Father and the Son are in the Spirit, can we experience this mutual abiding. When we are in the Spirit, we are abiding in the Son and the Father, and at the same time They are abiding in us. Only then will we have an intimate communion and fellowship with the Father and the Son. We will have an inward “talking.” We will talk with the Lord, and the Lord will talk with us. These are the practical experiences of the mutual abode.
THE SPIRIT IS THE INNER LIFE
AND THE OUTER CLOTHING
The Lord is also the Spirit of life within us as water that refreshes, strengthens, and fills us with the inner life (7:37-39).
The Lord as the Holy Spirit is also likened to clothing. In Luke 24:49 the Lord Jesus told His disciples, “Stay in the city until you put on power from on high.” In some versions the Greek word for put on is translated “are clothed with.” Clothing indicates power and authority. Today when anyone is performing an official act of responsibility, he needs a uniform. If a policeman stood on the street in plain clothes without his uniform, no one would respect him as a policeman. He would have lost his authority because he lacked a uniform. When we see a policeman in uniform while we are driving, we suddenly become very cautious. When he wears his uniform, the policeman is clothed with authority. The Holy Spirit within is the supply of life, and the Holy Spirit without is the uniform of authority. When we are clothed with Him, we have the highest authority in the universe.
After His resurrection the Lord came to His disciples and breathed into them (John 20:19-22). He called that very breath the Holy Spirit, because He Himself is the Holy Spirit. Whatever comes out of Him must be the Holy Spirit. We know that breath is something of life and something for life. The Lord’s breathing of the Holy Spirit into the disciples was the imparting of His Spirit of life into them. On the day of resurrection all the disciples received the Spirit of life within them. They received the inner drinking of the water of life.
However, at that time they were without power. The uniform had not yet been given. Therefore, the Lord told them to wait until He had ascended to the heavens to be enthroned as the Head and the authority of the universe. It was by His ascension and enthronement that He gained the position to pour Himself down in the Holy Spirit as the authority. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came down, not as life but as power (Acts 1:8).
Therefore, on the day of resurrection, which is the day of life, the Holy Spirit came out of the Lord and entered the disciples as the breath of life. But on the day of Pentecost, which is the day of power, the Holy Spirit came from the ascended and enthroned Head and equipped the disciples with authority for service. This is the Holy Spirit of power as the uniform.
Suppose a policeman is preparing to go on duty. What does he usually do before beginning his work? Early in the morning he may drink several cups of some beverage in order to refresh and strengthen himself. But will he, by filling up with this beverage, be qualified to perform his duty as a policeman? If he merely goes out into the street without the uniform, exclaiming, “I am full; now I am a policeman,” no one will respect him. They will say that he is crazy. He is a real policeman, yet without the uniform he lacks authority. But when he puts on the uniform, he is equipped with the power of authority. Then when he goes out on the street, everyone will respect him as a man with the authority of the local police. We must not despise his uniform. This uniform represents the authority of the government. On the other hand, if the policeman drinks nothing in the morning, he will be weak. He may put on his uniform and exercise his position of authority, but he will have no inward strength and refreshment.
Some Christians who are filled within are without the uniform, and other Christians who wear a proper uniform are empty within. We need both the inward filling and the outward equipping. We need the Holy Spirit of the resurrection day as life within us and the Holy Spirit of the Pentecostal day as power upon us. The filling of the Holy Spirit is necessary inwardly; the clothing of the Holy Spirit is necessary outwardly. If we have both aspects of the Spirit, we will experience the blessed mingling of the Holy Spirit within and without. And who is the Spirit? Remember that the Spirit is the very reality of the Triune God. As we are filled and clothed with the Holy Spirit, we are mingled with the Triune God. This is the mark of God’s economy.
We need to pay our attention to this mark of God’s economy and not to mere doctrine. Some try to argue about doctrines. They say, “What about the rapture?” Many Christians are troubled about post-tribulation rapture, pre-tribulation rapture, partial rapture, or some other kind of rapture. Let us forget about doctrines and learn to love Him. Let us aim at the mark of His economy, deal with the living Christ in the Holy Spirit, and be filled and clothed with Him.
Some argue about eternal security, but the real security is simply Christ Himself (Heb. 7:22), not the teaching of eternal security. As long as we have Christ, we have security. If we do not have Christ, we do not have security. The doctrine of eternal security is not Christ. Doctrine has been a strong factor of division among the Lord’s children. If we love Christ, walk by the living Spirit, and do not emphasize doctrines, we will be one with all saints. The more we talk about doctrines, the more we will quarrel. Today while we talk about the Holy Spirit, the wonderful dose, we all say Amen! Hallelujah! But tomorrow, if we talk about eternal security, some will say, “I’m sorry; I cannot agree.” Immediately we will be divided, and this means that we have missed the mark. We will be teaching things that only raise questions rather than concentrating our full attention on the mark of God’s economy. What is the mark? It is the Father in the Son, the Son in the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit in us.
Others argue about baptism. For instance, some try to convince others by insisting on baptism by sprinkling. Again, this is a matter of doctrine and not a matter of the Spirit of the living Christ. We must learn to grasp one thing and to be grasped by one thing—Christ Himself. We must learn how to grasp Christ in the Holy Spirit and be grasped by the Holy Spirit. Although we can certainly receive help from doctrine, the main center of God’s economy is not doctrine but the living One in the Holy Spirit.
THE SPIRIT IS THE LIFE-GIVING,
LIBERATING, TRANSFORMING SPIRIT
If we contact this living One in the wonderful Holy Spirit throughout the whole day, three things will happen within. First, the life-giving Spirit will impart life to us (2 Cor. 3:6). Whenever we contact this wonderful Spirit, we will have the inner refreshing, the inner strengthening, the inner satisfying, and the inner enlightening. These are indications that Christ as life is being imparted more and more into us. We might have been a Christian for more than eighty years, but we still need the Christ of God as the life-giving Spirit imparting Himself into us, refreshing us, strengthening us, satisfying us, enlightening us, and filling us. This wonderful Spirit is within us to impart Christ as our bountiful supply.
Next, the Holy Spirit will continually liberate us (v. 17). Many oppressions and depressions of the day tend to weaken us. Sometimes a person’s long face will depress us. Sometimes your wife may not feel well, and when you arrive home from work, she may become unhappy with you. Later, if you come to a meeting, you will appear with a long face. People will ask, “What happened to you, brother?” And you will say, “Nothing.” You will not dare to tell them that your wife influenced you by her behavior. Such a small matter can suppress and depress you. However, if you contact the living Christ within you, He will immediately liberate you. You will be transcendent far above your wife’s behavior, and all the depression will be under. If we are in the Holy Spirit, we will be transcendent, because in this wonderful Spirit are the elements of ascension and transcendence. When we are in Him, these elements in the Spirit will liberate us all the day.
Finally, while He imparts life and liberates us, the Holy Spirit also transforms us. Second Corinthians 3:18 says, “We all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.” In this verse the word transformed is the same word as in Romans 12:2: “Be transformed by the renewing of the mind.” To be transformed does not mean merely to be changed outwardly; it means to be changed both in nature within and in form without. As we behold and reflect like a mirror the glory of the Lord, we are transformed into the Lord’s image from one degree of glory to another. When a mirror beholds an object, it reflects what it beholds. But if a mirror is veiled, its “face” is not open; even if it beholds an object, it will be unable to reflect it. If we are an unveiled mirror, we will reflect Christ by beholding Him. This is the process of transformation. The Lord is the Spirit who transforms us within. Although we are natural and even sinful, the Spirit transforms our natural image into His glorious image. During the whole day, if we live in the Spirit, He will transform us by renewing our mind, our emotion, and our will. By saturating our mind, emotion, and will with Himself, He will occupy all the inward parts of our being. Our love, our hatred, our desires, our choices, and our decisions will bear His image. We will be transformed into His image from glory to glory—that is, today we are being transformed in the first stage of glory, tomorrow we will be transformed in the second stage of glory, and the next day we will be transformed in the third stage of glory. Every day the glory will be increased.
The economy of God and the aim of His economy are that God intends to dispense Himself into us and mingle us with Himself in His glory. Then we will be able to express Him. Let us be faithful to this aim, let us hold fast to this mark, and let us go on to reach this goal.