In discussing the Holy Spirit, the subject about being “filled” or “baptized” with the Holy Spirit came up. The Bible shows a distinction between being regenerated or saved by the washing and renewing of the Holy Spirit and having gifts bestowed upon a person.
The indwelling of the Spirit prior to being “filled” or “baptized“
Believers have faith, salvation, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit prior to being “filled” or “baptized” by the Holy Spirit. You cannot be”filled” with the Spirit if you do not have the Spirit in the first place.
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
(Rom 8:9 NAS)
Believers are to seek being filled with the Holy Spirit after regeneration and salvation. Paul, when speaking to the believers at Ephesus said,
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
(Eph 5:18 NAS)
Paul is not telling them to become saved or receive the Spirit. He is saying to seek a fuller “measure” of the Holy Spirit. This passage does not teach that those who are not “filled” with the Holy Spirit do not have the Holy Spirit at all. The passage is stating that there is a larger measure of God’s gifts from the Holy Spirit we can attain.
Believers were indwelt by the Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testament
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not a New Testament concept. God did not just decide to give His Holy Spirit when Jesus came. The Holy Spirit is the only one that causes God’s people to believe; Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. This never changes.
So the LORD said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him;
(Num 27:18 NAS)
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Thy presence, And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me.
(Psa 51:10-11 NAS)
The Holy Spirit is the one who creates a new heart, causes His people to be born again, and regenerates the lost sinner unto faith in God. This however, should not be confused with being “filled” with the Holy Spirit. Paul tells the Ephesians to be filled with the holy Spirit and not drunkenness.
Definition of being “filled” or “baptized” with the Holy Spirit
The definition of being “filled” or “baptized” with the Holy Spirit is a measure above and beyond the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. These are being full to the point of having the “gift” or “gifts” of knowledge, teaching, prophesying, speaking languages, and other skills. Being “filled” or “baptized” with the Holy Spirit is not an occurrence that started in the New Testament.
To be filled is to to contain the greatest quantity of the substance.
<4137> πληρόω (pleroo)
Meaning: to make full, to complete
Origin: from 4134
Usage: accomplish(1), accomplished(1), amply supplied(m)(1), approaching(1), complete(1),completed(3), completing(1), elapsed(1), fill(3), filled(16), fills(1), finished(1), fulfill(5), fulfilled(35), fully carry out(m)(3), fully come(1), fully preached(m)(1), increasing(m)(1), made complete(2), made full(5), make complete(1), make full(1), passed(2), supply(1).
Strong’s Concordance of the New American Standard Bible
With baptism, the individual is immersed or dipped completely in the substance.
<907> βαπτίζω (baptizo)
Meaning: to dip, sink
Origin: from 911
Usage: Baptist(3), baptize(9), baptized(51), baptizes(1), ceremonially washed(m)(1),undergo(m)(1).
Strong’s Concordance of the New American Standard Bible
So to be filled or baptized with the Holy Spirit is to be completely full of or immersed in God’s Spirit.
The “gift” or “gifts” of the Holy Spirit
God gives gifts to His people. The “gift” or “gifts” of the Holy Spirit are bestowed upon people at different times throughout their lives.
For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
(1Co 12:8-9 NAS)
The “gift” and the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit are the same thing. When Paul met Apollos, he saw Apollos was a believer in Christ; however, he had not received the “gifts” of prophesy, knowledge, or the ability to speak other languages.
And it came about that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus, and found some disciples, and he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit. And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.
(Act 19:1-6 NAS)
Paul did not dunk Appollos in water because Paul thought Apollos was not saved. He baptized him with the Holy Spirit. This was an ability the Apostles had. This passage does not teach that we should “rebaptize” or dunk people in water who we think were “unworthily” baptized. Paul granted the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit to Apollos by the laying on of hands. Paul did this because Apollos was a believer whom God wanted to use in mininstry. This is one way the gifts of the Holy Spirit were given to those in ministry during the Apostles time.
The “gifts” of the Holy Spirit are a measurement
Each believer has a different “level” or “measurement” of abilities given by the Holy Spirit.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
(Eph 4:4-7 NAS)
May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure.
(1Pe 1:2 NAS)
as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
(Rom 12:3 NAS)
And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you.
(Mat 17:20 NAS)
So therefore, all believers have a different measure given to them by God.
Being “filled” with the Holy Spirit prior to Jesus
The Old Testament prophets were filled by the Holy Spirit as well. The only difference is, during the times of the Apostles, the gifts of the Holy Spirit were applied to a larger quantity of people. The Old Testament had a very few, select people that were allowed to be filled by the Spirit of God so as to have great knowledge, prophecy, and so forth. In the Old Testament, the amount of knowledge was limited.
That by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
(Eph 3:3-5 NAS)
Those who are filled with the holy Spirit have wisdom, understanding, knowledge, or other gifts available from the Holy Spirit.
And I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship,
(Exo 31:3 NAS)
“And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship;
(Exo 35:31 NAS)
The Prophets were filled with the Holy Spirit when prophesying
The Old Testament prophets all were filled with the Holy Spirit when they gave prophesy.
On the other hand I am filled with power– With the Spirit of the LORD– And with justice and courage To make known to Jacob his rebellious act, Even to Israel his sin.
(Mic 3:8 NAS)
The Old Testament calls being “filled with the Spirit” or being “baptized by the Spirit“, the “Spirit of God coming upon” them.
Before Christ’s birth
Before Christ was born, Zacharias and Elizabeth were said to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied . . .
(Luk 1:67 NAS)
And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
(Luk 1:41 NAS)
John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his mothers womb.
For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine or liquor; and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, while yet in his mother’s womb.
(Luk 1:15 NAS)
These believers were regenerate, saved, people of God, who had the Holy Spirit indwelling them just like any other believer. In addition, they were “filled” with the Spirit so as to prophesy.
The Holy Spirit and Scripture
The Scriptures are the Holy Spirits Words. Not all believers can produce God inspired works of Scripture. This does not make them less believers, only that they were not “filled” with the Holy Spirit to a full measure that produces God inspired scripture.
The Apostles were filled with the Spirit when prophesying
Only by being filled with the Holy Spirit can a person prophesy. The Word of God only comes from the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness.
(Act 4:31 NAS)
The Word of God is not the product of man’s thinking; but, the filling and power of the Holy Spirit upon the speaker.
“Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.
(Act 1:16 NAS see also Act 4:24-25)
But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
(2Pe 1:20-21 NAS)
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of Scripture
God promised that He would give His Spirit to many people throughout the world, instead of a few select individuals. This is for the purpose of spreading His Word and salvation to the entire world. The Old Testament prophet Joel wrote,
And it will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. “And even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. “And I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire, and columns of smoke. “The sun will be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered
(Joe 2:28-32 NAS)
The Apostle Peter said that this came to pass on the day of Pentecost.
But this (The events at Pentecost) is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams; Even upon My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy. ‘And I will grant wonders in the sky above, And signs on the earth beneath, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. ‘The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. ‘And it shall be, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
(Act 2:16-21 NAS)
The purpose of this was not to indwell His people for salvation; but, to enable His Apostles and Saints to prophesy and preach His Word.
The gospel proclaimed by the Holy Spirit
Isaiah expresses the anointment of those who are to bring the “Good News” or “the Gospel” to the world.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives, And freedom to prisoners;
(Isa 61:1 NAS)
The Apostles taught that they preached the gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit.
for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake.
(1Th 1:5 NAS)
The teaching that the “Spirit of the Lord God coming upon” those who preach the gospel is the same as the “Baptism of the Spirit” the Apostles experienced during their ministry.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
The Apostles were already indwelt with the Holy Spirit before Pentecost. So therefore, being “baptized with the Holy Spirit,” “the Holy Spirit coming upon you,” and “receiving power from the Holy Spirit” are separate events from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
For John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” . . . but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
(Act 1:5-8 NAS)
The Apostles clearly had the ability to baptize believers with the Holy Spirit to further the preaching of the gospel.
And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.
(Act 19:6 NAS)
While the Apostles were baptizing believers with the Holy Spirit, there were some who did not have pure intentions, even though they were believing Christians.
Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.
Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! “You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.
(Act 8:14-21 NAS)
Peter refused to “baptize” them with the Holy Spirit because their “heart was not right before God.”
Problem statement in John 7:39
John seems to teach that the Holy Spirit did not indwell God’s people till the day of Pentecost.
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.'” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
(Joh 7:38-39 NAS)
This passage; however, cannot be interpreted to referring to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. John states that, Jesus gave the Apostles the Holy Spirit prior to His glorification which is finalized by Him sitting on the Right Hand of God. Which happened before the day of Pentecost.
And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
(Joh 20:22 NAS)
It is clear that John had in his mind the prophecy of the Promise of the Holy Spirit as the “Helper.”
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.
(Joh 14:16-17 NAS)
This verse clearly teaches the the Spirit of truth abides with them already and the gifts of the Holy Spirit will be received later to help them in ministry.