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Part 1 of 2

THE BAPTISM OF JESUS

(He Shall Baptize You With The Holy Ghost)

Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.1 John 4:4

INTRODUCTION

Much has been said about the teaching and experience of Holy Ghost baptism. In the religious world, there are many differing beliefs and there is therefore much confusion surrounding this subject. Some holiness groups proclaim to experience a "second work of grace" or "entire sanctification" in conjunction with this baptism. Most Pentecostal denominations claim the same experience, but speak in "unknown tongues" as evidence of this baptism. Some religious leaders claim that one receives the spiritual baptism at the time of water baptism. No matter what the belief may be, most people claim to have a "spiritual" experience while receiving the infilling of the Holy Ghost. While we certainly love the dear people who accept these various beliefs, we must not allow ourselves to be misled or confused by “every wind of doctrine”. Every teaching along this line cannot be right. We could spend countless hours and pages studying all the different beliefs relating to Holy Ghost baptism. However, we want to look into the Bible, the Word of God, and see what God has to say about this crucial subject.

The areas of this study are as follows:

1. Who is the Holy Ghost?

2. Prophesy concerning the Holy Ghost.

3. When did the Holy Ghost get poured out?

4. Why was the Holy Ghost given and why do we need Him today?

5. What is Holy Ghost baptism?

6. How many baptisms does the Bible teach?

7. What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Ghost?

8. What about the different "experiences" that people claim to have?

1. Who Is The Holy Ghost?

The Holy Ghost is the third person of the Godhead. (1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word {Jesus, John 1:1,14}, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one). He is the Spirit of God. He is commissioned by God to represent Him in this world after the death of Christ.

The Holy Ghost is that person who dwells in our hearts by faith and comforts us, leads us, guides us, teaches us, directs us, and strengthens us, among other things. The Holy Ghost is that person who brings new life to the heart of the believer (Rom 8:10, 2 Cor 3:6). In the scriptures, the Holy Ghost is referred to as; the Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Holy Spirit. All of these names represent the one Spirit spoken of in Ephesians 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.

2. Prophesy Concerning The Holy Ghost.

During the Old Testament, when people lived in the Mosaic Law dispensation, God promised that He would make a new and living way. The Old Testament people of God were under the great bondage of sin. The Mosaic Law was difficult to obey because of the flesh, and therefore the people couldn't consistently live free from sin. They tried to live holy, they wanted to live holy, but, time after time, we read about them disobeying and failing God. They simply did not have the power that it took to live a godly life. The blood of bulls and of goats could not take away their sins (Heb 10:4). The animal sacrifices that were offered year after year did not allow the people to serve God with a perfect heart (Heb 10:1). At best, these sacrifices could only offer a covering or a forwarding of the people’s sins. This bondage to sin, guilt and condemnation of sin, caused many of the people to live in constant fear of their Creator.

The people in the Old Testament generally had to get God's messages through a few selected individuals who were filled with the Spirit. Occasionally, when God did manifest Himself directly to His people, it caused them to tremble and fear (Exodus 19:16). As a result, their service was motivated through fear of God and not love for God. This method of service was not pleasing to God. He wanted a people who would worship Him in spirit and in Truth (John 4:23) and out of a pure heart. So, He sent His Son. Because of Jesus' life, death, burial, and resurrection, a way has been made so that we can now serve God with a perfect heart. We can have a personal relationship with Him worship Him in spirit and in Truth. If we chose God's way, we can now live holy and godly in this present world (Titus 2:12). The Bible says: Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

The Apostle Paul brought this Truth out in the following scriptures:

Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come,…., can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

Hebrews 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.

Hebrews 10:19-22, 40 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us,….Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water... 40 God having provided some better thing for us.

The personal indwelling of Holy Spirit brought about this new and living way. In AD 33, God ushered in a new dispensation; the Holy Ghost dispensation. The prophets spoke of it in the following scriptures:

Ezekiel 36:25-27 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: …. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: …. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.

Joel 2:28-29 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; … in those days will I pour out my spirit.

Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications.

John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, had this to say of Jesus and the Holy Ghost baptism:

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he (speaking of Jesus) that cometh after me is mightier than I,… he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.

Finally, Jesus Himself prophesied of the Holy Ghost's coming:

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.

John 14:16-20, 26 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 16:7, 13 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak…

3. When Did The Holy Ghost Get Poured Out?

At the time when Jesus walked the shores of Galilee with His disciples, the Holy Ghost had not been freely poured out. Jesus said in John 7:38-39 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Paul said in Colossians 1:27 "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: It is a mystery hidden from ages and generations CHRIST IN YOU THE HOPE OF GLORY" The Holy Spirit was not resident in peoples lives because Christ's work on the cross was not complete. When he died and ascended Jesus said " I go away, and come again unto you." (John 14:28) After much prophesying, and after the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, the Holy Ghost was sent and the new and living way was ushered in. This happened on the day of Pentecost.

Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Acts 1:4-5 And, being assembled together with them, (Jesus) commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Acts 2:1-4, 14-18 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. …And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, …. 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh… I will pour out in those days of my Spirit.

4. Why Was The Holy Ghost Given And Why Do We Need Him Today?

As has been stated in the preceding scriptures, without the indwelling Holy Spirit, God's people under the old covenant could not live holy lives free from all sin. They did not have the power that it took to truly and consistently live pleasing to God. This is primarily the reason that the Holy Ghost was poured out: to give man the power that he needed to live holy and pleasing to God. To become holy, we must possess the Holy One, and He must possess us. We simply cannot live a holy and godly life in this present world without Him.

The Holy Ghost plays numerous roles in our lives that are essential to our eternal salvation. He works in both our conviction and conversion. He works in our justification and sanctification. He is involved in all phases of our salvation; past, present, and future. The following scriptures outline His role:

Draws us to God: 2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.

Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man.

Washes, sanctifies, and justifies us: 1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Adopts us into the family of God: Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Witnesses to us that we are in the family of God: Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.

1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

Quickens us: Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Gives us life: 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Teaches us the things of God: John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

1 Corinthians 2:12-13 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Guides us into all Truth: John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.

Makes intercession for us: Romans 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Comforts us: John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Places us in the Body of Christ: 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Gives us gifts: 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

Causes us to produce Godly fruit: Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Ephesians 5:9 For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.

Empowers us for witnessing: Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Clearly, as children of God, we are totally dependent on the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

5. What Is Holy Ghost Baptism?

First, we need to understand what it means to baptize. It's definition is as follows:

Baptize - 1. to dip or to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk), 2. to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean, 3. to overwhelm.

Baptism may be traced back to the Levitical washings (Leviticus 14:8-9) which were connected with the purification which followed and completed the making of atonement for sin.

Under the old law, each person performed the Levitical baptism on himself. When John the Baptist came along, he performed his baptism on others. His baptism was that of repentance for the remission (forgiveness or pardon) of sins. It represented a cleansing and forgiveness from sin and was an expression of faith in the coming Messiah and His divine mission to save His people from their sins.

Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Acts 19:4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Participation in one or all of the ceremonial baptisms (Levitical or John's water baptism) was not enough to cleanse a person from sin and make him a new creature. It did not keep a person from sinning. It did not take away the guilt of sin. So, Jesus came on the scene! Jesus came to mankind's rescue!

The fore-runner of Christ had been proclaiming His coming. John's message was: Matthew 3:11-13 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Then cometh Jesus... and things haven't been the same since! Glory to God!

Jesus got right to the root of the problem; sin and it's dominion over man (Rom 6:14)! He laid the ax to the root (Luke 3:9)! He ushered in a new baptism like none before. We should notice from Matthew 3:11 that this new baptism is scripturally said to be His baptism. It is not the baptism of the Holy Ghost! It is Jesus' baptism with the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the person that Jesus uses in His baptism. Again, the Bible says in John 1:33-34 "...Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God." The fact that it is Jesus who baptizes, and not the Holy Ghost, may sound like a technicality, but it is actually very significant.

Suppose I asked someone to come to the front of the room and sing a song with me. What would happen? They would come up to the front of the room and we would sing a song together. Now, suppose I asked someone to come to the front of the room and sing of me. What would happen? I'd go sit down and they would come up to the front of the room and sing a song about me. Now, the difference between the two examples is in who does the singing and what is being sung.

Similarly, the difference in the baptism of Jesus with the Holy Ghost and the baptism of the Holy Ghost is in who does the baptizing and how its being done. The scriptures record over and over that it was ordained that it be Jesus who administers the Spiritual baptism. It's His baptism; the baptism of Jesus. The Holy Ghost does not have a separate baptism of His own! We could search the scriptures over and over again, and we would not find the expression the "baptism of the Holy Ghost". It's not in the Bible. The scriptures do not teach that Jesus has one baptism and the Holy Ghost has another subsequent baptism. The Bible teaches that the Spirit of God does not work independently of the other two persons in the Godhead. John 16:13-14 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: ... He shall glorify me. John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. I repeat, the baptism that Jesus gives is with the Holy Ghost.

What does Jesus do when He baptizes us with the Holy Spirit? I couldn't begin to try to explain it and do it justice because it's such a wonderful experience and no words can adequately describe it. You must experience it to fully appreciate it. For the sake of this lesson, however, I will attempt to try and outline it.

The Holy Ghost won't dwell in an unclean temple (1 Cor 3:17). So first of all, Jesus completely immerses or dips our sin stained lives in His shed blood and cleanses us through and through from all sin and the very stain and guilt of it. His blood purges our conscience from dead works (Heb 9:14). After we are cleansed, He sends His Holy Spirit and He starts working on us. He washes, justifies, sanctifies (1 Cor 6:11), and brings new life and indwells our hearts by faith. We become saved; that is to say we are saved from sin and the power and punishment of sin. Jesus also uses the Holy Ghost during this baptism to place us into His one body, the Church (Acts 2:47, 1 Corinthians 12:13). We are born of the Spirit of God (born-again - born first naturally and born second spiritually) and adopted into the family of God. After all of this, with Him in you and you in Him, you are a new creature. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

All of this truly is an overwhelming experience! However, we could hardly begin to explain its fullness. It is one of those mysteries of God. Only a person that has experienced salvation can even remotely relate to it.

Also, the Bible likens this baptismal experience to a burial. We are actually buried into Christ. Romans 6:3-4 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. The Bible compares this baptism to a burial because there is a death involved. During this baptism (or burial), we die out to our ways and ourselves and accept Jesus and His ways. Nothing less than a full surrender of ourselves is accepted. Colossians 3:3-4 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. The old sinful man dies, and the new man, Jesus Christ, comes to live within us. We are cleansed from all unrighteousness and are made righteous. We are purged and made a holy vessel to bring honor to God. We are transformed, because of the indwelling Spirit of God, from mere flesh and bones to the Temple of the Living God (1 Cor 3:16, 1 Cor 6:19)!

Along with the Holy Ghost, we're given a brand new heart during Jesus' baptism. This new heart causes us to have new desires. Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:25-27 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. With a new Spirit, and new spiritual heart, the Lord gives us new desires. We take on His divine nature. The things that we once loved, we now naturally hate. The things that we once hated, we now naturally love. We become a completely new person in Christ Jesus.

Oh how wonderful is the baptism of Jesus! After the Spirit takes up His abode in our hearts, He does all the wonderful things that God has sent Him to do. He even causes us to cheerfully keep the commandments of God; they are no longer grievous to us. 1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. This is certainly a new and living way!

Simply stated, Holy Ghost baptism is a spiritual baptism administered by Jesus. This baptism, the only spiritual baptism taught in the Bible, puts Christ in you and you in the body of Christ. Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ (His body) have put on Christ. Having experienced this baptism, one becomes a new creature in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Having experienced this baptism, we are "in Christ" (Rom. 8:1), and Christ is "in us" (2 Cor. 13:5; Eph. 3;17). We are "in God" (Col. 3:3; 1 Thess. 1:1), and God is "in us" (John 14:23; 1 John 4:15;). We are "in the Spirit" (Rom. 8:9; Gal. 5:16; 5:25), and the Spirit is "in us" (Gal. 4:6; 1 John 4:13; 1 John 3:24).

6. How Many Baptisms Does The Bible Teach?

This is a very easy question for us to answer. Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Paul made it very clear on the number of spiritual baptisms. There is just one. That's the one we just read about: Jesus' baptism. This "one baptism" puts us into the "one body", the "one faith", and the "one Lord". Herein is the unity of the Spirit. It is contrary to scripture to teach that there are two baptisms: one into the Church or body of Christ (when a person gets saved, Acts 2:47) and a "second cleansing" known by some as the baptism of the Holy Ghost (when a person gets "entirely sanctified"). As explained earlier, by the Word of God, there is no such experience as "the baptism of the Holy Ghost". The teaching that those who claim that a person can be baptized into the body of Christ (be a member of the Church of God) but may not have received the Holy Ghost baptism is a false teaching and is a result of not rightly dividing the Word of God. However, God's Word is very clear on this subject, as we have seen.

It would be appropriate to mention two other baptisms that are taught in the Bible. Both of these baptisms are not spiritual acts, but are also part of God's overall divine plan of salvation. The Bible speaks of the baptism of suffering (Matt 20:22-23 and Luke 12:50). Jesus ultimately experienced this baptism when He suffered on the cross for our sins. As was the case of our Lord, the baptism of suffering is often administered by sinners. The Bible also teaches and instructs us to be water baptized. Being immersed in water is a baptism of a saint administered by another saint. Water baptism is required by the Word of God, however, water baptism is not a spiritual work. It does not save an individual. Water cannot wash away our sins, only the blood of Jesus can do that. Being immersed in water is simply a symbolic expression of what God has already done in the life of a newly saved person. It is an outward expression of an inward experience. After we receive the spiritual baptism, the scriptures teach that one should be baptized with water. Jesus commissioned water baptism and the Apostles carried that commission out. We are to do the same.

Mark 16:15 And he (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Acts 10:47-48 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.

7. What Does It Mean To Be Filled With The Holy Ghost?

We are admonished by the Word of God to be "filled" with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? As we have already studied, every Christian receives God's Spirit in the experience of true Bible conversion. Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Ghost and the Spirit indwells our hearts at that time. How can we then go on to be filled with Him?

First of all, we need to understand what it means to be filled. Strong's concordance reveals the following:

1) to make full, to cause to abound

2) to render full, i.e. to complete, to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, bring to realization, to fulfill, i.e. to cause God's will to be obeyed as it should be.

The Holy Spirit is a person. We either have Him dwelling in our hearts or we don't. This is the evidence that we are either saved or unsaved. Paul said in Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. However, just as when we meet a person in the natural for the first time, it takes awhile to get to know the Spirit of God and understand how He operates. As He reveals more Truth to us, as He sheds more light on our path, as He teaches us more about God, as we grow in grace and knowledge, we deny more and more of ourselves and yield more and more of ourselves to Him. (Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.) Soon after we are saved, we begin to understand how the Spirit of God works and operates and what He requires from us as Christians. As we yield ourselves to Him, we become more and more under His influence. Therefore, to be filled with the Spirit is to be brought under the direct influence of the Spirit. God wants us to be fully surrendered to His leading and direction everyday. As God reveals light and gives understanding to us through His Word, we must continually yield unto the Spirit, and therefore we are filled with His Spirit.

With this knowledge, we can easily understand why Paul likens being filled with the Spirit to being drunk with wine. What happens to an individual who drinks alcohol? The more alcohol he drinks, the more under the influence he becomes! Eventually, if he keeps drinking, he will be totally drunk and completely under the influence of the alcohol. The same applies in the spiritual. The more we allow the Spirit to work in our lives, the more He fills us with Truth, understanding, and knowledge, the more influence He will have on our actions and our lives. This is what it means to be filled with the Spirit.

A good Bible example of individuals being filled with the Spirit is that of Peter and John. Both of these men were baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost (Acts 1:5, 2:4). That day, the Holy Spirit took up His abode in their hearts. Later on, however, when they were standing for the Truth that they had learned, persecution came their way. They got in earnest prayer about the situation, they denied the flesh and yielded to the Spirit, and God again filled them with the Holy Ghost. Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. This subsequent infilling, or coming under the influence of the Spirit of God, produced action in their lives. It caused them to speak boldly and God blessed their faithfulness (see verse 33). Even today, it is apparent to spiritual saints when a preacher is just preaching or if he is preaching under an anointing brought about by the infilling of the Holy Ghost. There is a big difference.

Due to the nature of being filled with the Spirit, and what it does for us, it is essential to our salvation that we be continually filled with the Holy Ghost. If we allow God to fill us, we can, as the writer said, remain filled with joy, peace, and hope "through the power of the Holy Ghost" (Romans 15:13) always having sufficiency in all things (2 Cor 9:8)


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