There are so many differing viewpoints over “when” believers become filled with The Holy Spirt. Honestly, I think much of this is because 👉 everyone is right! No, seriously. I think we all have a piece of the puzzle, simply because we can have 👉 multiple experiences with The Holy Spirit. We don’t receive The Holy Spirit one way, we receive Him many ways.
For example, in the book of Acts a group of spirit filled, persecuted believers prayed for MORE boldness from The Holy Spirit:
“At that moment the earth shook beneath them, causing the building they were in to tremble. Each one of them was filled with the Holy Spirit, and they proclaimed the word of God with 👉 unrestrained boldness.” Acts 4:31
Yes. They were filled 👉 again! And they were without ministerial restraint - hold on to that point, for I shall come back to it.
My goal here is to break down about 6 months worth of my meditating on how all this can possibly be. So. Here we go:
The very moment you believe, you are complete. You lack nothing. All that you need for your life dwells within you. You are fused to heaven, you are in perfect Union with the Godhead. You are ONE Spirit in Christ, and you are right then forever, eternal. Yes. The Holy Spirit dwells in you, and no demon in hell can take this gift from you. But. To our own demise, we can certainly convince ourselves that we are broken, or spiritually incomplete. (Reference these verses: Col 2:9-10; Col 2:13; Col 3:3; Eph 1:13-14; Eph 2:5; 1 Cor 6:17; Romans 6:3-6; Romans 7:1-4; and Phil 2:1).
The Holy Spirit within is for 👉 us. For our life. For our witness. And. We are able to do great works. Yes, there is miracle working Dynamis power within us - the same power that rose Christ from the dead (Eph 1:19-23; Acts 1:8)!
Now, remember that in order for the Holy Spirit to be living within, The Spirit had to first come UPON! Think about that, The Holy Spirit was never IN you until you first received Him! Biblically, this typically happened with the laying on of human hands - but obviously Jesus (the One who baptizes with The Holy Spirit) doesn’t need to fill us this way. Just look at Pentecost and the Upper Room, no hands needed. This was a hands free Holy Spirit party!
Yet. I can only find 2 biblical examples of where being filled with the Holy Spirit was fully apart from one’s initial belief - both Acts chapter 8 with Simon the Sorcerer and Acts chapter 19 with 12 dudes from Ephesus.
The delay in receiving the Holy Spirit for the people of Samaria (Acts 8) was a judgment in favor of these new Samaritan believers and against this prideful, self serving magician. Simon was a type of God to the people of Samaria, and Jesus did not want these Samaritans believing that Simon’s demonic magic had anything to do with their new heavenly infilling!
Remember, The Samaritans and Jewish people were long standing, dreaded enemies. Hating each other would be a very polite way of describing their relationship. Thus, in an act of both love and restoration (God’s judgment is always restorative) The Jewish apostles who traveled from Jerusalem were to be the one’s laying on of hands!
Further, the delay between both belief and indwelling of the Holy Spirit for these 12 men (Acts 19) is quite simple. Much like the church of today, these guys were water baptized under pure emotionalism. Yes, they took part in an act of faith simply because everyone else was .... with zero idea of what they were doing!
Read the story in Acts 19 both slowly and carefully. Until this group met Paul later on and he EXPLAINED to them water baptism and the cross, these 12 fellows had no idea who Jesus was! Simply. You can’t be forever baptized 👉 into the death and life of Christ via heart led belief, when you’ve never even heard the name of Jesus before (Romans 6:3-6; 10:10)! Yes. These men found out from Paul that water baptism doesn’t save you, Jesus does!
In Christ, we are full. But God wants us to overflowing. Let’s look at the life and ministry of Jesus for a moment.
The forerunner of Jesus - John the Baptist - was filled with the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15). Jesus, who was the greater to come, did one better and was 👉 conceived of The Holy Spirit (Mat 1:18)!
Without a sin nature, having the very nature of God, and being EQUAL to God (Phil 2:6-8) Jesus was 100% full of The Holy Spirit from His birth. In fact, in bodily form or wrapped in human flesh (Phil 2:6-8) - Jesus as the likeness of man was full representation of the Godhead. And in Him, we are full as well.
“For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and YOU have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.” Colossians 2:9-10
So, the question must be asked - if Jesus was fully God and fully man - what happened when the Holy Spirit descended at His water baptism?
Much information comes from both Luke and John.
Luke says in Acts 10:38 that Jesus was anointed at that time with The Holy Spirit and 👉 power. Power? Wait? Jesus was already full! Further, John makes it clear that The Holy Spirit descended and REMAINED UPON HIM (John 1:32).
Yes. You are full in Christ. Complete. Yet. There is also The Spirit upon, there is always more. The Father wants us full and overflowing with His own Spirit. The overflow is the Holy Spirit UPON. As Bill Johnson says, “The Holy Spirit within is for us, The Holy Spirit upon is for others.”
Referring to Jesus, John the Baptist says this:
“The One whom God has sent to represent him will speak the words of God, for God has poured out 👉 upon him (Jesus) the fullness of the Holy Spirit without limitation.” John 3:34
The only way to be full without limitation, is to have overflow!
At the water baptism, Jesus was anointed by The Spirit as Priest, King, and Messiah (Daniel 9:25; John 1:32; Luke 1:5; Isaiah 61:1; Hebrews 9:1; Mat 27:37). The Father tells Jesus how pleased He is with His Son, and then sets Jesus out into ministry - and remember, not one recorded miracle happened prior to this event!
First stop, 40 days in the desert fasting and drawing intimate with His call.
Next stop, Luke says (4:14) Jesus returned to Galilee in the 👉 power of the spirit! Yes. Something had changed post baptism and post desert. It’s my opinion, based on Phil 2:6-8, that in this moment Jesus stopped relying on only the spirit within and as man in human flesh - fully surrendered Himself to Holy Spirit both within and upon. Jesus was EQUAL to God, but chose to live as a servant. Yes. Jesus shifted gears into ministry, and He operated out of the overflow.
So Jesus is baptized by John, spends 40 days in the desert, goes to Galilee in the power of the spirit, and then Jesus goes to His old hometown temple in Nazareth. The FIRST thing Jesus does when He gets to his home congregation? He flat out boldly quotes Isaiah 61:
“The Spirit of the Lord is 👉👉 upon me, because he has 👉 anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” Luke 4:18-19
The Spirit was upon Jesus, remained on Jesus, and as filled to overflowing Jesus was anointed to set the captives free!
Your overflow is for the captives!
There are many giftings and yet Paul tells us that the most important one of all is love (1 Cor 13:13). Love is the donkey that the giftings ride on. Without love, these gifts are rendered ineffective.
The more we seek, the more we hunger, the more we 👉👉👉 love others, the more we walk in humility, the more selfless we are - the more of the Holy Spirit rests upon us. Not for us, but for the work of ministry and the good of others in this earth. WE ALL ARE AMBASSADORS OF CHRIST - folks this is not just for people in the pulpit, this is for YOU and ME (2 Cor 5:20).
Out of the overflow and continued outpouring of His spirit upon us, comes the previously mentioned boldness of Acts 4 .... yes, and the unrestraint of the world!
In fact, Jesus appears to His boys in a locked room after the resurrection. They are freaked out and He promises to send The Holy Spirit: "And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father 👉👉👉 upon you. But stay in the city until you are 👉👉👉 clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49
The disciples were "saved" and forever eternal when Jesus breathed upon them in that room ... The Spirit first comes upon, to be forever within. Yet what happened at Pentecost, for the benefit of others, was UPON them as they were CLOTHED with power. Yep. Pentecost was an overflow! We wear the clothing of Christ on us!
Folks. This is why we confuse the “WHEN” of the baptism of the Holy Spirit - for those who hunger after both the kingdom and His Righteousness (Jesus) - we are always experiencing the power of more upon us.
Father. I’d like more of you please. Along with the responsibility.