Filled With The Holy Spirit

I want to talk with you today about being

“Filled with the Holy Spirit” First of all I must say that…


Even Jesus Himself needed to be anointed with the Holy Spirit, before He went out into His ministry (Luke 3:21-23).

Imagine the disciples waiting in the upper room to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:12-14). (We know now that they waited for ten days, but at that time, none of them knew how long they would have to wait.) Imagine that one of them walks out of the door on the ninth day, saying that he is tired of waiting and is going home. He tells the others that they can wait if they want to. Imagine his disappointment, when he heard the next day that all the others in the upper room were baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire and endowed with power from on high. How close he had been to the answer – if only he had waited one more day…..

Jesus invited only those who THIRST to come to Him (John 7:37-39). Only those who will seek God WITH ALL THEIR HEART find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). God rewards only those who DILIGENTLY seek Him (Heb.11:6). Why is this so? Because it is only when we seek God WHOLEHEARTEDLY that we prove that our relationship with Him is the MOST IMPORTANT thing to us in the world. The Lord told His disciples to WAIT until they “were clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). While the world lay dying and in need of hearing the gospel, those apostles needed to wait until they were baptized in the Holy Spirit before they could go out and serve the Lord. Acts 1:8 So what about us?
How foolish we are to think that we don’t need this too!

On the day of Pentecost, Peter told the people that God was offering TWO gifts to all who would repent, believe and be baptized – God was granting them the FORGIVENESS OF SINS and THE HOLY SPIRIT Acts 2:38

The Forgiveness of sins qualifies us for heaven. And
The baptism (or filling) in the Spirit fits us for life on earth.

If you are only interested in going to heaven when you die, you don’t need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. You only need to have your sins forgiven. But if you want to spend your earthly days usefully, showing your gratitude to the Lord for dying for you, by serving Him, then you MUST be filled with the

Holy Spirit.

I believe that there are FIVE main reasons why many believers are NOT baptized in the Holy Spirit: let us look at them breifly this morning ….

Firstly: They have been INTELLECTUALLY CONVINCED by some theological argument that they were baptized in the Spirit when they were born again. And even though they are defeated, powerless, empty and fruitless, they continue to believe this theological deception. Satan loves deception, and he is not bothered about the morality of who or what deceives us.

He may get a demon of hell to deceive us, he may get a wolf in sheep’s clothing to deceive us, or deceive us by our own lack of understanding and ignorance of truth. It is true that one receives the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit at the “new birth” experience. This is when God comes to take up residence in our Spirits, making them regenerate or alive. That’s when we receive God. But there must come a time when God receives us?
The work of the indwelling Holy Spirit, is to enlighten, enable and empower us or equip us. This is not all achieved immediately, to expect or believe so, is rather like expecting a new born baby to be able to walk and talk in its first 24 hours.

Like any infant, the infant Christian takes times to grow, and mature. The child of God is first enlightened, by the regular reading and study of the Bible, Gods word. Following this enlightenment or training and teaching in the word, there comes an “enabling” a God given ability to call on this inner strength, this courage, this comfort, this motivation, and doing so results in the “empowering” or “filling” of the Holy Spirit. We have received God, but now God has received us, we have become a vessel fit for use, filled to be poured out to the thirsty around us. Someone has said that we must be emptied of self first, before we can be filled with God, and while there is truth in this, it is none the less not the whole truth. (but more about that in a moment)

Secondly: Those who never receive the filling of the Holy Spirit, regularly feel that they are NOT WORTHY ENOUGH to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The fact of the matter is that the more unworthy you feel and the greater the sinner you consider yourself to be, is proof that Satan’s deception is working. Satan has long deceived us into calling ourselves

saved old sinners“, which of course we were! But we must move from the past into the present. The apostle John could say “Beloved NOW are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be …” ( 1 John 3:2) We are now in Christ Jesus, (right now) if we have truly repented of sin and turned from it to God by faith in Jesus Christ, then we are presently the “righteousness of God in Jesus” He took our place, so that we could take His place! We already possess the “indwelling” why should we not expect the “enabling and the empowering” of the same Holy Spirit?

Thirdly: Those still unfilled and often unfulfilled by the Holy Spirit, they DON’T BELIEVE that God is a good God – who gives His gifts freely to all who ask Him. They feel that they have to pay a price – to do some good deeds, like fasting and praying, before they can receive. They simply cannot accept that there is no cost, no sacrifice, no pre-conditions? It is like that also with Salvation for many. Even though they know that Salvation is a “gift” many seem determined to “pay their little mite” for it? I’ll do the best I can, I’ll go my way, say my prayers, plan my pilgrimage, and pay my tithe – the performance mentality! But God’s gifts are all freely given – whether it be the forgiveness of sins or the baptism in the Spirit. None of God’s gifts can be purchased. Many believers feel that to have faith itself is a difficult thing. Yet Jesus of course likened faith to drinking in John 7:37 & 38″…DRINK of me, BELIEVE in me” he said. To receive the Holy Spirit is as easy as drinking. Even babies know how to drink – even those who are newly born again don’t need to wait long to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. That is how it was in the early days – as we read in the “Acts of the Apostles”.

Fourthly: They DON’T THIRST. They are not desperate enough. To many of them, the empowered life, is optional? This is usually because they have no real desire to “serve” God, and feel that THAT is the job of the Priest, the Pastor or the Preacher. Thus because of lack of Service, they know nothing about lack of Power. Its rather like a Motor that is left in the showroom. It looks good, it looks alright, but it is going nowhere, and why would it need fuel? Many Christians, are going “nowhere” for God in these days and they need no power to do so. They don’t speak out for Good or for God, they don’t reach out to neighbours or friends, they make no impact whatever on their world, why would they need power?

But those who thirst for more of God, understanding their need of his filling and his baptism. Jesus told a parable about a man who kept on knocking at his neighbour’s door, UNTIL HE RECEIVED what he wanted. Then Jesus went on to say that our Heavenly Father would also give the Holy Spirit to those who asked, sought and knocked like that man.

Every day I live I need his filling, otherwise those around me might see too much of me, and not enough of Him. God doesn’t want the world to see you, He wants the world to see Him in you!

Fifthly: Those who remain unfilled, often WAIT FOR SOME EXPERIENCE (tongues or thrills etc., ) similar to the one they heard someone else testify to. They are not willing to leave it to God to decide what gift or manifestation is best for them to have. The Holy Spirit is received by simple faith. Ask and ye shall receive (Gal.3:2; Luke 11:9-13). Don’t wait for feelings. But ask God to give you an assurance. Leave it to Him as to how He gives you that assurance. Didn’t He give you an assurance that your sins are forgiven and that you are His child?

In the same way, He can also assure you that He has filled you with the Holy Spirit. What you need is not an experience, but what you need is POWER (Acts 1:8).
So then, we need to THIRST – BELIEVE – AND RECEIVE and that Holy filling will become a continuous and conspicuous part of our lives. Praise God.

Now before I leave this subject, it is important to add a comment or two about what the Bible calls the “anointing” of the Holy Spirit. All believers will experience the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit at the New Birth – and all are expected to receive the Baptism or Filling of the Holy Spirit as a consequence of their obedience and walk with God. If they intentionally allow sin, or sympathy with sin, back into their lives they will “grieve” or “quench” the Holy Spirit and will render themselves ineffective and powerless. Paul warns against this in Eph 4:30 and

1 Thess 5:19.

In Isaiah Chapter 61:v1, we read “the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because he has anointed me to preach…”. This of course is the portion of scripture which our Blessed Lord Jesus himself used when he stood up in the Synagogue to read as recorded for us in Luke 4:18. (This portion from Isaiah, was obviously and prophetically speaking of Jesus) Now we read in Luke 4 v 1 that “Jesus, being full of the Holy Spirit” returned from the Jordan. Now He is saying that not only is he “full” of “filled” with the Holy Spirit, but that He is “anointed” by the Spirit, to “preach good tidings unto the meek, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives ….” and so on.

This shows us that while the Holy Spirit fills, and keeps filling

as Eph 5:18 implies in the Greek “pleroo” there are occasions when the Holy Spirit “anoints” one for a specific

ministry or task or calling. We have a beautiful illustration of this in the First book of Samuel, in Chapter 16 where the Prophet Samuel, with a little oil, anoints David, the youngest Son of Jesse – to the calling or position of King. 1 Sam 16:13

David could not have done the job, without that anointing, and Jesus, although the Son of God, needed a similar anointing! Throughout the pages of the Old Testament, again and again, Gods prophets anoint those separated by God for specific ministry and challenge. As New Testament Christians, we understand that God still separates some by the anointing of the Holy Spirit for specific ministry and calling today.

The apostle Paul verifies this principle in His teaching regarding the “gifts” that JESUS has given to the Church.

Let us read what he says about it in Ephesians Chapter 4.

Look at how he begins in verse 8
8 “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men”.

Clearly Paul sees those who are anointed for specific ministry as “gifts” to the Church, and more than that, he calls them here “gifts to men”! So who are these gifts? Look then at verse 11…

11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: “

These gifts to the Church are not merely men filled with the Holy Spirit, but those who have been separated, called out, appointed and anointed for a specific task. Some of them may possess more than one ability, some may indeed possess them all, but unless they are the “gifts” of God, they had better go home.

I suppose another useful word in this context is the word “gifted” as it accurately goes a long way to describe such an

anointing. They are not only “gifted” by God to the Church, but they are “gifted gifts” and we ought to respect and revere them as such. They are given “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” Do you honestly expect that God would require a man to execute such an honourable and worthy ministry without first giving him the “gifts” and the “anointing” to do so?

Yet tragically, there are many “wolves in sheep’s clothing” in the Church of today, and they deceive many. Just because a man may wear a Shepherds Coat, and carry a Shepherds Crook, does not mean he is a Shepherd? Take care dear flock of God that none deceive you. There is all the difference in the world between Preaching and “anointed Preaching”, between Praying and “anointed Praying” between singing and “anointed Praise” and the wonderful thing is this, that God has made it so that we can tell the difference?

Jesus said “My sheep know my voice” … and if you don’t hear the voice of God, in whatever Church you belong to, its time to get out! God has a clear, and clarion call for his people in these last days. If you are not hearing it, you may be caught up in the Race of the Crowd, but you may not be caught up in the Rapture of the Church? The times of indecision are slipping, the times of truth are shaking, the times of Judgement are sure. “God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth” – anything else is “playing games” and “playing church”.

For too long, many in our established Churches have followed the “traditions of men” rather than the “Word of God”. As Paul says in Romans 1, “they have exchanged the truth about God with a lie and worshipped and serve the Creature rather than the Creator, {God}, who is blessed for ever” Rom 1:25

Now this final Word

The early Greeks had in the original Olympic games, a race that was unique. Each runner in the race, was given a lit torch, before he set out on the course.

The winner was not the runner who finished first? Rather it was the runner who finished with his torch still lit!

It seems to me that there are many running in the race toward Heaven and Home, but of that many, there are only a few running with a “light” and the rest run in darkness.

Only those who run with Jesus run in the light. Jesus said;

“I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life”

Be careful that you are not running in the dark, or running with those who love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.

For me … I want to run all the way with the flame of my torch still lit for Him. The fuel that keeps me going is the power that never fails, because one day I paused on life’s road, and was

“filled with the Holy Spirit”


and may God Bless this sacred word to all our hearts.