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A Reader's Question

I have a question, please?

The phrase "filled with the Holy Ghost" appears eight times in the word of God - in two books written by, I believe, Luke: Luke 1:15 Luke 1:41 Luke 1:67 Acts 2:4 Acts 4:8 Acts 4:31 Acts 9:17 Acts 13:9

The phrase "filled with the Spirit" (uppercase "S") appears only once: Ephesians 5:18 "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;"

Any insights?

Dido is one of our most loyal readers. I probably get more comments from him than any other person. His question is well put and pertinent to what we have been studying. He is the first person that I have ever seen notice that each time the phrase "filled with the Holy Ghost" is used, it is by Luke. That is a great observation. Paul's one similar statement is "filled with the Spirit". Let's take a crack at that.

Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness, Jeremiah 23:9.

One of the secrets to understanding the Apostle Paul is to find out to which Old Testament passage he is referring. His commision was to teach Gentiles the words of scripture. His writings are interpretations of Old Testament truths into New Testament doctrine. There can be no doubt that in writing Ephesians 5:18, he was making reference to Jeremiah 23:9. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. We are to let the words of God's holiness overcome us.

That is the way to be filled with the Spirit. In your present circumstance are you overcome by the words of God's holiness? If so, you are filled with the Spirit. It will reflect in your behavior and in your thought.

To understand being filled with the Holy Ghost it is necessary to remember what the Holy Ghost does. 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 14:26. In the same dialog Jesus Christ further described what the Holy Ghost does. 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. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 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: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you, John 16:7-14.

When a person is said to be full of the Holy Ghost, it is to say that the that person is completely yielded to the Holy Ghost to fulfill those things that are the Holy Ghost's commision. They will glorify Jesus Christ. They will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment. It was Peter Ruckman who made the apt observation that a sure sign of a person being filled with the Holy Ghost is boldness. 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, Acts 4:31. That boldness must be coupled with an exact adherence to scripture.

It is interesting that the first three people to be described as filled with the Holy Ghost were filled prior to the birth of Jesus Christ. Yet their role was to manifest the coming of Jesus Christ. A person fully yielded to the Holy Ghost's purpose of manifesting Jesus Christ and of convincing his audience of sin, righteousness and of judgment, and who does so in accordance with scripture can be said to be filled with the Holy Ghost.

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