The Filling of the Holy Ghost

Dr Pierre Coovert

There are a lot of ideas on what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Ghost). The following is a list of the 19 passages I found that talk about the filling with the Spirit of God in one way or another. I may have missed something, but I think these passages sum up the subject pretty well.

The filling of the Holy Spirit gives wisdom

Exodus 28:3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.

Exodus 31:3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,

Exodus 35:31 And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;

Deuteronomy 34:9 And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.

Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

The filling of the Holy Spirit gives power

Micah 3:8 But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.

General passages

Luke 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

Luke 1:41-42 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

Acts 7:55-56 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

The filling of the Holy Spirit gives preaching power and boldness

Luke 1:67-69 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

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.

Acts 13:9-10 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

The filling of the Holy Spirit gives guidance

Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

The filling of the Holy Spirit gives faith

Acts 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

Acts 11:24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.

The filling of the Holy Spirit gives a joyful and thankful heart

Ephesians 5:18-20 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

The filling of the Holy Spirit constrains (gives self-control)

Job 32:18 For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me.

I think the one verse that best sums up everything is Acts 4:31 which says “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.”

The filling of the Holy Spirit is not an emotional outburst. Only one of the passages (Luke 1:41-42) even mentions speaking with a loud voice.

In Job 32:18 we see that the Holy Spirit constrains, or confine by force. The whole of I Corinthians 14 is about self-control in the church service. Verse 26 tells us our purpose in the church service, “How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.” Verse 32 tells us that the preachers have control of their spirits, “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” Verse 40 tells us there is to be order in the church service, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

A service that is Spirit filled is not a service where there is disorder and confusion, where the preaching is interrupted by loud emotional outbursts. A Spirit filled service is a service where the Word of God is preached in power and in wisdom. It is a service where people’s hearts are pricked by the preaching and conviction fills their hearts.

The results of a spirit filled service will be changed lives. Those who are convicted of sin will fall on their face before God, whether at the altar or in the recesses of their hearts.

Can the Holy Spirit cause outbursts of joy and rejoicing in the church? Of course He can! One thing that is forgotten is that He never does anything that is contrary to the Word of God. By this we know that if the outburst disrupts the order in the service other than in such a way that shows that the preaching is having its intended effect (see Acts 10:44-47), it is not the leading of the Holy Spirit.

I hesitated before writing this post because I did not want to offend some people who are very dear to me. However I felt that it was important to express these thoughts publicly. This whole thing was inspired by a message I heard recently. The purpose of the message was to say that those who do not have emotional outburst in their churches, manifest by disruptive behavior, to include jumping up in the middle of the preaching for a testimony, and running around in the aisles of the church, are at best dead and at worst liberal.

It is not the doing of these things that I am concerned about, it is the thinking that if you don’t do these things there is something wrong with you. I have seen these kinds of emotional outbursts keep lost people from salvation, my wife being one of them. Because I took her to a church where this was common practice, my spiritual life suffered and she did not hear the Gospel for nearly 10 more years.

In a culture where people are used to emotional outbursts it may not be as big a problem, but have those who do this ever took the time to consider visitors who may not be from the same culture?

I Corinthians 14:23-24 says, “If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:”

Of course I realize that this is talking about speaking in tongues, but the effect is the same when a church service is characterized by emotionalism. The Bible says we are to be renewed in our minds, not in our emotions.

I guess I have ranted enough. Take this in the spirit in which it is offered. I don’t mean to condemn those who are more emotional than I am. I just want to warn that emotionalism not be considered more spiritual and that its possible effect on the lost be considered.

Copyright 2017 Pierre Coovert, All rights reserved

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