“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:1-4
In Acts 2, we see the first group filling of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus had promised to them. It was quite the event as 1000’s of new believers received this special gift that had previously been reserved for a few select in the Old Testament. This outpouring of the Holy Spirit filled them with new languages as they were able to be understood by the multi-language onlookers. They were all filled with such joy they were praising the Lord in multiple languages. What a day!
- “Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. ” John 20:21-22
Today as we search the internet and watch some TV programs, we see a warping of what was originally going on in Acts 2. We can find churches who advertise fillings of the Holy Spirit as being ‘drunk’ in the spirit, exhibiting all sorts of bizarre behavior including drunken laughing states, falling down and convulsing, and animal noises. Many people are drawn to this ‘filling’ in order that they, themselves, would be filled with this supernatural experience, thinking that this is, in fact, from the hand of God. As we study further in Scripture, we can completely cancel out these events as being from God. We find that in Scripture that we are not to be drunk as we are to be self-controlled and disciplined. We also find that animal noises and convulsions are only found in people possessed by demons. So, we can easily conclude that these false fillings of the Holy Spirit are, in fact, demon controlled and we should stay far away from them.
When do we receive the true Holy Spirit of God? We receive Him when we repent and put our trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. Then, we receive this special ‘seal’ on our lives.
- “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
- “We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” Acts 5:32
- “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.” Acts 10:44-45
So, what is the true filling of the Holy Spirit for?
Ultimately, the number one goal of the filling of the Holy Spirit is so that we can be bold witnesses for Jesus Christ in a fallen world. The number one goal is not for our own personal enjoyment, but for the glorification of our Savior.
- “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”” Acts 1:8
- “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” Acts 4:31
- “He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.” Acts 11:24
What else does the Holy Spirit do for us?
- He’s our helper: “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—” John 14:15-16
- He’s our teacher of the Truth: “for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”” Luke 12:12
- He’s our reminder: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26
- He gives us special revelations for others: “When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” Acts 19:6
- He gives us hope: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
- He purifies us: “to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:16
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:15-20
Father God, Thank you that you have not left us alone in our home away from home. You have given us your Holy Spirit to help us through all circumstances and above all, you have given us your Spirit to help us to be bold witnesses for you. Help us to be better about depending on you to step out in our faith and trust that you will give us your power to witness to those who do not yet know you and do not yet know your gift of forgiveness. In Jesus Name. Amen.