This is the first of 3 synopsis. The topics that will be set forth are:
- Being filled with the Spirit
- What it means to be “edified” as it pertains to an individual speaking in tongues
- Clarification of the debate over whether Tongues are to be used in a public arena without an accompanying interpretation.
I ~ Being Filled With The Spirit:
It is evident throughout Biblical history that men and women of God have experienced the power and influence of the Spirit of God. That influence was often signified by using the terminology “The Spirit Of The Lord Came Upon” “The Spirit Of God came upon” or “was upon” a certain individual or group of people. The phrase “The Spirit Of The Lord” is found 31 times throughout the Biblical text. The phrase “the Spirit Of God” is found 26 times throughout the Biblical text. Here are a few examples:
- In the book of Judges the Spirit of the Lord came upon EVERY Judge to empower them to service, leadership and great exploits.
- Pharaoh recognized the Spirit Of God IN Joseph (Gen. 41:38)
- Moses desired that God to put his Spirit upon all Israel (Num. 11:29)
- David asks God to not take HIS Holy Spirit from him (Ps. 51:1)
- In I Sam. 10, Samuel prophesies to Saul that the “Spirit of the Lord” would come upon him so greatly that he would become another man (I Sam. 10:6)
- In the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 11 we see the “Spirit of The Lord” upon the Messiah indicating the sevenfold spirit of God resting upon the work and office of the Messiah. Later this was reverberated in Acts 10:38.
- Is 61:1 expresses the “Spirit Of The Lord” empowering the Messiah’s work and displaying the scope of HIS office upon Earth
- The “Spirit Of The Lord” comes upon Ezekiel (Ezekiel 11:4) to empower him to deliver the message of the Lord
- (Michah 3:8) Michah explains that he was full of the Spirit of the Lord and Power
- Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (II Pet. 1:21)
For this study it will not be necessary to discover the nuance and result of the Spirit of the Lord being upon the individuals in the aforementioned Biblical refrences. The purpose here is to merely make observations that the Spirit Of The Lord was present and upon men to provide them ability to accomplish exceptional tasks. There are other instances that can be discovered within scripture, but the point is clear. The Spirit of the Lord has been present and upon men from time to time to provide them the ability to do the work of the Lord throughout Biblical history.
Not all Old Testament (OT) instances of the Spirit Of The Lord being upon someone are positive or good. Examples include:
- Saul and his army after seeking to kill David, fall under the Spirit of the Lord and Saul prophesies all day naked in Naioth in Ramah to his embarrassment, shame and punishment. (I Sam 19:23-24)
- The Spirit Of The Lord would often rise to defeat the enemies of Israel. David most notably observes this in Psalms 68:1 by asking God to arise and scatter HIS enemies.
In the OT not all instances of the Spirit of the Lord being upon an individual were confined to the Saints, servants of God or people of God in general. Please make note of this because this is a primary difference between what God did in the OT and what he would later do under the new and better covenant of the New Testament (NT) as it pertains to filling men with HIS Spirit. Here’s one example of the Spirit Of The Lord being upon a sinner for God’s purposes:
- The Spirit of the Lord came upon Baalam a false and sinful prophet so that he could bless the Children of Israel. (Numbers 24:1-9)
Please note that under the OT the Spirit of the Lord being “upon” someone was not be confused with the abiding , indwelling presence of the Lord. For example; In Exodus 31:1 Bezaleel was filled with wisdom, understanding and knowledge in all manner of workmanship. He was not FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT of God otherwise.
Through repeated actions and various witnesses, the OT characters understood that the presence and Spirit of the Lord upon them was fleeting, temporary, for a specific purposes and could be lost.
- After being “upon” him, the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul (I Sam 16:14)
- David asks God to not to let HIS Spirit depart from him (Ps. 51:11)
- When the Judges would die the nation would go into its sin cycle and loose blessings and the empowerment of God. What is meant by empowerment here is the nations inability to overcome their enemies.
The operation of being FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT WAS NOT the same in the OT or under the Law as it would be after the death burial and resurrection of Jesus.
John 7:38-39 says that the Holy Ghost had NOT been “given” because Jesus “was not yet glorified” indicating that he had not yet died and been resurrected. Since scripture clearly demonstrates that the Spirit was in operation throughout the OT, this verse then directly indicates that a certain measure or operation of the Spirit HAD NOT been poured out in general upon the Earth. This measure WOULD NOT be poured out until AFTER Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and more specifically until the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:4.
From the aforementioned passages it is reasonable to conclude that being Filled With The Spirit is to come under the influence and control of the Spirit of the Lord. We may also conclude that the influence and control of the Holy Spirit under the Law or OT was temporary, limited and specific in nature, and did not necessarily produce a conviction of salvation, righteousness or a changed nature. (See Pg. 2 for further information regarding this)
Into The New Testament:
The same sort of influence of God’s Spirit is demonstrated in the New Testament (NT) before the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, Pentecost or Acts 2. With the exception of Jesus, all such references are EQUIVALENT with the modes of operation of the Spirit Of The Lord in the OT and many OT passages which refer to the Spirit of the Lord being upon and individual.
The NT narrative however changes the language from the Spirit Of The Lord being UPON an individual to an individual being FILLED with the Spirit. In the NT narrative the Spirit of the Lord:
- Overshadows Mary ( Luke 1:35)(Matt. 1:20)
- Filled John from the womb (Luke 1:15)
- Filled Elizabeth (Luke 1:41)
- Filled Zacharias and caused him to Prophesy (Luke 1:67)
As previously stated It is my contention that the events of individuals being FILLED with the Spirit that occur BEFORE the Death Burial and Resurrection of Jesus and the advent of Pentecost were:
- Specific and limited to particular works of the individuals and their purposes on Earth
- Carried a NEW element of spiritual baptism/identification (aka in the Greek Bapto) which DID NOT necessarily have the effect of regeneration or change in the individual’s heart or nature. (See Synopsis Pg.2 for clarification)
Further, it is my contention that scriptures affirm that to be FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, is the practical result of the process of being baptized into the Holy Ghost which begins with the process of regeneration at Salvation. (John 3:3, Titus 3:5, Gal.3:13, II Cor. 5:17, Romans 10:9-10) The regenerative process is one whereby the individual maintains growth and relationship with the Lord (Ephes. 5:18, Phil. 2:12-13, Col. 3:16, 1 Peter 2:2-3), becomes empowered for service (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:4, Mark 16:16-18) and continues to produce the manifestation of the Fruit of the Spirit as outlined in Galations 5:22-23. This process also begins the development of Spiritual Gifts within the life of the believer (I Cor. 12: 1-11). Further, scripture teaches by example and the precept of repeated witnesses (Matt. 18:16, Deut. 17:6 & Num. 35:30) that the Holy Ghost Baptismal experience as outlined in Acts is NOT vicarious to all believers (that is to say an act once received by one, or one set of individuals, that is efficacious or automatically upon all) but is an experience objectively rooted within the WORD of God with historical reference, is available to ALL believers, and is to be received by faith, through the word, with joy among believers. (I Thess.1:6, Acts 2:41).
The Biblical basis for this is summed up in the following narratives:
- God promised that he would put HIS law in the “inward parts” of HIS people and cause them to be HIS people in actions and deeds (Jer. 31:33)
- God promises to do a “New Thing” in the earth and make a way in the wilderness and “rivers in the dessert” so that HIS people would show forth HIS praise. (Is. 43:18-21)
- John promises that one was coming after him that would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with Fire (Matt. 3:11, Mark 1:7 and Luke 3:16)
- Jesus promised to send the “promise of the Father” upon them that would wait in Jerusalem (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5, Acts 1:8)
- Jesus promised that those who believe on HIM “as the scripture has said” then out of their belly would flow “rivers of living water.” (John 7:38-39, Is. 44:3-4, Is. 55:1)
Peter in his preaching in Acts 2 related the events of the Spirit Filling the individuals which occurred in Acts 2:4 to the fulfillment of (Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4-5, Acts 1:8, Matt. 3:11, John 7:38-39, Mark 1:7 and Luke 3:16). Peter would later go on to preach the same message about Cornelius and the Italian band receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 11:16-17). Consequently in Acts 2:16-21, Peter preached specifically identifying that what happened in on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:4) was the beginning of what had been spoken by the prophet Joel in Joel 2:28-32:
That God would “pour out HIS Spirit upon all flesh”
That “your sons and your daughters shall prophesy”
That “your young men shall see visions”
That “old men shall dream dreams”
That upon “my servants and on my handmaids I will pour out in those days my Spirit”
That “they shall prophesy”
Please make special note that although Joel 2:28-29 DID NOT say that a gift of tongues would be delivered among God’s people. Neither did he say that any other spiritual gift would be delivered with the exception of prophecy. Peter however, understood the move and the actions of God spiritually (Rom. 8:6, Rom. 12:2, John 6:63, Prov. 4:22, 2 Cor. 3:6) and related scripture as the fulfillment (not conclusion) of what God had spoken (Jer. 1:12). This reveals that Peter did NOT LIMIT GOD to a mere word for word understanding and view of what scripture conveyed, but also relied upon the nature of God revealed through HIS word to draw his conclusions. By the very nature of Apostle Peter’s action and subsequent explaination (Acts 2:16-21) and preaching (Acts 2:22-40), he understood that God was in control of scripture and HIS people.
The arguement can be settled scripturally, that simply because tongues IS NOT listed in the Biblical record prior to Acts 2:4 that it is unimportant, temporary or an invalid practice or occurrance within the context of the NT church. The Apostle Peter DID NOT minimize the act of God, nor did he try to explain it away. There also remains no Biblical record demanding or even implying that the baptismal experience as outlined, tougues, or any other NT spiritual gift ceased. One should ask, what gives any modern Christian scholar the right to minimize or riducule the value of God’s gift to HIS children or to HIS church? This subject and related issues will be further discussed in a future writing exposing the grievious errors of reformationist and cessationist theology and shall be made available on this site.
This Provides Biblical Evidence Of The “Second Blessing” Subsequent To Salvation.