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Mat 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 Nov. 8, 2006                     Filled with the Spirit                                Kathleen Maples
Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

Eph 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Eph 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

There has never been a stronger need for the Bride of Jesus Christ to raise up, to stir up the gift that is within her, to rouse herself from inactivity, from sleep, and stand up, alert, and ready to receive a much needed revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ, her Bridegroom. This is not physical sleep He's talking about, but spiritual. When you are asleep, you are inactive, you don't hear, or feel, or fight. You are vulnerable. Get up, saint, and He will give you light. He wants to show you something, reveal Himself to you. In the Greek, the word is 'epiphauo.' I just studied the word "revelation" in the Greek, and there are 3 words used for that-apocalypsis, parousia, and epiphaniea. This is where we get the word "epiphany" or sudden understanding of something not previously known or understood. This word "light" as translated here, means to illuminate, and it's similar to epiphaniea. He wants to open our understanding to the truth if we will just shake ourselves, wake up, recognize our need and come to Him. And in light of that revelation He will give us, we are told to live carefully, not unwise, but take advantage of every opportunity to make good use of the time given us by Him, and be in the position of being led by Him because the time in which is live is saturated with wickedness on an unprecedented scale. We need to understand what the desire of the Lord for us is, and not get carried away by the pleasures and trappings and pressures of this world, but we are told to be filled with the Spirit. What, exactly does that mean?

If you've ever studied another language, or know another language, then you understand when words are translated from one language into another, often they do not read exactly the same, because of the difference in words from language to language. Sometimes, a certain word in English may not be found in the Greek from which the Word of God was translated in the New Testament. He says "be filled" and that means to furnish or supply liberally, render full, complete, fill to the top, and made complete and perfect. We are to be filled with the Holy Ghost-and this is NOT a one-time filling. It's a filling that is to be continually replenished.

I was sitting in church when I read that. I'd read it before, but this time, the question popped immediately into my mind-how can I fill myself with the Holy Ghost? This is a command-be filled, the Word says. I can't fill myself. I'm a vessel, not the Supplier, or the Supply. But I know I need this supply of His Holy Spirit.

Mat 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

I'm hungry. I don't understand exactly what all this means. But I heard a preacher say something the other day, referring to the first century church. He said "You can't read about the church in Acts and not notice there is something missing in the church of today." AMEN, Bro. Clendennen. But there it is again. They shall be filled. So, to be filled, there is a requirement of hunger. First, we must be hungry to be filled, only here, the word 'filled' is translated to mean abundantly satisfied.

Luk 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Luk 11:10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Luk 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

This word "ask" here, means to crave, desire, to require. It's a strong desire for something you need. We are promised in the Word of God that if we ask, we shall receive and that simply means we shall have it for our own. He says if you, being sinners know how to give gifts that will benefit your children to them, how much more shall God give the Holy Spirit to them that desire and crave Him? In these last days, with deception, and temptation, and pressure abounding and increasing in ferocity, we have greater need of the Holy Ghost than ever. Down at the Jordan River, at the beginning of Jesus' ministry, this is what John the Baptist said:

Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

So we are told Jesus is the One who will baptize, or saturate us with the Holy Ghost and fire.

Joh 20:20 And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

Joh 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Joh 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

Jesus had been crucified, resurrected and was about to return to heaven. He had appeared to, and instructed the disciples on many things after he arose, some written, most not. But here, He encourages them not to be afraid, or upset, because He reminds them there is peace for them. When He said "Let there be light," there was. When He says "Peace be unto you," there will be-if we only believe. If you examine the word "receive" as used here, it means to get or take hold of, to have something amazing offered to one. In the garden, when God made Adam, he breathed life into him and he became a living soul. (Gen_2:7) That word means to inflate, blow hard, to scatter. But here in Joh_20:22, it means to blow at or on. He breathed life into Adam, who was not a living soul until God breathed the breath of life into him. But here, he breathes on them.

Act 1:3 To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

Act 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

Act 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Before Jesus went back to heaven, He spent some time with the disciples, instructing them, to prepare them for the radical changes in their lives that was coming. He told them to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. To wait for something expected. The word "baptized" means 'to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge and overwhelm, to cleanse. He's talking about a constant supply of Something greater than ourselves. Nowhere does this suggest a one time filling, rather, it suggests the opposite-a continual supply. Interesting, Jerusalem means "habitation or vision of peace". I have this promise from my Father. Remember, He said "peace be unto you."

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

So far, we've read first, there must be a hunger for the promise of the Holy Ghost. There's a command to be filled. We are helpless to do this ourselves. All I know to do is fill up on His Word as much as I can for it washes me and teaches me, and lights my path and perhaps, prepares the way? He says you'll receive miraculous power after the Holy Ghost arrives on and in you. We are told to ask for this, to hunger for this, to wait for this, to be filled with this. The word for witness in the Greek is "martus" and it's where we get the word "martyr" from and that's what it means, too. "Someone who laid their life down, just as He did, and proved the strength and genuine faith in Christ by submitting to death, often violent, as in the martyrs' cases." (Thayer's Greek Definitions)

We are to be witnesses of His life, not ours. We are not our own, we are His, bought with His blood. We are to lay our lives down for Him, and through the way we live after His example, our behavior and conversation in this world should show people Christ in us, our hope of glory. Our flesh doesn't want to surrender to this at all. Our minds don't either, without Heavenly power to strengthen us, and spiritual hunger to cause us to seek this, it won't happen. He told Zechariah it wasn't by might, or power, but by His Spirit- Zec_4:6    It's not in our own strength to accomplish this, it has to be done BY HIM. He said we shall obtain a force of miraculous power, in the Greek, "dunamis" , the ability and strength to do mighty works. And take it a step farther- he said they would do them in Jerusalem-that's their home, the city of peace, but which was in an uproar at the time, filled with opposition, he said they'd do it in Judea, which means "the praise of the Lord" and in Samaria, which means "a watch-mountain" and also to the uttermost parts of the earth. That includes everything, in troubles, in peace, in strange and foreign places, and situations, we would have power from on High to glorify God and minister His life and power to others in need under HIS direction.

Act 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

They were there, unified in purpose and determination to obey the Lord, to wait on the promise He gave. They knew from their failures they could not do this without the help and power of the Holy Ghost-they could not fulfill the call God had placed on their lives without His help. There was no division among them else the Scripture couldn't have said they were in one accord. They had forsaken their own agendas and sought the will of God. They knew it was written in the Scripture "Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord" (Isa_52:11) and I'm sure they remembered what John had said down at the river-about being baptized with Holy Ghost and fire-and fire certainly purifies. Pentecost means "fiftieth." Pentecost marked the beginning and ending of the grain harvest, and commemorated the giving of the law on Sinai. In the 1828 version of Noah Webster's Dictionary, He adds this-and they have surely stripped that Dictionary to the bare bones when you compare it with today:

"It was instituted to oblige the people to repair the temple of the Lord, to acknowledge His absolute dominion over the country and offer Him the first fruits of their harvest; and to also remember and give thanks to God for the law which He had given them at Sinai on the 50th day from their departure from Egypt." In TODAY'S Webster's dictionary, it just says Pentecost is a Jewish festival on the 50th day after the Passover. Do you see how they have stripped the truth from so many areas of our lives in so many ways? We must also remember the Scripture reveals to us that now WE are the temple of the Holy Ghost (1Co_6:19).

Act 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

Act 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

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

It filled the house where they were sitting. There is that word again. Filled. Here, it means to make replete, to furnish, imbue, influence, satisfy, complete and perfect. He filled the physical house where they sat, then He filled the people in the house. These cloven, or divided tongues of fire settled on them, and filled them. But here the word "filled" is translated differently, it means to literally fill, supply, to fulfill, and accomplish. They began to speak as the Holy Ghost brought forth the word through their mouths. They weren't speaking gibberish. They were speaking in languages they had never learned. Earthly languages known by some around that had come to Jerusalem for the feast. They all were amazed to hear these uneducated Galileans speaking in their native tongues. Just like today, people don't understand it and talk about it and say things they should not. Some said what does this mean? They did not know or understand why they were doing this. Others said, oh, they are out of their minds, they are drunk. It didn't take long for the word to get out that something unusual had occurred here. "Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together and were confounded, or perplexed, and they were in an uproar, because they heard these people speaking in languages they'd never learned.

For some reason, as I was reading this, I felt a curiosity to dig a little into all these nationalities of these people here. As I discovered what their names meant, it seemed that even their names was a message from the Lord of hope and relief. The Galileans-the name Galilee means "wheel, turning, revolution." We all know what a revolution means in a nation-and in our own lives-it turns things upside down-changes everything. Hallelujah! See-God so wants us to understand he even uses the names and places of people as part of the message. He started with those of Galilee-the disciples. It was the Holy Ghost poured out on them that turned things around. A wheel rolls-it doesn't stay in one place. There were others-people from 18 other nations or areas listed in Acts 2:8-10. It would take too much time and space to list each one separately, but here is what all those names of those nations mean in the order they are listed-and remember these people are the witnesses of God's Holy Ghost at work in the lives of God's children: you have those who were experts in fighting and war, fierce, you have those who were habitually in the middle, and covered, so they thought; there are those who are young and innocent, those stuck in the middle, those who confessed and praised the Lord, those who were mired down, weighted down, those who were dry and barren, those bound in sin, oppressed by the enemy, those who were so full of mixture they had no real identity. There were those there who were cold, who had built a wall around them in an effort of self-preservation. There were those there who had strength and power of the world. Some were carnal and fleshly minded. Some were full of darkness, stuck in a dry, desert place. Oh, would to God that He would stir up His people to prepare themselves to seek and receive this outpouring of His Holy Spirit. Oh, that we could set aside prayer and fasting time in and out of the House of God, and gather together with the one and only purpose of presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice to the Lord, (Rom_12:1) and being filled with the Spirit of God so we could truly lay ourselves down and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, as we are told to do in Rom_13:14, and make no provision for our flesh. Then we, too, could go forth in the power of and under the leadership of the Holy Ghost and only God knows what could be accomplished. If 3000 were saved from a burning hell here, what could God do now? He's the same as He was yesterday, today and forever. He changes not. (Heb_13:8, Mal_3:6) I can't picture those in the upper room going out and advertising what the Holy Ghost was doing. Nobody was putting up a sign "Come see signs and wonders." The Holy Ghost did not come to put on a show for carnal people, but to empower those who wanted to devote themselves entirely to God and His purpose-to seek the lost and hurting and lead them to Jesus; to show the world the light and hope of the Gospel and war against the powers of darkness with the Power of the Holy Spirit of God. Remember, Jesus said it's a wicked generation that seeks a sign. If the sign seekers are wicked, how much more those who fake signs to draw attention? (Mat_12:39) Peter is empowered to preach a message of truth to a crowd of people whom I believe were drawn by the Spirit of God to come and see, and some of them were participants in the crucifixion of Christ-whether they were part of the conspiracy to kill him or part of the crowd that had screamed "Crucify Him" I don't know. But Peter said they by their wicked hands had slain Him. That's pretty bold. And they were convicted and sorry and many-3000 were saved...what a merciful God that would offer such a precious gift to the very people who had so brutalized His Son. God knew each soul there, He knew their situations, their pains, their bondages, their fears and hurts. He was using His children to reach out to them and show them there was hope and deliverance available. They hear these simple, uneducated men of Galilee speaking in their own languages, the wonders and works of God, who has His holy hand of mercy extended to these people through His apostles under the anointing and power of the Holy Ghost. They don't understand. They question. They are amazed and confused. Some scoffed, in their hardness, and bitterness. Perhaps they felt there was no hope for them, and rejected what they saw, fearing another disappointment. Sometimes when you are hurt by the religious crowd, bitterness can make you cynical and hard as a measure of self-defense. In the face of their questions, and confusion, Peter, a man who had made so many mistakes, and had grievously failed the Lord, had been mercifully forgiven and restored by the grace of God, stands up with the other apostles and begins to preach a powerful message to these-and the first place He goes to explain what has happened is the Scripture.

Act 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

Act 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Act 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

Act 2:19 And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke:

In the last days, the final days at the end, he will spill out His Holy Spirit on all flesh-and there is something interesting about this I did not know. The Greek word for flesh used here means flesh that has been stripped of the skin. (G4561-if you want to look it up in your Strong's Concordance). It also adds the human nature, with its frailties, and carnal mind.

Act 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

That word "pricked" means pierced thoroughly, violently agitated. Remember what they told Mary, that she would be pierced through? Very convicted, I'd say.

Luk 2:35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Act 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Act 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

We must submit to His authority, and be fully persuaded in our hearts. It was foretold in the Old Testament by the prophet Joel that the Holy Ghost would come.

1Jo 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

1Jo 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

That word 'anointing' comes from the Greek word "chrisma" which is where we get the word "charisma, and charismatic", most likely. I will be very careful how I use that word 'charisma' from now on. It means the special endowment of the Holy Spirit. He says that anointing will abide, or stay in you, but then He says, 'ye shall abide in Him." (Continue to tarry for). Again, it's a continual seeking, and filling. No dry bones here. He exhorts them to abide in Him so when He comes back we won't be ashamed before Him. This is how we get oil in our vessels and in our lamps.

Joh 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Joh 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

I had to ask myself here, has Jesus not been glorified in me yet? In the Greek, the word means to render or esteem glorious, full of honor; to praise and magnify. Have I not caused the dignity and worth of Jesus Christ to become manifest (plain to see to those around) and acknowledged? Have I not magnified Him and honored Him with my life? Have I not rendered the glory and honor due His name? Have I not reverenced Him and adorned Him with praises out of a sincere and hungry heart as I should? Well, until I started studying these Scriptures more carefully, I thought I had at least tried to. But I have fallen so short of what I see here. Father, please forgive me, and thank you for opening my eyes. Oh, grant me the grace to be a doer of what You are teaching me. Then I question myself-is it possible without the help of the Lord TO by myself render such glory to Him? I don't see how. I need Him to help me. He gives me the faith to believe Him. He gives me the strength to serve Him. He is my wisdom and provides the instruction on how to walk and talk and live. He provides the power to do it. Everything comes from Him. I confess I have greater need of Him and greater hunger for Him. I know I have had more difficulty studying this subject of the Holy Ghost and this power promised to the Christian than any other I have had so far. I appreciate the mercy and goodness of God. I know I am not through with this by a long shot.

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