How can a Christian know when she/he has been filled with the Holy Spirit
Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:18 PM
I'd just like to hear some opinions from y'all about that second blessing, or second work of grace by God: the Filling with the Holy Spirit. Does He (the Holy Spirit) come upon people like he did in the new Testament. Is there a manifestation to expect (not necessarily unknown tongues, but certainly not excluding them)
Did the Ethiopian Eunich get baptized with the Spirit?? He went on his way rejoicing after Philip was 'carried away in the Spirit". When Peter went and preached to Cornelius and his family, and in the middle of his sermon, the folks in the house started speaking in tongues and praising God.
When Paul was asking the converts about: "Then what baptism did you receive?" They said: "John's baptism." Then Paul said that John's was a baptism of repentance. Then Paul baptized them in Jesus name and When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
All of this can be very confusing. The last example mentioned, about Paul and the converts, would make it seem like the water baptism is a big factor.
But when Peter preached to Cornelius and family, they were baptized AFTER they received the Spirit.
It just doesn't seem like we see much of this type stuff today. Where people are filled with the Spirit and certain manifestations follow.
But it CERTAINLY seems like the Gift of the Holy Spirit (not the "gifts" of the Spirit) was far more important back in those days than it is now. I think that God is perhaps holding back on me because I am too double-minded! (That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord) James 1:7
And on top of all of this....Paul says in Acts 8: "And if any man have NOT the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His". And all of these scriptures just swirl around in my head and I am trying to get them to drop in certain slots so that I can develop a creed of Faith to live by. And I cannot understand why God would want to hold back the very thing (or Person) who could/would empower a person to live a holy life in this wretched generation. It all seems so enigmatic to me. It's just too much for the brain to comprehend. Mine anyway. Oh....I am NOT giving up. I have benn asking God to help me with my double mindedness. Am I complicating this? Or am I asking the right questions? I just want to make sure that my lamp is full when the Bridegroom comes so that I won't be caught unprepared.
Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:02 PM
So much here to think about. You are heavy laden with burdens of doctrine. I have asked, not long ago at all, and still do, all the questions I wonder about. As a good friend of mine told me recently: "God just wants us to believe!" She's right.
Lately, after searching answers all over the place, I've come to believe that prayer, and lots of it, meditating on the Word without my thoughts getting in the way, leads to peace (of mind). Doing relaxation before works too since it can be difficult to calm the mind with all sorts of distractions coming in all the time.
All the doctrine is good, but HE just wants us to believe (HIM). Believe HIM. Meditate on this Brother!
Blessings to you.
Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:08 PM
Excerpt from A. W. Tozer
In our constant struggle to believe we are likely to overlook the simple fact that a bit of healthy disbelief is sometimes as needful as faith to the welfare of our souls.
I would go further and say that we would do well to cultivate a reverent skepticism. It will keep us out of a thousand bogs and quagmires where others who lack it sometimes find themselves. It is no sin to doubt some things, but it may be fatal to believe everything...
Faith never means gullibility. The man who believes everything is as far from God as the man who refuses to believe anything.
Faith engages the Person and promises of God and rests upon them with perfect assurance. Whatever has behind it the character and word of the Living God is accepted by faith as the last and final truth from which there must never be any appeal... Thus faith honors God by counting Him righteous and accepts His testimony against the very evidence of its own senses. That is faith, and of such we can never have too much.
Credulity [gullibility], on the other hand, never honors God, for it shows as great a readiness to believe anybody as believe God Himself. The credulous person will accept anything as long as it is unusual, and the more unusual it is the more ardently he will believe. Any testimony will be swallowed with a straight face if it only has about it some element of the eerie, the preternatural, the unearthly. The gullible mentality is like the ostrich, that will gulp down anything that looks interesting: an orange, a tennis ball, a pocketknife open or closed, a paper weight or a ripe apple. That he survives at all is a testimony not to his intelligence but to his tough constitution.
I have met Christians with no more discrimination that the ostrich. Because they must believe certain things, they feel that they must believe everything. Because they are called upon to accept the invisible they go right on to accept the incredible. God can and does work miracle; ergo, everything that passes for a miracle must be of God. God has spoken to men, therefore every man who claims to have had a revelation form God must be accepted as a prophet. Whatever is unearthly must be heavenly; whatever cannot be explained must be accepted as divine; the prophets were rejected, therefore everyone who is rejected is a prophet; the saints were misunderstood, so everyone who is misunderstood is a saint. This is the dangerous logic of the gullible Christian. And it can be as injurious as unbelief itself.
The healthy soul, like the healthy blood system, has it's proper proportion of white and red blood cells. The red corpuscles are like faith: they carry the life giving oxygen to every part of the body. The white cells are like discernment: they pounce upon dead and toxic matter and carry it out to the drain. Thus the two kinds of cells working together keep the tissues in good condition. In the healthy heart there must be provision for keeping dead and poisonous matter out of the life stream. This the credulous person never suspects. He is all for faith. He accents the affirmative and cultivates religious optimism to a point where he can no longer tell when he is being imposed upon.
Along with our faith in God must go a healthy disbelief of everything occult and esoteric. Numerology, astrology, spiritism, and everything weird and strange that passes for religion must be rejected. All this is toxic matter and has no place in the life of a true Christian. He will reject the whole business without compunction or fear. He has Christ, and He is the way, the truth and the life. What more does the Christian need?
Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:48 AM
It's from a page on the site called "Alliance Perspectives" that explains what The Alliance believes/teaches about various doctrinal issues and the like. The material in the above link was written by our former vice president for Church Ministries, John Soper. I think he did an excellent job in explaining what it means to be filled with the Spirit. Happy reading!
Posted 02 November 2012 - 08:01 AM
The aforemetioned is a case-in-point of what Tozer was driving at in the above posted article. I believed it all!!! And I was using the reasoning that Tozer had spelled out!!!! Man!!!!!!! A.W. Tozer was reading my mail before I was even born!!!! Well.....not mine specifically, but he really was insightful and, I believe, prophetic on many levels.
I haven't read the John Soper article yet because I just clicked in on this forum and haven't had a chance. But I will in a minute. Thanks for the replies.
Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:38 AM
I've read your letters with interest but this question is one dearest to my heart. I too follow Tozer's teaching as being most beneficial. He claims that "when one is filled with the Holy Spirit he knows it - and soon everyone else will also". The first 'baptism with the Holy Spirit' was at Pentecost and was for 'power' (Acts 1:8), not for 'life', for the disciples had already received that when Jesus had breathed upon them in the upper room (John 20). The baptism (filling) of the Holy Spirit is still always for 'power' - or unction upon one's ministry. It is not to make one feel good or spiritual or 'zapped' as so many present-day testimonies of being filled seem to me to be. Many are the testimonies of good men whose ministry radically changed after they had received their baptism in the Holy Spirit. Consider Chas Wesley, George Whitfield, D L Moody, FB Meyer, George Muller, Chas Spurgeon, Wilbur Chapman, A B Simpson, etc., all of whom told of an overwhelming experience of the Holy Spirit that transformed their ministries. How desperately we need men in our pulpits and on our bookshelves today who operate with the same anointing as those men.
If you are interested to read further, I would recommend "Christ's Paralysed Church X-rayed" by McCrossan.
Posted 02 November 2012 - 12:24 PM
Me again! I should have added that the fullness of the Spirit is for power for ministry - and to overcome Satan and sin and to be effective in our witnessing. ie; such 'filling' is not just for those in "full-time" ministry.
Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:12 PM
Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:52 AM
Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:00 AM
I am hoping that God is bringing me to a place of being single minded about seeking God! "The double minded man should not expect to receive anything from God" it says in James chapter one. I suppose that this verse could refer to something other than the "wisdom" that was mentioned in the preceding verse. I won't give up until I'm filled and I KNOW I'm filled. Where else have I to go?.....but up since our lives are hidden with Christ!!!
I am hung up on one thing (well many things actually, but one in regard to this topic): I KEEP WAITING FOR A SUPERNATURAL MANIFESTATION. I think that it is perhaps childish of me to seek the gift and not the GIVER....if that is what I'm doing. And it probably is....knowing me. I don't cut my fleshly nature ANY slack!!! I have actually caught myself (my sinful self) trying to gain benefit while I am fervently attempting to walk in the Spirit. ( People will see such a grand change in you. You will be liked!) And I will always believe that it was the Holy Spirit Who opened my eyes to the fact that the flesh can even benefit from a seemingly Spiritual endeavor. "What's in it for me?"....the flesh is always crying. To myself: "You have undertaken a very noble cause....people are speaking highly of you now, when they used to loathe you." But I am onto the wiles of the devil and the flesh now and whenever I catch them in the act of twisting my Faith in Christ into a flesh-pleasing affair, I immediately cry out to God for His Help and I let God know that I know what's going on and that much of what I say is not to be trusted. I don't know about everyone else....I'm sure that I'm not totally alone in this....but I came out of a life of deep sin. Not just drugs and booze and thievery and lying. But during those spurts of time when I was attempting to get plugged into a church here in town, I was a hypocrite. A fault finding, hypocrite who was ever-ready to tie up large bundles for others to carry but not lifting a finger to help them. And certainly not toting the bundle myself. Therefore....these days.....I must be "hard on myself...and easy on others" as I have read Tozer say. Not only him, but other children of God as well.
I honestly cannot tell you why I felt compelled to write all of that in reply. I just did. And don't know why. God Bless all of you today!!!! I think that today, when my aunt (momma's sister) and my second cousin Laura (momma's first cousin) that I will grab my metal detector and get away for the house for about two hours. I don't care if I find anything or not. I just need to get out of here for a while. Love y'all!!!
Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:47 PM
When you look back to the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had the whole garden that they could pick and eat from. Of all the plants and trees in the garden, there was only one that they were not allowed to touch. That was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The fall came because instead of heeding Godâ€™s warning not to eat its fruit; they tried to judge for themselves instead of letting God be the one to judge for them.
Throughout scripture, we see occurrences where God allows certain things for His people, not because it is His will for them, but instead because that is what they demand. While in the wilderness, God wanted to speak to His people personally, but because of their fear, they wanted Him to speak through Moses and His prophets. God didnâ€™t want the Israelites to have a king or ruler over them beside Himself, yet they demanded that God appoint a king for them. In like manner, I donâ€™t believe that God wanted to give us the Ten Commandments or the Law, but the actions of His people demanded it.
Life is a living, breathing, and ever-changing thing. While the very concept behind law is the attempt to take life and break it down into a series of rules and regulations where in â€œthisâ€ situation you should to this and in â€œthatâ€ situation you should do that. The problem with law is that it doesnâ€™t take into consideration the circumstances behind the events. It focuses on the black and the white, while filtering out all the grays and the other colors of life.
As humans, we were never created to judge good from evil, right from wrong. We can look at a situation or event and make a judgment based off the facts that we see, but because of our limited vision, we never know whether we have all the pertinent information or know the true validity of the facts in which to make a valid judgment. In the Old Testament, we see instances where kings, prophets, judges and the likes, would be filled with the Holy Spirit so that they could do the job that was placed before them. My understanding is that through the Spirit, God would guide them and help them to make the right judgment, sometimes giving them insight into situations while other times guiding the steps in which to take.
With each situation we face in life, God is always there to lead us and guide us through His Spirit. The important thing to remember is that life is a process. As we seek His face, God will guide us and help us to take the next step. With each step that we take we begin to draw closer in relationship to Him, learning to know His voice and to walk in obedience to His will.
The interesting part of all of this is that as we seek God and let Him guide our steps, our focus should come off of whether we are or arenâ€™t doing the right thing, but instead simply letting God direct our path. When we set our focus on trying to fix all of our problems, we begin to rely on our own abilities instead of entrusting them to God. That will distract us from our ability to see where we are going.
Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:55 PM
Julie provided a great reference on filling of the HOLY SPIRIT. I read some it and plan to keep reading. I looked up all the references. I see you refer to your past sins here and seem to carry guilt, which is not of God. Conviction of God's HOLY SPIRIT is biblical. You're repented and asked for forgiveness of your past sins so, heed this Scripture verse as referenced by this CMA piece on Sanctification: If you still feel guilt over what has been repented of, it is of the Enemy. He will use a tattered past to keep you in chains. But, read on here:
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Thank you Julie for the awesome reference on CMA site.
Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:20 PM
I sincerely hope that I am not becoming a pain in the rear end with my threads and/or posts. Hey....it gets lonely around here setting around this house night and day. And God Himself said: "It is not good for man to be alone." Right from the Book.
EDIT: I just read it. And it answered my question. Thanks Julie.