TWO things have become rather clear to me over recent years. The FIRST is that a great lot of us are simply NOT filled with the Spirit, and once again I have to come back to our life-style being so like that of the world around us - worldly - that either:
(a) we're not even aware of this COMMAND of the Lord to be filled, and so never get to be FILLED with the Holy Spirit, and/or
(b) even if we wanted to, we couldn't GET filled anyway because of our worldliness and lack of surrender and consecration to Him!
And that's very serious indeed, and nothing short of the worst possible TRAGEDY!!!
The SECOND is Scriptural confusion about what the filling (or baptism) of the Spirit actually means. One of the reasons I prefer "filling" rather than "baptism" is the confusion that's abroad about what this means. Another is that after Acts, baptism in this sense is barely mentioned, i.e., the early church was NOT heavily into the term "the Baptism of the Spirit".
So that we're absolutely clear on this: you will be filled with the Spirit only when you're:
• wholly and totally committed to the Lord, given over to Him, and sold out to Him
• wanting with all your heart, and learning to be, or already, OBEDIENT to Him
• considering yourself and YOUR needs and wants to be as NOTHING, AND HIM TO BE YOUR EVERYTHING!!!
Do you know a lot of people like this? No? Well, sadly, neither do I. AND PLEASE TAKE CAREFUL NOTE: You do NOT need to speak in an unknown language (tongues) to be filled, even though it's clearly recorded - but again only in Acts - that people were. You may, you may not. Because speaking in an unknown language is a Spiritual GIFT from the Holy Spirit of God! Let's look at God's Word about this:
1 CORINTHIANS 12
4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
So it's quite clear in these verses that not ALL have the same gifts, ministries or activities - even tho we all have the same Spirit, same Lord, same God working in all of us! Let's continue:
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
"The manifestation of the Spirit", i.e, when and where He may be seen to be working via the gift or gifts He's gifted us with, is given to - EVERYONE. Good, hey! So as we've already seen, same SPIRIT, but NOT all the same GIFTS!!! Let's go on to read about these giftings of the Spirit:
8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues [unknown languages], to another the interpretation of tongues.
Rather a long list that! But it's SO important to take note that being able to speak in an unknown language or languages IS A GIFT! A gift to some, but not necessarily to all:
11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
As WHO wills? As HE, the Holy Spirit, gifts each of us INDIVIDUALLY according to HIS WILL! If you can grasp these Scriptures right now, you will be saved a lot of possible confusion in your Christian life, and even beliefs that are CONTRARY to the Scriptures, and are therefore, by definition, actually heresy! I don't know about you, but believing and living heresy is not the way I want to live!!!
continued in part 4...
- BM and his Love