The Berean Expositor
Volume 52 - Page 137 of 207
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Filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2: 4).
pp. 93 - 100
In Acts 1: 5 the Lord Jesus Christ told the disciples that "ye shall be baptized with the
Holy Ghost not many days hence" and, because Acts 2: 4 records that "they were all
filled with the Holy Ghost", some conclude that being filled with the Holy Ghost is
exactly the same as being baptized with Him but is this correct?  In Matthew 3: 11,
Mark 1: 8 and Luke 3: 16, John the Baptist says of the Lord, "He shall baptize you with
the Holy Ghost". This baptism was, to John, still future and no one, up to then, had even
heard of it let alone experienced it. Also there is no record of the Lord baptizing anyone
with the Holy Ghost during His earthly ministry; the first to be baptized in this way were
those at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost but the O.T. and the Gospels record that a
variety of people were filled with the Spirit (e.g. Exod. 28: 3; 31: 3; 35: 31;
Luke 1: 15, 41, 67). The conclusion must be that the baptism and the filling are different.
This is further demonstrated by Peter being filled with the Holy Spirit at least three times
(Acts 2: 4; 4: 8, 31) and Paul twice (Acts 9: 17; 13: 9). The baptism of the Holy
Spirit can be experienced only once (see previous article) and so there must be a
difference between the two.
The expression "filled with the Holy Ghost" occurs ten times in the N.T. (A.V.) and in
the majority of cases the word for filled is:
pimplemi: to fill, fill up. Passive, to become full of, be satisfied, have enough of
pimplemi and pletho, lengthened form of pleo, to fill (pletho supplies certain tenses of
pimplemi): is used . . . for persons . . . . . filled with the Holy Ghost, Luke 1: 15, 41, 67;
Acts 2: 4; 4: 8, 31; 9: 17; 13: 9 (Vine).
The first occurrence in Luke 1: 15 refers to John the Baptist and he was unique, being
"filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb". John was to go "in the spirit
and power of Elias" (Luke 1: 17), and here a link is seen between being filled with the
Holy Ghost and having power.  In Luke 24: 29 the Lord Jesus told the disciples to
"tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high". On the
day of Pentecost "they were all filled with the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2: 4), and their
subsequent actions show that the Lord's promise of power was fulfilled.
The second reference is in Luke 1: 41 when Elizabeth "was filled with the Holy
Ghost: and she spake out with a loud voice, and said . . . . .". Verses 42-45 record her
inspired words, the result of her being filled with the Holy Ghost. The effect upon her
husband, Zacharias, was similar when he was filled with the Holy Ghost (Luke 1: 67). He
"prophesied, saying . . . . ." and verses 68-79 contain the inspired Benedictus.
When the apostles were filled with the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, the result
was not dissimilar. They spoke "with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance"