3Behold, a sower went forth to sow; (Mat 13:)

"Did I hear you correctly Reverend Jack? You say once a person receives the infilling of the Holy Spirit they can never lose it, no matter what they do?"

"Absolutely my son. The Bible guarantees that once a person is saved, they are saved through eternity."

"Jack, can you come here? I have a problem!"

"What is it dear? I'm talking to a prospective member of our church. Can't it wait?"

"It can wait if you don't care about replacing the kitchen floor. That new drain you had put in last week, the one guaranteed to last a lifetime is leaking like a sieve and spilling water all over the place!"

From the time I was very young I've heard about the infilling of the Holy Spirit. I never understood this, what it meant, or how it works. I thought it might have something to do with filling teeth, but I couldn't see the preacher talking about dentistry from the pulpit.

Just what is the infilling of the Holy Spirit and how does it work? Is the infilling like when I fill up the gas tank of my van? I've heard preachers talk as if it is, and that it's like what gives us power like the motor of a car. Somehow this doesn't set well with me. I don't know, comparing the majesty of God to a car? Isn't that a bit on the blasphemous side?

Over the years, during my adult stage of life, I began to read the Bible for myself. What I found in the Book doesn't seem to jibe with what I've been hearing. Whereas being filled with the Holy Spirit appears to be an instantaneous thing, Spiritual growth is reckoned to be something that is accomplished over time. All I ever hear about is the infilling of the Spirit, where it seems to me Spiritual growth is what we should be looking for. Do I sound confused? That's because I am. And that's the reason for this study.

3And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Mat 13:)

24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. (Mat 13:)

31Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, (Mat 13:)

33Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. (Mat 13:)

37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. (Mat 13:)

Take a close look at these verses. Don't they all seem to speak of growth, from a very small seed to a fully grown, producer of fruit? Of course you could easily, and justifiably say these parables aren't about the Holy Spirit but about the Kingdom of God. This is true. But if you don't see the two as one and the same then I'm afraid we're having a failure to communicate.

19Quench not the Spirit. (1Thes 5:)

7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Gal 6:)

1Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. (Heb 4:)

These verses do not speak of the Kingdom (per se) but rather they speak of holding back, failing to follow through to the end, or falling short of our goal. If these verses aren't referring to the Holy Spirit as it relates to the Kingdom, then just what are they relating to?

It appears to me there is a seed of the Spirit that is planted in us, the Christian, somewhere along the line. If that planting takes place at baptism, or with laying on of hands, or whatever, I can't say. I suppose the occasion differs with each individual.

When a seed is planted, it takes time to grow, and it takes certain conditions to cause it to grow properly (as illustrated in the sower and the seed). You don't throw a seed on the ground and expect it to automatically and instantaneously become a full-grown plant that you can pick fruit from. But this is what we seem to expect of newly baptized Christians. Why do we have such expectations? Is there any evidence of such a thing in the Bible?

Surprisingly, yes there is. We have, as mentioned earlier in this study, verses telling us of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. What are these verses, and if not referring to the same thing as the verses relating to the Kingdom, and to those verse that seem to indicate the Spirit can be quenched or lost, what are they referring to?

13But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. (Luke 1:)

67And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, (Luke 1:)

39And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 40And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 41And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, (Luke 1:)

These people all were filled with the Holy Spirit, and in the case of John, filled even before he was born. Did these people have eternal salvation promised to them because they were filled with the Spirit? I don't think so for reasons I'll be showing in a moment.

Did you notice anything in particular about each of the cases of infilling as given in the above verses? If you didn't, read them again. Each time the person was filled with the Spirit they did something. In the case of John he was given an assignment from his birth. And he was restricted from doing certain things even from birth.

In the Old Testament we have times that the Holy Spirit didn't infill a person, but rather (as translated) "came upon" them. Because of the vagueness of the Hebrew language it's possible that the word "upon" is interchangeable with the word "filled," but I'm not going to make an issue of this possibility since it's neither provable, nor necessary for this study. Each time the Spirit came upon a person, they too did something. Samson, who like John was a Nazarite ("Separate, a consecrated prince") as declared in Judges 13:5-7, became a mighty warrior in God's service (though he was far from being what you might call a loyal soldier).

5After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: 6And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. (1Sam 10:)

25And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. 26But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. 27And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. 28And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. 29And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD'S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them! 30And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel. (Num 11:)

30And Moses said unto the children of Israel, See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; 31And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship; (Ex 35:)

Notice that in each case those the Spirit was upon did something. They prophesied, they became craftsmen, or in some other way they did something. Did the Spirit remain on each of these people forever? I would say it didn't since they all failed to live up to expectation and died in the wilderness, even though they had received the Spirit of God. And if you notice, the last example specifically says they were filled with the Spirit rather than had the Spirit fall upon them.

Here are some other examples of someone receiving the Spirit of God: 2Chron 15:1-4; 2Sam 19:18-24; 1Sam 16:9-13; 11:5-7).

Did you look these up in your Bible? Notice that King Saul and his messengers had the Spirit on them for a time and they prophesied. This obviously was not a permanent condition but rather something that happened for a specific purpose. David we know was anointed for life, and beyond. Yet the word used for his anointing of the Spirit has been translated "upon" rather than to be filled with. Isn't that an interesting development? Does this suggest anything to you?

Of course we must consider that this is Old Testament, and that the New Testament is an entirely different scenario, it being the age of the Spirit, of the Church, and not merely a foreshadowing. Maybe the infilling of the Spirit is different in this age. Perhaps it's not transient anymore but rather permanent:

33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:)

Was Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit from birth as John was? I should certainly suspect He was. However the wording of His birth is not as specific as is John's. But I think we can deduce from what is written here that Jesus was filled with the Spirit of God from birth if anyone was.

37In 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. 38He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 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.) (John 7:)

We saw John the Baptist, Elizabeth and Zachariah filled with the Holy Spirit, and as per pattern, they did something specific under the power of the Spirit. And we've seen where people were filled with the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. Yet here we see that this is not possible since the Holy Spirit had not been given, and wouldn't be given until Jesus was crucified.

1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:)

Now we're definitely in our time. Now we'll see if the infilling of the Holy Spirit is permanent or transient:

Did you notice that those who received the Holy Spirit again did something? And they didn't just do something, they did something as they were led by the Holy Spirit. Is this transient or is it a forever thing? Remember, those in the room, including Peter, are now filled with the Holy Spirit. Do you have that firmly in mind? Do you agree with this statement?

14Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. (Acts 9:)

31And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were ALL filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:)

17And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. (Acts 9:)

9Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, (Acts 13:)

Did something happen each time someone was filled with the Holy Spirit? Did you notice that Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit after his conversion, then 4 chapters later he was again filled with the Holy Spirit? Did Paul lose the infilling of the Spirit do you think and needed to be filled again? (Of course this may be referring to Paul's first infilling, who's to say?) Or is it possible that the infilling of the Spirit is something that comes upon a person, even the Apostles, for a specific purpose? If this should prove to be true, what does it mean to have the Holy Spirit within us? What is it about the Spirit that guides us and affords us eternal life?

17Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Eph 5:)

7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Gal 6:)

13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: (Rom 8:)

16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Gal 5:)

1Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. (1Peter 2:)

17Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2Peter 3:)

3And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; (Mat 13:)

[Note: Nothing has been proven here, just opening a new thought on the subject of the infilling of the Spirit.]

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