Receive the Holy Spirit and Be Filled

I share a long-awaited answer to a question I have had regarding the Holy Spirit: What is the difference between RECEIVING the Holy Spirit and being FILLED or BAPTIZED with the Holy Spirit? John 20:22 – And when He [Jesus] had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:5 – “for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Podcast 4 Transcript

This is a computer generated transcript of this podcast. This is NOT a typed transcript and it has not been edited. Expect grammatical and syntactical errors.

Hello and good day. Good to have you here with me. I am B. R. Maul and this is my podcast. And today I’m gonna jump right on in and it’s something that actually happened to me today I want to share with you, listener. Sometimes I address question. That some people bring to me. But today I’m gonna address a question that I’ve had for Wow many years, and the Lord has answered it today, and it’s to do with, of course, His word.

I’ve always been confused over the difference between receiving the Holy Spirit versus being baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit because those are used differently in the New Testament, but they’re not used interchangeably. So I’ve always felt that they were indeed two different things.

God’s people would often cast lots in order to determine God’s decision . I’m one who likes to go right to the dictionary, what is a lot? Definition number one, and this is according to the Webster’s New American dictionary.

I’ve had this one for many years. The definition number one is an object used in deciding something by chance. So the use of lots to decide something. Like the share or portion, and it’s often referred to as fate. I’ve heard it used as comparing like modern, rolling the dice, you know taking a chance.

But the, the difference there is chance, of course as Christians, we don’t believe in chance or at least shouldn’t because we know that God is sovereign and he decides everything one way or another. It is his will. And we can look at that. In Proverbs 16:33, it reads, the lot is cast into the lap, but it’s every decision is from the Lord.

Proverb 16 verse 33. The lot is cast into the lap, but it’s every decision is from the Lord. All right, so we may be the ones holding the lot or the lots and casting them or rolling them if you want to think of dice. But ultimately what comes of it is from the Lord. So again, with Christians, we need to get rid of the idea right away that there’s such thing as luck that shouldn’t even be in a Christian’s vocabulary.

There’s no such thing as luck. There’s no such thing as chance. We sometimes use that in our verbiage, but ultimately it’s incorrect because God is sovereign. Why do I bring up that? Because that actually helped today in the discovery of the difference between receiving the Holy Spirit and being baptized of the Holy Spirit, or in other words, being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Join me now in the Book of John, the Gospel of John chapter 20.

And we’ll begin on verse 19. Then the same day and evening being the first day of the week when the doors were shut, where the disciples were assembled for the fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst and said to them, peace be with you. When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.

Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them, again, peace to you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you, and when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, receive the Holy Spirit. Looking up the definitions in the Greek of what breathe is when he breathed on them it is basically a regular breath, right, that we breathe. But the Holy Spirit, in Greek also means breath or like a breeze. And this would go back as far as Genesis, when God breathed life into Adam.

So the Holy Spirit is like breath.

The interesting thing is he said to them, receive the Holy Spirit after he breathed on them, which means they did receive the Holy Spirit. Okay. And I really find that interesting. And this is what actually has perplexed me in the past because the Holy Spirit doesn’t actually come until Jesus ascends, cuz he even told his apostles, I gotta go so the helper can come. The helper of course being the Holy Spirit. But of course, being a Triune God at the same time, he gave them the Holy Spirit. So they received it right then and there. Receiving the Holy Spirit for us, obviously Jesus didn’t come and breathe on us when I say us, I mean Born Again believers when we believe on Him.

So when we are born again, , he doesn’t physically come down right and breathe on everybody, but the believer does indeed receive the Holy Spirit at that time. For me, that was confusing. Maybe this is old news to you, but I’m learning and so it’s fun to pass this along because if you join me in the book of Acts, chapter one, verse four, and being assembled together with them, Jesus, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which he said you have heard from me. For John, that’s John the Baptist, truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.

Hmm. Now that could be kind of confusing because he had just said not long ago, receive the Holy Spirit and he breathed on them . So they had already received the Holy Spirit, but now he’s saying, for John, truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.

Therefore, when they had come together, they asked him saying, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? And he said to them , it is not for you to know times or seasons, which the father has put in his own authority, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. Hmm. So this, he tells them, that in a matter of days, the Holy Spirit, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.

And then we find that when that happens, , when the Holy Spirit has come upon them, they will receive power. Isn’t that something That’s very interesting. Which means since they will at that time receive it, they don’t have that power. Does that bring up a few questions in your mind? Cuz it certainly did me, cuz I’m thinking, well, okay, what’s the whole purpose then of him giving them the Holy Spirit. After all, he did breathe on them and said, receive the Holy Spirit.

There’s several things that we can look at, and the first one will be going back to the Book of John, looking at verse 23 , but I’ll back up and I’ll read 21 since I’ve already read that. So Jesus said to them, peace to you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, receive the Holy Spirit.

Now it’s important that I reread those because the next line is very controversial and is can be very difficult to understand, if looked at in the wrong way, because the next verse 23, Jesus continues and says, if you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.

So in other words, their sins are not forgiven. All right, so this is often used by some churches to proclaim that because Jesus had said this and restores Peter as his apostle, it is assumed then that Peter has the ability to forgive people. But that’s not the case. Why can’t that be the case? Well, because we always use God’s word, the Bible, to reference and check the Bible. So if something is said that stands alone, such as this, if you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained. If that alone does sound like, oh, okay, well then, yeah, he gave them the power to forgive sins but he didn’t. And we know that because throughout God’s word in many places, right, we know that only God can, and of course, Jesus himself proclaiming to be God was also forgiving sins. And ultimately that is why they wanted to stone him and eventually they hung him on the cross , but there’s a lot of areas in Acts 10, for example, 43 and 44 when Peter was sharing the gospel, he said everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. So that is only through Jesus. It wasn’t Peter who was forgiving anyone’s sins. In the book of one John, you can read versus one through five.

And in summary, that tells us only he who believes in Jesus will overcome the world, and will be forgiven of their sins. Luke five 20 says, when Jesus saw their faith, he said, friend, your sins are forgiven. Another one, Colossians 2: 13-14 says, Jesus forgave all our sins. all these passages confirm that Jesus is the one who for forgive sins, and when he died on the cross, he forgave all of our sins.

So that means no one else can come back and take that away from us. Okay? There’s no power that’s going to reverse that. And it also means only God can forgive sins. Now, of course, Christ being God had and has the power to do that, but he never gave that, he never communicated it to his apostles and certainly not passing it down to the rest of us as disciples that we are to assume that we ourselves have the power to forgive sins.

Not at all, but in this passage, he is making it clear. Jesus says, peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I am sending you, he’s giving them and us a task, and then he breathed on them and said, receive the Holy Spirit. When we received the Holy Spirit,

the Holy Spirit is our Counselor, our Helper. It is the Holy Spirit, the power of God in us that helps us to read God’s word, to give us understanding of God’s word, but to also give us the ability to proclaim the gospel. And what he is saying is that they will have the ability to honestly tell people who come to believe in Jesus Christ as their savior, your sins are forgiven.

Not that we are the ones forgiving them, but as soon as they accept Jesus Christ as their savior, we can let them know. We can tell a person who was born again, your sins are forgiven . And we can know, that my sins are forgiven. Why? Cuz Jesus said it, but the Holy Spirit confirms that. It is, the power of God. It is the gift of God. We are saved by grace through faith. It’s not works of our own. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us that ability. Isn’t that amazing? But then we can also, on the flip side, we can tell people who do not believe in Jesus Christ as their savior, that unfortunately their sins are not forgiven.

That they still have to pay the price of their sins. And that is what he is talking about. He is not giving power. He didn’t give his power to anybody to forgive sins. That’s very important that we understand that. We can see the transition though. Because now that they have this understanding cuz they did receive the Holy Spirit, see, and it’s like they start to be able to understand things.

But they don’t have the power yet. If we go back to Acts and book one, Jesus says, for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Not many days from now. And then of course, he went, goes on and says that you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.

They had received the Holy Spirit, but they haven’t received the power of the Holy Spirit. Hmm. Well then what is that difference there from talking about receiving the Holy Spirit, the understanding, the ability to accept Christ as our savior versus the power of the Holy Spirit? Now the apostles, they were in their chamber in that room, hiding from the Jews fear of the Jews, and they didn’t even believe when the ladies came back and said, Jesus is back. And then Jesus ended up appearing in this locked room among them, but they were still fearful.

And even after they received the Holy Spirit they still don’t have the power of the Holy Spirit. And so there’s still that a lot of that fear, and they don’t really know what to do. How do I know that? Well, let’s take a look in Acts one, and now I’m going to 12, after Jesus told them that in a few days from now you’ll receive the power of the Holy Spirit.

So 12 reads, After Jesus ascended, then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying. So that same room that they were staying before they go into, and there’s a whole bunch of ’em packed in there.

Now there’s a whole list of who’s in there. And then these all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, so they’re praying with the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers They’re still in that room. They still don’t want to go out. They were told not to leave, but at the same time, they’re still in hiding.

They also have gone on and gone back fishing. We know that. Cause if we go back to the book of John , Jesus is on the shoreline and they’re all fishing cuz they’re basically giving up . and eventually he sets Peter straight by asking him three times, do you love me?

Okay, but I don’t want to go too far off course because back to the casting of lots. Okay, so not only do they still have the fear, but jumping ahead to Acts one verse 23 and they were talking about having to replace Judas and it was between Joseph and Mathias so 23 reads and they proposed two, Joseph called Savvis, who was Surnamed Justice and Mathias, and they prayed and said, you O Lord who know the hearts of all, show which of these two you have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell that he might go to his own place. Verse 26, and they cast their lots.

Now why is that so key? Because they’re still. unsure. They still really don’t hear the Lord God himself talking to them, letting them know. Now, when we pray, we don’t cast lots. We, don’t have little devices that we roll or throw down to see what God tells us to do. Why? Because we have the Holy Spirit in us.

Yes, we have the privilege and the honor and the power that when we pray to remain still be patient and the Lord directs our paths. But in this case, they still had to cast their lots and the lot fell on Mathius, and he was numbered with the 11 apostles. So it was the last time , they made a decision with casting lots because then we go right into chapter two of Acts.

When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place, and suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting . Then there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and one sat upon each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the spirit gave them utterance.

So there we have it earlier, they received the Holy Spirit from Jesus when he breathed on them. But then days later at Pentecost,

they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and as Jesus put it baptized. So we know that that is synonymous being baptized. The Holy Spirit is being filled with the Holy Spirit and then right away , we see the power of the Holy Spirit because they began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance going on verse nine, and there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews devoted men from every nation under heaven. And when the sound occurred, the multitude came together and were confused because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Now what was that sound? Well, it was the sound of that wind and the room shaking. , It was very loud and so enough where , people started coming around and as they came to check out, what is this, horrendous sound, then they heard them speak in their own language.

Then they were all amazed and marveled saying to one another, look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear each in our own language in which we were born? And of course a whole list of different places. So we know that there were many, many different dialects and languages that were there, and yet as they were speaking in tongues, everyone could understand what they were saying. So they were all amazed and perplexed saying to one another, whatever could this mean? Others mocking said they are full of new wine, which is also proof that no matter what kind of evidence that people have that God exists and the power of God, people will still make up excuses so they don’t have to admit it was God.

Now, here’s what’s really interesting, because we know they’re no longer fearful. Why do we know that? Because they came out right away when they were speaking in tongues. They didn’t stay in their room. Well, you can say Bruce, they didn’t, say that. Correct, because then it said after , the sound occurred, a multitude came together and they were confused because everyone heard them speak in his own language, which means the apostles were the ones they heard while they wouldn’t have heard of, what if the apostles were huddled hiding in their upper chamber in their room?

No. They came out and with the power of the Holy Spirit, we’re spreading the gospel news. Isn’t that amazing! That is absolutely amazing. I won’t read the whole chapter. But ultimately what happens then is Peter gives quite the sermon and really shakes people up. And ultimately that day 3000, over 3000 are born again.

Just like that, going from hiding in their upper chamber to when the Holy Spirit filled them. When they were baptized with the Holy Spirit, they just went right outta their rooms. They were no longer fearful because they were speaking to people. They were speaking to all the different people, all the different languages, and that’s amazing!

That is so amazing. Now I’m pretty excited because for many years, mind you, it’s been about 18 years now that I have been in God’s word ever since he has told me to do so, put it on my heart. And every time I have read that up until today. I still didn’t understand that it was very confusing why, how they could have received the Holy Spirit and yet they still weren’t acting really like it.

But it really helps me to understand, and hopefully you that receiving the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean we are filled with the Holy Spirit. What does that mean to us today? . Well, brothers and sisters, what this means is that there are plenty of born again believers that very well have received the Holy Spirit, but they have not been baptized by the Holy Spirit.

They have not been filled with the Holy Spirit. And if that’s the case it’s not that individual’s fault. It really isn’t because it is the responsibility of those of us who have been walking with the Lord for some time, and we have this understanding to teach those right away, that once they are born again to read God’s word and to pray, because that is how we learn who God is. Praying for wisdom and understanding for His word, being filled with the Holy Spirit. That gives us spiritual courage we need to confront the world, to confront non-believers and even those who oppose Jesus Christ and what he has done.

Now we know from John 3: 36, whoever believes in the son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the son will not see life for God’s wrath remains on him. And it’s the Holy Spirit that gives us that understanding. When we receive the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is the one that gives us the ability to actually follow through with our repentance, to actually accept the fact that we are sinners and to see Jesus for who he really is.

It is through our prayer life, our walk, our relationship with God, that we receive the power of the Holy Spirit.. I direct you to Romans 12 one and two. I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Now, there’s so much in here and I could easily do a full sermon on just those two. Holy for example, being a living sacrifice, being holy, we are called to be holy.

Holy is basically what the world is not. We are set aside. We are different then, and that’s why God is referred to as Holy, holy, holy.

And it says also do not be conformed to this world. How do we avoid being conformed? Well, we don’t live our life for the world. We don’t continue to watch whatever we want to watch, listen to whatever kind of music that we want to listen to, regardless of how it is against God’s will. We don’t act like the world, we do not conform to this world, but be transformed, right?

And the Bible, God’s word transforms us by the renewing of your mind. We can only do that in God’s word and through prayer, as we are being sanctified and when needed, we are filled with the Holy Spirit . But see that that seems to be something that comes and goes. Because the thing is, we’re not always filled with the Holy Spirit.

We have received the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is in us and dwells in us. But see, now I myself can see that there is that difference when we see a Christian who is living a very worldly life and is caught up with, , this world , that Christian is not filled with the Holy Spirit. To be able to do what is right, to be able to be transformed and not conform to this world, we need to ask the Lord, fill me with your spirit. Father, fill me with the Holy Spirit so I can understand your will for me. And do what you have in store for me to do. Isn’t that something? I hope what I had learned today certainly has helped you with your walk with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Until next time, you take care

and God bless.


“Heroes Inspire Hope” and “Mountainscape” by Humans Win

“Absent” by bzur; “Welcome to Heaven” by Turquois Moon

Sound Effects from