Question & Answer Forum

Did the Spirit inspire only the thoughts of Scripture?

The Lord Jesus said, “The Father…gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what 1 should speak” (John 12:49). He never used meaningless repetition. The thoughts He spoke (“what I should say”) and the very words to express those thoughts (“what I should speak”) resulted from His Fathers commandment. As it was with the Living Word, so with the written Word. In inspiring the Scriptures, the Spirit used human minds and vocabulary in a way that only God could do. The Psalmists heart was inditing or overflowing with a good matter (Psalm 45:1). The fire burned as he mused (Psalm 39:3). In both cases, he expressed his thoughts, yet they were the exact words of the Spirit. David said, “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and His word was in my tongue” (2 Samuel 23:2). The Spirit used Davids intelligence, circumstances, personality, and education, yet literally produced “the Word of God.”

God did not determine His Word from what He foreknew of Davids thoughts and words; God is the author of His Word. “Every Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16, Literal) is a graphic way of saying that God breathed out or spoke every word.

D. Oliver

What is the filling of the Spirit?

Three related new Testament words express the truth of the filling of the Spirit. Two of the words are either an adjective describing those who are full of the Spirit (Luke 4:1; Acts 6:3, 5; 7:55; 11:24) or a verb that expresses being full of the Spirit (Acts 13:52; Ephesians 5:18). These passages highlight individuals who are characteristically under the control of the Spirit. The other word is more indicative of the Spirits filling an individual to give him capability for a God-given responsibility (Luke 1:15, 41, 67; Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17; 13:9). In these cases, with the possible exception of Luke 1:15, this filling is the work of a moment. Perhaps that helps us understand this difficult statement about John the Baptist; the Spirit would remarkably and constantly give him enablement for his unique work.

The Spirits filling involves both control and capability. Our responsibility (Ephesians 5:18) is to continually allow the Spirit to have full control in our lives.

It is interesting that, apart from Ephesians 5:18, only Luke speaks of this truth. In his gospel, only One, the Lord Jesus, is characteristically under the control of the Spirit (Luke 4:1). In Acts, when the Lord had ascended, he identifies nine individuals who were full of the Holy Spirit. Seven times in his two books, Luke records that the Spirit filled believers.

D. Oliver

Is the Spirits “coming upon” a person similar to New Testament truth?

The New Testament doesnt speak of the Spirits coming on believers. The Authorized Version translates three different Old Testament words to express that the Spirit “came upon” individuals. One of the words means simply that the Spirit was with individuals: Baalam (Numbers 24:2); Othniel (Judges 3:10); Jephthah (Judges 11:29); Azariah (2 Chronicles 15:1); Jahaziel (2 Chronicles 20:14); Sauls messengers (1 Samuel 19:20). In the case of Gideon (Judges 6:34), Amasai (1 Chronicles 12:18), and Zechariah (2 Chronicles 24:20), the Spirit “clothed Himself” with these individuals. The third word means “rushed” on them and is translated “came mightily,” as with Samson (Judges 14:6, 19; 15:14), Saul (1 Samuel 10:6, 10; 11:6), and David (1 Samuel 16:13). The fact that the Spirit “came upon” at least two unbelievers, Baalam and Saul, is instructive.

Although several Old Testament believers are noted as “filled with the Spirit” (Ezekiel, Ezekiel 11:5 and Bezaleel, Exodus 31:3; 35:31) or as one “in whom is the Spirit” (Joseph, Genesis 41:38 and Joshua, Numbers 27:18; Deuteronomy 34:9), the Spirits permanent residence in believers (John 14:17) is uniquely a New Testament truth. Because He resides within us, He takes control and enables us, filling us from within. The Old Testament views Him as coming from outside individuals – even unbelievers – to use them for His purpose.

D. Oliver

How is the Spirits filling different from His anointing?

Individuals were anointed with oil to identify them as divinely appointed to a work. They thus had the honor of being identified with God and the work He gave them. They became the “Lords anointed” (1 Samuel 24:10; see also Psalm 105:15).

The Lord Jesus was Gods Anointed, meaning Messiah or Christ. Referring to His baptism, Peter says, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power” (Acts 10:38). His work and identification with God follow this statement of honor, for He “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him.” The Savior said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel…” (Luke 4:18).

God never gives a work without enabling the worker; therefore, the Spirit was “upon Me” (enabling) because He “anointed Me” (identification and honor). We likewise have an anointing (1 John 2:20, YLT), befitting to those in Gods family who are now able to know God and His truth.

Being filled with the Spirit suggests capability for a work, whereas being anointed with the Spirit expresses honor and identification for a work.

D. Oliver