What Is The First And Last Sign Of Being Filled With The Holy Spirit In The New Testament?

I don’t know if I have ever had anyone point this out to me. If I would have guessed, I would have been wrong. Why? Because the focus was usually on something else.

Let’s start by asking: Who was the first person in the New Testament scriptures to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Was it Elizabeth? Or was it her son, John the Baptist?

Concerning Elizabeth, Luke tells us, “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”—Luke 1:41

BUT BEFORE THAT, look what happened! “…and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.”–Luke 1:15

So, before Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, it was prophesied that the baby in her womb would be filled with the Holy Spirit.

If you read the entire Luke 1 story, it sounds to me like Elizabeth and Baby John were filled simultaneously. However, closer inspection reveals that John had a narrow head-start since he leaped before she prophesied. The evidence of Elizabeth’s infilling with the Holy Spirit was prophesying. However, the evidence for Baby John’s infilling was Joy! It’s a pretty miraculous thing for an unborn baby to immediately recognize and react to being in the presence of the unborn Christ. What a miracle! Before Elizabeth prophesied, the baby leaped, and the first recorded evidence in the New Testament of being filled with the Spirit was unspeakable Joy! (For more on John, please read How Could John The Baptist Be Filled With The Spirit From Birth?)

As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.--Luke 1:44

Why is the verse above so significant to us today???? Watch this:

Unborn baby John COULD NOT SEE unborn baby Jesus; yet, something in baby John recognized Him and the reaction was sheer joy. Many years later Peter wrote a letter to scattered exiles WHO HAD NOT SEEN CHRIST. Although Peter is writing to exiles in 1 Peter 1:8, it easily parallels the experience of Baby John the Baptist:

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”

Wow. Today, we are like unborn John the Baptist. It is as if Luke 1:44 symbolizes us today. Like Baby John, we don’t see Him, but we love Him, believe Him, and are filled with inexpressible joy! Wow, wow, wow!!!

So, what was the LAST record of scripture stating that someone walked around filled with the Holy Spirit?

The last record of scripture stating that someone walked around filled with the Holy Spirit is found in Acts 13:52

“And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”

There it is again: Joy accompanied being filled with the Holy Spirit!

So, what is the first and last accompanying sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit in the New Testament? JOY.

My point is this: I am a Charismatic, but we can see from scripture that the first and last sign (or accompanying evidence) for being filled with the Spirit in the New Testament is Joy! Baby John did not speak in tongues, but the prophecy was true that he would be filled with the Holy Ghost while in his mother’s womb. Scripture cannot be denied. Instead of teaching and forcing a particular outcome, we should open our eyes.

Real joy is found in knowing the Lord. I believe scripture teaches that you can experience His presence more than once as you journey with Him (“Did The Disciples Receive The Spirit 3 Times?“). It’s not just a one-time experience. There is often more joy to be found on the journey. Wouldn’t it be great if the Church found His love again and was revived with Joy? We really need it. It’s worth repeating and embracing…

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”

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About defrostingwindows

Husband, Father, Salesman, Veteran, Real Identity: Child of God
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