Filled to Overflowing

On the day of Pentecost the gift of holy spirit was first given, and the first manifestation, the first evidence, the initial energising of that gift was speaking in tongues.

Acts 2:4
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost [pneuma hagion - holy spirit], and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

First of all, let's determine who they were. The word they is a pronoun, so we must go back through the context to find its closest associated noun. Verse 3 tells us cloven tongues like as of fire sat upon each of them. Who is them? Verse 2 talks about the house where they were sitting. Verse 1 says they were all with one accord in one place. We still don't know who they were so we must continue tracking back through the context. We find our answer in the last verse of chapter 1.

Acts 1:26
And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

Grammatically, the pronouns they and them in Acts 2:1-4 relate back to Matthias and the other eleven apostles. The pronouns in Acts 2:1-4 refer to 12 men who were in the temple, not 120 people in an upper room. This isn't open to debate, this is simply how language works. This is an excellent example of how the bible interprets itself.

Acts 2:4
And they [the eleven apostles and Matthias] were all filled with the Holy Ghost [pneuma hagion - holy spirit], and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

It is important to note who did the speaking here - they did. The bible clearly states that the twelve apostles did the speaking. It does not say God spoke through them. God did not possess them and manipulate their mouths for them. That's what devil spirits do when they possess mediums at séances. They, the twelve apostles, did the speaking. They moved their own mouths and formed the words themselves by their own freedom of will. The distinction here is that what they spoke was as the spirit gave them utterance.

When we speak in a tongue, we do the speaking, and as we speak God energises the spirit within us with the words that we speak. The renewed mind is the key to power. When we renew our minds and step out with believing, we can speak in tongues, and as we speak the power within us is energised. That's why the renewed mind is the key to power. They, the apostles, did the speaking, but it was God who gave them the words that they spoke. To understand this distinction is important. God never possesses anyone, ever. Only devil spirits do that. If you pray for God to make you speak in tongues, or make you do anything for that matter, you are asking God to possess you. Do you really think he is going to answer prayers like that? No, he won't, but a devil spirit will. Where do people learn to open their minds to stuff like that anyway? Where else, but at those spiritually filthy churches and ministries they insist on going to every week that God does not attend.

Acts 2:4
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, [pneuma hagion - holy spirit] and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit [pneuma] gave them utterance. 

If someone wants to become a guitarist or a pianist, not only must they acquire an instrument, but they must also learn how to play it. No one becomes a musician by simply owning an instrument. Similarly with spiritual matters - no one walks by the spirit and develops a relationship with God simply by being born again and having the gift of holy spirit. We must learn to energise the gift of holy spirit if we want to walk by the spirit.

Without a plan, no one achieves anything in life. To learn to play an instrument can be as simple as attending a class for an hour each week and doing half an hour's practice every day. That is a plan. If someone is faithful to that plan, they will become a musician. The longer they stick with their plan, the better musician they will be. If we are to become spiritual men and women, we must have a plan, which can be as simple as attending a church in someone's home where the accurate word of God is taught and believed, studying for half an hour every day, and speaking in tongues much. It doesn't take forever either, an aspiring guitarist or pianist can play beautiful songs by learning just three chords.

Now, before moving any farther into the holy spirit field, we need to understand a few simple things.

Acts 2:4
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, [pneuma hagion - holy spirit] and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit [pneuma] gave them utterance.

In the bible, regardless of which version you have, the Greek words pneuma hagion are arbitrarily capitalised, and often with deliberate intent to deceive. There is a big difference between Holy Spirit, God, and the gift he gave, holy spirit, which we receive at the time of the new birth. Consequently, there is much confusion between God, who is Holy Spirit, and his gift, which is holy spirit.

The ancient Greek texts did not have upper and lower cases to differentiate between proper nouns. The sense of most nouns are not affected whether or not they are capitalised, but this is not true of pneuma and pneuma hagion. There is a universe of difference between Holy Spirit and holy spirit. Here is an excellent example where the two have been properly translated and the difference is clear.

John 3:6
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

This is accurate capitalisation of pneuma, highlighting the difference between God and his gift. It is important that we recognise and understand this difference when reading the bible. In the Stephens Greek text, from which our KJV was translated, the word pneuma is used 385 times. It is translated Spirit - 133 times, spirit - 153 times, spiritual - 1, ghost - 2, life - 1, wind - 1, and spiritually - 1. In conjunction with the word hagion, it is rendered Holy Spirit 4 times, and Holy Ghost 89 times.

A further challenge arises with the understanding of pneuma and hagion because the article the has been added and deleted by the KJV translators whenever they felt like it. In the Aramaic language - which most scholars believe was the original language of the written bible while Greek was a translation from it - there was no article the at all. There is a big difference between pneuma hagion and the pneuma hagion. Here is an example.

Luke 11:11-13
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?

Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit [holy spirit] to them that ask him?

Jesus Christ was teaching about the coming gift of holy spirit, which was not yet available. He knew it was coming and he was preparing people to receive it. However, people were afraid they might receive something harmful like a devil spirit, so he was dealing with it.

To our minds, these verses don't carry the intended impact because we don't understand the orientalisms. When we think of bread, for example, we think of packaged sliced loaves, but to understand the truths in these verses we need to think in terms of the customs prevalent in Jesus Christ's day. They didn't have supermarkets providing all their food for them back then, so they made their own bread. Considering the garbage the supermarkets are poisoning and drugging us with today, perhaps going back to making our own bread isn't such a bad idea. Anyway, back to the point, they made round flat bread on small round flat stones heated on open fires. After a while with constant use, these stones would actually start to look like the bread itself. If you bit into one, however, you would break your teeth. The point is, if we wouldn't make the mistake of handing one of these stones that looked like bread to our children to eat, would God make the mistake of accidentally giving us a devil spirit when we carry out the instructions on how to receive holy spirit in Romans 10:9?

Romans 10:9
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved [sozō - made whole].

How on earth can you mistake a fish for a serpent? Again, we have to understand the orientalism. This is talking about two fish which are similar in appearance, but one of which is poisonous. Regarding the egg and the scorpion, there is a species of scorpion in the middle east which actually resembles an egg when it curls up. If we can distinguish between poisonous and non poisonous fish, and between eggs and scorpions, and protect our children by giving them good food to eat rather than something that might kill them, surely God is capable of making sure we don't receive a nasty devil spirit by mistake at the time of the new birth.

The context is clearly talking about God giving his gift. God doesn't give himself to them that ask him, he gives his gift of holy spirit, so this is a clear example of an erroneous capitalisation of pneuma hagion accompanied by an insertion of the article the which was not in the Greek texts. The article the should be deleted. God, who is Holy Spirit, gives his gift of holy spirit to those who ask him.

Here is another obvious example of manipulation of scripture by capitalising pneuma hagion.

Acts 19:1-3
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,

He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost [holy spirit] since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost [holy spirit].

And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.

Paul found disciples. A disciple, by definition, would obviously have heard of God. I mean, everyone has heard of God, right? Paul didn't ask them if they'd received God, he asked them if they had received his gift. They didn't reply they'd never heard of God, but that they'd not heard anything about his gift. They had no idea God had given them a gift, they had no idea about the new birth and the power that they had. All they knew was water baptism.

Acts 19:4-6
Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost [holy spirit] came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

If we want to get to know God, then it is imperative that when we read his word we understand it. We need to know when the bible is talking about the gift of holy spirit and when it is talking about God, who is the Holy Spirit. See Appendix 1 for a full list of every use of pneuma in the new testament and how it's used. In Acts chapter 2, we can delete the article the and ditch the capitalisation of holy spirit.

Acts 2:4
And they were all filled [plethō] with the Holy Ghost [holy spirit], and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

There are a number of Greek words translated fill in the bible, and in this study we will look at two of them - pleroō and plethō. Pleroō means filled to capacity, Plethō means filled to overflowing. Pleroō can be seen in verse 2, where the house was filled [pleroō - filled to capacity] where they were sitting.

Acts 2:2
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled [pleroō] all the house where they were sitting.

This sound filled the entire house, the temple area where they were sitting. This makes sense, because sound fills all the available space. If you are playing music, you will be able to hear it all around the room in which it is playing. You won't find a little space floating around somewhere in the middle of the room where you can't hear any music. Sound fills space to capacity. Pleroō is also used in John of an odour, a scent, a smell.

John 12:3
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled [pleroō] with the odour of the ointment.

An odour is a gas, and a gas by nature expands to fill all the available space as well. So the entire house was filled to capacity with the smell. Now let's compare pleroō with plethō.

Matthew 27:48
And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled [plethō] it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

The imagery here very clearly sets the distinction. Ever sat in the bath with a sponge? Hold it under the surface and it fills with water, pleroō, but what happens when you lift it out of the bath? It is so full it overflows. This sponge offered to Jesus while he was nailed to the cross was literally dripping with drink. That's plethō, filled to overflowing. Our English word plethora, an oversupply or excess, comes directly from this Greek word plethō.

When plethō is used regarding the gift of holy spirit, it describes what happens whenever someone speaks in tongues or energises one of the other manifestations - the spirit overflows out of them.

Acts 13:9-11
Then Saul, (who also is called Paul) filled [plethō] with the Holy Ghost [holy spirit], set his eyes on him,

And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

Paul was filled to overflowing with holy spirit when he confronted this spiritualist sorcerer. In other words, the gift of holy spirit with which he was filled to capacity [pleroō], was energised and overflowed out of him [plethō] into the senses realm. The manifestation of holy spirit is an overflowing of supernatural power from the spiritual realm out into the senses realm. It isn't sorcery, but it is supernatural.

Whenever someone is filled to overflowing with holy spirit, a manifestation is the result. When we were born again, we were filled to capacity [pleroō] with holy spirit, completely filled, and when we manifest that gift, for example by speaking in tongues, that spirit is energised and the result is an overflowing from the spiritual realm out into the senses realm. That is what a manifestation is, an overflowing of spiritual power out into the physical realm.

Regarding being filled to overflowing, check out this usage of plethō.

Acts 13:45
But when the Jews [Judeans] saw the multitudes, they were filled [plethō] with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming.

Here come the church people again. You would think religious people, who claim to worship the true God, would be delighted that multitudes were applying the power of God for themselves. Quite the contrary, they overflowed with envy. There was a lot of spiritual filth overflowing out of the churches in Christ's day, just as there is a lot of spiritual filth spewing out of the churches in our day. Why do you think God refuses to dwell in temples made with hands? More to the point, why do people still go to those shithole places? Those religious leaders were filled to overflowing with envy, and it manifested itself by overflowing out of their filthy mouths and into their actions. Back to Acts 2.

Acts 2:4
And they were all filled [plethō] with the Holy Ghost [holy spirit], and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit [God] gave them utterance.

As the apostles believed, the holy spirit they had just been filled to capacity with [pleroō], poured out of them and overflowed into the senses realm as they energised that spirit by speaking in tongues. As they believed and spoke in tongues, God gave them the words that they spoke. Jesus Christ had prophesied of this outpouring of the gift of holy spirit during his earthly ministry.

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

Jesus Christ was referring to the coming of the gift of holy spirit. This overflowing of the spirit, this plethō, this manifestation of the gift, is what he figuratively prophesied of when he referred to rivers of living water flowing out of people. Living waters is obviously a figure of speech, as people don't literally have water flow out of them when they speak in tongues. Note that in Jeremiah, God is also referred to as living water.

Jeremiah 2:13
For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

God is a fountain of living spiritual waters. Figuratively then, this living water Jesus Christ mentioned is a reference to spiritual power which flows out of us. As we speak in tongues, spiritual power overflows out of us into the world. This is the living water Jesus Christ was talking about. I think we've all had quite enough of that broken cistern church shit hey.

Speaking in tongues is an overflowing of spiritual power. It is not being filled with God, nor is it a religious outpouring of some devilish emotion. It is the manifestation of the holy spirit within us. This spirit which we freely received at the time of the new birth is ours to energise. It is up to us whether or not we speak in tongues. We do the speaking. It is something we choose to do, something we believe to do, and it is something we control at all times.

Chapter 41 - The Ages of Spirit