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“To be filled with the Spirit” is from a mistranslation.


 

The following passages must be correctly translated to build the doctrine of the Spirit.

Luke 1:15    He will be filled with the Holy Spirit [πλήθω + πνεύματος]  
Luke 1:41    Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit [πλήθω + πνεύματος]
Luke 1:67    Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit [πλήθω + πνεύματος]
Luke 4:1      Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan
Acts 2:4      They were all filled with the Holy Spirit [πλήθω + πνεύματος]
Acts 4:8      Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them [πλήθω + πνεύματος]
Acts 4:31    They were all filled with the Holy Spirit [πλήθω + πνεύματος]
Acts 6:3      who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom
Acts 6:5      They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit
Acts 7:55     Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven
Acts 9:17     You may see...be filled with the Holy Spirit [πλήθω + πνεύματος]
Acts 10:38   God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Spirit and power
Acts 11:24   Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith
Acts 13:9     Saul, filled with the Holy Spirit [πλήθω + πνεύματος]
Acts 13:52   The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit
                    [πλήθω + πνεύματος]
Eph. 1:23     the fullness of him who fills everything in every way [πλήροω]
Eph. 3:19     You may be filled with all the fullness of God [πλήροω]
Eph. 4:13     to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ [πληρώματος] 
Eph. 5:18     Instead, be filled with the Spirit [πλήροω + ἐν πνεύματι]
Col. 1:19     God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him [πληρώμα]
Col. 2:9-10  in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and
                    you have been given fullness in Christ [πληρώμα,  πλήροω]

     Unfortunately, most scholars have accepted the passages cited above as correct, but Christian theology has an unsound doctrine of the Holy Spirit because of the mistranslations and misinterpretations of the aforementioned passages. The Holy Spirit always must be treated as God the Holy Spirit and a divine Person like Jesus Christ to correctly translate and interpret these passages. If not, it is impo- ssible to have a correct translation and interpretation of these passages and a sound doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

In “to be filled with the Spirit, full of the Spirit,” the Spirit is not treated as God.

Acts 1:8     You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.
                   (Most English versions)           
Author        You will receive the power of the Holy Spirit when He comes on you.
Author        You will be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit when He comes on you.

Acts 2:4      They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. (All English versions)
MIT            They were all filled with holy spirit. (* holy spirit is wrong translation)
Author        They were all filled with of the Holy Spirit.
Author        They were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

     Here, in Acts 1:8 and 2:4b “the Holy Spirit” is treated as God the Holy Spirit. But in the phrase “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:4a), treats the Holy Spirit as water or merely some spiritual power. For example, “They were all filled with power” makes sense, but “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit” is nonsense because it fails to treat the Holy Spirit as a divine Person. If it is accepted that the term “power” in Acts 1:8 is omitted in Acts 2:4, the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:4 can be understood. Let’s examine the phrase “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan” (Luke 4:1). To say, “Jesus, full of God, returned from the Jordan,” makes no sense according to the doctrine of the Trinity. Through the doctrine of the Trinity, always and without a single exception, the Holy Spirit must be treated as God the Holy Spirit. The Scripture in the OT and NT is God’s flawless word. Why then would the Scripture have such a great flaw and contradiction as noted above? Why would the Scripture treat the Spirit as power? Without an answer it is impossible to build the biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, the confusion lies in the mistranslation and misinterpretation of the Greek text. Without a single exception, all scholars and all pastors and all teachers accept the aforementioned passages as correct. These mistranslations absolutely fill the Scripture with flaws, confusions and contradictions.
     The key terms needed correct translation are (1) the Greek verbs pimplemi (πiμπλημi) and pleroo ([πλήροω), (2) the Greek adjective pleres (πλήρης), (3) the Greek nouns pleroma (πληρώμα) and pneuma (πνεύμα), (4) the Greek genitive pneumatos (πνεύματος), and (5) the principle of the usage of omission in translation and interpretation. For instance what is applied to the Scripture including Matt. 10:29 should be applied to the passages mentioned above including Acts 2:4.  

The principle of the translation and interpretation of [pleres (πλήρης) + pneumatos (πνεύματος)]

     Without a single exception, every English version has incorrectly translated the Greek verb pimplemi (πiμπλημi) and pleroo (πλήροω) with the Greek genitive pneumatos (πνεύματος). The Greek adjective pleres (πλήρης) is the English adjective “full.” The words “full of” must be used with a noun, either abstract, material or common. But the proper name can by no means be used with the words “full of.” This must be a basic and strict principle for the usage of “full of.” The words “full of” must never be used with the proper name “the Holy Spirit,” “God,” or “Jesus Christ.” Let’s examine an example.

                      full of the Holy Spirit........Everyone accepts it as right.
                      full of God.........................Everyone does not accept it as right.
                      full of Jesus Christ.............Everyone does not accept it as right.
                      full of Moses......................Everyone does not accept it as right.

     For example, the words “full of the Holy Spirit” (Luke 4:1) is from the Greek text. It seems to make sense, but it makes no sense since it fails to treat the Holy Spirit as God the Holy Spirit. In the case of “full of the Holy Spirit,” it must be understood that some word is omitted. Since the omitted word “power” is found in Luke 4:14, it now makes sense. Luke  4:1 should be translated and interpreted as follows:   
                     Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan. (Most English versions)
                     Jesus, full of the power of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan. (Author)

     Here, the words “Full of the Holy Spirit” should be “full of the power of the Holy Spirit.”

The term “power” in Luke 4:14 is omitted in “full of the Holy Spirit” of Luke 4:1.

Luke 3:22  καταβῆναι τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον σωματικῷ εἴδει ὡς περιστερὰν ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν (BNT)
Luke 4:1   Ἰησοῦς δὲ πλήρης πνεύματος ἁγίου ὑπέστρεψεν ἀπὸ τοῦ Ἰορδάνου  (BNT)
Luke 4:14  ὑπέστρεψεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ πνεύματος εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν. (BNT)
NIV      The Holy Spirit descended upon Him. (Luke 3:22)
             Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan. (Luke 4:1)
             Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee. (Luke 4:14)
KJV      The Holy Spirit descended upon Him. (Luke 3:22)
             Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan. (Luke 4:1)
             Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee. (Luke 4:14)
NKJ     The Holy Spirit descended upon Him. (Luke 3:22)
             Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from Jordan. (V.1)
             Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee. (Luke 4:14)

     The phrase “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee” (v. 14) means that after Jesus received the power of the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit descended upon him, He returned to Galilee. Jesus who received the power of the Spirit returned to Galilee. When we read, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan,” this means that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit came on him at the Jordan River. The NKJ translates it, “Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit.” The phrase “Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit” makes no literal sense since the Holy Spirit is not treated as God the Spirit. But it does make sense when we see that the word “power” in v. 14 is omitted in v. 1. The principle of translation and interpretation applied to Matt. 10:29 must be applied to v. 1. This should read, “Jesus, full of the power of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan.” This is correct because the Holy Spirit is treated as God and a divine Person. The principle of translation and interpretation applied to Luke 3:22, 4:1, 4:14 must also consistently be applied to that of Acts 2:4. The word “power” in Luke 4:14 is surely omitted in Luke 4:1. Likewise, the word “power” in Acts 1:8 is omitted in Acts  2:4. If it is accepted as a strict principle of the translation and interpretation on the Holy Spirit, there need no great theological debates. Nowadays, one of great theological debates on the Holy Spirit is based on the misunderstanding of the relation between Acts 1:4-8 and Acts 2:1-4, and the mistranslation of Acts 2:4.
 

Ajith Fernando mistakenly explains the meaning of the fullness of the Spirit.

What is important is that we have what the baptism implies: an immediacy and fullness of the Spirit, which gives power to witness and live the Christian life. (Ajith Fernando, The NIV Application Commentary: Acts, p.508.)

     To speak of the “fullness of the Spirit, which gives power to witness” shows the misinterpretation of Luke 3:22 and 4:1,14. It should read, the “fullness of the power of the Spirit which enables our witness.” Luke 3:22, and 4:1,14 should be considered as meaning “The Holy Spirit descended upon Him. Jesus, full of the power of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan. Jesus returned in the fullness of the power of the Spirit to Galilee.” The note “fullness of the Spirit, which gives power to witness” is set apart from “fullness of the power of the Spirit to be witness.” The designation “fullness of the Spirit” must read “fullness of the power of the Spirit” since in “fullness of the Spirit” the Spirit is not treated as God.

The verb “clothe” requires the preposition “with” as an idiom in English language.

Luke 24:49     I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. (NIV)
1 Pet. 5:5        All of you clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.  
Ezek. 34:3      You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool. (NIV)

     The texts show the verb “clothe” requires the preposition “with” as an idiom.

The verb “anoint” requires the preposition “with” as an idiom in English language.

Luke 4:18
Acts 10:38

Acts 4:27

Heb. 1:9
2 Cor. 1:21
1 John 2:27      

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. (NKJ)
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (NKJ)
against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed (NKJ)
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than Your companions. (NKJ)
Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, (NKJ)
But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. (NKJ)


     Acts 10:38 and Heb. 1:9 demonstrate the verb “anoint” requires the preposition “with” in English. The term “power” (Acts 10:38) is omitted in Luke 4:18, Acts 2:4, 2 Cor. 1:21, and 1 John 2:27. Luke 4:18 is inferred in Acts 10:38. Luke 4:18 should be inferred to mean that the Spirit anointed Jesus with the power of the Spirit to preach the gospel to the poor. Acts 10:38 also should be inferred to mean that God anointed Jesus with power of the Spirit since in the phrase “God anointed Jesus with the Spirit,” the Spirit is not treated as God and a divine Person.

(1) The Lutheran Book of Worship comments: “Father in heaven, at the baptism of Jesus in the River you proclaimed your beloved Son and anointed with the Holy Spirit. In the waters of the Jordan your Son was baptized by John and anointed with the Spirit.” (The Lutheran Church in America, Lutheran Book of Worship, p.54,122.)

(2) Sinclair B. Ferguson comments on the Acts 10:38: “Jesus was anointed by the Spirit.” (Sinclair B. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, p.45.)

     Both statements are quite erroneous. It should be “Jesus was anointed with the power by (of) the Spirit” since the verb “anoint” requires the preposition “with.”

(3) Gary M. Burge comments: “Moreover, that Jesus is not merely anointed himself with the Spirit at his baptism…Further, “chosen” likely comes from Isaiah 42:1, which emphasized the Spirit-anointed of the Messiah.” (Gary M. Burge, The NIV Application Commentary: John, Grand Rapid: Zondervan, 2000, p.74-75.)

(4) John F. Walvoord insists: “The anointing of the Holy Spirit…By the Spirit He was ‘anointed’ to preach.” (John F. Walvoord, The Holy Spirit, p.96.)

     To write “God the Father anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit at the baptism of Jesus or in the waters of the Jordan” is quite erroneous. Jesus was anointed after His water baptism, and there is no scriptural reference to indicate that Jesus was anointed prior to that work. The words “anoint with” require a material noun like oil or an abstract noun like power. It is incorrect to say, “anoint with the Spirit” because the Spirit is God. It should be inferred, “God anointed Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit,” or “Jesus was anointed with the power of the Spirit” (Acts 10:38). The words “the Spirit-anointed of the Messiah” also are erroneous. This should speak of “the Spirit’s power-anointed of the Messiah.” Likewise, “the anointing of the Spirit” should be “the anointing of the power of the Spirit.”

The verb “seal” in John 6:27 and Eph. 1:13; 4:30 must be examined.  

John 6:27   οῦτον γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ ἐσφράγισεν ὁ θεός (BNT)  
KJV    for him hath God the Father sealed.
NKJ    because God the Father has set His seal on Him
NIV    On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval
            
     The text says that God the Father sealed Jesus. It is in an active construction. It is logical. The text can be changed into the passive voice: “Jesus has been sealed by the Father.” It would be illogical if it were said, “Jesus has been sealed with the Father.” In that instance God the Father is not treated as God but a material thing.

Eph. 1:13  ἐσφραγίσθητε τῷ πνεύματι τῆς ἐπαγγελίας τῷ ἁγίῳ (Eph 1:13 BNT)   
NIV     you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.
KJV     ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.
NKJ     you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.
NRS    were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit.
NJB     been stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit of the Promise.

     The Greek dative noun pneumati (πνεύματι) in Eph. 1:13 can be translated as “by the Spirit,” “with the Spirit,” or “in the Spirit.” The KJV and NKJ translate it as “You were sealed with the Holy Spirit.” This is incorrect because the Spirit is not treated as God. The translation of the NRS and NJB is more logical. It must be, “You were sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise.” This makes sense because the Holy Spirit is treated as God.  

Eph. 4:30  καὶ μὴ λυπεῖτε τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον τοῦ θεοῦ, ἐν ᾧ ἐσφραγίσθητε εἰς ἡμέραν ἀπολυτρώσεως (BNT)
NIV    And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
KJV    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
NKJ    And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

     The Greek en ho (ἐν ᾧ) in Eph. 4:30 is in the dative and can be translated as “by whom” or “with whom.” The NIV chose “with whom,” and reads, “with whom you were sealed,” that is, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of God, but this is incorrect because it fails to treat the Spirit as God. The NKV translates it, “by whom you were sealed.”  This is correct because the Holy Spirit is treated as God. But in Eph. 1:13 the KJV and NKJ mistakenly translates it, “you were sealed with the Holy Spirit.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones comments on the verb “seal.”

...in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,…It occurs again in Ephesians 4:30, ‘And grieve no the Holy Spirit of God, whereby’–by whom–‘ye are sealed unto the day of redemption…And what we are told that these believers have been ‘sealed’ by ‘the holy Sprit of promise.’…What, then, is this ‘sealing with the Spirit?...So when we are told, therefore, that we have been sealed by the Sprit. In John 6:27, Jesus says, you have had the proof, God the Father hath already ‘sealed’ me. When a man is baptized with the Spirit or sealed with the Spirit, he knows; the Spirit is certainty. (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Joy Unspeakable, Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, 1985, p.146-7,155,157.)

     Lloyd-Jones says that “you were sealed with the Spirit” and “we have been sealed by the Sprit” have the same meaning. He is in great confusion since the words “to be sealed with the Spirit” are quite distinct from the words “to be sealed by the Spirit.” For instance, the words “to be sealed with Jesus Christ” are quite distinct from the words “to be sealed by Jesus Christ.” According to the doctrine of the Trinity, without a single exception, the Holy Spirit should never be treated as a material noun but as God and a proper name like Jesus Christ. It should be noted that “the baptism with the Holy Spirit” is quite distinct from “the baptism of (by) the Holy Spirit.” The terminology “the baptism with the Holy Spirit” is quite inaccurate because the Holy Spirit is not dealt with as God but as an element such as water in “water baptism.”

Billy Graham says, “At the moment of conversion, however, believers are sealed with the Spirit for the day of redemption: Having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13; cf.  4:30). (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.83.)

     The note “believers are sealed with the Spirit” is quite erroneous since it fails to regard the Spirit as God the Spirit and a divine Person.

The verb “fill” requires the preposition “with” as an idiom in English language.

     As noted previously, the verb “anoint” requires the preposition “with.” Likewise, the verb “fill” requires the preposition “with.” In the case of the active or passive voice, the words [fill + with] must be used with an abstract noun or a material noun as an idiom in English. A proper noun can by no means be used with it. This is a basic English grammar. In the cases of translation, the preposition “with” could possibly be omitted, but in the cases of interpretation, the words [with + noun] must be established to understand the meaning. Let’s examine John 2:7 to understand the verb “fill.”

John 2:7  Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. (KJV)
NIV        Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

This passage can be explained as follows: 

        Fill the water pots with water.
        The water pots will be filled with water.
        They filled them up to the brim. Here, the word “with” is omitted.
        They filled them with water up to the brim.
        Water filled the water pots. Here, the word “with” is not required.

     The text shows the verb “fill” requires the preposition “with” as an idiom in English language. But “Water filled the water pots” shows that it does not require “with.”

The verb “fill” in Luke 3:5 requires the preposition “with” as an idiom.

Luke 3:5  πᾶσα φάραγξ πληρωθήσεται (BNT)   
KJV     Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
NIV     Every valley shall be filled in…

     All English versions translate the text as “be filled.” Plerothesetai (πληρωθήσεται) is in the passive verb of pleroo (πληροω) which requires the preposition “with” just as John 2:7 does. So it should be “Every valley shall be filled with something.” The text means that if every mountain and hill shall be made low, every valley shall be filled with the soil from the mountains and hills. The text shows the verb “fill” requires “with” as an idiom in English language.

The verb “fill” in Acts 5:3 requires the preposition “with” as an idiom.

Acts 5:3 διὰ τί ἐπλήρωσεν ὁ σατανᾶς τὴν καρδίαν σου, ψεύσασθαί σε τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον  ( BNT)
NIV      Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 
NKJ      Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?
NKJ      why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit...

     “Satan has filled your heart to lie to the Spirit.” In this text eplerosen (ἐπλήρωσε, filled) is in an accusative verb which requires an accusative noun kardian ( καρδίαν, heart). Pseusasthai (ψεύσασθαί, deceive, lie) is not a noun but a verb, so the translation of the NIV and NKJ are originally correct. But “Satan has filled your heart with lie (or with deceit) to the Holy Spirit” is more logical since Satan is a living being, that is, a spiritual living being. The phrase “Satan has filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit” is in an active voice. If this active voice were changed into a passive voice, it would read, “Your heart has been filled with Satan to lie to the Holy Spirit.” That is illogical. If Satan is merely a power or an evil force, the phrase “Satan has filled your heart” without the preposition “with” is correct. But the phrase “Satan has filled your heart” without the preposition “with” is illogical since Satan is not a material or an abstract noun. He is a living being. The words “Joy filled your heart” and “Power filled your heart” are logical. If “Satan has filled your heart” is inferred just as “Joy filled your heart” and “Power filled your heart,” it makes no sense. The phrase “Satan has filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit” should be understood, as noted above.  

The Teacher’s Commentary’s interpretation of Acts 2:4 is thoroughly unbiblical.

NIV     All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.
KJV     They were all filled with the Holy Ghost.
NKJ     They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Teacher’s Commentary   The Holy Spirit filled the followers of Jesus.

Without a single exception, all English versions follow the NIV and NKJ translations of Acts 2:4. The Teacher’s Commentary accepts this translation as authentic. It says, “The events at Pentecost have been the focus of much theological debate. The text says the Holy Spirit filled the followers of Jesus.” (Lawrence O. Richards, The Teacher’s Commentary, Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books, 1987, p.762.)
The phrase “The Holy Spirit filled the followers of Jesus” is in the active voice. This seems biblical since Acts 2:4 is in the passive voice. If the Holy Spirit is not God but an abstract noun such as “power,” this would make sense, but the Holy Spirit is God. He is a spiritual living Being according to the doctrine of the Trinity. If the phrase “The Holy Spirit filled the followers of Jesus” were changed, it would read, “God filled the followers of Jesus.” If this active voice were changed into a passive voice, it would be “the followers of Jesus were filled with God.” This makes no sense because God is not an abstract noun like joy or power.
     The phrases “Joy filled the followers of Jesus,” or “Power filled the followers of Jesus” make sense. These instances convey ambiguity of such a phrase as, “the Holy Spirit filled the followers of Jesus.” It is an unclear statement. It should be “The Holy Spirit filled the followers of Jesus with something.” If this active voice were to be changed into a passive voice, it would read, “The followers of Jesus were filled with something by the Holy Spirit.” If Acts 2:4 is translated and interpreted, “They were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit,” any argument making the events of Pentecost the focus of much theological debate would be without merit. This text should read, “The events at Pentecost have by no means been the focus of theological debate.” To say, “The events at Pentecost have been the focus of much theological debate” definitely springs from the mistranslation of Acts 2:4. The phrase, “The Holy Spirit filled the followers of Jesus” is based on the mistranslation of Acts 2:4. The phrase “Satan has filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit” (Acts 5:3) should be examined carefully. To understand it as, “Your heart has been filled with Satan to lie to the Holy Spirit” really makes no sense; but if it be, “Your heart has been filled with the deceit of Satan to lie to the Holy Spirit,” it is logical and clear.

Daniel B. Wallace comments on a principle that a verb of filling takes content.

Normally, a verb of filling takes a genitive of content. However, there are possibly three instances in the NT when πληροω takes a dative of content. It must be noted, however, that there are no clear examples in biblical Greek in which ἐν + the dative indicates content. (Thus the popular interpretation of πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι in Eph 5:18 as “be filled with the Spirit” in the sense that the Spirit is the content with which one is filled is most likely incorrect).
Illustrations: Rom 1:29  πεπληρωμένους πάσῃ ἀδικίᾳ
                                       being filled with all wickedness, etc.
                   2 Cor 7:4     πεπλήρωμαι τῇ παρακλήσει   
                                       I am filled with comfort.
                   Luke 2:40    πληρούμενον σοφίᾳ,  
                                       being filled with wisdom
                   (Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar beyond the Basics, p.170-1.)           

     Wallace translates Rom. 1:29, 2 Cor. 7:4, Luke 2:40 with this principle: “Normally, a verb of filling takes a genitive of content.” With this principle, he translates Acts 2:4 as “They were filled with the Holy Spirit.” The translations of Rom. 1:29, 2 Cor. 7:4, Luke 2:40 are biblical and logical but the translation of Acts 2:4 is thoroughly inaccurate and unbiblical because the Holy Spirit can by no means be the “content” of filling. He is God the Holy Spirit and a divine Person.

Pimplemi (πiμπλημi) used as a passive with the genitive pneumatos (πνεύματος) must be translated, “to be filled with of the Spirit.”        

     The translation of “to be filled with the Spirit” is definitely erroneous since the Spirit is not treated as God the Spirit. In the case of “to be filled with pneumatos hagiou” (πνεύματος ἁγίου) in the NT, without a single exception, pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου) must always be translated as “of the Holy Spirit” just as in the original Greek text.
     This must be a strict principle of the translation. If it were to be translated, “to be filled with the Holy Spirit” as in every English version, it would be thoroughly unsound concept and inaccurate translation because the Holy Spirit is God the Holy Spirit, a divine Person and a living Being. Second, the Greek pimplemi (πiμπλημi) and pleroo (πλήροω) used as a passive voice with the Greek genitive abstract noun or material noun (it), must be translated “to be filled with it” without the preposition of.

Let’s translate the genitive in Matt. 27:48 and Acts 2:4.

Matt.   27:48   πλήσας τε ὄξους
NIV                He filled it with wine vinegar.
NLT               One filled a sponge with sour wine.  

Acts 2:4          ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες πνεύματος ἁγίου 
NIV                They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. (All English versions)
Author            They were all filled with of the Holy Spirit.
Author            They were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

     The word “wine vinegar” (oxous,ὄξους, Matt. 27:48) is in the Greek genitive. If it is translated as a genitive “of the wine vinegar,” it will read, “He filled (plesas, πλήσας) it of wine vinegar.” This makes no sense. As we have already seen, “the Greek pimplemi (πiμπλημi) and pleroo (πλήροω) used with the Greek genitive abstract noun or material noun (it)” must be translated “fill with it” without the preposition of. The verb “fill” (Matt. 27:48) in English language does not require “of” but “with.”
     Matt. 27:48 is in an active voice that can be changed to the passive voice: “It was filled with wine vinegar by him.” Then, it makes sense. In Acts 2:4, eplesthesan (ἐπλήσθησαν) is in a passive voice and pneumatos (πνεύματος) is in a genitive noun. When it is translated, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit” as every English version does, it definitely makes no sense, because it does not treat the Holy Spirit as God but an abstract noun like power. As noted already above, without a single exception, the Holy Spirit must be treated as God the Spirit.
     In Acts 2:4, “to be filled with” must be used as an idiom in English language, and the genitive pneumatos hagiou must be translated as “of the Holy Spirit.” Then, it should read, “They were filled with of the Holy Spirit.” This makes sense because the Holy Spirit is treated as God and a divine Person. Here, Acts 2:4 affirms the usage of omission is used, as noted already. The word “power” in Acts 1:8 is omitted in Acts 2:4. It must be translated and interpreted as “They were all filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit.”

They were filled with the Holy Spirit...............................It seems logical but it is illogical.
They were filled with God………………........................It makes no sense.
They were filled with Jesus……………….......................It makes no sense.
They were filled with John………………........................It makes no sense.
They were filled with Moses……………….....................It makes no sense.
They were filled with of the Holy Spirit............................It seems to make no sense.
They were filled with of Jesus...........................................It seems to make no sense.
They were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit...........It makes sense.
They were filled with the power given by the Holy Spirit...It makes sense.
The Holy Spirit filled them................................................It makes no sense.
The power of the Holy Spirit filled them...........................It makes sense.
The Holy Spirit filled them with His power.......................It makes sense.
They were filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit................It makes sense.

     All these expressions indicate that the verb “fill” in English language requires the preposition “with.” Without a single exception, all English versions took away the preposition “of” in Acts 2:4 because the word “of” seemed illogical. However, if the preposition “of” is absent, the Holy Spirit is not treated as God and a divine Person. It is thoroughly inaccurate.

The principle of translation of the genitive in Acts 5:17; 2:4 must be applied to the same passages in the NT.

Acts 5:17        ἐπλήσθησαν ζήλου(πiμπλημi, passive)
                       They were filled with jealousy.
Acts 2:4          ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες πνεύματος ἁγίου(ἐπλήσθησαν, πiμπλημi, passive)
All versions    They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
Author            They were all filled with of the Holy Spirit.
Author            They were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

     According to Greek grammar, eplesthesan (ἐπλήσθησαν, πiμπλημi, passive, fill) is an accusative verb and always requires an accusative noun. Instead, here it follows the genitive noun zelou (ζήλου, of jealousy). If this genitive were to be translated as “of jealousy,” it would read, “they were filled with of jealousy,” or “they were filled of jealousy.” This makes no sense in English language, so it must be translated, “they were filled with jealousy.” Without a single exception, every English version translates the Greek texts with [pimplemi (πiμπλημi) + pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου)] including Acts 2:4 as the same meaning and same grammar construction as Acts 5:17. It seems right, correct, reasonable, and biblical translation, but it is absolutely incorrect in the translation of Acts 2:4. Why does this translation make no sense and unbiblical? Consider the following:

Water pots were filled with water..........................Everyone accepts it is right.
They were filled with power...................................Everyone accepts it is right.
They were filled with the Holy Spirit.....................Everyone accepts it is right.
They were filled with Jesus Christ..........................Everyone accepts it is wrong.
They were filled with God………...........................Everyone accepts it is wrong.
They were filled with Moses...................................Everyone accepts it makes no sense.
They were filled with of the Spirit...........................Everyone accepts it makes no sense.
They were filled with the power of the Spirit..........It makes sense.

     Christians accept the Holy Spirit as God the Holy Spirit. That is His proper name like Jesus Christ. Without a single exception, all Christians have believed that the phrase “they were filled with the Holy Spirit” is sensible. They have accepted the English version of Acts 2:4 as authentic, but without a single exception, these translators suffered from an erroneous conception and translation. This is from the misunderstanding of the Holy Spirit.
     They have inconsistently accepted the Holy Spirit as God the Holy Spirit, but also treated the Holy Spirit as a material noun like water or as an abstract noun like spiritual power. This kind of thought is unbiblical and leads to great confusion and misunderstanding. The Holy Spirit must always be treated as a proper name like Jesus Christ and God the Father. Every Christian will think that the phrase “they were filled with of the Holy Spirit” is incorrect grammar and makes no sense. But the phrase “they were filled with the Holy Spirit” is unbiblical, carries a wrong grammar and makes no sense in the doctrine of the Trinity. The phrase “they were filled with of the Holy Spirit” is really right grammar and makes sense, because the Holy Spirit is here treated as God and a proper name like Jesus Christ. It must be translated and inferred as the word “power” in Acts 1:8 is omitted in Acts 2:4, as noted above

The translation of the Greek 'pleroseis' me euphrosunes in Acts 2:28

Acts 2:28  πληρώσεις με εὐφροσύνης   
KJV      thou shalt make me full of joy.
NKJ      You will make me full of joy.
NIV      You will fill me with joy.
NAS      Thou wilt make me full of gladness.
NAB      You will fill me with joy.

     Here, “euphrosunes”(εὐφροσύνης, of joy Acts 2:28) is in the Greek genitive. The KJV, NKJ and NAB translate this genitive as “of joy (gladness).” If it were translated, “you will fill me of joy,” it makes no sense. Therefore, they translate the Greek verb pleroo (πλήροω, fill) as the Greek adjective pleres (πληρης, full): “you will make me full of joy.” This makes sense. The KJV and NKJ do not apply this principle of translation consistently in the case of the Greek genitive in Acts 2:28 compared to the translation of Acts 2:4. If the Greek genitive in Acts 2:28 is translated as “you will fill me of joy,” it will make no sense at all.
     Therefore, the NIV translates the Greek genitive euphrosunes (εὐφροσύνης, of joy) as “joy” without the preposition “of” for the sake of clarity. Through this same principle of translation, the NIV translates the genitive pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου, of the Holy Spirit) in Acts 2:4 as “the Holy Spirit” without the preposition “of” to make sense. This principle of translation of the NIV on the Greek genitive in Acts 2:28 and Acts 2:4 seems to be reasonable and biblical. In the case of the translation of Acts 2:28, the translation of the NIV is correct, but not in the translation of Acts 2:4. The translation of Acts 2:4 is thoroughly erroneous and unbiblical.
     The phrase “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit” makes no sense since the Holy Spirit is not treated as God the Spirit and a proper name. The Greek genitive pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου) in Acts 2:4 must be translated as “of the Holy Spirit” because the Holy Spirit must be always treated as a proper name. Consequently, the Greek [pimplemi ((πiμπλημi, πληθω) + pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου)] in the NT must be translated “to be filled with of the Holy Spirit.” Even though it seems to make no sense, it is logical because the word “power” in Acts 1:8 is omitted. [To be filled with +  a common or material or abstract noun] is in proper English grammar. But [to be filled with + a personal name] makes no sense at all in English grammar.
 

The translation of the Greek eplesthesan thambous in Acts 3:10

Acts 3:10   ἐπλήσθησαν θάμβους καὶ ἐκστάσεως
KJV          They were filled with wonder and amazement.
NKJ          They were filled with wonder and amazement.
NIV          They were filled with wonder and amazement.

     Here, eplesthesan (ἐπλήσθησαν, passive, fill) can be translated, “They were filled with” since “to be filled with” is a common English language idiom. Eplesthesan (ἐπλήσθησαν) requires an accusative noun since it is in an accusative verb. Thambous kai ekstaseos (θάμβους καὶ ἐκστάσεως, wonder and amazement) are not accusative nouns but genitive. So it should be “They were filled with of wonder and of amazement.” It makes no sense in English language, so the KJV, NKJ and NIV translators took away the preposition “of.” It is a right translation. They have applied this principle of translation to Acts 2:4, “They were filled with the Holy Spirit.” Without a single exception, all English version translators have accepted this as a correct principle of translation. Therefore, nobody in all Christian society objects to this principle of translation made by every English version including the KJV, NKJ and NIV. The doctrine of the Spirit has not yet been constructed because of this erroneous principle of translation. The principle of translation applied to Acts 2:4 is thoroughly unbiblical since the Holy Spirit who is a person name is not treated as a person name or as very God the Holy Spirit. Consequently, the translation of Acts 2:4 is thoroughly unbiblical since it is based on an erroneous principle of translation. [Pimplemi (πiμπλημi) +  pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου)] in the NT must not be translated as “to be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instead, it must be, “to be filled with of the Holy Spirit” or “to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit,” as noted above. This must be accepted as a strict principle of translation of all the phrases [pimplemi (πiμπλημi) + pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου)] in the NT.

Every sentence which has the Greek pimplemi and pleroo (πiμπλημi and πλήροω) should be changed into the active voice or the passive in English language.

John 12:3   οἰκία ἐπληρώθη ἐκ τῆς ὀσμῆς τοῦ μύρου.   
NIV    the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
KJV    the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
NKJ    the house was filled with the fragrance.

     Here, eplerothe (ἐπληρώθη, passive, fill) is an accusative verb and osmes (ὀσμῆς, fragrance) is a genitive noun. If it were “the house was filled with of the fragrance,” it makes no sense in English language. Therefore, the preposition “of” must be taken away to convey meaning. Every sentence which has the Greek pimplemi and pleroo (πiμπλημi and πλήροω) can be changed to the active voice or the passive in English language. The passive voice of John 12:3 can be changed into an active voice as follows:

       The house was filled with the fragrance…….…..passive voice
       The fragrance filled the house…………………...active voice

Luke 1:53   πεινῶντας ἐνέπλησεν ἀγαθῶν  
NIV    He has filled the hungry with good things.
KJV    He hath filled the hungry with good things.

     Here, eneplesen (ἐνέπλησεν, active, fill) is an active verb and agathon (ἀγαθῶν, good things) is a genitive noun. Then, if it were translated as “He has filled with of good things,” it makes no sense. The preposition “of” must be taken away to make sense in English language just as the KJV and NIV do. According to the principle “Every sentence which has the Greek pimplem (πiμπλημi) and pleroo (πλήροω) can be changed to the active voice or the passive in English language,” the active voice of Luke 1:53 should be changed into a passive voice as follows:

He has filled the hungry with good things…………….…..active voice
The hungry has been filled with good things by Him……..passive voice
The hungry has been filled with good things of God...........passive voice

John 16:6  λύπη πεπλήρωκεν ὑμῶν τὴν καρδίαν   
NIV    you are filled with grief.  
KJV    sorrow hath filled your heart.
NKJ    sorrow has filled your heart.
NAB   grief has filled your heart.

      The NIV translates the original active construction as the passive. It is correct since the passive voice “you are filled with grief” means the same as the active voice, “grief fills your heart.”  

Acts 2:2 ἐγένετο ἄφνω ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἦχος ὥσπερ φερομένης πνοῆς βιαίας καὶ ἐπλήρωσεν ὅλον τὸν οἶκον οὗ ἦσαν καθήμενοι
KJV     suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

     Here, eplerosen (ἐπλήρωσε, fill) does not require the “with” since oikon (οἶκον, house) is an accusative noun. Therefore, “a sound filled all the house” is a correct translation. This active voice can be changed into the passive voice, “All the house was filled with a sound.” It makes sense.

A sound filled all the house……………………...active voice
All the house was filled with a sound……….…...passive voice

     For example, the active voice (“Fish filled the rivers”) can be changed into the passive (“The rivers were filled with fish”). The active voice (“The odor filled the air”) can be changed into the passive (“The air was filled with the odor).” All of these sentences make sense.

Can “They were filled with the Holy Spirit” be changed into the active voice? “No.”

They were filled with the Holy Spirit...................passive voice. It does not make sense.
The Holy Spirit filled them……...........................active voice. It does not make sense.
The Holy Spirit filled them with something…….active voice. It makes sense.

     According to the principle mentioned above, the passive voice (“They were filled with the Holy Spirit”) can be changed into the active voice (“The Holy Spirit filled them”). Does this make sense? If the answer is not found in the Bible, it is absolutely impossible to construct the biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The abstract nouns “joy and sorrow” and the material nouns “fish and odor” can be changed into the active and passive voices as in the examples mentioned. But the principle mentioned above can by no means apply in the cases of proper names, like Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and God the Father. If Micah 3:8 is carefully examined, it shows a correct usage of the active and passive voice in relation to proper nouns.

Micah 3:8 shows an example for the active and passive voice.

Micah 3:8   I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord. (NIV)
KJV            I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord.
NKJ            I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord.
NRS           I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord.
TEV           The Lord fills me with his spirit and power.  

     “The spirit and his spirit” is an incorrect translation. It does not honor the Holy Spirit. It must read either “the Spirit” or “his Spirit. Each of these translations of Micah 3:8 vary, but they have the same meaning. It is possible for Micah 3:8 to be translated and interpreted as follows:
 
I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord.
I am full of the power of the Lord’s Spirit.
I am full of the power given by His Spirit.
I am filled with power by the Spirit of the Lord.….... passive voice
I am filled with the power of the Lord’s Spirit...….....passive voice
The Lord fills me with His Spirit’s power…………...active voice
The Lord fills me with the power of His Spirit……... active voice
The power of the Lord’s Spirit fills me……………....active voice

     These notes exactly show that (1) the usages of the verb “fill” and the adjective “full,” (2) that the active and passive voice, and (3) the verb “fill” requires the preposition “with.” The principle of translation and interpretation applied to Micah 3:8 must be applied to all the Bible. So Acts 2:4 must be translated, “They were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.” Here, the word “power” in Acts 1:8 can be omitted in Acts 2:4. Though every English version translates it, “to be filled with Holy Spirit,” it makes no sense because the Holy Spirit is not treated as God. It is no wonder that Christians, including Billy Graham, are in great contradiction and misunderstanding. It is because of the mistranslated English versions. In the original Greek text, there is no confusion. Many translators have misunderstood the original Greek text. From the beginning of translations, the translation of Acts 2:4 has been erroneous and great controversy regarding the Holy Spirit has arisen. If we have a right translation, the theological controversy on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit will evaporate. Acts 2:4 must be translated, “They were filled with of the Holy Spirit,” or “They were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.” Eph. 5: 18 must be translated as “Be filled with by the Spirit, or “Be filled with the joy of the Spirit.” Then there will be no theological controversy regarding the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

They were filled with the Holy Spirit……...passive voice but makes no sense.
The Holy Spirit filled them…………….......active voice but makes no sense.
Jesus filled them………...…………………active voice but makes no sense.
Power filled them………………………….active voice and makes sense.
A sound filled all the house………………..active voice and makes sense.
The house was filled with a sound…………passive voice and makes sense.
They were filled with His power…...............passive voice and makes sense.
The Spirit filled them with His power…….. active voice and makes sense.
God filled them with power………………..active voice and makes sense.
Jesus filled them with power……………… active voice and makes sense.
The power of the Spirit filled them………...active voice and makes sense.

     Consequently, it is absolutely impossible for the passive voice (“They were filled with the Holy Spirit”) to be changed into the active voice. Why is it impossible? Since the original translation is in great error, the modern translation of Acts 2:4 of every English version is in great error and thoroughly unbiblical.
     Stanley M. Horton argues through Micah 3:8: “In the midst of a corrupt society God filled him with His Spirit so he could see what was right before God and what was wrong. Then the Spirit gave him the power, courage and strength to come to grips with the situation.” (Stanley M. Horton,What the Bible say about the Holy Spirit, p.58.)
Horton’s argument is a mixture of right and wrong elements. The note “God filled him with His Spirit” is quite erroneous because he doesn’t speak of the Spirit as God. It should be, “God filled him with the power of His Spirit.” The note “the Spirit gave him the power, courage and strength” makes sense because the Spirit is treated as God. To write “the Spirit gave him the power” is the same meaning as “the Spirit filled him with the power.” If it were written, “the Spirit filled him,” it would make no sense. The verb “fill” requires the preposition “with” as an idiom.

Acts 2:28 shows the strict principle of translation of Acts 2:4.

Acts 2:28  πληρώσεις με εὐφροσύνης μετὰ τοῦ προσώπου σου.
CSB    You will fill me with gladness in Your presence.
NIV     you will fill me with joy in your presence.
KJV     thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
NKJ     you will make me full of joy in Your presence.
NRS    you will make me full of gladness with your presence.
NAB    you will fill me with joy in your presence.

     Each of these is literally different but they have same meaning. Let’s examine Acts 2:28 to understand the phrase “They were filled with the Holy Spirit” in Acts 2:4. To make a simple construction, omit the words “in your presence” in v. 28. The word “You” in Acts 2:28 refers to God, so it can be changed to read:

God will fill me with joy........................….....active voice
I will be filled with joy by God..............…….passive voice
I will be filled with the joy of God................. It makes sense.
I will be filled with joy given by God..............It makes sense.
I will be full of the joy of God.........................It makes sense.
I am filled with the joy of the Spirit. ...............It makes sense.
I am full of the joy of the Spirit…....................It makes sense.
The Spirit will fill me with His joy..................It makes sense.

     Acts 2:28 shows that it is impossible for the passive “They were filled with the Spirit” found in Acts 2:4 to be changed into the active. Therefore, it makes no sense. The reason for this does certainly arise from the mistranslation of the Greek genitive pneumatos (πνεύματος ἁγίο). If it were correct translation, it would be actually possible to change the phrase into the active voice.

Col. 1:9 shows the strict principle of translation of Acts 2:4.

Col. 1:9  πληρωθῆτε τὴν ἐπίγνωσιν τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ    

NIV     asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will

KJV     desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will

NKJ     ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will
NRS     you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will

     According to the rules of English grammar, the accusative verb plerothete (πληρωθῆτε, fill) requires an accusative noun and the preposition “with.” The text is originally in the passive voice, but the NIV translates the passive voice as the active voice. The KJV and NKJ translate the passive voice as the passive voice, but both have the same meaning. Every passage which has the verb “fill” should be changed into the active or the passive to read as Col. 1:9. Let’s examine the translation of Acts 2:4 according to the same principle of translation applied to Col. 1:9. The passive voice of Acts 2:4 can not be changed into the active voice.

All the modern English translations of Acts 2:4 cannot be changed into an active voice.  

Acts 2:2      A mighty sound filled all the house................................active voice
                   All the house was filled with a mighty sound.................passive voice
Col. 1:9       God may fill you with the knowledge of His will..........active voice
                   You may be filled with the knowledge of His will….... passive voice
    
John 16:6    You are filled with grief................passive voice.   It makes sense.
                   Grief fills your heart......................active voice.      It makes sense.
                   Your heart is filled with grief........passive voice.    It makes sense.

Acts 2:4     They were filled with the Spirit.....passive voice.    It makes no sense.
                  The Spirit filled them………….…active voice.       It makes no sense.
                  God filled them..............................active voice.       It makes no sense.
                  Jesus filled them............................active voice.       It makes no sense.

     The active voice (“The Holy Spirit filled them.” “God filled them.” “Jesus filled them”) makes no sense. The verb “fill” requires the preposition “with.” It is impossible to change the passive voice of Acts  2:4 into the active voice. Why cannot Acts 2:4, which is in a passive voice, be changed? The reason is that Acts 2:4 is from the mistranslation of the original Greek text. To translate Acts 2:4, Acts 1:8 must be carefully examined. If Acts 1:8 were translated correctly as in Col. 1:9, Acts 2:4 can more clearly be translated.

If Acts 1:8 be carefully examined, it is possible to translate Acts 2:4.

Acts 1:8 λήμψεσθε δύναμιν ἐπελθόντος τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος ἐφ᾽ ὑμᾶς
NKJ       you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.
NIV       you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.

Acts 1:8 can be changed into the follows:

You will receive the power of the Spirit when He comes on you.
You will be filled with the power of the Spirit when He comes on you.
They will be filled with the power of the Spirit when He comes on you.
The Spirit will fill you with the power of the Spirit when He comes on you.

     These descriptions vary, but they have the same meaning. Both “They will be filled with the power of the Spirit when He comes on them” and “The Spirit will fill them with the power of the Spirit when He comes on them” are the same. The only difference is in the voice, active or passive. Acts 1:8 which is in the future construction promising what Jesus said would be fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. Therefore, it must be changed into the past construction on the day of Pentecost. Acts   2:3-4 must be consistently examined with Acts  1:8. Acts 2:3-4 can be summarized, “They were all filled with of the Holy Spirit when He came on the 120 disciples in bodily form of tongues of fire.” Here, it can be observed that the word “power” written in Acts 1:8 is omitted in Acts 2:4. Acts 1:8 which is in the future construction must be changed into Acts 2:4 which is in the past construction because the promise of Acts 1:8 must be fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.

They received the power of the Spirit when He came on you.
They were filled with the power of the Spirit when He came on them.
The Spirit filled them with the power of the Spirit when He came on them.
The power of the Spirit filled them when the Spirit came on them.

     These explanations are literally different but they have the same meaning.

Billy Graham comments on the active and the passive voice in Acts 2:4.

All Christians are committed to be filled with the Spirit. Anything short of a Spirit-filled life is less than God’s plan for each believer. Paul’s command to the Ephesian Christians, “Be filled with the Spirit,” is binding on all of us Christians everywhere in every age. We must make ourselves available to the Holy Spirit so that when He fills us we will become vessels of blessing to the world. So it is critical that we be filled with the Spirit. (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.114,120.)

     Billy Graham changed the passive phrase “to be filled with the Spirit” into the active voice, saying, “He fills us,” that is, the Spirit fills us. In English grammar outside the Bible, “We are filled with the Spirit” might be possible to change into “the Holy Spirit fills us.” But in the Bible, the phrase “the Spirit fills us” makes no sense. This “fill” requires some object if it is to make sense. It must be “the Spirit fills us with something.” The phrase “We are filled with the Spirit” can by no means be changed into “the Spirit fills us.” The phrase, “We are filled with the power of the Spirit” positively can be changed into the active voice: “the Spirit fills us with the power of the Spirit.” That makes sense.

John MacArthur comments on the active and the passive voice in Acts 2:4.

Acts 2:1-4 teaches, at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit filled those believers to give a miraculous testimony-the ability to speak in other languages. How are we filled? When we yield to the Spirit, who is already there, we have access to the Spirit’s power and fullness. Paul told the Ephesians to be kept filled with the Spirit as a constant pattern for living (5:18). There is one simple key to knowing the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit in your life: obeying the Lord. The Spirit of God fills you and energizes your life (see Gal. 5:25). (John F. MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, p.235.)

     Again, in the statement “the Spirit filled those believers to give a miraculous testimony,” the verb “fill” requires the preposition “with” to make sense. To declare that “Paul told the Ephesians to be kept filled with the Spirit” is from the mistranslation of Eph. 5:18. The note “the Spirit of God fills you” is erroneous. It must be “the Spirit of God fills you with something.” That something is power. “The Spirit fills you” must be “The power of the Spirit fills you” to make sense.

Lawrence O. Richard comments on the active and the passive voice of the verb “fill.”

The events at Pentecost have been the focus of much theological debate. The text says the Holy Spirit filled the followers of Jesus. Specific signs were the associated with that particular filling. (Lawrence O. Richards, The teacher’s commentary, p.762.)

     Richard’s comment, “the Holy Spirit filled the followers of Jesus,” is based on the mistranslation of Acts 2:4. Acts 1:8 and 2:3-4 make it clear that the statement should read, “The Holy Spirit filled the followers of Jesus with the power.” This active can be transformed into the passive: “the followers of Jesus were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Stanley M. Horton comments on the active and the passive voice of the verb “fill.”

What Micah says about his call was undoubtedly true of all genuine prophets of God: I am full of power by [even] the spirit of the Lord (Micah  3:8). In the midst of a corrupt society God filled him with His Spirit so he could see what was right before God and what was wrong. Then the Spirit gave him the power, courage, and strength to come to grips with the situation (Compare John 16:8). As the Spirit filled Micah so he could warn against sin (Micah 3:8), so the Holy Spirit filled Jesus and sent Him immediately into the battle against sin and Satan. Jesus was not filled with the Spirit just to do miracles, but to prepare Him to do all God’s work. The Spirit drove Him. He was already full of the Spirit. For 40 days the Spirit continued to guide Him. Still identifying himself with us as a Spirit-filled Man. That is, they will be filled with the Spirit who will give both wisdom and the words to bring a testimony that will glorify Jesus. (Staley M. Horton, What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit, p.58,93,94,107.)

     To say “the Spirit filled Micah” is erroneous. It must be “I am full of power by [even] the Spirit of the Lord (Micah 3:8). The Spirit filled Micah with power.” Horton’s notes (“God filled him with His Spirit.” “The Holy Spirit filled Jesus.” “They will be filled with the Spirit.”) are also erroneous. These should read: “God filled him with the power of His Spirit. The Holy Spirit filled Jesus with power. They will be filled with the power of the Spirit.” However, the note “The Spirit gave him the power” is correct. Acts 2:4 must be translated as “They were all filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.” As a result the active voice will be “the Holy Spirit filled them with His power.” Stanley M. Horton continues:

Isaiah also shows that the Spirit means power. At this the Holy Spirit filled Elisabeth. (Staley M. Horton, p.66,81.)
    
     Isaiah does not describe the Spirit as power. According to this note, Horton’s argument “the Holy Spirit filled Elisabeth” seems to make sense because the Holy Spirit means power and that power filled Elisabeth. But all his notes are thoroughly unbiblical because neither the OT nor the NT declares that the Holy Spirit means power. The words “power filled Elisabeth” make sense, but “the Holy Spirit filled Elisabeth” is incomplete. It should be said that the Holy Spirit filled Elisabeth with power since the verb “fill” requires the preposition “with” in English grammar.

Frederick D. Bruner comments on the verb “fill.”

By graphic picture of “drinking in” in Paul wishes to emphasize that Christians are not only baptized by the Spirit (v. 13a), but they are at the same time filled with him. He fills their innermost being. (Frederick D. Bruner, A Theology of the Holy Spirit, p.294.)

     Consider “Christians are not only baptized by the Spirit.” “The Spirit” is treated as God the Spirit so that it is right, but to declare “They are at the same time filled with him,” he is not treated as God the Spirit but as an object. In the note “He fills their innermost being,” He, the Spirit, does the work. Frederick D. Bruner shows that his argument has great confusion and contradiction. What is the source of this confusion and contradiction? Why does his contradictory argument take place? The answer is the following: If English grammar, [The verb “fill” requires the preposition “with,” which requires a material noun or abstract], is not satisfied, every discussion on the Holy Spirit will be in great confusion and contradiction. For example, “They are filled with him” is an illogical and unbiblical sentence. “He (the Spirit) fills their innermost being” is also illogical. To be written correctly, it should supply an object: “He (the Spirit) fills their innermost being with something…with joy or love or power.” For instance, the Holy Spirit filled the 120 disciples with His power on the day of Pentecost. This is a logical and biblical sentence.

What does it mean “full of the Holy Spirit” in Luke 4:1?

Luke 4:1 Ἰησοῦς δὲ πλήρης πνεύματος ἁγίου ὑπέστρεψεν ἀπὸ τοῦ Ἰορδάνου καὶ ἤγετο ἐν τῷ πνεύματι ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ
NIV    Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert.

The text can be changed into two parts as follows:

Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was led by the Spirit in the desert.

     In the phrase “Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit,” the Holy Spirit is not treated as God and a divine Person but as a material noun and abstract noun like water and power. In the phrase “Jesus was led by the Spirit in the desert,” the Spirit is treated as God. The phrase “Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit” seems to be a right translation according to the Greek text, but it makes no sense at all. What if it were changed to read, “Jesus was full of God”? Since the Spirit is God, it makes no sense at all. The phrase “Jesus was led by the Spirit in the desert” makes sense. Greek grammar must be [pleres (πλήρης) + some noun + pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου)]. This must be a strict principle in the case of pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου). The same principle of translation and interpretation, [full of some noun of the Holy Spirit], must be applied to Luke 4:1. Here, we can conclude some noun is omitted. The omitted noun can be found in Luke 4:14 where it says, “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.” Here, the term “the power of the Spirit” can be found. Therefore, “full of the Holy Spirit” must be understood to mean that Jesus was full of the power of the Holy Spirit. This interpretation is perfectly biblical and satisfies both English grammar and the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Matthew 10:29 in the original Greek text seems to make no sense. Therefore, the NKJ and NIV added the term “will” to make sense, as noted already. The principle of translation applied to Matthew 10:29 must be also applied to all the terminology “full of the Holy Spirit” in the NT.

Luke 10:21 shows the usage of [full + of + noun + of the Holy Spirit].

Luke 10:21     ἠγαλλιάσατο [ἐν] τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἁγίῳ
GWN              the Holy Spirit filled Jesus with joy.
NKJ                Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit.
NRS               Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit.
NIV                Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit
NLT               Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.

     The NKJ and NRS translations are done correctly from the original Greek. But the translations of the NIV and NLT bring a better understanding of the usage of [full of the noun of the Holy Spirit] since the usage of “full of” is clear. To omit the abstract noun “joy,” saying “full of the Holy Spirit” makes no sense. Therefore, “full of joy through the Holy Spirit” is a perfect translation. This principle of translation must be applied throughout the Bible. It can be also translated as in the NLT, “Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.” It means Jesus was full of the joy given by the Holy Spirit. This is the same meaning as [“Jesus exulted in the Spirit,” “Jesus exulted by the Spirit,” and “Jesus was full of joy through the Spirit”]. John 1:14-17 should be carefully examined as we translate “full of the Spirit” in the phrases such as, “Jesus, full of the Spirit, returned from the Jordan” (Luke 4:1) and “Stephen, full of the Spirit, looked up to heaven” (Acts 7:55).

John 1:14 -17 shows the usage of [full + of + noun].

John 1:14-17  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (NKJ)
NIV  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’” From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

     The NKJ and NIV correctly translate pleres charitos kai aletheias (πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας) as “full of grace and truth.” The NKJ translates ek tu pleromatos autou (ἐκ τοῦ πληρώματος αὐτοῦ ) as “of His fullness.” The NIV translates it as “from the fullness of his grace.” Both the NKJ and NIV translate charis kai he aletheia dia Iesou Christou (χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ) as “grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” The words “of His fullness” are quite different from the words “from the fullness of his grace.” The words “of His fullness” are in the Greek text, but the word “grace” (“from the fullness of his grace”) is added to aid understanding. The Greek “of (from) His fullness” is illogical. Here, His fullness would mean Jesus’ fullness, but this is illogical according the doctrine of the Trinity. Therefore, in the case of this passage, the translation of the NIV is excellent.  
     The principle of translation by the NIV applied to John 1:14-17 is not applied to the cases of “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan” and to “Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven.” Both must be translated to read, “Jesus, full of the power of the Holy Spirit” and “Stephen, full of the faith and wisdom of the Holy Spirit.”

The NIV Matthew Henry Commentary notes “full of the Holy Spirit” of Stephen.

“Brothers choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom” (Acts 6:3). They must be full of the Holy Spirit. They must not only be honest men, but they must be men of ability and men of courage, thus appearing to be full of the Holy Spirit. They must be full of wisdom: full of the Holy Spirit, and wisdom, that is, of the Holy Spirit as a Spirit of wisdom. (Leslie F. Church (editor), The NIV Matthew Henry Commentary, Based on Broad Oak Edition, Grand Rapid: Zondervan, 1992, p.465.)
    
     If the Greek conjunction "καὶ" in “full of the Spirit and (καὶ) wisdom” (Acts 6:3) is not understood, it is impossible to interpret the verse. Neither the NIV translation nor Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Acts 6:3 is correct. The note “They must be full of wisdom: full of the Holy Spirit, and wisdom, that is, of the Holy Spirit as a Spirit of wisdom” is in great confusion. The Greek "καὶ" (and) is misunderstood. The note should read, “They must be full of the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.” Then, it will be in harmony with the doctrine of the Trinity. The principle [full of + noun + of the Holy Spirit] applied to Luke 10:21 also must be applied to Acts 6:3.

Billy Graham comments on “full of the Holy Spirit” of Stephen.

They laid down the three qualifications for the officeholders: they were to be “of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (Acts 6:3). (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.131.)

     Graham erroneously teaches “three qualifications for the officeholders, first, good reputation, second, full of the Spirit, third, full of wisdom.” Here, the note “full of the Spirit” should be “full of the wisdom of the Spirit.” The note correctly should declare that they laid down the two qualifications for the officeholders: they were to be “of good reputation and full of the wisdom of the Spirit” (Acts 6:3).

Acts 6:3-8    Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and (καὶ) wisdom. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and (καὶ) of the Holy Spirit; Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders. (NIV)
Acts 7:55     Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven. (NIV)
Acts 11:24   He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith. (NIV)

     The texts can be summarized as follows:

“full of the Holy Spirit. full of the Spirit and wisdom. full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. full of God’s grace and power. full of the Holy Spirit and faith”

     Many Christians interpret these as either: “full of the Holy Spirit, full of the Spirit and full of wisdom, full of faith and full of the Holy Spirit, full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith, full of God’s grace and full of power.” The words “full of God’s grace and power” are the same as “full of God’s grace and full of power.” But other phrases, “full of the Spirit and full of wisdom, full of faith and full of the Holy Spirit, full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith” are based on the misunderstanding of the usage of the Greek "καὶ". The word “God’s” is not found in original Greek of Acts 6:3-8, but was added by the NIV. If the phrase “the Holy Spirit’s” were substituted, it would be more accurate. Acts 7:55 speaks of “full of the Holy Spirit.”
     If the passages mentioned above are not biblically interpreted, it is impossible to understand the Holy Spirit. In order to understand these passages, the usage of the adjective “full” must be carefully examined. All the words, “full of the Spirit and wisdom, full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, full of grace and power, and full of the Holy Spirit” are descriptive of Stephen’s abilities given by the Holy Spirit. The words “full of the Spirit and wisdom” should be better translated and interpreted as “full of the wisdom of the Spirit or full of the Spirit’s wisdom.” If the words “full of the Spirit and wisdom” are interpreted as “full of the Spirit and full of wisdom,” it makes no sense. The Holy Spirit is God and a proper noun. The words “grace, faith, wisdom, and power” in Acts 6:3-8 are omitted in “full of the Holy Spirit” in Acts 7:55. When the words of Acts 7:55, Acts 6:3-8 and Acts 11:24 are correctly interpreted, it is possible to build a correct doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The words “full of faith and the Holy Spirit” can be changed into “full of the faith of the Holy Spirit.”
     The Greek καὶ is used in the Scripture to mean the conjunction “and” or the preposition “of.” The Greek καὶ found in “full of God’s grace and power” does not include the preposition “of.” I Corinthians 12:7-10 affirms that “faith and wisdom” in Acts 6:3-8 means “the gift of faith of the Holy Spirit and the gift of wisdom of the Holy Spirit.” Therefore, the words “full of the faith and the Holy Spirit, full of the Spirit and wisdom” must be translated and interpreted as “full of the faith of the Spirit, full of the Spirit’s wisdom.” The principle of translation of Micah 3:8 can be applied to the case of Stephen in Acts 7:55 as follows:

Stephen was full of the power of the Holy Spirit.
Stephen was full of the power by the Holy Spirit.
Stephen was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit filled Stephen with His power.

     In the NT it is never precisely said, “Stephen was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.” However, it can certainly be said that he was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit since the words “to be full of the power of the Holy Spirit” are the same as saying, “to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.” Also in the case of Jesus Christ, it is not said, “Jesus was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.” But it can certainly be said, according to Luke 4:1,14,18 and Acts 10:38, that Jesus was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit just as in the case of Stephen. The AB translates Acts 6:5 as, “They selected Stephen, a man full of faith [that is, of a strong and welcome belief that Jesus is Messiah], and full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit.”
     This too is erroneous since it is based on the misinterpretation of “to be filled with the Holy Spirit,” which is the same as “to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.” It also includes a misunderstanding of the Greek. Acts 6:5 does not say of the two qualifications for the officeholder of Stephen, “full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith.” This should read “full of the faith of the Holy Spirit,” as noted above. The three terms “wisdom” in Acts 6:3 and “faith” in v. 5 and “power” in v. 8 are omitted in the “full of the Holy Spirit” of Acts 7:55. Therefore, “full of the Holy Spirit” produces “Stephan was full of the wisdom and faith and power of the Holy Spirit.”  

Acts 13:52 shows the meaning of the Greek conjunction "καὶ." 

Acts 13:52  οἵ τε μαθηταὶ ἐπληροῦντο χαρᾶς καὶ πνεύματος ἁγίου.
NIV            The disciples were filled with joy and (καὶ) with the Holy Spirit.
KJV            The disciples were filled with joy, and (καὶ) with the Holy Ghost.
Author        The disciples were filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.

     Some claim that the text means that the disciples were filled with joy, and the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. But this interpretation does not make sense because the Holy Spirit must be treated as the God and a divine Person. The Greek conjunction καὶ in Acts 13:52 has the notion of the preposition “of” as in 1 Cor. 2:4. So it should be inferred, “The disciples were filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.”  

1 Thess. 1:6 shows the meaning of “with joy καὶ with the Holy Spirit” in Acts 13:52.

1 Thess 1:6 δεξάμενοι τὸν λόγον ἐν θλίψει πολλῇ μετὰ χαρᾶς πνεύματος ἁγίου,
NIV           the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit
NKJ           the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit

     The text must be translated as “with the joy of the Holy Spirit” as the NKJ does. However, the NIV translation is also correct since “with joy of the Holy Spirit” is the same as “with joy given by the Holy Spirit.” The Scripture affirms that “with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (χαρᾶς καὶ πνεύματος ἁγίου in Acts 13: 52) is the same as “with joy of the Holy Spirit” (χαρᾶς πνεύματος ἁγίου in 1 Thess. 1:6). The Scripture shows here that the Greek conjunction  καὶ (Acts 13:52) has the notion of the preposition “of.”

The Greek conjunction καὶ in 1 Thess. 1:5 must carefully be examined.

1 Thess 1:5 ἐγενήθη εἰς ὑμᾶς ἐν λόγῳ μόνον ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν δυνάμει καὶ ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ καὶ [ἐν] πληροφορίᾳ 
NIV     because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and (καὶ) with deep conviction.
NKJ     For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and (καὶ) in the Holy Spirit and (καὶ) in much assurance,
NAS    for our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and (καὶ) in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction;

     The phrase “our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit” can be summarized as “the gospel came to you in word and in power, and in the Holy Spirit.” If it is inferred as, “the gospel came to you in word,” and “the gospel came to you in power,” and “the gospel came to you in the Holy Spirit,” it makes no sense. Therefore, “in power and in the Holy Spirit” should be read as “in the power of the Holy Spirit.” That is, the gospel came to you in word and in the power of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Cor. 2:4 and Rom. 15:19 the apostle Paul said that he preached the gospel in the power of the Spirit, that is, in the power of God. The Greek καὶ in 1 Thess. 1:5 should be understood as “of” because 1 Cor. 2:4 is the same as 1 Thess. 1:5. The Epistles written by the apostle Paul affirm that the Greek has the notion of the preposition “of.”

The Greek conjunction καὶ in Acts 10:38 must carefully be examined.

Acts 10:38  Ἰησοῦν τὸν ἀπὸ Ναζαρέθ, ὡς ἔχρισεν αὐτὸν ὁ θεὸς πνεύματι ἁγίῳ καὶ δυνάμει 
NIV     how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and (καὶ) power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

     To write “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit” does not treat the Holy Spirit as God but a material like oil. If the Greek καὶ in Acts 10:38 is assumed to have the same meaning of the preposition “of” as Acts 13:52, the Holy Spirit is treated as God. If Acts 10:38 were to be translated and interpreted as “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit’s power,” the Holy Spirit would be honored as God. So the Greek καὶ in Acts 10:38 must be assumed to be “of.” If we see only man-made dictionaries, the Greek καὶ does not have the meaning of the preposition as “of,” but the Bible uses it as the preposition “of.”

Paul witnesses that he had preached the gospel with the power of the Spirit.

Rom. 15:18-19  I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. (NIV)

     Rom.15:18-19 says that Paul preached the gospel by word and by the power of the Spirit. 1 Thess. 1:5-6 is consistent with Rom. 15:18-19. Therefore, “in power and in the Holy Spirit” in 1 Thess. 1:5-6 must be translated to consist with “the power of the Holy Spirit” in Rom. 15:18-19. Here, it is confirmed that the word  καὶ is used of the preposition “of.” The translation of 1 Thess. 1:5 of the NIV, NKJ and NAS, “in power, and in the Holy Spirit,” are too ambiguous to understand its meaning. So “in power and in the Holy Spirit” should be “in the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Richard B. Gaffin misunderstands Luke 3:22; 4:1,14,18.

At the Jordan, the Spirit was given to Jesus, by the Father (Luke 3:22), as endowment for the messianic task before him, in order to that he might accomplish the salvation of the church; at Pentecost, the Spirit, received by Jesus, from the Father, as reward for the redemptive work finished and behind him, was given by him to the church as the (promised) gift (of the Father). (Richard B. Gaffin, Perspectives on Pentecost, p.17.)

     This note is thoroughly unbiblical because it is from the misunderstanding of “the meaning of the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit” in Luke 4:1 and 4:14 and “the anointing of the power of the Holy Spirit” in Luke 4:18 and Acts 10:38. The words “the Spirit was given to Jesus, by the Father” should read instead, “the power of the Spirit was given to Jesus when the Spirit descended upon him at the Jordan.” The note “at Pentecost, the Spirit, received by Jesus, from the Father, was given by him to the church as the (promised) gift (of the Father)” is quite erroneous. It should be, “at Pentecost, the power of the Spirit, received by Jesus, from the Father, was given by Him to the 120 disciples as the (promised) gift of the Father.”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones insists that Jesus was born filled with the Spirit.

Luke 4:1 says, ‘And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost’–it happened when the Holy Spirit came down upon him as he was there in the Jordan–‘full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan...God the Father sealed him at the Jordan when he sent the Holy Spirit upon him. He there received the Spirit in fullness. He was born the Son of God, he was born filled with the Spirit of God, he is the Son of God. (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Joy Unspeakable, p.47,155.)
 

Sinclair B. Ferguson notes “If Jesus was full of the Spirit from conception...”

If Jesus was full of the Spirit from conception, what is the significance of the coming of the Spirit at his baptism? (Sinclair B. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, p.45.)

     The notes, “Jesus was born filled with the Sprit of God,” and “Jesus was full of the Spirit from conception,” are thoroughly unbiblical. There is no scriptural reference to support such a claim. Luke 2:40 describes, “the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him” (NIV). Here, the “child” is Jesus Christ. If the phrase “Jesus was filled with wisdom” is said to mean that Jesus was full of the Spirit from conception, it makes no sense at all. Luke 3:21-23 says, “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry” (NIV).
     Luke 4:1 says, “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan” (NIV). These texts indicate that Jesus was full of the power of the Holy Spirit after He was about thirty years old. The arguments of Lloyd-Jones and Sinclair B. Ferguson are based on a misinterpretation. The statement of Lloyd-Jones, “He there received the Spirit in fullness” is quite erroneous since it is based upon the misunderstanding of the relation between the phrases, “to be filled with the power of the Spirit,” “to be full of the power of the Spirit,” and “to receive the Spirit.” It should be “He there received the fullness of the power of the Spirit.”

Luke 1:15-17 shows that John the Baptist was filled with (the power) of the Spirit.

Luke 1:15-16  For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. (NIV)

Luke 1:17 αὐτὸς προελεύσεται ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ ἐν πνεύματι καὶ δυνάμει Ἠλίου,
NIV        He will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children.
KJV        He shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias.
NKJ        He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah.
NRS       With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him.
NLT        He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah.
GWN      He will go ahead of the Lord with the spirit and power that Elijah had.

     The phrase “John the Baptist will be filled with the Spirit” must be translated “He will be filled with of the Holy Spirit.” The words “in the spirit and power of Elijah” are from the mistranslation. It must be “in the Spirit and power of Elijah,” since pneumati kai dunamei (πνεύματι καὶ δυνάμει in Luke 1:17) is the same as Acts 10:38. Acts 10:38 is assuming Luke 1:15-17, and “in the Spirit and power of Elijah” must be “in the power of the Spirit of Elijah,” which speaks of the power of the Spirit that came on Elijah (1 Kings 18:46). Consequently, the translation and interpretation of Luke 1:15-16 must be, “John the Baptist will be filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit.” In the case of John the Baptist the word “power” is omitted just as it is in Acts 2:4. It should be noted that John the Baptist preached God’s word in the power of the Spirit just as Elijah did. Every English version incorrectly translates Luke 1:15-17 like Acts 2:4. The AB translates Luke 1:15 as “John the Baptist will be filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit.” But it is quite erroneous since it is based on the misunderstanding of “to be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be controlled by the Holy Spirit.”

Luke 1:41-42 shows that Elizabeth was filled with (the power) of the Spirit.

Luke 1:41-42  When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! (NIV)

     This phrase, “Elizabeth was filled with the Spirit,” is from the mistranslation. It should be correctly read as, “Elizabeth was filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit.” Here, the word “power” is omitted as in Acts 2:4. Luke 1:41-45 says, “She was filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit, she prophesied.” Look again at the case of the 120 disciples of Jesus Christ. Acts 2:4 says, “They were all filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” When they were filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit, they received the gift of tongues of the Holy Spirit. Similarly, when Elizabeth was filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit, she received the gift of prophecy (not the gift of tongues). The 120 disciples were all filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit. Just like this case, Elizabeth was filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:41-42 shows that Zechariah was filled with (the power) of the Spirit.

Luke 1:67    Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied. (NIV)

     The phrase “Zechariah was filled with the Spirit” is from the mistranslation. It should read, “Zechariah was filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit.” When he was filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit, he received the gift of prophecy of the Holy Spirit just as Elizabeth did.

Acts 4:7-9 shows that Peter was filled with (the power) of the Spirit.

Acts 4:7-9   They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed. (NIV)

     The phrase “Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit” is from the mistranslation. It must be “Peter was filled with of the Holy Spirit” just as the Greek text records. Further, it should be noted that the term “power” in “By what power” is omitted. So it must read, “Peter was filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit.” Many scholars argue, “Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and here again he was a second time filled with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Peter was newly Spirit-filled. Just like Peter, every believer needs again and again a new Spirit-filling.” This kind of argument comes from the mistranslation.
     If the text is thoroughly examined, it can be found that Peter did not have two fillings or a new filling. The text says: “By what power or what name did you do this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them....” This means that Peter healed a cripple with the power given by the Holy Spirit. It can be said that Peter did work with the power of the Holy Spirit, that is, with the filling of the power of the Holy Spirit. Peter was filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Continually, he preached the gospel and healed the sick with the filling of the power of the Holy Spirit, that is, with the power which was received by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Here, if it can be inferred that Peter was filled again when he spoke to rulers and elders, it makes no sense.
 

Billy Graham insists that in Acts 4:31 Peter had two fillings.

At such a time we need a new filling of the Holy Spirit that He might control and dominate us. Peter and his companions went to a prayer meeting. As we have already seen, when they prayed “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). The filling was given to them to serve Christ by boldly proclaiming the gospel. It is significant to me that Peter had two fillings. He was filled before he preached (v. 8), and he was filled again after he and his fellow workers prayed (v. 31). The filling of the Holy Spirit should not be a once-for-all event, but a continuous realty every day of our lives. He is continually filling us as we submit to Him. (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.121,131,150-151)

     From Acts 4:31, Billy Graham insists Peter was filled before he preached (v. 8), and he was filled again after he and his fellow workers prayed (v. 31). But this is erroneous because of the following reasons. The notes (“We need a new filling of the Holy Spirit. Peter had two fillings. The filling of the Holy Spirit should not be a once-for-all event”) are from the mistranslation and misinterpretation of Acts 1:8 and Acts 2:4. Both passages confirm that the 120 disciples, including Peter, were filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Peter and Paul preached continually the gospel with power of the Holy Spirit. They did not continually receive the power of the Holy Spirit.
     They were not continually again and again filled with the power of the Spirit. The note “the filling of the Holy Spirit should not be a once-for-all event” is quite erroneous. It could be inferred that the filling of the power of the Holy Spirit given to Peter is a once-for-all event. Jesus Christ was filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit when He descended upon Jesus after being baptized with/in by John the Baptist. Jesus has preached the gospel with this power. He did not continually receive the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not have two fillings. It can be said, “Keep on being filled with the power of the Spirit.” Jesus and Peter and Paul did not receive a new filling of the power of the Spirit. All these facts affirm that the argument “We need a new filling of the Holy Spirit” is from the mistranslation. “Power” in Acts 1:8 means not only the power given by the Spirit but also the authority given by the Spirit. If we say that the power and authority given by the Spirit must be again received, it is quite erroneous. Graham continues:

We are not filled once for all, like a bucket. Instead, we are to be filled constantly. It might be translated, “Be filled and keep on being filled,” or “Be being filled.” Ephesians 5:18 literally says, “Keep on being filled with the Spirit.” Personally I believe the Bible teaches there is one baptism in the Spirit-when we come faith in Christ. The Bible teaches there are many fillings. We need a new filling of the Holy Spirit. (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.117,120.)

     According to the literal description of the modern English translations, Billy Graham’s argument seems to be accurate, but it is from the mistranslation and misinterpretation of Eph. 5:18. Consequently, he wrote, “We are not filled once for all, like a bucket. Instead, we are to be filled constantly.” He insists that believers are not filled with the Spirit once for all, like a bucket, instead, we are to be filled constantly with the Spirit. Here, the Spirit is not treated as God the Spirit and a divine Person but water in a bucket. Billy Graham’s argument, “The Bible teaches there are many fillings. We need a new filling of the Holy Spirit,” is based on the mistranslation of Eph. 5:18. He argues that this verse literally says, “Keep on being filled with the Spirit.” But it should be “Be filled with the joy of the Spirit,” or “Be filled with the power of the Spirit.” It could be written, “Keep on being filled with the power of the Spirit.” The note “Personally I believe the Bible teaches there is one baptism in the Spirit–when we come faith in Christ” also is from the misinterpretation of 1 Cor. 12:13. 1 Cor. 12:13 does by no means support this conclusion. To speak of “one baptism in the Spirit” is inaccurate because both water baptism and the baptism of the Spirit take place in the name of the Trinity, that is, in Jesus and in the Spirit, and in God the Father. The term is ambiguous. There is no scriptural reference that would indicate that there is “one baptism in the Spirit” when we come faith in Christ. If the phrase “the baptism of the Spirit” means “to be baptized with/in the Spirit and with/in fire” (Luke 3:16; Matt. 3:11), it is identified with “to be filled with the power of the Spirit” (Acts 1:8; 2:4). If the power of the Spirit also has the meaning of “the authority of the Spirit,” no one will argue that “there are many fillings. We need a new filling of the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 9:17; 9:22 show that Paul was filled with (the power) of the Spirit.

Acts 9:17   Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here-has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (NIV)
 
Acts 9:22   Σαῦλος δὲ μᾶλλον ἐνεδυναμοῦτο
NIV     Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.  
NKJ     But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded…

     These texts testify that Saul (Paul) was filled with the Spirit and grew more and more powerful. Saul increased all the more in strength and was increasingly filled with power. Here again we read the mistranslation of Acts 9:17, “be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Rather it should read, “be filled with of the Holy Spirit,” or “be filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit.” The NIV translates Acts 9:22 as “Saul grew more and more powerful.” The NKJ translates it as “Saul increased all the more in strength.” But it should be translated as “Saul was more filled with power” since enedunamouto (ἐνεδυναμοῦτο) is in the passive voice of the verb enedunamoo (ἐνεδυναμοῦ, to make strong). This is more reasonable translation because it is consistent with Acts 9:17. It means that Saul was filled with the power of the Spirit. On having been filled with the power of the Spirit through the laying on of Ananias’ hands, Paul immediately preached the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is, he immediately preached with the power of the Holy Spirit just as Peter did on the day of Pentecost. The text affirms here that Acts 9:17 must be translated and interpreted as “Saul (Paul) was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.” The records of Acts 9:17,22 are consistent with that of Luke 5:6-7 in which the omission is used.

Acts 13:9 Σαῦλος δέ, ὁ καὶ Παῦλος, πλησθεὶς πνεύματος ἁγίου
NIV     Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit.
NKJ     Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit.

     The Greek plestheis (πλησθεὶς, fill) requires an accusative noun since it is in an accusative verb, but pneumatos hagiou (πνεύματος ἁγίου, of the Holy Spirit) is not in the accusative but the genitive. So “Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit” is derived from the mistranslation of the Greek text. It must be “Paul was filled with of the Holy Spirit,” or “Paul was filled with (the power) of the Holy Spirit.” In Acts 9:17 Paul was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit through the placing of Ananias’ hands. Acts 13:9 speaks again of “Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit.” Some argue that Paul again was filled with the Holy Spirit (an argument similar to Peter’s fillings. See Acts 4:7-9). But it is erroneous since Paul continually preached the gospel with the power/authority of the Spirit, that is, with the filling of the power of the Spirit received through Ananias. It is rational to conclude that Paul was filled with the power of the Spirit.

Ajith Fernando comments on the apostle Paul.

Ananias says that he has come so that Paul “may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Though there is no record that he was filled with the Spirit, we have no reason to doubt that this happened. (Ajith Fernando, The NIV Application Commentary: Acts, p.300.)

     “Though there is no record that Paul was filled with the Spirit” is from the mistranslation and misinterpretation of Acts 9:17-22.
 

Billy Graham himself is in great confusion on the subject “to be filled with the Spirit.”

Throughout the Bible it is clear that the Holy Spirit is God Himself. The Holy Spirit is one with the Father and the Son. If the Father is God, and Jesus is God, then the Holy Spirit is also God. We have seen that the Holy Spirit is a person, and is God, and is a member of the Trinity. (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.5,10,11.)

     This note of Billy Graham on the Holy Spirit is biblical. It must be applied to all his writings. The following notes show that many times the Holy Spirit is not treated as God. The key reason the Holy Spirit is not honored as God springs from the acceptance of mistranslations in the modern English versions. His view is also colored by accepting a misinterpretation of the definition of “the fullness of the Spirit” or “the filling of the Spirit, namely to be filled with Spirit.” Therefore, he himself is found to be in great confusion on the subject “to be filled with the Spirit.” Billy Graham continues:

What does the Bible mean when it speaks of the fullness of the Holy Spirit? Let’s define the fullness of the Spirit. To be Spirit-filled is to be controlled or dominated by the Spirit’s presence and power. (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.114.)

     The terminology “the fullness of the Holy Spirit, to be Spirit-filled” is quite erroneous since the Holy Sprit is not treated as God. We must speak of “the fullness of the power of the Spirit and to be the Spirit’s power-filled.” Then, the Spirit is treated as God. Billy Graham continues:

In Ephesians 5:18 Paul says, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” Here he draws a contrast between two things. A person who is filled with alcohol is controlled or dominated by alcohol. Its presence and power have overridden his normal abilities and actions. It is interesting that we often say someone is “under the influence” of alcohol. Now that is somewhat the meaning of being filled with the Spirit. We are “under the influence” of the Spirit. (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.114-115)

     According to the modern English versions, Graham’s definition seems right. But it is thoroughly unbiblical since it is based on the mistranslation of Eph. 5:18. This should be translated “be filled with by the Spirit,” or “be filled with the joy of the Spirit,” or “be filled with the power of the Spirit.” Billy Graham’s note “the meaning of being filled with the Spirit is to be ‘under the influence of the Spirit’” is based on the mistranslation of Eph. 5:18. It should be inferred that we are “under the influence of the Spirit” as soon as we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. The words “the meaning of being filled with the Holy Spirit” must be changed to read, “the meaning of being filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.” Billy Graham continues:

All Christians are committed to be filled with the Spirit. Anything short of a Spirit-filled life is less than God’s plan for each believer. This continuous filling by the Spirit. When He fills us we will become vessels of blessing to the world. (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.114,117-118,119.)

     Here, the words “filled with the Spirit and a Spirit-filled life” are thoroughly unbiblical because the Spirit is not treated as God and a divine Person. Can we say “filled with God or a God-filled life”? No. So we must speak of “filled with the power of the Spirit,” “a power-filled life” or “the Spirit’s power-filled life.” Then, the Spirit is treated as God. Consider the note, “This continuous filling by the Spirit …When He fills us we will become vessels of blessing to the world.” Although the Spirit is treated as God, it is ambiguous since in the “filling by the Spirit and He fills us,” the verb “fill” in English requires the preposition “with” to make sense. It should be “filling + [with something] by the Spirit” and “He fills us [with something].” Here, “something” must be “the power.” So the note should be, “This continuous filling with the power by the Spirit,” or “This continuous filling of the power of the Spirit…When He fills us with His power, we will become vessels of blessing to the world.” “He fills us with His power” is in the active. When changed into the passive phrase it becomes, “We are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit,” or “We are filled with the power given by the Holy Spirit.”