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The Spirit-filled Life by John MacNeil

CHAPTER VII. HOW LONG BETWEEN?

It is often asked what time must elapse between the regenerating by the Spirit and the filling with the Spirit? for be it remembered the Filling is as real and distinct and definite a blessing as the regenerating. Many people know the moment of their new birth; they were conscious of the change; so also many know when they were |filled with the Holy Ghost;| it was a blessed, bright, conscious experience, and it is as impossible to argue them out of the one experience as out of the other. On the other hand, some people do not know the time when they were born |again;| they simply have come to know by many infallible signs that the great change has taken place; so in like manner some do not know when the Fullness came to them, but they have been gently awaked to the fact that |Jesus came, He filled my soul;| and such people may be as truly |filled with the Spirit| as those who can tell when and where and how the blessing came to them. Now as to the period intervening between the two blessings, we know that in the case of the apostles in Acts ii.4, three or three and a half years elapsed between the day when they heard the |Follow Me,| and the day when they were |filled;| in the cases of the Samaritans in Acts viii.17, and of the Ephesians in Acts xix.1-7, some weeks; in the case of Saul in Acts ix.17, three days. But as we have already noticed in the case of Cornelius and his household in Acts x.44, they were regenerated and filled the same day. From this we gather that, as far as God is concerned, there is no needs-be for any intervening period, but that the believer may be |filled| as soon as he is |born again;| the |Life| almost as soon as we get it may blossom into |Life abundantly.| If we did not |receive the Holy Ghost when| we believed, and if we have not |received| Him since we believed, and are not living now the Spirit-filled life, at whose door then does the blame lie?

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