Was Jesus Filled With the Holy Spirit from Birth?
Part 1

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Copyright 1994 - 2023 Bill's Bible Basics

Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
July 18, 1997

Last Updated :
June 28, 2022

An EDGE Online Member Comment Regarding When Jesus Was Filled With The Holy Spirit, Have The Churches Taught Us Wrong?, The Disparity Between Jesus And John The Baptist, The Miraculous Conception Of Jesus Christ, Was Mother Mary Filled With The Holy Ghost?, Genesis: God's Creative Spirit In The Beginning, Elizabeth Conceives John The Baptist In Her Old Age And Hides Herself, Joseph Consider Putting Away Mary, God's Unorthodox Methods, John Was Filled With The Spirit While Jesus Was An Actual Creation Of The Spirit, Spirit-Filled Jesus Preaching At Twelve Years Old, No Man Can Say That Jesus Is The Lord But By The Holy Ghost, The Purpose Of Holy Spirit Is To Be A Witness, Teaching Incident In The Temple, Connection Between Holy Ghost And Wisdom, Peter And John Preach Boldly Before Caiaphas And Other Elders Of Israel, Power And Wisdom Of The Holy Spirit, Isaiah's Prophecy Regarding Jesus, Look To God's Word And Don't Rely On Misguided Doctrines Of Men, Gabriel's Message To John's Father Zacharias, When Was John The Baptist Filled With The Holy Ghost?, Why Did Gabriel Tell Mary About Her Cousin Elizabeth?, Elizabeth's Reason For Hiding Herself, Mary's Encounter With Elizabeth, Holy Spirit Residing Inside Mother Mary, Genesis: God's Spoken Word Is A Creative Spirit, God's Spoken Word Can Also Destroy, A Miraculous Spiritual Interaction Occurred Between Mary And Elizabeth, Baby John Leaps And He And His Mother Are Filled With The Holy Spirit

Back in July of 1997, a certain member of my now-defunct "EDGE Online" mailing list made a comment which ultimately motivated me to write this current series. For those of you who may not be familiar with it -- which is probably most of you, being as that was so long ago -- EDGE stood for Endtime Discussion Group Exchange. In addition to being my small Christian mailing list, EDGE Online was also the very first name that I gave to my very first meager effort to create a website. That occurred in May of that same year. If you want to learn more about the early days of Bill's Bible Basics, please check out the article called "The Internet: Our Final Frontier; Your Last Chance?". At any rate, this person wrote as follows:

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"Something that I'd like to share with you is something I learned this past week. Jesus did not have the Holy Spirit in Him until He was baptized by John. Just thought you might find that interesting. If you disagree email me."

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I have to admit that the above comment is an interesting speculation, and one which, until now -- meaning 1997 -- I had never really looked into before. Like many other people, for years I had just blindly accepted and assumed that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit at the time of His water baptism by John the Baptist, just as the above comment says. But, being the curious and analytical soul that I tend to be, I decided to more deeply research the matter in order to find a more definitive answer regarding this subject. Thus, this series is an examination of what I discovered back in 1997. I hope you are prepared for what might possibly be a shocking revelation for some of you; particularly if you hold to church tradition.

Would it surprise you if I were to suggest that maybe Jesus' baptism wasn't exactly what everyone has been led to believe by organized religion? Hasn't it ever struck you as being rather strange that we are taught that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth, yet Jesus, the very Son of God, had to wait about thirty years until His water baptism by John in order to receive the very same Power and Anointing? Doesn't the Gospel of Luke inform us that Jesus was conceived by means of the Holy Ghost?

In fact, taking this a step further, doesn't that very same Gospel likewise inform us that BOTH Mary and Elizabeth were overshadowed or filled with the Holy Ghost? It is as clear as day if you read the Scriptures with an open mind. Let's take a look at Jesus' conception first. We will address the situation regarding Elizabeth a bit later in this series. In the Gospel of Luke we find the following account:

". . . The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
Luke 1:35, KJV

I suppose it is a matter of personal interpretation of this cryptic passage, but if the Holy Ghost came upon Mary, and "the power of the Highest" overshadowed her, it sounds to me like it is saying she was filled with the Holy Spirit. This would in fact explain why the Angel Gabriel calls Jesus a "holy thing". Jesus was in fact a creation of God's Spirit within Mary's womb, just as that very same creative Spirit "moved upon the face of the waters" in the beginning in the opening verses of the Book of Genesis, as we see here:

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
Genesis 1:1-2, KJV

Unlike John the Baptist whose conception and birth was the result of normal human intercourse, Jesus was the result of a miraculous union of flesh and Spirit. Of course, we also know that John's conception was a miracle too, because we are told that Elizabeth was barren and of old age, just as Abraham and Sarah were already old in the Old Testament at the time that Isaac was conceived. Let me share that verse from Luke with you, because it will become very important later on in this discussion:

"And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren."
Luke 1:36, KJV

If I understand the following verses correctly, it seems that Elizabeth may have been so embarrassed at becoming pregnant at such an old age, that she chose to hide herself during the first five months of her pregnancy:

"And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men."
Luke 1:24-25, KJV

Personally, I find it quite interesting that two of the most blessed women of all time were scorned by society because of their unorthodox pregnancies; one in her old age, and the other impregnated by questionable means, which the people of that era might view as a case of adultery. Don't forget that until he was instructed by the Angel of the Lord, in order to avoid creating a public scene, even Joseph had thought to secretly put away Mary, his espoused wife, as we see by the following group of verses:

"Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."
Matthew 1:19-21, KJV

However, as I point out in my four-part series entitled "My God is a Shocker!", sometimes it is by way of His unorthodox methods, and by sometimes choosing people who on the surface appear to not be well-equipped for a particular task, that God will reveal His true power, greatness and glory. I am reminded of the following two verses:

"But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:"
1 Corinthians 1:27-28, KJV

Getting back to the main issue, the point is that John had to be filled with the Holy Spirit, while Jesus was the very essence of or creation of the Holy Spirit to begin with. Another speculative article I wrote regarding this subject is "Holy Ghost: The Spirit of Jesus Christ?" which also explores the possibility of a unique relationship between Jesus and the Holy Spirit. You might want to take a look at it if you haven't already done so. You will find it listed at the end of this same series.

Now, if you are an individual who embraces traditional church dogma, and who rejects the possibility of Christ being filled with the Holy Spirit since His conception, or even being the actual incarnation of the Spirit itself, however you prefer to view it, then you are going to have a very difficult time explaining to me how it is that at the tender age of twelve, Jesus was already occupied with His Father's work, apparently WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT -- at least according to your personal understanding -- being as you don't believe Christ received it until His baptism by John some eighteen years later. Well, as I was updating this series, I was reminded of this verse:

"Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."
1 Corinthians 12:3, KJV

You see, by even referring to God the Father as His Father, and saying that He must be about His Father's business, the young boy Jesus was indirectly stating that He was, and is, the Lord. The previous verse declares that no one can even do that, "but by the Holy Ghost". Let me likewise remind you that according to Acts 1:8, the whole purpose of receiving the Holy Ghost is to give a person the power to be a witness of their faith, which is EXACTLY what Jesus was doing at the tender age of twelve. Consider the verse:

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:8, KJV

As you may possibly recall, as the young lad Jesus preached in the temple on that particular day, the doctors of the law -- meaning those who were supposedly well-versed in the Holy Scriptures -- were amazed and astonished by the wisdom in Jesus' words. And then we have Jesus' astonishing response when His parents arrived and chided Him. Consider this set of verses:

"And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they [Joseph and Mary] saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?"
Luke 2:47-49, KJV

Personally, I find it difficult to believe that at this young age, Jesus is ALREADY aware of His calling and ministry, and is teaching the doctors of the law in the temple, WITHOUT the anointing of the Holy Ghost. Unless God's Spirit was ALREADY upon Him and in Him, how could the boy Jesus possibly know all these things? How could He state them with such certainty of purpose? In my view, surely it must have been God's Spirit speaking through Him with such authority. If we look only a few verses earlier, we find the following statement:

"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him."
Luke 2:40, KJV

Notice that the word "spirit" is not capitalized. This could mean that it should be understood in a generic sense, such as when you say, "That person has got a lot of spirit." At the same time, it could be a typographical error. Going by the rest of the verse, there are indications that it may actually be referring to THE Spirit. I base this on the fact that it also says that He was "filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him". If we turn to John chapter fourteen where the Lord is discussing with His disciples the promise of the coming baptism of the Holy Ghost, we find the following very interesting verse:

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
John 14:26, KJV

How is it that the Holy Ghost will give them the power to witness? By TEACHING them all things, and by bringing all things to their remembrance. In other words, the Holy Spirit would TEACH them the wisdom of God, because it is the Spirit of Wisdom. If you doubt this unique connection between the anointing of the Holy Spirit and being strong in spirit and filled with wisdom -- as Jesus was described in Luke 2:40 -- consider what we find in Acts chapter six concerning the selection of Stephen and others deacons AFTER the day of Pentecost had occurred:

"Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business."
Acts 6:3, KJV

Notice that it almost appears as if the phrase "Holy Ghost" and the word "wisdom" are synonymous. At the very least, the verse suggests that wisdom is a byproduct of having received the Holy Spirit. A few short verses later, we are informed that Stephen is "full of faith and power", and is doing great wonders and miracles. The Holy Spirit is so strong upon him that no one can resist him, as we can determine by the following verse which is also found in Acts chapter six:

"And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake."
Acts 6:10, KJV

Notice again, the very same words, "wisdom" and "spirit" -- with a small "s" -- just like the verse describing the child Jesus. Just as this verse is referring to the Holy Spirit, it is my view that so is the verse we examined earlier which describes Jesus' childhood. Both of these verses should have had a capital "S", in my opinion. A few chapters earlier in the Book of Acts, we see how Apostles Peter and John were likewise filled with the power and wisdom of God -- that is, with the Spirit of Wisdom -- when they addressed the high priest, Caiaphas, his relatives and other rulers and elders of Israel. Consider the following verse:

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."
Acts 4:13, KJV

You see, Caiaphas and the other elders were obviously quite aware of the Apostles' backgrounds. They had probably begun keeping track of them the minute that Jesus began to stir up trouble and challenge their authority. And yet here they now stand preaching boldly and fearlessly before the same wicked crowd who had plotted Jesus' murder. So it becomes evident that power -- being strong in spirit -- and wisdom are the results of being filled with the Holy Spirit. If you are not yet convinced of this connection between the Holy Spirit and wisdom, and that they are in fact almost, if not synonymous, here are a few more verses for your personal consideration:

"For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;"
1 Corinthians 12:8, KJV

"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:"
Ephesians 1:17, KJV

If you would like to ponder some additional evidence, then consider that in the Old Testament Book of Proverbs, God's Spirit is likewise described as Wisdom, which He possessed since the very beginning of time, even before the physical Creation of the Universe. Here is the verse:

"The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old."
Proverbs 8:22, KJV

In fact, if the preponderance of Scriptural evidence I have already provided for you is not sufficient, then consider that in a specific prophecy concerning Jesus which is found in the Book of Isaiah, we read the following lines:

"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;"
Isaiah 11:1-2, KJV

Notice that those verses specifically say "the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him". So then, based on the description of Jesus' own birth, the very same descriptive terminology being used to describe Jesus' early childhood, and the acts of the Spirit-filled disciples, as well as the additional Scriptures I have provided, I personally have no doubt that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth, and NOT when He was about thirty years of age, as many of us have been erroneously taught by organized religion.

As I asked you earlier, as a rational thinking human being, doesn't it strike you as being even the least bit odd that Jesus would be denied the Holy Spirit for ninety per cent of His life, only to have it for the remaining ten per cent of it, while John the Baptist had it for his entire life, even from birth? So, my friends, it is time to chuck some of the false doctrines which some of the churches have taught you. Jesus said if the blind lead the blind, they will both fall into the ditch -- Matthew 15:14. Open your eyes and see the truth according to God's Word. Don't rely upon the false teachers and their traditions, and the misguided doctrines of men. Look to the Word for the truth, as I have done in this series.

At this point, some of you may possibly be wondering, "Well, so what's the big deal? Why is it so important to know when Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit?" Once I share with you the little revelation I received when I updated this series for the first time in 2010, I think you will begin to understand the Wisdom of God, as was to be revealed in the events surrounding the birth of John the Baptist. Let me begin by stating that we must remember that God the Father is very organized in all His ways. He has a set time and purpose for everything that He does, even if we mere humans don't realize it. Let's take a look now at John the Baptist. Before John's birth, Luke informs us that the Angel Gabriel told his father Zacharias the following:

"And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb."
Luke 1:14-15, KJV

Have you ever wondered about exactly when this prophecy was fulfilled? I am specifically referring to the part that says "and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb." Personally, I never did. However, back in 2010 when I conducted the first minor revision to this same series, it all suddenly became rather clear to me. Do you remember the verse I shared earlier regarding the Angel's message to Mary? Here it is again in case you have forgotten it:

"And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren."
Luke 1:36, KJV

There are two important pieces of information contained in this verse which most Christians probably overlook. First of all, why did the Angel Gabriel inform Mary about her cousin Elizabeth? Although it is not stated directly, obviously, he wanted Mary to go visit her. Perhaps he told her directly to do this, but it just wasn't recorded in Luke's account. The second point is that when Mary became pregnant, Elizabeth was already in her sixth month of pregnancy. As you will no doubt recall, we were told that for whatever her reasons, Elizabeth had hid herself from public view during the first five months of her pregnancy.

Expanding on what I stated earlier in this series, whether it was due to her being embarrassed, or possibly because she simply wanted to surprise everyone, I'm really not sure. The verse is rather cryptic for my personal understanding. In fact, regarding hiding herself, I am not sure if the verse means that she physically hid herself from other people, or if she simply tried to conceal her pregnancy by the clothes that she wore. Even today, some women will do such things.

At any rate, it seems obvious that God the Father had a very specific purpose in informing Mary of her cousin's pregnancy by way of His messenger, the Angel Gabriel. As we all know, they didn't have cars or other rapid forms of transportation in those days. To travel even short distances meant walking, or else riding on a slow animal. To continue, a short while later, we find Mary visiting her cousin Elizabeth, who lived in the hill country of Judah. It is what happens when they first meet each other that is just so miraculous:

"And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:"
Luke 1:41, KJV

Wow! This is really the strangest thing if you pay close attention to what is happening here. Elizabeth hears Mary's verbal salutation, and immediately baby John leaps in her womb. Not only that, but Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Ghost. What is going on here? Well, while I cannot say for certain, if you are willing to consider some of the ideas which I believe I expound upon in the article entitled "The Manipulation of Time and Space", perhaps we can make some sense out of this. I believe that it may have been in that particular article where I compare the Holy Spirit to some type of spiritual energy, much like electricity.

Now, if mother Mary was filled with the Holy Spirit when she conceived baby Jesus, and Jesus was living and growing inside her womb, it seems quite possible, and perhaps even probable, that she continued to carry that same Holy Spirit within her, since Jesus was Himself the very physical creation of that Spirit. Having said that, let's focus for a moment on what Jesus said in John chapter six:

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."
John 6:63, KJV

In this verse we have a clear indication that the spoken word is synonymous with spirit. We likewise know from John chapter one and elsewhere, that Jesus is called the Word of God. In addition, we know that by merely speaking the word, by sending forth the Spirit from His mouth, all things were created in the beginning. As you will probably recall, the Book of Genesis is full of ". . . and God said . . ." Here is another verse which supports this very same idea:

"For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:"
2 Peter 3:5, KJV

We also know that the Scriptures inform us that at a time which has already been predetermined, the Lord again speaks the word, and the same Creation is destroyed, in order to make room for the new, as becomes evident by the following verse which is found in Peter's second Epistle:

"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
2 Peter 3:7, KJV

So then, it should now be rather obvious that there is real spiritual power in the spoken word; even in our words today. Consider then the young Mary upon whom the Holy Spirit had come, who was overshadowed by the power of the Highest, and who now carried the baby Jesus. Given those facts, I must conclude that she must have been very much full of the Holy Spirit when she went to see her cousin Elizabeth. Call it a wild imagination if you will, but it seems to me that when Mary verbally saluted her cousin, something very profound happened in the Spirit. The only way I can think to describe it so that you can understand it, is to say that the Spirit arced from Mary -- via her spoken word, if you will -- to Elizabeth, just as occurs between two electrodes, filling Elizabeth -- and consequently John -- with the Holy Ghost.

Remember, words are invisible. We can no more see them than we can see the Spirit. Yet we can see and feel the effects of both of them in our lives. Let me ask you something. What happens if you are in your living room walking around on the carpet, and you go over to turn on the television set? You get a sudden jolt of static electricity, don't you? And what is your immediate reaction when this happens? You jump back! You leap backwards because of the sudden unexpected shock, right? Now let's take another closer look at the previous scenario, and try to see something new in it that we didn't see before:

"And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:"
Luke 1:41, KJV

Some Christians may consider me a bit off my rocker, but it sounds to me like there was either a transfer or sharing of spiritual Power or Energy, and Anointing passing or bridging between baby Jesus and baby John, at that very minute that Mary spoke to Elizabeth. I must conclude that it was at that precise moment at which John was filled with the Holy Ghost! That is why it was so important for Mary to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Aside from carrying baby Jesus in her womb, Mary was the vehicle through which God would zap baby John and his mother with the Power of the Holy Ghost; and it would be given to them by Someone who was given the Spirit without measure, as we clearly know by reading the following verse:

"For he [Jesus speaking of Himself] whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him."
John 3:34, KJV

To reiterate, it is my view that Baby Jesus and Mary were a powerhouse of Spiritual Energy, who upon visiting Elizabeth, in a sense charged John's battery so-to-speak. It all fits perfectly. John didn't have the Holy Spirit for the first five months of his life until Jesus -- who was filled from conception -- gave him a jolt of the Spirit when His mother opened her mouth and saluted Elizabeth. As you will recall, the prophecy said that "he [meaning John ] shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb"; and that is exactly what happened on that day. Baby John was zapped! Let's not forget that the Apostles would not be filled with the Holy Ghost until over thirty years after this event. So perhaps God used this method to light John's spiritual fuse. Can I prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt? Of course not; but I think it is a very interesting speculation.

While I am really taking a leap of faith here -- and you do not have to accept this next statement if you don't want to -- who knows, maybe it was even the Lord speaking through mother Mary, using her words as the vehicle to accomplish the transfer of Power! Another possibility is that maybe it was just the proximity of their bodies acting as spiritual electrodes, which really activated the discharge of Energy or Spirit. However, I'm more inclined to believe that it had to do with the actual words which were spoken by Mary. Now, we could be tempted to think, "Well, what if Mary had never made that trip? Would John not have received the Holy Spirit at that particular point in his life?" I think that is a moot issue, simply because being as He lives in the Eternal Now, God already knew the future. He knew ahead of time that Mary would make the right decision to obey, and thus go to visit her cousin Elizabeth in the hill country of Judah.

Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.

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