The Holy Spirit With, In, And Upon You

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:17, KJV)

Holy Spirit in you showing a glass of water being filled

Scripture employs various prepositions to explain our relationship with the Holy Spirit. In John 14:17, Jesus contrasts “with” and “in,” distinguishing the Spirit’s distinct operations among the disciples. Let’s explore these prepositions: with, in, and upon.

When Jesus announced that the Spirit was already with them but would soon be in them, He drew a significant line between “Spirit with” and “Spirit in.” The Spirit was already “with” them, shaping their present reality, likely pointing towards the forthcoming Pentecost.

So how did the Spirit “dwell with” the disciples? The first clue is in Jesus’ preceding words, explaining that the disciples already knew the Spirit, but the world did not. They had already experienced the Spirit, who had moved in their hearts, leading them to believe in Jesus. They had seen the Spirit’s presence and power operation in Jesus, Who was with them. They had also exercised His power to some extent, casting out demons (Luke 10:17). Yet, this relationship would evolve significantly post-Pentecost.

From Pentecost onwards, there was a transformative shift from the Spirit “with you” to the Spirit “in you.” This “in” speaks of a unique and glorious union between the Holy Spirit and the born-again human spirit:

“But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” (1 Corinthians 6:17, KJV)

This union was unlike anything experienced by the prophets of the Old Testament. A monumental shift had occurred in the Spirit’s role in the lives of God’s people. The Spirit now dwelt permanently in their hearts; more importantly, He operates from within them as them—one with them.

Furthermore, the Spirit UPON has its distinct implications. In the Old Testament, prophets, priests, and kings had experienced this. For example, the Spirit mightily came upon Samson (Judges 16:6). The emphasis here is on the Spirit’s power working through someone to accomplish a specific task. Even post-Pentecost, the Spirit still “comes upon” believers but now emanates from within (Acts 1:8).


Reflect on the significance of the terms “with,” “in,” and “upon” as discussed.

Apply the Word

Understanding these nuances is vital. Spend some time meditating on these revelations.


Ask the Spirit to deepen your understanding of how He dwells in you.

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