When we are born again we do have the Holy Spirit but there is an experience subsequent to salvation called receiving the Holy Spirit, or the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the evidence of being filled is speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues is not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not speaking in tongues – but they go hand in hand. If you have the infilling of the Holy Spirit, you should have the evidence (tongues) to go along with it.

Look at the following scripture passages that confirm that every believer has the right to be filled and to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8v14-19

Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.

For as yet He [Holy Spirit] had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus [that is being born again]. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit [that is the baptism in the Holy Spirit].

And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

Peter and John were sent to lay hands on those who were saved through Philips ministry so that they could receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

Notice that they did not have to wait on the Lord to be filled. They received immediately.

Acts 10v44-46

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.

Notice they first received the Word, they got born again; then they received the gift of the Holy Spirit and then they heard them speak with tongues. It’s a gift just like receiving Jesus into your heart is a gift. You can’t earn it and you don’t need to beg for it. Just like any other gift, you just receive it.

Peter and all the other Jews were shocked that God filled the Gentiles also. So understand that this gift is for every single believer and not just for a select few.

It is also interesting to note that they received salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit almost simultaneously. When a person is first saved, that is the best time to get him or her filled with the Holy Spirit. Notice that they did not have to wait on the Lord to be filled. They received immediately.

Acts 19v1-6

And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

These followers of John the Baptist got saved through Paul ministering to them and simultaneously received the Holy Spirit when Paul laid his hands on them.

Notice that they did not have to wait on the Lord to be filled. They received immediately.

To teach people to wait for the infilling of the Holy Spirit which has already been given as a free gift, only produces doubt and indecision.


The infilling of the Holy Spirit is not for sinners; it is for believers. Referring to the infilling of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said;

John 14v17

The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive…

The world can receive eternal life.

John 3v16

For God so loved the WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The world can receive Jesus Christ as Saviour, the world can be born again but a person must be born again before he can receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

To illustrate this, Jesus said;

Matthew 9v17

Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.

In the Scriptures wine is referred to as a type of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was therefore saying that the Holy Spirit could not be given in His fullness unless one had been made a new creature, been born again.

Jesus pointed out that if you were to put new wine in old bottles, they would burst. If He put the Holy Spirit in people who had not been born again, they would burst.

When you got saved, you then became a new creature. You are now ready to be filled with the new wine.

Ephesians 5v18

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.

John 4v13-14

The water referred to in this passage is a type of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to the woman at the well of Samaria, “But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Here Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit in the act of salvation.

John 7:37-39

The water in this passage also refers to a type of the Holy Spirit. “rivers of living water”, speaks of the infilling of the Holy Spirit and says that “out of his heart (innermost being) will flow rivers of living water”.

So in John 4v14 the reference is to a FOUNTAIN, and in John 7v38, the reference is to RIVERS. It is obvious that these are two different experiences that Jesus is talking about.

The fountain is the blessing of the New Birth in you, it blesses you.

The river is the baptism of the Holy Spirit and that makes you a blessing to others. Those rivers flowing out of you is the enduement of power Jesus promised in

Luke 24v49

Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry (wait) in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.

Acts 1v8

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

We received the power to be witnesses for Jesus. Speaking in tongues gives us the power to be a witness for Jesus and to be a blessing to others.

The promise that Jesus gave in Luke 24v49 was now fulfilled in Acts 2v1-4

Acts 2v1-4

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.


  1. Tongues are the evidence that you have been filled

The Word of God teaches that when we are filled with the Holy Spirit we speak with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives us utterance.

Acts 2v4; Acts 10v46

Speaking in tongues was the supernatural sign which convinced them that had received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Likewise, how will we know if people have received the Holy Spirit? We will hear them speak in other tongues.

  1. Tongues are for Spiritual Edification

1 Corinthians 14v4

He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; …

Paul encouraged believers to continue their practice of speaking with tongues in worship and in their prayer lives for spiritual edification, or building up.

The word “edify” means to build oneself up. Greek scholars tell us that we have a word in our modern vernacular which is much closer to the original meaning than the word “edify”.

That word is “charge”. We use the word “charge” in connection with charging a battery.

A more literal translation would be. “He that speaks in a tongue edifies, charges, or builds himself up like a battery.”

1 Corinthians 14v2

For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.

The Moffatt’s translation says that he speaks divine secrets.

When we speak in tongues, we are not speaking to men but to God. Paul is saying that God has given the church a divine, supernatural means of communication with Himself.

1 Corinthians 14v13-14

Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.

The Amplified translation in verse 14 says;

My spirit (by the Holy Spirit within me) prays.

God is a Spirit. When we pray in tongues, our spirit is in direct contact with God who is a Spirit. We are talking to Him in a divine supernatural means.

  1. Tongues remind us of the Spirit’s Indwelling Presence

John 14v16-17

And I will pray the Father; and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

So the Holy Spirit is in you and when you continue to pray and worship God in tongues, it helps you to be ever conscious and aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence in you.

If we can be aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit every day in our lives, it is bound to affect the way we live. We will not do and say things that offend God and if we miss it, it helps us to repent immediately because we know that God is in us.

A story of a minister’s daughter ( From K. E. Hagin’s book)

A minister’s 12 year old daughter once lost her temper and was talking very rudely and hatefully to her mother. A visiting evangelist overheard the scene. When the girl looked up and saw him, knowing he had witnessed her tantrum, she was embarrassed and burst into tears. The evangelist asked her if she was filled with the Holy Spirit. When she replied that she was, he reminded her that the Holy Spirit was in her.

They had prayer together and she asked the Lord’s forgiveness. While praying, she began to worship God in tongues. When they were finished praying, the evangelist said to her, “There is one secret that will help you curb your temper. If you will pray and worship God everyday in tongues, it will help you to be conscious of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. If you remember He is in you, you won’t act that way”.

Some years later when the evangelist returned to preach at that church, the girl told him, “I have never forgotten what you said. Everyday for the past few years I have prayed and worshipped God in tongues and I have never lost my temper again.”

  1. Tongues will keep our prayers in line with God’s will

Romans 8v26-28

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Speaking in tongues keeps selfishness out of our prayers. If we pray a prayer out of our own mind and out of our own thinking, it may be unscriptural. It may be selfish.

Too often our prayers are like the old farmer who always prayed.

God bless me, my wife, my son John, his wife – us four and no more.

In the above scripture, Paul didn’t say we don’t know how to pray, because we do. We pray to the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the correct way to pray. But just because I know how to pray doesn’t mean I know what to pray for as I should.

When you pray in tongues, it is your spirit praying by the Holy Spirit within you. It is the Holy Spirit within you giving you the utterance, and you are speaking it out of your spirit. You do the talking; He gives the utterance.

By that method the Holy Spirit is helping you pray according to the will of God, which is the way things should be prayed for. This isn’t something that the Holy Spirit does apart from you. He doesn’t groan or speak in tongues apart from you. Those groanings come from inside you and escape your lips.

The Holy Spirit is not going to do our praying for us. He is sent to dwell in us as a Helper and an Intercessor. He is not responsible for our prayer life, He has been sent to help us to pray. Speaking with tongues is praying as the Spirit gives utterance. It is Spirit-directed praying. It eliminates the possibility of selfishness in our prayers.

Many times when people have prayed out of their own minds, they have changed things that actually were not the will of God and were not best for them. If God’s people want something a certain way, even if it isn’t best for them or it isn’t God’s perfect will, He often will permit it.

Remember, God did not want Israel to have a king, but they wanted one, so He permitted them to have one. But it was not His highest will for them.

  1. Praying in tongues stimulates faith

Jude 20

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.

Jude 20 Amp

But you, beloved, build yourselves up (founded) on your most holy faith (make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher, praying in the Holy Spirit.

The fifth reason every believer should speak with tongues is because it stimulates faith and helps us learn how to trust God more fully. Because the Holy Spirit supernaturally directs the words I speak, faith must be exercised to speak with tongues.

When you speak in tongues it causes you to rise higher and higher in the things of God.

God said to me one day, “If you pray more, you will see more”. Speaking in tongues helps you to see more into the things of God.

  1. Praying in tongues keeps us free from worldly contamination

1 Corinthians 14v28

But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.

The sixth reason every Christian should speak in tongues is because it is one way of keeping us free from contamination from ungodly, profane and vulgar talk around us on the job or out in public.

Notice from the Scripture above that we can speak with tongues to ourselves. If we can speak to ourselves and to God in church, then we can do it on the job. You don’t need to disturb anyone. Riding in a car, bus or airplane, we can speak to ourselves and to God.

Sometimes we sit around people who tell dirty jokes or perhaps end up using vulgar language, we can sit there and speak to ourselves and to God in tongues. This is a means of keeping ourselves free from contamination.

  1. Praying in tongues enables us to pray for the unknown

The seventh reason every believer should speak in tongues is because it provides a way to pray about things no one thinks to pray about or is even aware of.

The Holy Spirit who knows everything can pray through us for things which our natural mind knows nothing about.

Romans 8v26

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Sometimes the Lord will place a burden on our hearts to pray.

We should then pray; Lord I know something is wrong somewhere, Holy Spirit in me, You know everything. You are everywhere as well as within me. Whatever this is, You give me the utterance right now.

When praying this way, always continue praying until you have a note of praise. Then you will know that whatever it is you are praying about has been prayed through.

Praying in the Spirit provides a way for things to be prayed for that we wouldn’t know anything about in the natural. The Holy Spirit, however, knows everything.

  1. Praying in tongues gives spiritual refreshing

Isaiah 28:11-12

For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people. To whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” And “This is the refreshing”…

God can speak to His people when we speak in tongues. Have a notepad ready and begin to write down the thoughts that God gives you while praying in tongues.

The rest, the refreshing, that the above scriptures refer to; are referring to speaking in tongues.

We live in a time of information overload, continuous anxiety and stress but God has given us a remedy that can help us each and every single day to enjoy the rest and refreshing that we need, and that rest and refreshing is speaking in tongues.

Story from Joseph Prince Devotional

To counter stress, many people resort to tobacco, alcohol or tranquilizers. These things, besides having harmful side effects, are costly and often lead to addictions.

God has something better for us. It is powerful, costs us nothing and has no harmful side effects. He calls it “the rest” and “the refreshing”. What is He referring to? Speaking in tongues — “For with stammering lips and another tongue…”

One of our church members was on medication for nine long years for a host of problems: severe depression, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, chronic sinusitis, gastritis and panic attacks. Every day he had to take up to 30 tablets to keep these conditions under control.

He suffered from such bad sinusitis that he had to visit the hospital regularly to drain the mucus. He could not sleep much — at most three hours — even with sleeping pills. And because of his panic attacks, he could not go to work and seldom left his house. His wife had to look after him and their three kids. The side effects of the long-term medication also caused his physique to balloon.

One day, he felt God prompting him to pray in tongues as often as he could. He obeyed. The moment he started to pray in tongues, even though it was just a few syllables, he felt a rest, a peace. This encouraged him to pray in tongues more. And the more he prayed in tongues, the more rest and peace he felt.

His sinuses began to clear up and he was healed of gastritis. Slowly, the fears and panic attacks left him too. He also started to have quality sleep without the sleeping pills! The Lord even taught him how he was to eat — two meals a day, but to eat whatever he wanted. Today, he is back to his normal weight!

Through praying in tongues regularly, God delivered this man from a host of long-term illnesses. My friend, this is the rest and the refreshing which God has promised us. So start praying in tongues regularly, and let His rest and peace saturate your entire being!

  1. Tongues are for giving thanks

1 Corinthians 14v15-17

When Paul said, “he who occupies the place of the uninformed” in verse 16, he was referring to those who are unlearned in spiritual things.

If you invite someone over for dinner and you pray in tongues over the food to give thanks, the other people wouldn’t know what you said. They wouldn’t be edified. Therefore Paul said it would be better to pray with the understanding in such cases. But Paul is saying that praying in tongues provides the most perfect way to pray and to give thanks, because he said, “For you indeed give thanks well.…”

  1. Speaking in tongues brings the tongue under subjection

Fasting brings king stomach into subjection but speaking in tongues helps to bring your tongue under subjection.

James 3v8

But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

James is saying that you can’t tame the tongue with natural means like the way they tame an animal. It takes the supernatural power of God to tame your tongue.

When you surrender your tongue to the Holy Spirit to speak with tongues, that then becomes a giant step toward fully surrendering the rest of your body to God.

James 3v1-12

Prayer for Salvation and Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Heavenly Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. Your Word says, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21).

I am calling on You. I pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart and be Lord over my life according to Romans 10:9-10: “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

I do that now. I confess that Jesus is Lord, and I believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead. I am now reborn! I am a Christian— a child of Almighty God! I am saved!

You also said in Your Word, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, HOW MUCH MORE will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)

I’m also asking You to fill me with the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit, rise up within me as I praise God. I fully expect to speak with other tongues as You give me the utterance (Acts 2:4). In Jesus’ Name. Amen!

Begin to praise God for filling you with the Holy Spirit. Speak those words and syllables you receive—not in your own language, but the language given to you by the Holy Spirit. You have to use your own voice. God will not force you to speak.

Don’t be concerned with how it sounds. It is a heavenly language! Continue with the blessing God has given you and pray in the spirit every day. You are a born-again, Spirit-filled believer. You’ll never be the same!

Pastor Lester Holland