If you are interested in growing in shared experiences with the Holy Spirit, here are some great resources that will enrich your journey. Check them out!


  • eCourse – LifePointe Holy Spirit Workshop HERE  

  • Teaching Series – (RE)PRESSED GOD – HERE


  • Teaching – Awakening Wednesday (Personal Testimony) – HERE 


  • Book – The Holy Spirit and His Gifts Study Course – HERE



  • eCourse – God Secrets – HERE

  • Book and Resources – Translating God – HERE



  • Video – The Beauty of Spiritual Language – HERE

  • Book – The Beauty of Spiritual Language – HERE



  • eCourse – The Spirit Empowered Life – HERE

  • Book – The Spirit Empowered Life – HERE



What is the difference between being “filled” with the Spirit and speaking with tongues? Aren’t they different things?

There are many theologians/teachers within the Pentecostal lineage that believe that “speaking in tongues” is the initial evidence of being baptized with the Holy Spirit, or being filled. Follow the history of these phrases and note the synonymous nature of them:

MATTHEW 3:11-12 NIV (John the Baptist said) I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will BAPTIZE you with the HOLY SPIRIT and with FIRE.

One of the most provocative, profound and heart-hitting statements used in Scripture about the Holy Spirit is “baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 

Jesus later uses the same expression:

ACTS 1:4-5 NKJV And being assembled together with them, (Jesus) He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the PROMISE of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me;  5 for John truly BAPTIZED with water, but you shall be BAPTIZED with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

This prophetic experience unfolded to them on the day of Pentecost:

ACTS 2:1-4 NIV When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were FILLED with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.  

Here we have another expression, “FILLED with the Holy Spirit,” used synonymously with “BAPTIZED with the Holy Spirit.”  We read in…

ACTS 10:44-46 NKJV While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit FELL upon all those who heard the word. 45 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. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.

Peter himself describing this experience in Jerusalem, told the story in this way…

ACTS 11:15-17 NKJV And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit FELL UPON them, AS UPON US at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be BAPTIZED with the Holy Spirit.'  17 If therefore God gave them the SAME GIFT as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"

Here Peter distinctly called the experience which came to Cornelius and his household, being “BAPTIZED with the Holy Spirit.”  Thus we see that the expressions…

  • “…FILLED with the Holy Spirit…” (ACTS 2:4)

  • “…the Holy Spirit FELL…” (ACTS 10:44)

  • “…BAPTISM with the Holy Spirit…” (ACTS 11:16)

  • “ …God gave them the SAME GIFT…” (ACTS 11:17)

…are all practically synonymous.

Still other expressions are used to describe this blessing, such as …

  • “…RECEIVE the Holy Spirit…” (ACTS 2:38; 19:2-3),

  • “…the Holy Spirit CAME UPON them…” (ACTS 19:2-6)

  • “…the GIFT of the Holy Spirit…” (HEB 2:4; 1 COR 12:4, 11, 13)

  • “I send THE PROMISE of my Father upon you…” (LUKE 24:49; ACTS 1:4)

  • CLOTHED WITH POWER from on high…” (LUKE 24:49)

For the association of “speaking in tongues” with these above labels, check out the below document provided by the Assemblies of God denomination. It is their statement on the baptism in the Holy Spirit, which was approved as the official statement by the General Presbytery of the Assemblies of God on August 11, 2000.


The Holy Spirit can inspire people to speak in languages which they have not learned, as was demonstrated conclusively on the Day of Pentecost (see Acts 2) when people from all over the world heard Galileans speaking foreign languages which they could not have known. In the modern era similar episodes have occurred many times.

The expression “initial physical evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit” refers to the first outward, observable sign that the Holy Spirit has come in filling power. The repeated testimony of Scripture is that this physical sign occurred at the time the Spirit was poured out on individuals. When the 120 disciples were filled with the Spirit, they spoke in tongues (Acts 2:4). They spoke then, not a day, week, or year later. When Cornelius’s household was baptized in the Spirit, members spoke in tongues, and the believing Jews were amazed (Acts 10:44–48). Again, they spoke in tongues at the same time they were baptized, not at some later time. When the Ephesian believers were baptized in the Spirit, they spoke in tongues and prophesied (Acts 19:1–6). There is no statement or implication of a delay between the event of the baptism in the Spirit and the evidence of speaking in tongues. Those who teach there can be a delay in speaking in tongues draw their conclusions from personal experience or the testimony of others, not from a clear statement of Scripture. Scripture nowhere teaches, implies, or gives an example of a delay occurring between the baptism in the Spirit and the evidence of speaking in tongues; therefore we must adhere to the testimony of Scripture.

Prior to the Day of Pentecost, many within Israel had concluded that after God spoke to and through the last of the Old Testament prophets, He was speaking directly to Israel no more. Only after Messiah was to arrive, along with the anticipated Age to Come, would God again speak to His people through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Suddenly, in this spiritually lifeless context, the Spirit is poured out, not just on selected individuals as in the Old Testament, but upon masses of people, essentially everyone in the fledgling Church. It was as if the cry of Moses’ heart had been fulfilled: “I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” (Numbers 11:29). In some marvelous sense the Age to Come had begun, and a church filled with people who spoke in tongues was a sign signifying the dawn of a new period in God’s eternal plan for humankind.

Luke understands speaking in tongues to demonstrate the infilling presence of the Holy Spirit; this is clearly indicated by an examination of Acts 10:44–48.

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God” (Acts 10:44–46).

The conclusion is clear: If someone, even someone unexpected, hears the Word and speaks in divinely inspired tongues, that person has received the Holy Spirit. This was the reasoning of Peter and the other Jewish Christians present. Speaking in tongues is clear evidence someone has received the gift of the Holy Spirit (or been baptized in the Holy Spirit). The evidence was so clear for Peter he insisted Cornelius and his Gentile friends be baptized in water (10:48).

Later, as Peter discussed the Cornelius incident with the apostles and believers in Jerusalem, he again referred to the phenomenon he had witnessed: “So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?” (Acts 11:17). The next verse confirms the apostles and believers accepted tongues as convincing evidence of the baptism in the Spirit: “When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God” (11:18).

While Acts 10:45,46 establishes that speaking in tongues is clear evidence of Spirit baptism, evidence supporting this doctrine is also provided by the overall pattern of Acts associating speaking in tongues with baptism in the Spirit. Acts describes five occasions on which people received an empowering of the Spirit for the first time (i.e., baptism in the Spirit). In none of these accounts are all of the details given, but four of these occasions include significant detail. (For Paul’s reception of the Spirit recorded in Acts 9:17,19, hardly any detail is recorded.) As previously noted, supernatural phenomena are a sign of the coming of the Spirit. The New Testament simply picks up on a very important Old Testament motif.

In Acts 2, 10, and 19 various phenomena are indicated, such as the sound of wind, tongues of fire, prophecy, and speaking in tongues. The only phenomenon occurring in each case, however, is speaking in tongues.

In the Acts 8 account of Peter and John’s ministry among the Samaritans, speaking in tongues is not specifically mentioned but it is strongly implied. After the apostles had laid their hands on the Samaritans, some visible and extraordinary manifestation accompanied the reception of the Spirit. This is evident for, after seeing something remarkable, the magician Simon wanted to buy the ability to confer the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:18 notes explicitly, “When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money.” Based on the pattern found in Acts 2, 10, and 19 it seems most likely that what Simon saw was the Samaritan believers speaking in tongues. Had the experience been only by faith without any accompanying sign, Simon would not have known whether the Samaritan believers actually received the Holy Spirit.

Acts 9:17–19 suggests that Saul of Tarsus (i.e., the apostle Paul) was filled with the Holy Spirit through the ministry of Ananias. Though no details of this filling are given, we know from 1 Corinthians 14:18 that Paul prayed in tongues regularly and often. It would hardly be surprising if that pattern was begun at the time he was filled with the Spirit.

Despite the sketchiness of the report about Paul’s baptism in the Spirit, and despite the fact tongues are not explicitly mentioned in Acts 8, the evidence of chapters 2, 10, and 19 demonstrates an overall pattern of speaking in tongues as regularly accompanying the baptism in the Holy Spirit. When these three witnesses are linked with (1) Luke’s underlying awareness of the Spirit’s presence in divinely inspired speech and (2) the strong inference of Acts 10:45,46 connecting speaking in tongues with the gift of the Spirit, the Pentecostal doctrine that speaking in tongues constitutes evidence of Spirit baptism is clearly established.


My personal conviction is that while speaking in tongues is an available initial blessing to every believer for being filled/baptized with the Holy Spirit, due to negative teachings and unfortunate expectations, many believers simply don’t know how to yield in faith to Him. However, there are other evidences of being filled with the Spirit:

  1. Supernatural Boldness

  2. Unity and Oneness in Relationships

  3. Generosity of Heart

  4. Possessing Supernatural Power

  5. Favor and Goodwill

  6. Contentment

  7. Good Financial Stewardship

  8. Hunger for Word of God

  9. Prioritized Friendships/Relationships

  10. Love of Serving Others

  11. Love to Pray and Worship

  12. Love of Organized Church Life / Own the Vision

  13. Spiritual Life is Perceived as Awesome

  14. Expressions of Gladness and Joy

  15. Simplicity of Heart

  16. Steadfast Diligence

  17. Evangelism & Love for People Outside the Faith

  18. Dynamic Faith

  19. Supernatural Wisdom

  20. Speak in Supernatural Languages

  21. A Deep Desire to Live Holy  

  22. Singing Praise/Melodies In Heart 

  23. Exuberant Thankfulness

  24. Mutual Submission / Tenderness of Heart

  25. Inspired Speaking and Prophesying

  26. Effectiveness In Spiritual Authority

  27. Nine Operational Gifts of the Spirit

  28. Intensified Fruit of the Holy Spirit  

  29. Resilient Energized Hope

  30. Unusual Freedom

Again, it is my conviction that EVERYONE “CAN” yield to this devotional gift of speaking in tongues as the initial evidence of being filled/baptized with the Spirit. However, being filled/baptized with the Holy Spirit is so much more than speaking in tongues. And, speaking in tongues should be desired and coveted in our hearts before God. Ultimately, it is a gift that we should use with great regularity in our private lives.

Could you provide a resource of the 23 Gifts of the Holy Spirit you spoke of?


God designed you to fulfill a specific “function” in the church and gifted you accordingly. The MOTIVATIONAL and MINISTRY GIFTS you POSSESS are YOURS; They ARE PART OF WHO YOU ARE. You operate in them all the time, intentionally or unintentionally.

  • 9 MOTIVATIONAL GIFTS (ROM 12:6-8; 1 COR 12:28)

    • Administration

    • Encouragement/Exhortation

    • Giving

    • Helps

    • Hospitality

    • Intercession

    • Leadership

    • Mercy

    • Service


    • Apostle

    • Prophet

    • Evangelist

    • Pastor

    • Teacher

  • 9 OPERATIONAL GIFTS (1 COR 12:1-11)

    • The operational gifts are available to all believers as opportunities arise. If God determines there is a need and you are available, then God will use you in one of these gifts. YOU DO NOT OWN OPERATIONAL GIFTS. THEY ARE NOT PART OF YOUR MAKE-UP. THEY HAPPEN ONLY AS GOD DETERMINES.

    • Word of Knowledge

    • Word of Wisdom

    • Discerning of Spirits

    • Special Faith

    • Gifts of Healings

    • Working of Miracles

    • Prophecy

    • Tongues

    • Interpretation of Tongues

We receive the Holy Spirit when we are born again, correct? Is having the Holy Spirit present in every believer not the same as being "filled" with the Holy Spirit? The terminology sounds confusing.

Another great question. Yes, the Holy Spirit lives inside the Believer beginning at the new birth, or Salvation. However, there are a number of reasons we have to separate this experience from being “filled” with the Spirit. And yes, it does require precision due to centuries of debate around complexities. I believe that once we enter the complexities by Biblical analysis we see that what once was confusing is now simplified.

First, remember the below synonymous phrases.

  • “…FILLED with the Holy Spirit…” (ACTS 2:4)

  • “…the Holy Spirit FELL…” (ACTS 10:44)

  • “…BAPTISM with the Holy Spirit…” (ACTS 11:16)

  • “I send THE PROMISE of my Father upon you…” (LUKE 24:49; ACTS 1:4)

  • CLOTHED WITH POWER from on high…” (LUKE 24:49)

These phrases will help us as we assess a distinct and separate experience of being saved (having the Holy Spirit within) and being filled (having the Holy Spirit upon).

  • Jesus’ staff disciples (the 11, excluding Judas who committed suicide) were born again in John 20: 21-22, yet were required to be “filled” with the Spirit and “endued with power.” making these distinct and separate experiences.

JOHN 20:21-22 NKJV So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on [them], and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit…”

However, they weren’t “filled” with the Spirit until Acts 2:1-4, marking a distinct separation between the two experiences.

LUKE 24:49 KJV And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

ACTS 1:4, 8 NKJV (Jesus said) And being assembled together with [them], He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," [He said], "you have heard from Me; ... 8 "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."

ACTS 2:1-4 NKJV When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and [one] sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Another consideration from this text is the clear command to stay in Jerusalem “UNTIL…”, which gives the idea that whatever this enablement would be that they would not have to guess whether they had received it. The tone here is that it (whatever they were to wait for in Jerusalem) would be immediate and conclusive evidence to the fact they were filled. This would not be measured by things they had already experienced; joy, peace, freedom, etc. The power would be distinctly affirmed by something different than what they had previously experienced in walking with Jesus in human flesh.

  • The Samaritans had believed in Christ, and had even been baptized in water in the name of the Lord Jesus, yet they had not received this separate and distinct experience of power that comes from a baptism in the Holy Spirit.

ACTS 8:15-17 KJV (The Apostles) Who, when they were come down, prayed for them (the Samaritans), that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.  

The Samaritans were saved, and baptized in water, but they had not received the Holy Spirit as “power upon” yet. They were Christians, with the Holy Spirit living “in them,” but not “full” of the Holy Spirit. Peter and John knew the Samaritans had not “received” the Holy Spirit. How did they know that? If was to be a subtle, vague or purely emotional experience, then none of the Apostles would be able to be sure whether someone had received or not. Once they received the Holy Spirit, what was the evidence. The evidence required an outside party to have credible criteria to determine that they indeed had received. We know that was speaking in tongues.

The point here is not about the tongues, but about a distinct and separate experience between being born again (where the Holy Spirit lives “inside” the believer) and being “filled with the Spirit” (where the Spirit comes upon and empowers a believer for service).

  • The Ephesian Christians had “believed” on Christ, becoming born again, yet they had not received this distinct and separate experience of being Baptized with the Holy Spirit (the Holy Spirit coming upon them).

    ACTS 19:1-7 KJV And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.7 And all the men were about twelve. 

    Again, it is clear that “receiving” the Holy Spirit, or the “Holy Spirit coming UPON them, was distinct and separate from the new birth. These Ephesian believers both believed, which is the criteria for Salvation and the Holy Spirit living inside a believer, and were water baptized, yet they had not experienced “receiving” or “coming upon” of the Holy Spirit yet.

    It is also interesting to note that these texts set forth that “receiving” and the “coming upon” of the Holy Spirit is such an experience, one that is so real and distinct, that one can answer “yes” or “no” to, “Have you received the Holy Ghost?”. This eliminates a vague or merely emotional experience subjectively described by the believer; this elevates the experience to a predictable evidence that not only would be known by the individual believer, but affirmed by the Apostles once it happened.

  • The Apostle Paul’s conversion experience was distinct and separate from his “infilling” of the Holy Spirit.

    Saul of Tarsus, later known as the Apostle Paul, had a dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus. The story is told in Acts 9. Saul is knocked down and blinded by the light of Christ’s presence. In the experience, Jesus told Saul to go to Damascus and it would be told him what God’s plan for him would be next. Saul, still without sight, came to the city and found a believer named Ananias. Notice what Ananias says to Saul:

    ACTS 9:17 NKJV And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."

    Ananias addresses Saul as “Brother” Saul, implying that Saul was now a born again believer. Saul was converted to Christ on the road to Damascus, not after. He was already saved, having the Holy Spirit “within” him. Once Ananias laid hands upon Saul, Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit. Saul (also called Paul) was filled with the Spirit some 3 days after his conversion. This is another case analysis of a distinct and separate experience between being saved (having the Spirit “within”) and being filled with the Spirit.

So in conclusion, a person can be born again with the Spirit living inside them and not yet be “filled” with the Spirit. However, we have reasons to also know that at the point of conversion a believer can be filled also. While these are distinct and separate experiences it is not required that a time-gap be placed between the two experiences. It is my conviction that anyone who believes on Christ can immediately be filled with the Spirit, and should seek to live in a filled state. This filling does have evidence criteria that the Apostles could affirm as to whether someone had received or not.