In Acts 19:2-7, the Apostle Paul came across some disciples of John the Baptist and, being an evangelist by nature, he asked them about receiving the Holy Ghost. Paul’s conversation went like this:
(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.”
There was a process to these men receiving the Holy Ghost through the baptism in the Holy Ghost:
- First, they had to believe in Jesus and receive Him into there heart.
- Second, they were baptized in the name of Jesus
- Next, Paul laid hands on each of them and the Holy Ghost came on them in such a way that they spake with tongues and prophesied.
Tongues was not a one time occurrence in Acts chapter 2 as some suggest. Here we are way in the 19th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles and we find the Apostle Paul laying hands on some men who were followers of John the Baptist, then we find these men speaking in tongues as The Holy Ghost came upon them. This is the In-Filling of the Holy Ghost.
This is for every believer. Tongues is a way of surrendering your tongue, your voice, and your mouth to the Holy Ghost. It is a way of showing that you completely have placed your faith in Jesus as your Savior and your baptizer.
How Does A Believer Be Filled With The Holy Ghost
First, he must be sure that he or she has placed his or her faith in Jesus as his Savior and not placed his faith in some works. The Holy Spirit will only work as we place our faith in the Redemptive work of the cross of Jesus. We must set our faith for salvation only in the sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross and not in our own personal works of righteousness.
Next, he or she must ask the Holy Ghost to fill them. He wants to more than we want Him to. James said “ye have not because you ask not…” (James 4 KJV). Just by simply asking with simple faith, you can be filled with the Almighty Holy Ghost. He is just a prayer away.
Finally, you just raise your hands and yield your voice by speaking an unknown language that you hear in your spirit. It may sound like gibberish at first, but keep speaking with your mind focused on the Holy Ghost or on Christ filling you. After a while, as you continue to speak, you will sense the power of the Holy Ghost almost taking over your voice.
When Should A Believer Speak in Tongues?
The Apostle Paul described speaking in tongues in I Corinthians chapter 14 as a means of a believer building-up his or her spirit but he says that this does not replace speaking in your known language and tongue before others. In other words if you are speaking in public before others (especially unbelievers) you are to ask the Holy Spirit for interpretation so that the unsaved will understand clearly.
On a personal basis, you speak in an unknown tongue as a means of personal surrender. You can speak daily, hourly, or maybe just a couple of times a week. One way to handle the pressures of life and the attacks of the enemy is by speaking in tongues quietly to yourself focusing your mind on the Holy Spirit handling that situation. You will be amazed at how things will start to work out (maybe not immediately, but soon).
Having said all of this about the baptism in the Holy Ghost, I have a question: Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? A-men