The promise of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues

The coming of the Messiah was prophesied by John the Baptist who proclaimed:

Luke 3:16 “I baptise you with water, but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Mt 3:11)

Phot of a white dove descending with fire

During his ministry Jesus spoke about the need for the Holy Spirit to be given to the disciples. In becoming human, Jesus was limited to being in one place at a time. The Holy Spirit is not limited to one place and is available to all believers; hence Jesus said that his presence would be advantageous to us.

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” John 16:7+8

One of the reasons that the Holy Spirit needed to come upon the disciples was to provide the power to convict people of sin in order to bring repentance. (Acts 2:37)


Speaking in tongues a very precious gift

What gift would you give to your loved ones if you knew that you were leaving this world? You would probably give something that was special and intimate to each one, the most precious thing that you could!
After the resurrection, Jesus spoke about the promise of the Holy Spirit and the gift of speaking in tongues when he addressed his disciples a number of times, saying:

“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49

Mark 16:17 “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues.”

“He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Even though they had been sent out previously and been given authority over evil spirits (Mark 6:7), told to heal the sick (Luke 10:9) and had performed many miracles, they were told to wait for the Holy Spirit and the baptism of power which Jesus had promised.

Tongues of fire - the day of Pentecost

Acts 2:1-13 “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. They were amazed and astonished, saying, ‘Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? … we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.’ And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others were mocking and saying, ‘they are full of sweet wine.’”

A photo of the stained glass window in Cologne cathedral showing the day of Pentecost and tongues of fire on the disciples
The day of Pentecost, Cologne cathedral

When the Holy Spirit came down and rested upon them as tongues of fire and filled them, this was what they had been promised and were waiting for. The manifestation of speaking in tongues, in the languages “of every nation under heaven. When this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language.”
Here it is the 120 disciples, not the hearers, who are the ones in which the miracle occurred “They began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” Acts 2:4

This manifestation of the Holy Spirit was a prophetic sign that in bringing in His Kingdom Jesus has started the reversal of the confusion of the universal language that happened at Babel Genesis 11:1-9.


Speaking in tongues is not the only sign of being baptised in the Spirit!

Paul makes it clear that not everyone has all of the gifts of the Spirit:

1 Corinthians 12:30 “All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak in tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?”

What we can deduce from this is that some with the gifts of healing, and who do not speak in tongues, are just as much baptised in the Holy Spirit as those who speak in tongues, and do not have the gifts of healing.



1. What is speaking in tongues?
2. Tongues restores our spiritual order
3. The promise of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues
4. Speaking in tongues builds you up inside
5. Tongues is your spirit expressing itself to God
6. Examples of the tongues of men
7. Under construction
8. The public use of speaking in tongues
9. Interpreting tongues
10 Tongues as a sign for unbelievers
The secret of moving in the power of God
The word of knowledge
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