What is the Evidence of Having Received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

When you first receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, one of three things may happen:

1. The Gift of Tongues

Some of you may receive the gift of tongues right off the bat. If you do, that is great. You have just been given a powerful prayer gift from God and you can now start to use this powerful gift in your prayer life with Him.

However, I want to state one thing about the gift of tongues in reference to the gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. There are many charismatic churches that teach that the gift of tongues is the only evidence of having received this gift. In other words, if you have not received the gift of tongues, then you have not received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

I personally believe that this teaching is really wrong. The Bible specifically says that the gift of tongues is one of the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit and that each of these gifts – including the gift of tongues – are manifestations as God wills, not as we will. In other words, some people will get the gift of tongues and others will not.

Here is what the Bible says about the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit, which includes the gift of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:4 goes into each of the nine gifts. At the end of this verse, it then reads as follows:

“But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

This verse tells us that God gives each one of these gifts to who He wills – not as we will. We can seek after these gifts and ask God for them, but God will be the One to decide who gets which gift. Some people have a mental block or fear about receiving the gift of tongues. God is not going to hold someone back from receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit just because someone is not really ready to receive the gift of tongues.

I know plenty of Spirit-filled people who do not have the gift of tongues. Charismatics like to draw this conclusion from the story of Pentecost. When the apostles first received the Holy Spirit in the upper room, they came out speaking in other tongues. But just because they came out speaking in tongues the first time they received the Holy Spirit does not mean that God was setting a specific pattern that the gift of tongues was the initial evidence of having received the Holy Spirit.

Scripture has to be interpreted in light of other Scripture. If their conclusion is correct, then it does not line up with the above verse on the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit – where each of the 9 gifts are given as to how God wills, not as we will – which will include the gift of tongues. The gift of tongues is not listed as an exception to this statement.

I have read many stories of how some people thought that they had not received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, all because they had not received the gift of tongues – when in fact they had already received it. This kind of false teaching can really mess with your mind if you are seeking after the Baptism of the Holy Spirit expecting to receive the gift of tongues as the initial evidence of having received this gift.

2. Some Kind of Manifestation

Some may receive an actual inner manifestation from the Lord when first receiving this gift. Some will actually feel the presence of the Holy Spirit on the inside of them. He will actually manifest His presence on the inside of their souls when He first comes up.

If this should happen to you, what you will literally feel is God’s love for you. Depending on how strong the Holy Spirit wants to manifest Himself to you, you may actually start to cry when this manifestation starts to occur.

If this should happen to you, do not be afraid of it. This is an incredible experience to be able to feel the manifest presence of God on the inside of you. The Holy Spirit will control the manifestation so as not to scare or overwhelm you. You may literally feel His presence manifest all the way up into your chest and face area.

3. Absolutely Nothing

If the gift of tongues does not manifest in you, or you do not receive any type of inner manifestation from the Holy Spirit when He first enters into your soul – then the next thing that may happen is absolutely nothing! And this is actually what happens most of the time. There are no manifestations, either of His presence or with the gift of tongues.

However, just because nothing has happened does not mean that He has not entered into your soul. So how do you know that you have really received this gift?

This will now lead us into the last section – the benefits of having received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. You should start to receive and experience some of these benefits over the course of time. It may not happen overnight. However, just be patient with Him. Over the course of time the Holy Spirit will start to miraculously show Himself to you in a wide variety of ways.

Here is a list of some of the things that you can look forward to receiving after you have received this gift from the Lord.

This is part 3 of our series on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
How to Receive The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
The Benefits of Being Baptized in the Holy Spirit

22 Responses to “What is the Evidence of Having Received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?”

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  1. Marylin - January 9, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Very confusing. I really struggle with the gift of “tongues” since I went from a charismatic church – back full circle (being also in a cult) with false teaching who used the ‘gifts’ led more by flesh than God’s Spirit. I now am back to basics and I want to know where scriptures say that the second baptism is more than the mere presence and communion with God/Jesus through His Holy Spirit. I think that at the Upper Room, there were many gathered there, and that God allowed His Disciples (apostoles) to speak in the native “languages/and or dialects” of all those present -so that they could be a witness to God’s Magnificent Love and the preaching of the Good News. (period.) I have gone back to basics: The Word is The Word of Truth. The gifts of the Spirit seem to be at the forefront of some, that put the ‘cart before the horse’ and compete with each other, as to who is more “valuable” –causing a sinful heart, filled with envy, competition and misunderstanding, that can not only cause them to lose sight of the Real Truth: The Word and The Life – Our Lord says that no one can come to Him but through His Son” and being unmeritorius? or not pure enough (as one believer told me that the gifts were a ‘command’ of God and we should seek them. I am sorry that I am so sceptical–but I have seen families split, bretheren fall away from their Faith, people suffer…to much flesh running all over the place -misplaced and misused. Can you give me some scriptures or names/authors that I can do some research and reading. I am willing to be open, if that Is God’s will for me.
    THank you

  2. Pastor David - November 1, 2013 at 4:33 am

    One of the reasons why folks struggle understanding the use of tongues or how this gift operates is simply the misunderstanding of its public use and private use. The language of the Spirit has two distinct purposes. 1 Cor. 14:2 – is our private prayer language to God, not to men. 1 Cor 14:27-28 deals with the public use of tongues to speak in a public setting. In this use it requires an interpretation so that the church can be edified. With the personal use of praying in tongues, just the exercise itself brings edification; not to the hearer, but to the individual praying (1 Cor. 14:4). If people get this confused then they misinterpret Paul’s explanation as to why he posed the question, “do all speak with tongues?” With the clear inference that the answer is no (1 Cor. 12:30). Not all will speak a message in tongues. That only comes as the Spirit wills, and to whom it is given. But praying in the Spirit is a language that is given to all who receive their prayer language. It is totally different in purpose and use and can be accomplished anytime a believer so desires.

  3. Carlos Collins - December 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Yes the teaching from above bares witness with my spirit and from what I read from scripture. I believe I really received the baptism in the Holy Ghost 6 years ago but I didn’t speak with tongues until this year 2013. If you read Acts chapter 2 it is totally different from what I see and hear in church. I believe people really need to read the scriptures in proper context and seek the lord for truth and not get doctronized by their denomination or their church building where they fellowship!

  4. Jesse - January 17, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    The praying and praising God in tongues is not the same as the gift of tongues. Praying in tongues is the activity by the Holy Spirit in communication with God the Father. The ‘gift’ of tongues is the ability to preach or minister to people or a group of people in their own language while not necessarily knowing that language, this gift may even be used by the Holy Spirit without the speakers knowledge. Being baptised in the Holy Spirit may not always be evidenced by the praying and praising God in Tongues (I think some people are afraid to do it) but almost always indicates that baptism has taken place when it is done. There is a lot of confusion over this because people automatically think praying in tongues and speaking in tongues is the same thing which it is not.

    • lindsey gabice - June 16, 2016 at 6:57 am

      You are very wrong because if you can’t speak in tongues how can you then pray in tongues? If u can’t speak English and want to pray in english how do u that except by learning it first before activating it. Speaking and praying or singing in tongues go together. Peace

      • Jesse#1 - October 26, 2016 at 3:48 pm

        Since the spirit gives the utterance, your reasoning fails. I’m waiting for the day when one of you naysayers points out the ‘other’ side effect of Holy Spirit baptism, but it hasn’t happened yet… (I guess I’m just ‘very’ wrong)

      • daprince - August 11, 2017 at 9:50 am

        hello brother,

        I am not here to argue. we learn English but tongue is the anointing from Holy Spirit which can not be learned as English.

  5. Stanley Chai - June 18, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Personally , I do not agree with any steps needed to be taken before one can receive baptism in the Holy Spirit.

    If it is gift from our God , the GIVER knows what we need and NOT what we want ! The same applies to GRACE , it does not depend on our merits.

    This is from my personal experience . As a sinner , I responded without much
    knowing what is going on and God gracefully grant me the gift of tongues.

    I am forever grateful for His Love ! which endures forever !

  6. Rev Collins - August 21, 2014 at 8:17 am

    I have studied and prayed for understanding having come to Christ in a charismatic setting and now as a baptist pastor. Tongues is not the issue the issue is are you saved. The truest evidence of the Spirit is the same evidence that and apple tree is an apple tree. The Fruit; Gal 5:22-23. Is the true evidence of the spirit. Some may never receive tongues or the so-call prayer language (by the way never mentioned in scripture). Saint begin to find the father and the son and receive the spirt be praying for love. P.S. Another commenter said folk are afraid to speak on tongues. In many Pentecostal churches they are afraid not to.

  7. Robert Hall - January 25, 2015 at 6:59 am

    I read a book by Don Basham in 1980 “You too can speak in Tongues”. I was a mailman and was on my lunch break while parked in my mail jeep beside a park one day. He said a person cannot walk on water if he doesn’t get out of the boat. He said to pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and then to start speaking. He said to talk like a baby or try speaking in Spanish( I don’t know Spanish ) He said to loosen your tongue. All of a sudden as I was speaking syllables and being in a festive mood I might add; I looked in the rear view mirror and I noticed my lips were moving rapidly. A torrent of words came through my lips and I heard wonderful marvelous words that I cannot describe .It was if God Himself reached down from Heaven and touched me with His presence.My rapturous joy could not contain itself. I went back to work on my walking part of my mail route and I could barely feel my feet or the load I was carrying. I felt like I was lighter than air and there was a spring in my step. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell her what happened and to call friends! That day 34 years ago was and still is remembered as the greatest day in my entire life.

  8. Love answer - March 23, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Hi Marylin, I understand where you are coming from. I do speak in tongues but the Holy Spirit is the one to seek, he will answer. Your heart is in the right place, and he will answer. These sites on the internet like this one can be very helpful, but the Holy Spirit that is in you will teach you all truth just as this site teaches. God is gloried when we seek so read 1 Cor. 12 to 14 and prayerfully continue your search and always remember God’s word is the same for today’s church as it was when it began.

  9. Mike - April 26, 2015 at 1:01 am

    Praying in the Spirit is a Gift that Jesus promised us as His redemptive children. A beautifull language of communication with our Lord . . . and a language that confuses the “daylights” out of satan as this is one language that the dude will NEVER understand. What a marvellous Gift this is . . . Persue this with a passion and the blesings will follow . . . .

  10. Harry - January 7, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Great article on receiving the Holy Ghost, I use different terms for some of these works than you but they are the same by definition. I thought the part on preparation may be the greatest need in the church world today for those who desire the baptism of the Spirit.
    One thing to note: 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 are not gifts of the Spirit but are manifestations of the Spirit which are very different. A “gift” is an ability given to an individual and as such is under the control of the individual. A “manifestation” on the other hand is controlled, exercised, and operated (in this case) by the Spirit through the human vessel that is totally submitted to Him. If we want to see “gifts of the Spirit” then Romans 12 is a good place to look and we find there the individual is in control of these gifts and can exercise them at will.
    Also: If the Spirit doesn’t manifest Himself when He baptizes a soul (one of the 9 in 1Cor12) then how does that person really know they are baptized? I read in the Bible and every time a person is baptized in the Spirit something happened that others saw as being very different. Acts 2, 10, and 19 they spoke in tongues, but something happened so amazing in Acts 8 that caused the sorcerer to want to buy the ability to cause people to act like that, and in Acts 4 the house shook as they received. Also in Acts 10 it was tongues that proved to the Jewish believers that the gentiles had received the same Holy Ghost as they.
    I wonder if we don’t have many in the church who think they have been baptized in the Spirit but were just blessed with a great experience. I see so many who say they are baptized in the Spirit yet there is never any “manifestation of the Spirit” in or through them. The sad part about that is that those really don’t have the power of the Spirit working inside their lives.
    Thank you.

  11. Ewa - March 1, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Hello Fellow Christians,
    I must disagree with the option 3) Absolutely nothing ? no way.
    For sure you will be able to detect the Holy Spirit within you when the Holy Spirit will be abiding in you. It is difficult to explain this as it pertains to spiritual world but what I find amazing that this realm will impact physical world around you.
    From now on you will only be able to look at the world from spiritual angle. The old ways (before you received the Holy Spirit) you lived will seem the wrong way and it was the the wrong way.

    • Larry - March 8, 2016 at 10:11 am

      God’s word says you will know for he will be in you. That is something personal or it is not? The gifts of the Holy Spirit with the gift of tongues is still up to the Holy Spirit who he will give them to. Why is there so much animosity between believers if the Holy Spirit does not give you a Gift, it is his choice not ours.

      Those who choose to discard gifts because they did not receive any only proves they have envy and jealousy over only what God can give. All believers whether they want to admit it or not, have two natures as Paul clearly taught, if you are jealous of some who have them, it proves your in the flesh as Paul clearly taught.

      Why not praise God that he choose who he knew would praise him and use the gifts as he has given them for, to spread the Gospel. Those who have the gifts and tongues should also Glorify God and use their gift wisely for the flesh can still use them for the persons own glory not God’s.

      I would suggest that all believers read 1 Cor. 12- 14 and pray about these gifts and trust what God’s word actually teaches and then God will be Glorified, all this talk against these Gifts would cease and God’s children would be healed and God would receive all the Glory and the Body of Christ would be one in the faith as we all should be.

  12. Tammy - May 18, 2016 at 7:06 am

    I have been a believer since March 12, 1982. I have believed in the gift of tongues, know many who have the gift etc. I did not grow up in a charismatic church and I still attend a Baptist church. I have prayed to receive the Holy Spirit numerous times over the years. Last night around 10:00 this happened for me. I learned I had to fully surrender, let my lips loose, let go of inhibitions. I spoke in tongues, a prayer of thanksgiving and worship for about 10 minutes. It was an awesome and overwhelming experience. I felt a peace like none other. I am having major marital issues due to my husband’s infidelity. I had several ladies come anoint my home Friday afternoon. Last night God confirmed he is walking this journey with me and hears my prayers.

  13. DEBBIE - September 13, 2016 at 7:55 am

    By all means I do believe in the gifts of the HOLY Spirit, what I also believe not everyone will speak in tongues or heal or teach etc. so because I don’t have certain gifts does it mean I don’t have or I’m not filled with the Holy Spirit, God forbid, of cost I am filled with the Holy Spirit. Read 1 Cor 12 carefully again, also only the Holy Spirit gives you when He is ready, not when your pastor or you or anyone else is ready but God, see it’s a gift from God to you. Remember also we all received the Holy Spirit on Accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. But the gifts we ask, when He find it fit and ready He will give it to us.

    • Larry - September 29, 2016 at 7:41 am

      Hi Debbie

      if we go our whole Christian life without receiving a gift then that would mean God never found us fit or ready. What does that tell god about our faith.

      The gift of various kinds of tongues is the last gift listed in 1Cor. 12 that God the Father has provided believers through the Blood bought Covenant of Jesus Christ. Yet it was the very first visual evidence of the Holy Spirit in believers in Acts. 2: 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

      This and the other wonderful blessing of God have being the focus of much division in the body of Christ ever since Pentecost. Some out right deny they even exist today? Some believe in these gifts yet they do not walk in them? Some believe in them and do walk in them yet they use them to say others who do not are not born again? Then others just walk in them by Love and praise God that he does do as he promises to those who believe and thus God receives all the Glory not them.

      1Cor. 12 to the end of 14 is about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and how to use them, that in itself is God’s word on that they do exist or all these scriptures would be false and in error. Paul has written 3 times to earnestly seek the gifts (1Cor.12:31; 14:1; 14:39), especially to prophecy, so that is the proof believers need to earnestly desire these spiritual gifts and not just wait and see if God will give what he promised and hope he may find us worthy of his Gifts. Those who have these gifts need to remember who gave them and why they have them is to glorify the Father not themselves (Matt. 7:21- 23; 1Cor. 12:28-31). All of us need to remember the Holy Spirit who is the processor, the worker and the one who gives these gifts as he will to those who earnestly seek them.

      God made us in his image and gave all of us a free will to choose life or death. Pride has no master and has no place in God’s Kingdom. Glorify God that he is doing as he promised and leave the judging of his children to him, or you may just be found fighting against God’s will for others.

      15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
      16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
      17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
      18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
      19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
      20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. Mark 16:15-20 (KJV)

  14. David - September 29, 2016 at 3:44 am

    First of all, it needs to be explained that there are two distinct operations of the Spirit when it comes to speaking in other tongues. You will certainly have it all messed up if you don’t understand the difference. Tongues are given as part of the infilling of the Spirit. This is evidenced by Acts 2, Acts, 10, and Acts 19. Paul taught that when a man speak in an unknown tongue he is speaking to God and it serves as a means of edifying his own spirit. But he also discusses tongues that serves as a message to men that requires an interpretation. When you are filled with the Spirit, as they were in the Upper Room, that is for one’s personal use. It is a prayer language. It is not one of the 9 gifts of the Spirit. That is a separate operation. The gift of tongues (1 Cor. 12) is for the purpose of giving a message to the church and is accompanied with the interpretation. One is for private use. The other is for public use. They function differently, yet, it is still the Spirit working in the person in helping to accomplish his divine purpose.

  15. John Lucas - September 30, 2016 at 3:41 am

    1John 4:1-2

    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you will know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,…

  16. Don - February 19, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    First I want to say that this website is excellent. Now regarding Tongues: The majority of Pentecostals believe tongues is the only manifestation of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. What they don’t realize is that in the beginning God wanted Peter and the company of Jews to know that the Gentiles received the same thing they had received. However this was by the will of the Holy Spirit for that time. Many Spirit filled brethren don’t speak in tongues, and the ones who do throw doubts in the faces of those who do not. This is not love nor is it a knowledge of God’s word.
    Paul makes it very clear 1 Cor 14 (the whole chapter talks about this.) Now when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, I never even knew such a thing existed. I was a baby Christian back in 1966/1967. One thing I was taught was to read God’s word daily and confess any sins daily. I was growing in my love for Jesus and one day I went to prayer and something like lightening came down toward me from heaven. I ducked out of the way, but Jesus’ presence was in my room, right with me. I thought that all Christians had the same thing. I did not speak in tongues at this time, but I had Jesus’s presence daily. He stayed with me all that summer. I read 13 chapters in the Bible daily, met a friend who was a Christian and a fellow runner and we would run and fellowship together. I was totally filled with Joy, until the day Jesus went away. It took me totally be surprise. I was crushed, really crushed. Moping and crying out to God daily, one day I looked up and there was Jesus’s presence looking down from heaven. I was so happy but I knew this would not last. 6 hours later He was gone again. Now a year later with Pentecostals and their emphasis on tongues, that became a big struggle for me. I did not want it to be me, but God. Anyway this was major in my life and one day alone in my kitchen I told the Lord, Alright, I am willing to made a fool of. I will speak out and if it is tongues I will know, but if it is just jibberish i will know that too, and will never do it again. I spoke out and to my amazement it was tongues. Just a tiny phrase but the Pentecostals told me God would give me more. And so He did. Now I never emphasize tongues. I speak in tongues alone in prayer. In the past in prayer meetings we all spoke in tongues, in those days. I now walk my dog and pray to the Lord in both English and tongues, and never even speak on this issue, but to say I know the gift of tongues is not what the Holy Spirit gives to all his kids. Prophecy is better, and I have never prophesied.

  17. Eric R - October 5, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    When I was filled with the Holy Spirit, I felt an intense manifestation of excitement and euphoria (suddenly, no slow build up). I had very little sleep for first few weeks. You are right, you can feel God’s love for you and it can be emotional.

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