- Jesus Teaches His Disciples about the Working of the Holy Spirit
- The work of the Holy Spirit Towards the unbeliever.
- The Holy Spirit Working with the Unbeliever (John 16:13-15)
- The Holy Spirit in the Believer (John 16:13-16)
- The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Disciples
- The Inheritance we are Guaranteed
- Books On The Holy Spirit
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My first encounter with God resulted in Him healing me of a disease the Doctor’s said I would have the rest of my life. My body was in constant pain and believers told me God would heal me. When their prayer resulted in me being pain-free, I declared to my boyfriend, “I don’t know what they have but I’m going to get it!”
Two months later, the Holy Spirit visited me in power. My born-again experience was a magnanimous event and it literally transformed my life. Since then, I have been enamored with the working of the Holy Spirit: How did He affect me? How did He change me? What tools did He give me to walk out the rest of my life? How is He involved when I witness?
This article is an attempt to answer some of these questions as well as help you understand what Jesus told his disciples the Holy Spirit would do. It discusses the benefits of His gift of speaking in tongues and encourages believers to yield to His working in your life.
Jesus Teaches His Disciples about the Working of the Holy Spirit
John chapters 14, 15, & 16 records Jesus’s teaching on his last night on the earth. During His final moments with the disciples, Jesus made sure His closest followers understood His leaving did not mean they would be alone. He said His leaving was best for them because the Holy Spirit would come.
John 14:18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
The Helper (KJV Comforter)
John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper (KJV Comforter), that He may abide with you forever— 17 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.
John 15:26 “But when the Helper (KJV Comforter) comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
John 16:17 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (KJV Comforter) will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
The Helper, Teacher, and Guide
John 14:26 But the Helper (KJV Comforter), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
John 16:13-15 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
I think these scriptures reveal what the disciples would experience with the cooperative working of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit works with the believer in a two-fold application. His different functions in the earth depend on Him being with the believer in the believer. Is His working with someone in the world (gentile) or inside the believer.
The work of the Holy Spirit Towards the unbeliever.
Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3, that to enter the Kingdom of God one has to be born of water and the spirit.
Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)
He told the Samaritan woman at the well the true worshipers were those who worship in spirit and in truth because God is a Spirit.
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24)
Jesus told the religious leaders of Israel that it is the Father that draws men to Jesus.
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:44)
Since the Father is a spirit, John 4:24, then the spirit of the Father is what draws men to Jesus. This Spirit is the Holy Spirit because Jesus connected him to the Father in John 14:16 & 15:26.
Jesus, at the last supper, told his disciples that he was leaving, that it was better for them that he leaves because when he is gone the Holy Spirit would be sent to them.
The Holy Spirit, which Jesus would pray to the Father and the Father would send, would be their helper. The Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth, bring to their remembrance what he had taught them, and He would teach them by declaring to them what the Father and Jesus wanted them to know. (John 14:18, 16-17, 15:26, 16:17, 14:26, & 16:13-15)
The Holy Spirit Working with the Unbeliever (John 16:13-15)
After Jesus rose from the dead, he commissioned the disciples to go and tell everyone what had happened then He breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit.
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.” (John 20:21-22)
He further instructed them to go to Jerusalem and wait there until the promise from the Father came; the Holy Spirit. 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; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5)
Obviously, the Father and Jesus did not want believers to be without their help. The provision of that help is the Holy Spirit.
Since the Father is a spirit, He and the Holy Spirit are one (John 4:24). Since the Father and Jesus are one,
“I and My Father are one.” (John 10:30),
Jesus is also one with the Holy Spirit. He wanted the disciples to understand that when they went into the world telling people about Jesus the Holy Spirit would be with them doing the work of Jesus and the Father. He explained it this way:
8 And when He (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (John 16:8-11)
Notice first, the Holy Spirit convicts the world or the unbeliever.
To understand how the Holy Spirit will help the believer convict the unbeliever we need to understand this word convict.
Convict is Strongs #1651 and means reprove, confute, admonish. Another word for convict is confute. What is confute? By dictionary definition confute is to prove a person or assertion to be wrong. It is to tell a fault or reveal to the unbeliever the lie that they are believing.
This is important because Jesus continues to tell us what the Holy Spirit is confuting (or pointing out the assertions people have that are wrong). He is confuting the world of three things: sin, righteousness, and judgment. He is pointing out the false assertions the unbeliever has.
The Holy Spirit is working with the unbeliever to realize they are believing lies; that they have a faulty belief system.
Jesus defines further the lies unbelievers have. In John 16:9 “of sin, because they do not believe in Me”. Their only sin, per Jesus, is their unbelief in him.
When believers tell someone about Jesus, the Holy Spirit is convicting or revealing their unbelief and the lie they are entrenched in concerning Jesus. The Holy Spirit is working with the unbeliever, revealing their unbelief is a sin and that they need to change their mind about Jesus.
In other words, the only conviction the Holy Spirit has toward the world concerning sin is the single sin of not believing in Jesus.
Jesus continues in John 16:10 concerning the lies unbelievers embrace about righteousness:
10 “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more”.
Believing in Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection is the stamp that makes a person righteous. “… knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. (Romans 6:9) Death no longer has dominion over Him.
For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)
Believing Jesus is alive is a key to righteousness. Paul tells us about the gift of righteousness Jesus gave the believer.
18 “even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life”. 19 “so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous”. (Romans 5:18 & 19)
The lie the world believes, sealing them into unrighteousness, is the lie that Jesus is dead. With Jesus dead, there is no hope for change.
The believer speaks about Jesus being alive and the Holy Spirit is with the unbeliever telling them they could be made right with God by embracing and accepting that Jesus is alive. When the world hears the truth that Jesus is alive the Holy Spirit works with them convicting and exposing the lie of no hope they have believed. They suddenly see that Jesus is alive, not dead.
Accepting Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, confessing their willingness to live this life on God’s terms by Jesus their savior, God gifts them with righteousness.
Finally, Jesus states the Holy Spirit is with the unbeliever confuting the lie they believe about judgment,
“because, the ruler of this world is judged”. (John 16:11)
God judged Satan, the ruler of this world, guilty of deceiving mankind (Adam). And God rendered the punishment for satan’s guilt by dethroning Satan and stripping him of his power to deceive.
Unbelievers think that God is punishing them for bad actions, when in fact God forgave them through Jesus.
that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not [a]imputing their trespasses to them. (2 Cor. 5:19)
This fear of punishment, due to their sense of guilt, causes them to run in fear from God.
The Holy Spirit is with the unbeliever when they are told God loves them.
For God so loved the world that He gave. (John 3:16)
The Holy Spirit confutes the lie that God is mad. He strips away their fear of punishment and opens their heart to the truth of God’s love for them. This helps them embrace God for who he is. God does not judge people, he judged satan, who is guilty of deceiving them and entrapping them in a miserable life. God will help anyone escape the trap, because of his love for them.
The Holy Spirit in the Believer (John 16:13-16)
The major difference in the Holy Spirit’s work in the believer, is they do not carry the single sin of not believing in Jesus and his work. They have received Jesus as their Lord and Savior but not all their thoughts and attitudes are Christlike. The believer’s mind must be renewed to the truth.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,… (Romans 12:2)
Any area in a believer’s life that does not line up with truth, the Holy Spirit is present to expose that belief as a lie. The Holy Spirit “confutes” or proves the believer’s assertion is wrong and reveals the truth.
But because the believer is not guilty of the sin of not believing in Jesus, when the lie is exposed, your relationship with God remains in tack. You remain righteous and without fear of punishment.
Per Jesus, the Holy Spirit is promised by Jesus to be with and in the disciples. With the “help” of the Holy Spirit, the believer is able to witness to the world concerning Jesus Christ and his death, burial, and resurrection.
When a disciple witnesses, the Holy Spirit is with them and the person they are speaking to, “confuting” or exposing the lies they have walked in. He “confutes” their unbelief in Jesus, their thinking that Jesus is a deceased man, and that God is angry with them and will punish them.
Jesus is alive and able to impart righteousness to them. God is angry with satan for entrapping the hearts and minds of people and has judged him guilty, inflicting the punishment of removing his authority.
God is not mad at people and will set them right with himself (the gift of righteousness) when they believe the work of Jesus Christ was sufficient enough to free them.
Wanting him above all else will free them. The Holy Spirit is with them “confuting their false assertions” and convincing them of these truths.
The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Disciples
Returning to our original scripture John 16:8-11 we see that Jesus was not finished teaching the disciples what the work of the Holy Spirit would be. He continues with:
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He [a]will take of Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:13-15)
Five things the Holy Spirit will Do for the Believer (In John 16:13-16)
Jesus wanted the disciples to realize that His going to the Father was a good thing because the Holy Spirit would come to them and be intimately involved in their lives. It was as if He was saying to them, “You have seen how I operate and when I leave the Holy Spirit will come and equip you to operate the same way I have.”
The disciples were believers that Jesus was the son of God. They saw his death, experienced his resurrection and willing followed him by doing what he commanded them. But Jesus wanted them to understand that the Holy Spirit would be “with them” helping them to speak into the lives of unbelievers, AND he also wanted them to know what the Holy Spirit would do once He was inside them.
He (the Holy Spirit) “will guide you to all truth”. (John 16:13)
Jesus just said that he had a lot more to teach them (John 16:12) yet did not have the time to do so. He referred to the Holy Spirit as a “teacher” in John 14:26 saying, “He will teach you all things”, and “the spirit of truth” in John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13 saying he would “bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26)
Jesus would continue His ministry of teaching and training the disciples, and all additional disciples, through the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit. The inner work of the Holy Spirit brings understanding and knowledge of God through the scriptures to the believer. This understanding transforms the thinking (Romans 12:2), revealing the mind of Christ (1Cor 2:16) for changes in behavior and attitude (Phil 2:5).
The Holy Spirit Will speak what He hears.
Jesus said the Holy Spirit would come when He prayed to God to send him. In verse 14 Jesus said the Holy Spirit would take what was Jesus’s and “declare” it to the disciples. In verse 15, He stated that everything of the Fathers is also His.
Therefore, the Holy Spirit will also take of the Father’s and “declare” it to the disciples. Nothing the Holy Spirit says is outside of what the Father and the Son would say. That is why we are told, “if it lines up with the word, it is God”. God’s Holy Spirit will never violate the word of God (or Scriptures).
The Holy Spirit will tell you of things to come.
John’s book of Revelation is of things to come. The Holy Spirit will guide you (John 16:13) and his guidance will be full of peace, excitement, and truth.
Col 3:17 admonishes us to “let the peace of God rule in your hearts” while being spiritually minded is peace according to Romans 8:6. By being prayerful (Phil 4:6-7), spiritually-minded, and aware of the value of “peace” (a fruit of the Spirit) we will know when the Holy Spirit is revealing to us “things to come.” Though we may not understand, peace will rule our hearts.
The Holy Spirit will always “glorify” Jesus.
When Jesus is lifted up, He is glorified. No matter the situation, when we give thanks to Jesus for His goodness, sing praises in spite of the problem, honor Jesus with gratitude, the Holy Spirit is at work.
If what we are doing, thinking about, or saying is not glorifying Jesus then the Holy Spirit is not involved. Will, what you are wanting to do “glorify Jesus”?
Not everything is cut and dried as to glorifying Jesus: such as purchasing a car. But when you can give thanks to God for providing funds to purchase the car, its gas, the job you can go to because you have transportation, the work that provides for your family then you are glorifying God. In all things have a grateful heart towards God, then Jesus is glorified.
The Holy Spirit will take what is Jesus’ and “declare” it to you.
Anything that is revelation truth revealed to you concerning the Father and the Son is declared to you by the Holy Spirit. Without Him, we would not have a true relationship with God the Father or Jesus the Savior. Nor would we grow in our understanding of Father and Son.
Believers are ever-changing because God, through the Holy Spirit, brings a new revelation to us. Line upon line, precept upon precept, (Isa 28:10 & 13) the Holy Spirit teaches and guides us into greater and deeper truths about God, enhancing our relationship with Him and strengthening our resolve to walk according to the ways of God.
This gives us great confidence because God does not demand we be perfect. He simply asks that we keep our hearts toward Him and decide to continue to grow.
The Inheritance we are Guaranteed
In 1Cor 1:13 we read the Holy Spirit baptizes persons into the body of Christ. It goes on to say all the body of Christ drinks of that same Spirit.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Cor 12:13)
The Body of Christ is infused with the Holy Spirit of God. By the Holy Spirit, God birthed us into his family and made us joint-heirs with Christ. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (Romans 8:15-17)
Because we are his children, baptized into God’s family we have the spirit of truth, guiding and leading us. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit when we believe the gospel, which guarantees our inheritance. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation;
in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. . (Eph. 1:13-14)
A portion of our “inheritance” is the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians lists nine fruits the Holy Spirit provides or infuses into the believer:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering (patience KJV), kindness, goodness, faithfulness (faith KJV), 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Gal 5:22-23)
These “fruits” are provided to the believer not produced by the believer. Drawing on something we have is far easier than doubling our efforts to practice something we are trying to acquire. Under this self-imposed law, we soon disappoint ourselves. Frustrated we either put ourselves down, quit trying or quit caring to try.
The Inheritance of the Fruit of the Spirit
Instead, when we realize the Holy Spirit lives in us and He brings his fruit with Him, then we find ourselves in a place of confidence, not frustration.
God, by His Holy Spirit, moved into our spirit and planted His love, His joy, His peace, His patience, His kindness, His goodness, His faith, His gentleness, and His self-control.
Every time we practice any one or more of these qualities we are living by the Spirit, utilizing our “inheritance” and positively affecting our lives and the lives of others around us.
The Inheritance of Helping us Pray
Jesus was asked by his disciples, “Teach us to pray.” …one of His disciples said to Him,
“Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1-13)
Jesus answered their request and spoke to them what we know as “The Lord’s Prayer”, but I do not think Jesus’s answer was complete because he continued to talk ending his commentary with “how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13).
By this answer, we see that Jesus valued the Holy Spirit and His ability to help us pray.
Further, Jesus refers to this gift as a “good gift” saying the Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit is “much more” than the “good gifts” earthly fathers give their children.
If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?13 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!” (Luke11:11-13)
Romans tells us that when we are at a loss for words during prayer that the Holy Spirit “helps us in our weaknesses” and makes “intercession for us with groanings”.
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. (Romans 8:26)
Not only this but he knows the mind of Spirit making “intercession” according to the will of God.
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. (Romans 8:27)
Understand that the Holy Spirit will help you pray when you are at a loss for words because he knows what the will of God is and how to pray that will.
The Inheritance of Speaking in Tongues
Another “inheritance” is the gift of speaking in tongues. No one seems to argue about the Holy Spirit. He is God and is of God. But we certainly have many disagreements about the “inheritance” he brings to us concerning speaking in tongues.
I ask, “should we be believing what we have been taught, or what the Bible teaches?” Colossians warns us to avoid being cheated of God’s gifts because of man’s philosophy.
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (Col 2:8)
The disciples were waiting in the upper room, per Jesus’s instructions when the Holy Spirit fell, and they all spoke in tongues. Jesus had told them not to leave Jerusalem until they had received “the promise of the Father”. 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.” (Acts 1:4-5)
When the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them, they spoke in other tongues.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4)
The Holy Spirit was the one who gave them utterance, so He was the one who determined the language they spoke. Even though others around them understood the language being spoken by the 125 different persons involved, who’s to say the language the Holy Spirit gives always has to be one understood by someone other than God? (Note, this is the only time the Bible records people hearing the tongue in their natural language.)
A similar outpouring occurred when Peter ministered at Cornelius’s house. Cornelius was a gentile instead of a Jew. Peter visited his house after receiving a vision from God and an invitation from Cornelius. Peter’s vision from God confirmed to him he should go to this gentile’s home. Upon arrival at Cornelius’s home, Cornelius shared a vision he had and requested Peter tell him about God.
Peter started his sermon when the Holy Spirit fell on all those listening and they heard the household of gentiles “speak with tongues and magnify God.”
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. (Acts 10: 44 & 46)
Additionally, when Saul was converted, God sent a man to pray over Paul to receive the Holy Spirit.
“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.” (Acts 9:17).
Apparently, this event included speaking in tongues because Paul told the Corinthians that he spoke in tongues “more that you all.”
I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; (I Cor 14:18)
Additionally, when Paul discovered disciples in Ephesus he wanted to know if they had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. They said they knew nothing of the Holy Spirit, but they knew of John the Baptist’s baptism.
When Paul laid hands on them and prayed, they “spoke with tongues and prophesied.”
And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:8).
According to Paul, speaking in tongues is not to be “forbidden”.
39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. (I Cor 14:39).
With all these scriptures and millions of born-again believers witnessing the positive power of speaking in tongues, I think it wise to gladly receive this powerful tool the Holy Spirit brings with Him.
The Positive Benefits of Speaking in Tongues
Paul, to the church at Corinth, gives us several insights to the positive benefits of speaking in tongues.
We have already discussed the Holy Spirit’s assistance when we pray. When we run out of words, the Holy Spirit takes over making intercession with groanings that cannot be uttered. Taking over does not mean we are not involved; it means that there are times when we sense the intensity of the spirit as so great groans are sounded instead. (Romans 8:26)
(Many people use this scripture to validate the use of speaking in tongues. I was taught this myself, however, “groanings” here means just that “groanings”. This word is the same as when Jesus was outside the tomb of Lazarus and “groaned”. )
In 1 Corinthians Paul says the person speaking in tongues speaks to God.
For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, (1Cor 14:2a). Not only does this language speak to God but speaking in tongues actually speaks the “mysteries of God.” for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. (1Cor 14:2b).
Even though the person speaking in tongues is not understood by the speaker or the hearer, God apparently knows what is being spoken. The Holy Spirit is God, as God is a Spirit, so when we yield our tongue to the Holy Spirit when he prays with sounds we do not understand, God understands and is literally speaking mysteries through us.
Paul says in verse 14 when we yield our tongue to the Holy Spirit, we are not praying but we are letting our spirit pray.
For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays (1 Cor 14:14).
Again, just because we do not understand does not mean it is not God. How many of His ways do we truly understand?
Speaking in tongues edifies the believer who is speaking.
He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, (1 Cor 14:4a).
The speaker gives thanks to God and does the giving of thanks “well”.
…you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? (I Cor 16b) and For you indeed give thanks well, (1 Cor 14:17a)
The word “edifies” means to strengthen. The person speaking in tongues strengthens himself by thanking God and giving thanks well.
Jude further establishes this point when he says that praying in the Holy Spirit “builds you up” and keeps you in the “love of God”.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, (Jude 20)
I am convinced that speaking in tongues is an act of faith that connects the believers spirit to the Holy Spirit causing the believer to allow the Holy Spirit of God inside them to utilize a human tongue to glorify and thank Him, to pray mysteries into a given situation, to speak the mind of God while all the time the believer is edified, strengthened, built up and kept in the love of God.
Further, the Holy Spirit, speaking God’s mysteries, is well able then to interpret those mysteries to us in a language we understand, giving us the answer to our problem.
…for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, (1 Cor 14:5b).
If we can expect the Holy Spirit to interpret a tongue given in a church service, it is reasonable to expect Him to interpret to us; either the interpretation of the mystery spoken or the interpretation of scripture that is the answer to our issue.
In 2 Corinthians 2:11, Paul tells us that the spirit knows the mind of God and the Spirit of God.
For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. (1Cor 2:11)
This tells me that the Holy Spirit knows what God is thinking. Just as Jesus said, the Holy Spirit will take the things of God and “declare” them to us.
…for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He[a]will take of Mine and declare it to you. (John 16:14-15a)
No matter what your belief you cannot ignore the fact that Paul spoke in tongues.
I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all (1Cor 14:18).
He further instructed the church at Corinth to “forbid” no one from speaking in tongues.
Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy and do not forbid to speak with tongues. (1Cor 14:39b)
It is clear, by Paul’s instruction to the Corinthian church, that speaking in tongues was done in public by believers. He even called it a “sign” to unbelievers.
Therefore, tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; (1Cor 14:22)
Though Paul corrected the orderly conduct of public speaking in tongues, he did not speak against speaking in tongues. He endorsed the practice of telling these believers that God is involved in the process, the Holy Spirit is connected with the spirit of the believer, and the act of speaking in tongues edifies and builds up the believer while speaking the mysteries of God and thanking Him well.
God, who is a spirit, sent His Spirit to Jesus at Baptism (Luke 3:22). This was the sign that John was looking for in order to declare to the world, “behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:32-34). God had told John Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus taught Nicodemus and the woman at the well the importance of the Holy Spirit in the Kingdom of God and act of worship. (John Chapter 3 & 4). He also taught the disciples the Holy Spirit would come to them after He left to comfort them, teach them, guide them, and declare the things of God to them.
While at the same time Jesus made it clear the Holy Spirit would be with them and unbelievers to illuminate the lies they believed concerning Jesus, sin, righteousness, and judgment.
When Jesus was resurrected and before His ascension, Jesus told the disciples to “wait for the Holy Spirit to come to them. While waiting in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit came, just as John the Baptist said, and the 125 persons in the upper room began to speak in other tongues. It was a sign to the unbelieving people who heard them because God was declaring himself to them in many different languages simultaneously.
We see God thought it was important Paul receive the Holy Spirit by sending someone to pray for him. Further, God poured out this same gift on gentile believers without Peter asking for it. Peter was confronted by the Jews about this event and relayed how the events transpired saying “who was I to stop the gift God gave them”, the same gift He gave us. (Acts 11:17)
Paul asked the believers in Ephesus if they had been baptized in the Holy Spirit and then saw to it, they were. He must have done the same in Corinth because they made speaking in tongues a regular practice at their meetings. Paul corrected the order of their practices, but never did he tell them to stop “speaking in tongues”.
Instead, he schooled them on the benefits speaking in tongues provided the believer, what God was doing when they spoke in tongues, and to forbid not others speaking in tongues.
The Holy Spirit is a “good gift” from God. He unites us with Jesus and the Father. He teaches us about Jesus and helps us to pray. He is perfect at what he does.
Jesus is the baptizer in the Holy Spirit. Asking Jesus to baptize you in the Holy Spirit is an ask He will answer. There is no reason to not want the Holy Spirit and all that he has to offer us. If you are a believer and you ask Jesus, He will give you the Holy Spirit. After all, He is giving you something of Himself.
Once you ask, you can expect to speak in tongues and operate in prophecy.
The practice of these two things is up to you. God gives you a language, but you must open your mouth, move your tongue and allow the words (sounds) to come out even when you do not understand them.
This same practice is employed when you give a prophecy except you understand the words.
Once practiced, this does not feel strange, instead, you are built up, edified and will find yourself walking in a greater understanding of the word and a greater revelation of the word’s application to your walk with God.
Enjoy the Holy Spirit, His working, and the assurance that He is surely enjoying our want of Him.