Becoming filled with the Holy Spirit is validated by physical and spiritual signs. A vast majority of people and it has become a part of the doctrine of many churches today to see speaking in tongues as proof of being filled with the Holy Spirit. This position is justifiable from the scriptures. Nevertheless, the big question still remains – Can one be filled with the Holy Spirit and not speak in tongues?”
Can I be filled with the Holy Spirit and not speak in tongues?
Speaking in tongues is a sign of baptism in the Holy Spirit which is not a subject for argument. From scriptures as seen in the outpouring of the Spirit in Acts 2 and when Peter preached the Good News to Cornelius in Acts 10, speaking in new tongues is a sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
But then, this is not the only sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit that there is. In fact, speaking in tongues is only a physical sign of this experience. Being a physical sign, if used as the only basis for justifying the baptism of the Holy Spirit makes the person of the Holy Spirit less of a Spirit. Even though the activities of spirits can be seen physically, their actual workings are not visible to the human eyes.
With that, it is possible for a person to be filled with the Holy Spirit and not speak in tongues. The single most important proof of being filled with the Holy Spirit is not speaking in tongues but TRANSFORMATION. The work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer is transformation and this is what the Spirit of God is concerned with and not making you speak in new tongues.
Transformation is the process that makes one become like Christ. The Holy Spirit’s goal in the life of every believer is to make us conform to the image of Christ, transforming us from the fallen nature to the very image of Jesus, the Christ of God.
Introducing the Holy Spirit, Jesus said;
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” – John 16:13-14
What this means is that the Holy Spirit is Jesus dwelling in all men. It is like a software that is installed in every believer that makes it possible for the life of God to flow into and through the believer. According to Pastor Benny Hinn, the Holy Spirit is Jesus Unlimited. The Holy Spirit’s job description in the life of a believer is to make him or her like Christ and not just to speak in tongues.
This is what Apostle Paul tried to communicate in 2 Corinthians 3:18;
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
The proof of being baptized in the Holy Spirit is not to just speak in tongues but the transformation that is expected to follow by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Speaking in tongues is a true and verifiable sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit but it is not a potent yardstick when we consider the ministry of the Holy Spirit to the believer.
Speaking in tongues cannot be dismissed as a sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. A believer who does not speak in tongues will miss out on many of the bounties that are in God. While we see speaking in tongues as proof of Holy Spirit baptism, transformation and conformity to the image of Christ are ultimate.