Obstacles to baptism of the Holy Spirit


A very common hindrance to speaking in tongues is a misunderstanding of speaking in faith.

After prayer, some will stand silently waiting for the Holy Spirit to somehow take them over and do it all for them.

Question:  “Are you waiting for God to do something?”

Answer:  “You have asked to be filled, you have received that empowerment and the ability to speak is there.  However, you are partners with God in releasing this power.

The Holy Spirit’s part is to give you the words, your part is to supply the voice.

As you make a sound from your vocal chords in faith, the Holy Spirit will do his part and form the words by moving your tongue.”


“Heavenly Father, as a partner in Your power I will, by faith make a sound and I am trusting that You  will form the words.”

You pray in tongues with them as before.

Extra Tip

If the person still has difficulty, demonstrate to them by making a sound slowly and allowing the Holy Spirit to form words in your mouth.

Pray together again, repeating it over and over until they get the idea and are confident enough to take a step of faith.

Ensure they don’t simply imitate what you are saying


First of all there are some who have been taught that the power of the Spirit was only for the early church.

       “Repent and be baptized… And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

       The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, for all

       whom the Lord God will call.”                                                  Acts 2:38-39 NIV

Bring their attention to the last section, “…for all whom the Lord God will call”.

Ask them if they are part of the “all”. 

Ask them what the Scripture means to them.

Secondly, some have been taught that not everyone speaks in tongues.

The apostle Paul is quoted; Do all speak with tongues? 1 Cor. 12:30

We need to understand that there are “varieties of tongues.”1 Cor. 12:28-29

First of all, we have a gift of tongues for the purpose of God speaking to others

through us. This needs to be interpreted and not everyone operates in this gift.

Next, we have a personal tongue which is communication from us to God.

This doesn’t need to be interpreted and is for every believer;

A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally…1 Cor. 14:4 NLT

(More teaching in the course) That’s why Paul said to those who weren’t released;

 I wish you could all speak in tongues, 1 Cor. 14:5

Ask the person if they want to be personally strengthened.

More teaching on this is available in later lessons.


Refer them to the Scriptures below which clearly show there are two distinct experiences of the Holy Spirit.  The first is to be “born of the Spirit” i.e. for God’s Spirit to come and dwell within you, in order to be saved. 

The second is to be “baptized with the Holy Spirit” i.e. for God’s Spirit to fill you in order for you to be empowered for ministry.

The following provides a summary of the Scriptural passages that show this distinction between being born of the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit.

The Samaritans

 But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized (in water)...   Acts 8:12 NIV

Then the apostles heard about the conversions and went to Samaria.

When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the  Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.  Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.      Acts 8:15-17 NIV

The Ephesians

Paul asked a group of men at Ephesus who had been followers of John the Baptist,

“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”           Acts 19:2NIV

These men replied they had not had this experience. Why? They had repented under John the Baptist’s ministry. They listened to Paul as He explained what Jesus had done and they willingly became Christians and were baptized (in water) into Christ. Then after water baptism, they were baptised in the Holy Spirit:

When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.                                                     Acts 19:5-6

The Disciples

After Jesus had risen from the dead, He appeared to the disciples;

And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit”.  John 20:22 NIV

At this moment the disciples were born again. Later, just before Jesus ascended He instructed them to wait to receive power.

“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”     Luke 24:49

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; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”       Acts 1:4-6

These born again believers waited and then received.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.       Acts 2:1,2,4

We can surely see that even though we received the Holy Spirit when we were born again, receiving the power of the Spirit (the baptism of the Spirit) is a secondary or subsequent experience.


To overcome the fear of receiving false tongues we are told;

“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?  Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 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!”              Luke 11:11-13

The devil is a counterfeiter and he attempts to imitate the things of God.  However, we are asking God for the original and we can trust Him to give us that. 


“Heavenly Father, I trust You to give me Your good and perfect gift, I receive the Holy Spirit and the ability to speak in tongues right now.”     


Some may feel unworthy to receive anything from the Lord because of areas of sin in their lives.

Question:  “Do you feel worthy to receive this gift?”

Answer:  “Firstly, it is a free gift that is given because of what Jesus did, not because of what we have done.  We don’t earn it, we just receive it.


Secondly, God wants to give us this power to help us overcome sin and imitate Jesus.

“He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself…”   1Cor. 14:4

Just as a battery is charged to do its work, so you need to be charged to do God’s work.

Thirdly, God wants to use you to pray for other Christians:

“…the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”   Rom. 8:27

Next, God wants to use you as a spiritual postman, delivering his gifts, healing, prophecy etc. to other people.

By not accepting this empowerment we can be denying others His blessing and denying His perfect will for us.

Finally, imagine if you bought someone a birthday gift and they refused it. How would you feel?

God is extending this gift to you, to bless you and to enable you to be a blessing to others.


Prayer…“Lord, I realize that You wish to empower me for my benefit and the benefit of others.  I realize I cannot earn this gift and I don’t want to disappoint You by refusing your gift.  So I accept Your empowerment right now.”


Some are hindered because they haven’t renounced their links with past occult practice.

Question: “Have you been involved with the occult in the past eg. Witchcraft, ouija boards etc.?”  If so, “Have you renounced them?”


“Heavenly Father, You are my Lord and Friend and I renounce my past practice of ………………….. and any forms of occult empowerment.  I only want Your best for me and I receive the power of the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ my Saviour.”


If you’ve gone through all the preceding possibilities and the person is still not released, it could be simply nervousness.  Some people freeze up when they feel they’re put on the spot.

Question:  “I sense you’re feeling a little bit under pressure at the moment.  Would that be right?”

Answer:  Tell them to go home, realizing that they have the ability to speak in tongues.  When they’re in a place where they can relax, in bed, having a shower, etc. get their minds on Jesus again and, in faith, begin to praise Him. They are to simply believe that, as they relax, their praise will flow into tongues.  Some may feel more comfortable singing praises first and then in tongues.

Assure them that you will be praying for them and then call them in a few days to check their progress.


If they’re still having difficulty after this teaching, pray with them at your next

meeting together and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the problem area.

For others it may simply take them a while for them to come to grips with this truth and overcome fears.

In the meantime do we ban them from the seminar until they get there?

We spoke earlier of the idealistic and the realistic.

We simply take them on to the next Activation … prophecy.

 It is best, but not essential to speak in tongues before they can prophecy.

Our experience is that after moving in other gifts they can successfully come back to tongues at a later time.

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