That’s a tricky question, but let me begin by explaining what really happens at salvation.
We live in a time and age where a lot of young folks wants to relocate in search of greener pastures. While some have met their end because they tried to relocate without proper documentations, others have succeeded by acquiring the necessary documents to both travel and live abroad. Those who took the back door and eventually broke in are compelled to live as though they are not living at all. Many of them even wish they never left their country.
Likewise, you can’t travel and live in the spirit without the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit cannot come inside you until you receive Jesus. Salvation isn’t just about redeeming man from sin and Satan, it also includes reconciling man to God by activating his spirit. Remember the relationship that Adam had with God, the very one that Adam could hear God’s voice without restrain? Yes, salvation brings us back into that relationship. A relationship where man can live in the spirit, not flesh. God is a spirit, and we can only communicate with Him in the spirit. If your spirit is not alive, how then can you reach God?
As a sinner who is not born again, having that kind of life is like wanting to travel without documents. According to scriptures, a sinner cannot live in the spirit because he’s dead to the spirit realm. His visa is his spirit which unfortunately is dead. The only way a person can gain access to the spirit realm is if he receives Christ. Once he receives Christ, the Holy Spirit comes into him and activates his spirit – which is more like giving him a traveling visa.
The Holy Spirit is like the office that grants the spirit or visa to live in the spirit realm. It’s more like saying the American Embassy gives you visa to live in America. Without a visa, you can’t live there.
This also means that every born again believer has the Holy Spirit working inside of him. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us a spirit that witnesses to us that we are sons of God. Without this, salvation is not complete.
I’m really careful not to overload the article with too many scriptural quotes, but just incase you need to make references, here are some scriptures you can refer to: Ephesians 2:1, Colossians 2:13, Romans 8:9, 2 Cor 1:21-22, 2 Cor 5:5, Ephesians 1:13-14, 1 Cor 3:16, 2 Cor 6:16.
Now that we’ve settled that, it’s important that I mention that being born again or living in the spirit is just the foundational or entry level of functionality in the realms of the spirit. When a child is born, although he is born with all he needs to function in life, he has to be nourished to develop that capacity that is already resident in him. This means that living in the spirit is not enough, you need to be filled with the Spirit.
The disciples of Jesus were the first set of people to receive Jesus and Lord and Saviour, yet He didn’t allow them to witness Him to the world until they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Remember how He told them to wait in the upper room until they received power? The aftermath of their obedience to that instruction is stated in Acts of the Apostles:
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Earlier in John 20:22, Jesus gave them the Holy Ghost, the same measure that every born again Christian receives. But in Acts, they were filled with the same Holy Spirit, and the first sign that showed that they were filled is that they began to speak in other tongues, as the same Holy Spirit gave them utterance.
That’s the very first time speaking in tongues was mentioned in scriptures. The first time Jesus gave them the Holy Ghost, they didn’t speak in tongues. As a matter of fact, they still had doubt and fear in them. They still hid themselves, they couldn’t manifest their full spiritual potential as they did in Acts, and that’s clearly because they were not filled with the Spirit.
If we’re to consider the law of first mention and the subsequent times this happened, then we can make that a doctrine. If you claim to be filled with the Holy Ghost, then you should speak in tongues. Personally, I’ve noticed that anytime my spirit is really charged, I just burst into tongues. Have you ever been in a situation where you suddenly received revelation to something and your reaction was in tongues? If you have, then you’d understand what I mean. Speaking in tongues is a proof that one is filled with the Holy Ghost.
If you spoke in tongues after the paragraph you just read, then I congratulate you, because you’ve just been filled. If you also had a strange sensation coming up from your belly to your throat but some how you restrained it, I encourage you to let it out, that’s the infilling at work. It’s a spiritual thing, stop trying to make sense of it. The more you try to make sense of it, the longer it takes for you to eventually speak in tongues.
You may be living in the spirit, but not filled with the spirit. You may be able to hear God and even talk to God, yet not be filled with the Spirit. The second time an infilling was mentioned again was when Apostle Paul met with some disciples in Acts 19. They believed in Jesus, but they had not received the Holy Ghost. In verse 6, after he had laid his hands on them, they spake with tongues and prophesied.
As I conclude, being filled with the Spirit also means you’d be able to walk in the fulness of the gifts of the Spirit. So if you feel our results are different, you can simply trace it to how filled you are by the Spirit.
So no, not speaking in tongues does not mean you have not received the Holy Spirit, it only means you are not filled with the Holy Spirit. And if you are not filled, your spiritual possibilities will be limited. Now that you understand this, ask Jesus to fill you with the Holy Spirit, He’s ever willing and ever ready.
I hope this has brought enlightenment to someone.
P.S: I won’t respond to arguments. If you feel you need clarity on something I didn’t already mention, respectfully ask a question in the comment section.
Remain ever blessed, in Jesus precious name!