I received Christ one night in 1988 and was immediately indwelt with the Holy Spirit without a doubt. It was unmistakable and supernatural. And I received gifts then that I didn't realize I'd received until later, but I didn't receive the gift of tongues among them. The first gift I realized I had been given was the gift of discerning of spirits.

Since then, there have been at least three times through the years when I've had people lay hands on me to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit while I prayed sincerely for it. They did this because they knew I didn't speak in tongues, and therefore assumed that I had not yet received the Baptism.

No tongues, no Baptism of the Holy Spirit, as if the two always go hand in hand.

I did earnestly want all the gifts He has for me, and I did want the gift of tongues. Yet nothing happened. So I had to wonder, Was I being refused this special baptism of the Holy Spirit for some reason, or had I already received it at the moment of my true salvation without receiving the particular gift of tongues?

I know of people who, at the moment they received Christ, spoke in tongues on the spot without even knowing there was such a thing! It even scared one of them at first, because she didn't know what was happening to her.

And neither of them was baptized in water yet or anything, and neither of them knew anything about the gifts of the Spirit, much less of the baptism of the Spirit. They merely received the gift of tongues the moment they sincerely surrendered to Jesus in their hearts and accepted Him as their Lord and Savior.

Clearly, we are taught in the scriptures that at the moment of our true rebirth in the Spirit, the moment of our conversion, we receive the indwelling of the Spirit, the anointing.

"But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you; but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is the truth, and is no lie..." (1 John 2:27, KJV, emphasis added)

And when He comes to dwell in us, He brings with Him certain gifts for us – but not necessarily all of them.

We can earnestly covet and pray for other gifts as well, and may indeed receive them.

This was clearly taught by Paul to those who all wanted the gift of tongues. He told them he wished they all spoke in tongues as he did, but he also told them it was the least of the gifts because it is self-edifying. He told them, rather, to earnestly covet the other greater gifts that edify the Body.

But I've received other gifts – gifts concerning the truth revealed in the scriptures, and an unction to prophesy the truth in the scriptures to edify and unite the Body with it. And with that, I do see certain non-truths taught as doctrine by certain denominations.

For example, contrary to popular belief, I'm convinced through diligent study that it was only the 12 apostles who received the special "promise of the Father" (Acts 1:4) at Pentecost, promised to them by Jesus before He ascended.

Yes, later in Acts 1 there were also 120 together with the apostles, but if you read Acts very carefully you will see this:

Beginning with Acts 2:1 - "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place."

Note that "they" in that verse refers to the immediately preceding verse (Acts 1:26)  "...and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles."

Thus, the "they" in the very next verse 2:1 refers to the 12 apostles alone.

2. Acts 2:7 "...Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue..."

3. Acts 2:14 "But Peter, standing up with the eleven..."

Besides, when was the last time you've seen cloven tongues of fire sit upon anyone? When did it ever happen again after the day of Pentecost when it happened to the 12 apostles alone?

So I see no evidence whatsoever that the Pentecost experience happened to anyone besides the 12. No evidence whatsoever if you read Acts very carefully with a devotion to the truth alone, rather than reading to support a preconceived or pre-learned doctrine.

That particular experience, that special baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, was promised by Jesus to the apostles alone in Acts 1 starting in verse 2: "...had given commandments unto the apostles..."

Also, later in Acts, those that had been previously baptized in John's baptism (who became believers and were baptized in water before Christ's ascension) had clearly not received the Holy Spirit yet because the Spirit had not yet been given during that time before Pentecost. They were believers, yes, but became believers before Jesus ascended and the Holy Spirit had been given. So they had not yet received the Spirit.

The evidence of tongues in the Gentiles after laying hands on them was important for the apostles to witness, because it was the only proof they could witness that salvation was indeed also available not only for the Jews, but also for the Gentile believers. And the evidence of tongues, the only outwardly visible gift, convinced them.

"And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 10:45). 

"Gift" in this verse refers to the specific gift of tongues; in this instance, the outwardly visible evidence to the apostles that these gentiles had indeed received the Holy Spirit - proof to them that salvation was also available to the gentiles.

So as I see it and as I've experienced it, and according to the many salvation testimonies I've heard, I do not see anywhere where there is a separate baptism of the Spirit apart from the indwelling, the anointing received at the moment of a true salvation experience.

And at that precious moment, one will receive certain gifts of the Spirit which may or may not include the gift of tongues.

There is no evidence in scriptures whatsoever that proves to me that the particular gift of tongues will always accompany the baptism of the Holy Spirit that every believer receives at the moment of their true conversion!

Otherwise, throughout the New Testament when Paul spoke to those who were coveting the gift of tongues (and told them that he wished they all spoke in tongues) he would have merely laid hands on all of them to receive the baptism of the Spirit and they would all have spoken in tongues then, right?

So before I studied the scriptures and knew better, I was left to wonder, Is there a special baptism of the Spirit that I have not yet received, because if not, then what's wrong with me?

I know I'm saved, and I earnestly and sincerely covet the baptism of the Spirit and the gift of tongues, and I've had hands laid on me to receive both, yet I still do not have the gift of tongues. Do I also not have that special baptism of the Spirit that is supposedly available to all believers?

So what then? Am I not good enough? Am I not truly saved after all? Have I fallen short somehow? 

Now where is my hope and confidence in my salvation? These doubts about my own salvation are the bad fruits of wrong doctrine!

Considering the truth I've studied in scriptures and all the evidence I know, plus the evidence of my own experience, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit at the moment of my salvation; and tongues was not one of the gifts I received then. I still earnestly covet it and believe that I will one day receive it when the Spirit wants me to have it as well, but in the meantime I'm grateful for the other gifts He has given me.

Beware of the doctrines of devils! Form doctrines through diligent study of the scriptures alone, rather than reading the scriptures to support pre-learned (and perhaps false) doctrines.

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