It is possible to receive Holy Spirit without speaking in tongues at first. However, it is not possible to have Holy Spirit and not have the ability to speak in tongues. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive all that He is, which means we receive His spiritual gifts as well.
Think of it this way; if I give you a swiss army knife, and you receive it, you now have the ability of that swiss army knife. You may not use the blade or the spoon right away, but you still have the ability to use it if you so choose.
It is the same with God. The Bible says that the “spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” (1 Corinthians 14:32). Meaning the gifts of God are at our disposal to use.
Sometimes when the Holy Spirit fills us we have so many hesitancies about tongues that we choose not to speak at that moment. But this doesn’t mean you don’t have the Holy Spirit.
You still have the Spirit of God, all you have to do is choose, by faith, to use the gift that God has given you.
We can do this by simply seeing what the Bible truly says about these topics, receive Holy Spirit if we have not yet, and then speak in tongues by faith.
Speaking in tongues is not a requirement for you having received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The only requirements for receiving the Holy Spirit are (1) being a born-again follower of Jesus, and (2) asking the Father, in faith, for the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
If you have done these two things then you have received the Holy Spirit. But that does not mean that you are unable to speak in tongues. In fact, it is the exact opposite! You now have the ability of God in you. You have the very same Spirit that rose Christ from the dead and He wants you to speak in tongues.
If you are unsure what the benefits and the purpose of speaking in tongues are you can check out some articles I wrote that cover the topic more thoroughly: Speaking in Tongues: 5 Things to Know from the Bible and 5 Benefits of Speaking in Tongues.
What hinders speaking in tongues?
Speaking in tongues can be hindered primarily by incorrect doctrine. Some common doctrines that hinder speaking in tongues are: “the spiritual gifts have ceased”, “tongues is not for everyone”, “tongues is of the devil”, “Holy Spirit will take over”, and “tongues are a real language”.
Now let’s briefly answer these common objections.
“The Spiritual gifts have ceased.”
The person who believes this usually has been taught that either the gifts ceased with the apostles or they ceased when “that which is perfect has come” (1 Corinthians 13:10).
People who hold the latter belief say that thing that is perfect is the Bible, so now that we have the Bible there is no need for the gifts of the Spirit.
Of course, I too believe that the Bible is perfect, but I do not believe that is what this verse is talking about. Let’s look at the passage real quick.
“But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” (1 Corinthians 13:8-10)
Now, if we stop there it would be a valid belief, however, the writer continues.
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:11-12)
These verses say here that when that which has perfect has come we will be mature, we will see face to face and no longer dimly, and that we will know just as we also are known by the Lord.
Does that sound like that has happened yet? Of course not. We do not know all things, our understanding is still a little bit fuzzy at times.
Now to address the other belief – the apostles never ceased, nor will they ever cease until Christ returns. There are still apostles to this day, we just don’t call them that too often because everyone is afraid to.
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).
This verse reveals that the apostles won’t be done away with until we all come to the unity of the faith and until we all become perfect as Christ is. Well, that certainly hasn’t happened yet, nor will it happen until Christ returns!
I have a whole article that covers this objection much more thoroughly, it is titled Are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit for Today? (Objections Answered).
“Tongues are not for everyone.”
Here are some verses that say otherwise.
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues” (Mark 16:17).
“Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind?” (1 Corinthians 14:23).
“If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.” (1 Corinthians 14:27)
“praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Ephesians 6:18). This is addressed to the whole church.
You can also check out the full article by clicking the link: Is Speaking in Tongues for Everyone? (Biblical Answer).
“Tongues is of the devil.”
This is crazy. God tells us to speak in tongues (see verses mentioned above). So speaking in tongues can not be from the devil.
“Holy Spirit will take over.”
The person who believes this thinks that when the Holy Spirit fills them He will control their mouth to speak through them. This is not what the Bible reveals.
“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4).
Notice, the disciples who were filled with the Spirit did the speaking, and the Spirit gave the utterance. Meaning all God did was simply guide their words as they willingly spoke. The apostle Paul says the same thing in his letter to the Corinthians.
“For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit..” (1 Corinthians 14:14-15)
Check out the article Speaking in Tongues: Can you Control it? for a more in-depth answer.
“Tongues are a real language.”
The Bible says that the “one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 14:2). I have an entire article that covers this objection pretty thoroughly. You can check it out here: Is Speaking in Tongues a Real Language? Or is it Gibberish?