There is a misconception prevailing in many of the local churches that one receives the Holy Spirit of God at baptism. When I first heard this I wondered why the person was so convinced. I had to reveal to them that the Holy Spirit does NOT dwell the believer at baptism. The belief that one receives the Holy Spirit at baptism or confirmation comes from the Catholic Church (Catechism 1316). The Catholic Doctrines states:
“Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.”http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c1a2.htm
The Catholic Doctrine is misleading to the believer. We do not see anywhere in the New Testament Church that a believer received the Holy Spirit at baptism or confirmation. This isn’t to say that a Believer cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit at baptism, but we do not see from the Holy Scriptures that baptism produces the indwelling of the Spirit of God. We however, do see a manifestation of the Holy Spirit coming upon the believer either prior to baptism or some time after baptism. There is a visible evidence that the Believer is baptized/filled with the Holy Ghost. Notice what Jesus Christ prophesied:
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;” (Mark 16:17 KJV).
This clearly tells us that one who truly believes in the Lord Jesus Christ with all his heart, will speak in New tongues thereafter. There will be a manifestation of the Holy Spirit initially making abode in the believer. Notice a few instances of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit coming upon believers after or before baptism.
Believers receive the Holy Ghost after baptism:
“Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 8:15-17).
Believers receive the Holy Ghost prior to baptism:
“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word…For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” (Acts 10:44).
Believers re-baptized and then receive the Holy Ghost:
“He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost…And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:1-6).
It is now clearly seen that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost comes either after baptism or before baptism but not as the Catholic religion falsely states in their (Catechism 1316), at baptism and confirmation.
Without the Spirit of God, we merely have a head knowledge of God, i.e, Apollos. We can study books, read about God, know of God, memorize scriptures but will never have the Holy Spirit on the inside of us if our belief has not led to speaking in New Tongues. The Promise of God’s Spirit is available to “as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39).
It is important to note that the [Gift] of Diversity of Tongues (1 Corinthians 12), is a spiritual Gift for the edification of the body of Christ. This should not be confused with the initial baptism of the Holy Ghost (speaking in New Tongues) which EVERY true believer should receive, IF they truly believe. (Mark 16:17).
I pray that the Lord God has called you to receive of his Holy Spirit. When you receive of His Spirit you will speak in New Tongues and magnify God!