This topic tends to get people upset and very defensive. I have often been accused of “judging” when I tell people that if they haven’t spoken in other tongues then they have not received the baptism on the Holy Ghost and are not Holy Ghost filled.
So let me clear something up right now.
Only God can judge a person’s salvation.
I can only tell you what the Bible says.
I would suggest using the King James Version for study. That is the version that is closest to a literal translation of the original text. While there are a few errors, it is far more accurate than other versions like the NIV and others. The New American Standard is a close second to the KJV. Many of the other versions stray quite far from the original text and much of the truth in scripture is lost.
Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:5 that we must be born of water and spirit. That means water baptism and baptism of the Holy Ghost (some people mistakenly believe that born of water means the fleshly birth, but that is inaccurate. If you read on you see that he talks of people being born of flesh – there is a difference).
Old Testament prophecy told of Holy Ghost baptism: Ezekiel 36:26-27 and Joel 2:28, among other scripture.
Jesus also prophesied about it in John 7:38-39.
As you read you will see that the baptism of the Holy Ghost occurs when a person has fully repented of their sins. It isn’t just an arbitrary event that is only for a few. It is for everyone who will receive it.
Many people ask if receiving the Holy Ghost is necessary for salvation. It is part of the New Birth Experience that Jesus taught to Nicodemus in John 3.
Also, Ephesians 1:13 says: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Now, specifically discussing speaking in other tongues, it is the evidence of the infilling of the Holy Ghost. If you haven’t spoken in tongues, it means you have not received the Holy Ghost.
The way we know this is by reading several accounts in the Bible.
Acts 19:1-6 Paul encountered the disciples. He asked them if they had received the Holy Ghost and they told him they had never even heard of a Holy Ghost. When they received the Holy Ghost they spoke in other tongues.
Acts 10 is the story of Cornelius. He was very devout, but he had a vision and an angel told him that what he was doing was not enough. The angel instructed him to reach out to Peter. He did and Peter witnessed to him. In verse 46 we see where not only Cornelius, but his entire household received the Holy Ghost and spoke in other tongues. That was how Peter knew they had received the Holy Ghost and he baptized them in Jesus name immediately.
I should also note that this is not the same type of speaking in other tongues that is one of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14). It is also not the type of speaking in tongues that is praying in the Spirit (speaking a Heavenly language). While both of those are indeed speaking in other tongues, this type is specifically intended to provide evidence of the infilling of the Holy Ghost.
I hope this helps further explain Holy Ghost baptism.