At times as I lay awake, I find myself remembering events from many years ago. This seems to come with getting a bit older. This article began from one such memory. I trust that what I experienced in life will be of help to someone today.
The meeting ended and we were all sent to the “prayer room.” I found myself down on my knees not knowing what for. Then I was told, “Raise your arms and say “hallelujah.” I repeated the word “hallelujah” endlessly, much like the vain repetition in some of today’s songs. Eventually I found myself falling backwards. This was called being “under the power.” Perhaps it was the Holy Spirit, perhaps, it was the loss of blood circulation. In any case, this child of 10-11 years was down under the power, which today folks call being slain in the spirit.” Sister Beck and others were very happy this happened as I was then to get baptized in the Holy Ghost. Whatever that was, one was to speak in tongues as proof positive they had received. Tongues really were the big issue, that and power. Nothing happened. I may have even fallen asleep. This was the beginning of many failures to get IT.
Power, oh how we wanted power, but for what? Acts 1:8 does come to mind as a good answer. I am reminded of the time in the 1970's when I had gone to downtown Toronto to pick up my Uncle Bill. On the way home we passed a super market called, “Power.” He asked, ”Is that a Pentecostal supermarket?” Acts 1:8 doesn’t say, “You shall receive tongues,” but power! Tongues seemed to be the goal along with some kind of power, and we were to “tarry until.” If once didn’t do it, you kept on tarrying until.
On Remembrance Day (Veterans Day) 1949 I travelled to a young peoples rally in a town a few hours drive from where we lived. On the drive home we sang and praised the Lord. During this time I began to speak in tongues. It was good, but a big let down. I had been conditioned to expect a fantastic out of earth experience like some seemed to have had. It took some getting used to, to have spoken, but not had a great experience. Years later I learned that, it is not the beginning experience that counts but rather what happens after that.
It was in the spring of 1955 that I heard J.E. Stiles minister the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Chicago. How different this was. Not the Pentecostal create a “hunger to receive” message, not be sure you are holy and deserving enough, rather it was one of HOW to receive by faith. How different it was as he prayed with folks who had been tarrying/seeking for years as they began almost instantly to speak in a language they had never learned. It was the NT way and in fact the way folks had received in 1901 under the teaching of Charles Parham. Somehow this had become lost along the way.
There are many who believe that speaking in tongues is not the manifestation to look for when one receives the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Certainly the NT records folks both speaking in tongues and also prophesying. Others believe that it is any of the nine gifts of the Spirit. Certainly God does work through the gifts which are an “in part” ministry. While some may have cause, rightly or wrongly, to dispute some of the healings under the big name ministers, one event comes to mind that to me remains very real.
My father was holding a meeting some years ago which I attended and after speaking he began to pray for the sick. Back in those days some people had gigantic goiters on their necks. I saw him pray for this woman, then touch the goiter. Right before my eyes I watched it melt away which was easy to see as I was about 15-20 feet away.
However, there are some remain convinced that the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and the gifts, ended in the days of the apostles and now that we have the NT scriptures we need nothing more as it is considered to be “that which is perfect.”May I suggest that you read my fathers article, “Born of the Spirit or Baptized in the Spirit,” which may be found at the link below.
It has been many years since the events I have written about happened, however, I do believe that we all could use a fresh enduement of power from on high. Actually this Holy Spirit power/dunamis indwells all Spirit baptized believers and is a River within waiting to be released. We seek not a temporary manifestation, a few more healings and miracles or whatever, or even another great revival by whatever name, but rather the revelation of the Christ within breaking forth in power and glory.
There was a prophetic chorus that began, “Tis the day of His appearing, the forth shining of the Son.” Indeed that has happened in part many times. It has been a taste of the glory to come. It has been much like an appetiser before a delicious meal. There is much more ahead. Now rather than rambles on I will close with the Weymouth translation of Romans 8:19-23.
“For all creation, gazing eagerly as if with outstretched neck, is waiting and longing to see the manifestation of the sons of God. For the Creation fell into subjection to failure and unreality (not of its own choice, but by the will of Him who so subjected it). Yet there was always the hope that at last the Creation itself would also be set free from the thraldom of decay so as to enjoy the liberty that will attend the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole of Creation is groaning together in the pains of childbirth until this hour. And more than that, we ourselves, though we possess the Spirit as a foretaste and pledge of the glorious future, yet we ourselves inwardly sigh, as we wait and long for open recognition as sons through the deliverance of our bodies.” Receive of His glory and blessing!
Note: Read “Born of the Spirit or Baptized in the Spirit” by George Greatorex