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Breaking the sound barrier
Introduction

This story starts before I knew a thing, but my childhood experiences were good starting points.

When I attended my local parish church comprising three churches as a boy, Priests occasionally boarded at my parent’s home and my dad was the lay leader of the parish. We were involved in church life as a way of life, attending Parochial Council, Synod and the assortment of things that were the order of the day.

I often looked at a series of pictures called The Stations of the Cross lining the walls and had many questions for which there were no answers and wept for several reasons.

Those images depicted the last days and hours of Jesus’ life and deeply affected me as they do to this day, but there was something different—something intangible, yet very real! Such things have always touched me. The Hollywood epics like The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur, although probably not Biblically accurate touched me and still do. When Charlton Heston, playing the part of Moses, turned to see the Burning Bush, I cried profusely in the movie theatre. When those flames burned the Ten Commandments into the rock, I wept. I have seen these movies scores of times and am still moved the same way.

The movie The Passion of the Christ similarly touches me, as do many others, despite the sometimes Hollywood twisting of the truth for the spectacle sake. I guess I am just an old “softie” when it comes to such things, but getting back to my childhood church, I wept because of frustration.

My frustration was due to unanswered questions. I was told that God never changes which is true. I was told that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and that is true. I was told that the bible is the inspired word of God and that it does not alter in any way. That also it true.
I was taught about Jesus’ ministry on the earth and marvelled at the miracles He performed. When I put them all together, it was evident that what I was being told, did not add up. Something was missing.
Where was God? Was He somewhere “up there” and unreachable? Where were the followers of Christ who were supposed to be still around today and doing what He said that all believers would and should do?

All I really know about such things was that men like Peter, James, John and Paul had passed away and supposedly no one took their place! I was told that these things were only there until the bible was written or that the church had been founded, but that too never measured up.

Religion (perhaps as I knew it) was sorely lacking.  I worshipped in vain, observing the traditions of men, but God was nowhere to be found.

I did not know then that the ministry gifts remain in place until Jesus returns. After all, if nothing had changed, why had things changed so much? On the one hand my church leaders said that the things of God were eternal and unchanging, whilst on the other hand is was glaringly obvious that they did not experience it or believe it! Little wonder I was frustrated and crying. My questions were, “Where are those guys in their nightgowns today? Where are those apostles and disciples? Why has this church become so wimpy and afraid of rabbit’s shadows”?

The Holy Spirit was not in the church!

I make no apology for this statement. He is still not present in many churches, despite all they pretend or say. I can go to McDonalds but that does not make me a hamburger. I can drive my car into my garage, but that does not mean I am a car.
Going to church does not make one a Christian! One is a Christian because Jesus lives inside.
We become Christians when we invite Jesus into our lives. Some folk call this the new birth. It is getting born again and quite frankly, this is the only way anyone becomes a Christian.

As for the Holy Ghost, forget it!  A red light hung from the ceiling in my church and they said that this was the presence of the Holy Spirit. I said that it was just a light, but they were adamant replying that it was the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit was a lamp? It made no sense.

It is not uncommon to find that the Holy Ghost is merely an icon or an influence and the Holy Spirit was treated like an It, or a Thing! How sad! He is a real person with personality and is supposed to make Jesus real to us. He came because Jesus promised to send Him and He came to do certain specific things that shall be described shortly, so by effectively taking Him out of the church many people who profess to be Christians are shutting Him out.

People wonder then why come churches are failing, are having diminishing attendances or people go elsewhere! People need real answers that work, or a God with skin on! People do not want religion, but reality and religion as such does not work! 

We have taken Him out of churches so much that there is now a generation who have never attended any church, or know that there is a God. When I told some people the other day that I was a preacher they didn’t know what preachers were! Blank stares came back when I said that I was an evangelist. I thought they would understand that. If I told them that my ministry gift was apostolic and prophetic, they would have freaked right out!

These questions I mentioned took place for most of my twenty-six years, but one day everything changed, virtually overnight and answers for those childhood questions started to arrive, when, on September 1st, 1968 at 7:30PM the Lord Jesus Christ became real to me.  It was in a crusade held by another denominational group and I had been invited by friends to attend. I tried to avoid going, but made a promise, so, true to my word, I attended. It was the last night of that lengthy crusade and as we were standing to sing the chorus for the first time in the opening hymn, I saw a brilliant blaze of light that seemed to bore right through my entire being. I felt “unclean”. I felt like a worm that had suddenly been exposed when a rock was lifted as the Spirit of God was doing one of the things Jesus said He would do—to reprove the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment (John 16:7-12).

There was no condemnation or criticism, just showing me what I was like—an ordinary man who needed to get saved! I went home a completely new and changed man. My old life had passed away. I felt clean! What was more important was the fact that Jesus now seemed like a real person who was so close it was as if I could feel His breath on my face. The bible was now not another religious book gathering dust on the mantle, but was living and real—so real it was as if the Author was reading the words to me, telling me what He meant when He wrote it!

This is now a way of life for me and it is exciting! I discovered that this God who seemed to unreachable—the Son of God who had done all those wonderful things that intrigued me and this person called the Holy Spirit, had become my very best friends who were always with me, talking to me, walking with me and more. It did not take me long to start attending my new church with my new friends and carrying my bible that I rarely opened before. Suddenly, the old ways of doing things, including church, were dead and lifeless. The bible was alive! God was talking to me and I was listening! I knew absolutely nothing of course about what the bible taught us, particularly about such things as the baptism in the Holy Ghost, talking in tongues or the Gifts of the Spirit, but it was not long before I saw the truth and those evasive answers to my questions started to arrive.

A new beginning

God is as real to you as you will allow Him to be, but most churchgoers do not even know Him!  When Jesus spoke in Revelation chapters two and three to the churches, He was not pleased! In chapter three, verse twenty He was knocking at the door, seeking admittance. If someone is knocking on another person’s door, that means he is outside the building! The one inside has the prerogative to open the door and permit entry or refuse admission. He was talking about the church you know!

This means that He was asking the people inside for their permission to enter and fellowship with them. They’re inside, but He is outside! Sadly, this describes a very large proportion of churches today. Jesus isn’t even there! The Holy Spirit is not there either. If He is not inside… what is? Think about it for a moment.

They might have the bible, but that means nothing. The Jewish religious leaders, that is the religious folk, had the bible and it talks about Jesus all the way through but they never realized that the Messiah they spoke about was walking in their midst. They could quote scripture backwards, perhaps being able to determine if there should be a semi-colon or a comma in a particular place, but missed seeing what God really said. Being able to quote scripture as many modern day theologians can do means nothing without revelation. They have studied well and are to be commended. I have also studied extensively so understand the concepts of biblical interpretation such as exegesis, but there often seems to be a lack of intimacy and deep personal relationship and revelation knowledge of the word of God. Our churches are full of them. Sadly, in far too many instances leaders are like clouds without rain or wells without water in the middle of a desert.

The devil can read the bible you know. He did that when he tempted Jesus.

Jesus told some religious leaders-

And the Father Who sent Me has Himself testified concerning Me. Not one of you has ever given ear to His voice or seen His form (His face—what He is like). [You have always been deaf to His voice and blind to the vision of Him.] And you have not His word (His thought) living in your hearts, because you do not believe and adhere to and trust in and rely on Him Whom He has sent. [That is why you do not keep His message living in you, because you do not believe in the Messenger Whom He has sent.] You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them. And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me! And still you are not willing [but refuse] to come to Me, so that you might have life. John 5:37-40.

They are like the people Paul warned Timothy of—people who have a form of Godliness, but deny the power thereof. This form of Godliness pervades the church today. It comes from the Greek word Morphōsis that relates to a formation, or implied appearance… a semblance, a concrete formula or a form.  In many churches, one can set his watch by what happens, because of rigidly set immovable structures and orders of service and more but God is not there.
God is not permitted to do what He wants by the very people who say that they worship Him! Why they go to church at all mystifies me.

Despite their pet theories and opinions, the King of Glory has not been invited into their services and lives. As a result there is no change in their lives. They arrive sick, sad and disgusted and leave the same way.

Religion keeps people broke, not God! Religion tells us we are afflicted so that God can teach us something! No! The Holy Spirit teaches us. The word teaches us, not changing conditions and changing circumstances!

This denies the efficacy of the cross and the cruel beating and scourging inflicted on Jesus to provide our healing. Common sense alone tells us that if is it God’s will for someone to be sick so that this person can learn something, then get good and sick and learn! The worse you get the more you learn and the more glory you give God! Do not take medication and do not involve a doctor. You are disobeying the will of God if you do and are causing another person to sin. Their attitude is foolishness.

A common erroneous belief is “Paul’s thorn in the flesh”. Don’t they read the bible? It was a buffeting spirit tormenting Paul because of his abundance of revelation, not poor eyesight as they purport! They cannot be thinking with renewed minds or with spiritual eyes!

Paul says that if anyone is in Christ, change must occur, but there are often no such changes in these folk.

Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17.

If God comes to live inside a human being, surely some of the divine nature must exist within! When I embarked on a new life and started attending church where the Holy Spirit was truly welcomed, everything was turned around. Old bad habits just fell away and I saw things in a new light. It was not always easy at times, but the reality was there and my life was revolutionized as I started a whole new way of life and it is still growing after fifty years of walking with the Lord.

My personal Pentecost

The first Sunday morning I went to my new church with new friends, the Holy Spirit was present! A man sitting to my left stood up and spoke in a very forceful manner in a language I never understood then sat down. Another man to my right stood up and spoke equally as powerfully in English and sat down. The atmosphere was electric. I had absolutely no idea of what had happened, but had enough sense to realize something—that was God and I wanted it! Little did I realize that this was a joint operation of two of the Gifts of the Spirit according to Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth. One was the Gift of tongues and the other was the gift of interpretation of tongues. 
At no time was there anything out of order, weird behaviour or excess with people out of control. They operated in strict accord with bible instruction and it was great! I will deal with these things elsewhere.

In my secular career at that time, I had to visit the regional headquarters of a large denominational group a few days later. I was wet behind the ears and as green as they come and still excited about what I had witnessed in church. I shared my testimony with the people there. It just happened to be the annual conference of all the pastors in the region and yours truly went in there like a lamb to the slaughter, blissfully thinking that they must all be like my newfound friends. As I shared, I left the talking in tongues part until last and then every conceivable adverse comment was hitting me from everywhere. They told me that such things were not for today; that they had passed away; they were of the devil and all such things. I left there reeling in shock wondering what had happened and shaken to the core of my being. I started to wonder if I had gotten mixed up with some strange sect and that my new church was one of those weird cults. Those pastors really rattled my cage and in desperate plight, I cried to God for help. I asked the Lord to reveal the truth to me. Now if anyone is really seeking truth, God promises in many places to reveal the truth to us. All we have to do is listen without prejudice or bias and be open to His voice. Jesus told us that His sheep hear His voice, so if you profess to be one of His sheep, then you should be able to have a two-way conversation with Him... regularly!

Obviously we can train ourselves to listen more closely as we mature in Christ, but God is always there and has promised to never leave us like orphans and to reveal Himself to us. John 14 touches on that. I approached Him without any preconceived ideas or religious mindsets.
I wanted to know the truth and Truth Himself answered me in His Word!
Always go to the word of God my friend. 
There are times when man will fail us. There are times when a religious spirit will try to lie to us, but if it is there in ink on the pages of His Word, you can determine for yourself what is true and what is not, because (if you are genuine about it) the Holy Spirit will do His job just as Jesus promised and guide you and teach you and lead you in all the truth. See John 14:26; 16:13-15. I picked up my bible and it fell open at 1 Corinthians 12, verse 1. It read-

Now concerning spiritual gifts Robert, I do not want you to be ignorant”.

I saw my own name there, not the word brethren as Paul actually wrote. Almost before I finished praying, God had answered me. He assured me that all was well and that my new experience was good and valid and in fact should be the norm for all believers. This was the first time God spoke to me from His Word and it is now a way of life for me, getting better day-by-day.

By this time, I had embarked on weekly bible study evenings with the man who became my spiritual daddy. We were going through the major topics of the bible as part of my growing process in the Lord and this is a good thing. It laid a foundation for my whole Christian life and I treasure those days. We had finished the evening’s study and had supper and as he was preparing to leave the Holy Spirit fell on me just like we see in the book of Acts. That was in 1968! He put his belongings back on the table, laid his hands on me and started to pray, telling me to receive the Holy Ghost.
My wife started to stutter and stammer and my mentor turned to her and forgot me in his excitement. We shared notes later, but what happened was that I just burst out speaking in fluent languages, flowing seamlessly from one language to another. It was effortless and it was glorious. He eventually left, but I just kept going, kneeling on my kitchen floor for four hours, speaking fluently. I knew nothing about this thing then and asked the Lord, “I am getting tired. Can I stop now?” I did not know that you or I are in control.

What happened to me was my personal Pentecost and it was just like the things that happened to the early Christians in the book of Acts. It is my firm conviction, based on scripture and from experience, that all believers should receive the Holy Ghost in some way at some time in their experience. The way it happens may vary of course because we are all different, but there are common denominators we could weigh up and should consider. Please look with me at what happened on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 1 and 2. Luke opens the account as follows-
IN THE former account [which I prepared], O Theophilus, I made [a continuous report] dealing with all the things which Jesus began to do and to teach Until the day when He ascended, after He through the Holy Spirit had instructed and commanded the apostles (special messengers) whom He had chosen. To them also He showed Himself alive after His passion (His suffering in the garden and on the cross) by [a series of] many convincing demonstrations [unquestionable evidences and infallible proofs], appearing to them during forty days and talking [to them] about the things of the kingdom of God. Acts 1:1-3 (emphasis mine).

He was talking about the kingdom of God, which is God’s way of doing things. It is not Heaven the place, but something totally different and is better dealt with at another time. Jesus was teaching them about the way God does things, then continued as if in the same breath telling them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the promised Holy Spirit to come. They were thinking in the natural and asked Him about restoring the earthly kingdom of Israel, but He told them not to be concerned about such matters, focus only on what I want now and wait for the Holy Spirit. He was speaking about receiving power and of them being witnesses around the world. The Greek word for power is Dynamis. It talks about ability, abundance, might, strength, power etc and… miraculous power and force! The word dynamite comes from this word. He told them to spread the gospel message—but told them to first wait until they received the ability to do so. Prior to that, He sent them on temporary assignments after trining and they often returned with glowing reports of what had happened, but now—after His resurrection, He was about to return to Heaven and send the Spirit of God here to equip us to contnue His work on the earth.

If we truly believe that we are to Be His witnesses and to “Go Ye” and successfully achhieve what we are supposed to achieve, then it is evident that we must have the abilities to do so! In plain English we cannot do supernatural work with natural abilities.

This was at the time of one of the Feasts of Israel. Devout Jews came from the known world to the holy city to celebrate. It was what we know as Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks. Shavuot marks the conclusion of a seven-week period known as Sefirat ha-Omer (see Leviticus 23:15). On that day, which we now know as Pentecost, God created a nation; revealed Himself and showed the people how to live as a redeemed community as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. In Exodus 19:6, 18-19, His presence was spectacular to say the least. The mountain shook violently, there were flashes of lightning, smoke arose from the mountain and the noise or sound of the trumpet blasts was so intense that rocks were shattered and the people quaked in fear. We must look into the noise aspect, for this was something that also happened on that particular Day of Pentecost. Silence is not always a Godly or spiritual thing! Silent prayer is not prayer!

If you turn with me to Genesis, you will see in the first chapter a repeated phrase, “God said”. I conducted a search for this phrase and it appears 2197 times. It must be important! All of creation was formed when God spoke. Nothing was made without a word from God and all things are upheld by His word. The spoken word is powerful. Proverbs 18:21 states that death and life are in the power of the tongue. Jesus spoke about this in Matthew 12. When God created Adam, it was after He had finished creating the animals, but God never named them! Adam did! God brought them to Adam and stood back to see what names Adam gave them. A being was presented to the man and he said, “You are a cow”, so it was a cow. Another being was brought to the man and he looked at it, saw what kind of species it was and called that a horse. God had formed man in His own image and likeness and that lump of clay became what the Jews call a Speaking Spirit

This is one thing that separates us from the animal kingdom! We speak! We have creative ability when we speak the word of God, for His word Is creative! We are living speaking spirits who live in a physical body and without the sinelement within, our speech should be just as creative. Unfortunately, when Adam fell the correct use of this ability was lost.
 Jesus came as the Second Adam to regain it on our behalf and part of the covenant includes the restoration of the power of the tongue! Jesus said that what is in our hearts is given vocal expression. How right He is. See Matthew 12:34 and Luke 6:45.

Perhaps you will see a pattern emerging now. Little wonder that the devil has worked hard and furiously to discredit the spoken word, especially speaking in other tongues. It is the tongues thing that has attracted much criticism, possibly more than anything else and is totally unwarranted, stemming often from ignorance, fear, or prejudice.

On that fateful day of Pentecost, 120 followers of Jesus, including His mother, were gathered together when the Holy Ghost came… supernaturally! The restoration process had commenced! Fire and noise was the order of the day and it caused such an effect that the pilgrims came running to see what was happening. The bible says that cloven tongues like as of fire sat on each of them. There was a special flame for each individual—one for Peter, one for James, one for John and one for Mary the mother of Jesus. Everyone had a personal touch! It was the same Holy Spirit, but  He made it personal.

My friend, when the Holy Spirit is moving amongst men, things always happen… always and a personal touch is often involved. It may differ for each individual perhaps, but with one common factor, namely—the speaking in tongues. Some people cannot stand. Some people stagger like drunken men. Some people feel intense heat.

Whatever it is, things usually accompany His manifest presence and one thing that is evident is this tongues thing! We do not focus on the spectacular of course, but please do not deny it. You are effectively severing contact with the source of life itself Himself. You are effectively cutting off a vital line of heavenly communication, even if you do not understand it (yet). Because of the immense power and liberty that is released by this experience, the devil has fought tooth and nail against it, discredit it and bring it into disrepute and foolish religious people have fallen for his lies.

On that Day of Pentecost, ordinary human beings were released into the domain of God and it had never happened like that before. Men and women talked with God at His level. They glorified God. They worshipped God and there were no veils or barriers between them. What they said was not gibberish nor was it of the devil as many unbelievers try to tell us today. Those Jewish pilgrims knew what was being said, because they recognized the languages spoken as the Christians glorified God.
A Jew from Italy heard someone tell God how wonderful He was in fluent Italian. A Jewish Spaniard, heard likewise in Spanish. A Russian may have heard John tell God how great He was in Russian. Mary could perhaps have spoken in French and a Frenchman heard it!

AND WHEN the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place, When suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them. And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues), as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression [in each tongue in appropriate words]. Now there were then residing in Jerusalem Jews, devout and God-fearing men from every country under heaven. And when this sound was heard, the multitude came together and they were astonished and bewildered, because each one heard them [the apostles] speaking in his own [particular] dialect. And they were beside themselves with amazement, saying, Are not all these who are talking Galileans? Then how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own (particular) dialect to which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and [the province of] Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and the transient residents from Rome, both Jews and the proselytes [to Judaism from other religions], Cretans and Arabians too—we all hear them speaking in our own native tongues [and telling of] the mighty works of God! Acts 2:1-11. 

This is not mindless fantasy, or cultist rubbish but biblical truth. Paul said that we speak unto God (no one else) in the tongues of men and in the tongues of angels! Angels can speak you know! See 1 Corinthians 13:1.
I told you about my mentor and how I speak in many different languages in the spirit.  He was a first generation Australian born Chinese gentleman. He told me that I spoke in a Chinese dialect he partially recognized. A Greek woman in our church sat behind me one morning and came to me after church a little overwhelmed and excited. She said that she heard me telling God how wonderful He is in perfect fluent classical Greek! I never knew Greek. Another man told me that he once heard me holding a conversation with the Lord in Russian! I possess a wide range of fluent vocabularies and it a real blessing to exercise my gift and enhance my ministry with it. Many other people I know have similar experiences.

The biblical accounts
The following lists share from early church experiences what happened to those believers and reveals the principle that still applies today. The word of God has not altered and what happened to people in the bible is recorded forever as examples for us. I hope that by  you reach the end of this page, you will want everything that God is offering you...

Full of Faith and the Holy Ghost:

In Acts chapter 6 the first mention of deacons is seen. A racial problem was emerging because the Greek believers and the Hebrew believers were not being treated equally when it came to distribution of food and the like.
A practical administrative problem was also emerging because widows were not being properly cared for.
The pastors were getting bogged down in doing the administrative work of the church and neglecting the necessity of spending time with God and the word. They were doing all the chores. There is a place for this but not here! Not in this way! 
It is similar to what happened to Moses. He was wearing himself out by trying to handle things that others could do and Jethro rightly confronted him about it. He told Moses to appoint qualified leaders to deal with the daily routine matters and free himself to wait on God. If there were problems that those people could not handle, they could pass those on to Moses so he could hear from God about it.

Those who are supposed to help the pastor today run many churches! The deacons and church board employ the pastor and dictate terms! If they do not like what he preaches, they fire the man and it is not scriptural! "Deacon possessed" churches abound and it is wrong! In Acts 6, the pastors told the church to find seven men who met the criteria, so that they could appoint them to handle things. Their requirements were men who had an honest report, who were wise and who were full of the Holy Ghost!

How could they tell if there is no evidence of being filled?

There had to be something extraordinary... something by which they could assess those men.
There are many wise people around and many honest people around. You do not need supernatural help to know that, but people who are full of the Holy Ghost... how can you tell?

If we cannot see the Holy Ghost, or assess His presence tangibly, how would anyone be capable of measuring or determining His presence in their lives?
It certainly could not be by the good deeds those men did in the natural realm, because there are many other people around who do such things. They are charitable, kind, loving and so on and are to be commended for their activities in those areas.

The people chose the men who met such criteria, by something that stood them apart from others, one of whom was Philip... a man full of faith and full of the Holy Ghost. How could they tell that?
What is more interesting is that these men were not one of the twelve disciples, or the 70 other disciples. Perhaps they were in the upper room on the day of Pentecost. Perhaps they were part of the 500 believers wh saw Jesus after His resurrection. Thay may have been one of those 3000 people saved that day. God knows, but I share this to illustrate that they too had something tangibly recognizable.
Stephen was full of faith and power and did great miracles amongst the people (see Acts 6:8), so he also had something!

They recognized that something.

Give me that power:

Come now to Acts chapter eight. I’m leading up to something. We see here that Philip went to Samaria and preached Christ to them. The people gave heed to what he said and tangibly witnessed many miracles though his ministry. Evil spirits were cast out and many miracles of healing occurred and great joy was in the city. One of the by products of the anointing is joy!
There was a man called Simon there and he was a sorcerer. He used Mageuō that we know as magic or sorcery and bewitched or astounded the people so much some became insane and most were simply amazed beyond understanding. The word used to describe that is Existēmi. He had power before Philip came along preaching Jesus.

Many people became Christians including Simon!  He was baptized as a believer and beheld all the miracles that occurred during Philip’s ministry, but he never reacted to them. When the apostles at Jerusalem heard about it, they sent Peter and John. Why? Verse 15 tells why.
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: Acts 8:14-15.

These people had already heard the word of God and were born again. They were all baptized as believers and the Holy Spirit had brought new life to them and seen miracles, but something was lacking and the disciples knew it! They deliberately sent Peter and John to them for one specific purpose and one only! It was to help them receive the Holy Ghost! We read that they laid their hands on the new Christians AND… they received the Holy Ghost! Didn’t it say that? Why go into such detail if this is not important?

When Peter and John did that, Simon reacted! He did not do that before, so why now?
Here is a man who had previously wielded magical powers and became born again but did not react to the miracles Philip did, but when two strangers came into town, he wanted what they had. Why did he not want what Philip had? How did he know the difference? Something had to have happened that, although not specifically spelt out in the book, evoked such a response.
And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. Acts 8:18-19.

He wanted That Power, but what was it that he witnessed and how would he know that when he prayed like them something extraordinary would happen? He was accustomed to things out of the usual. This was so extraordinary and evidently powerful that he had to have it. Peter said to him-
Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Acts 8:20-21.

Please look at the word Matter that Peter used. It is Logos! It means word or sayings.

The power Simon craved was expressed by words. It was sayings or speech! What else but speaking in tongues because speaking in other tongues is indeed a supernatural phenomenon and it happened to them!

The Gentiles also?

How anyone cannot see that this is not an isolated experience for a few choice people mystifies me. Don’t they read the bible?

In Acts ten, Peter was speaking at the home of a man called Cornelius. He was a devout, God-fearing man who prayed much and gave a lot of money away to help others. These things may be good and noble and highly commendable, but do not qualify anyone for the blessing of the Lord. Everything He offers including our salvation is a free and lavish gift. Unfortunately, he was not born again and God wanted him! Men alone can preach the gospel. Angels can go on assignments, deliver messages and give direction, but they cannot preach the salvation message. We have to do that, so the Lord sent Peter to him. Whilst he was in prayer, he received a vision. They are remarkable things.

I have had many of my own, but I do not chase after them. Please do not crave them. Allow God to take the initiative as He did with Cornelius. The angels told him to send for Peter, advising him where he could be located. Peter was despatched at the same time and went to the man’s house where he started preaching Jesus, making no mention whatever about the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit, speaking in tongues and the like when the Holy Ghost suddenly fell on them. How do we know that He did?

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 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. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Acts 10:44-46 (emphasis mine).

They heard them speaking in tongues and magnifying God—that is how they knew. It cannot be plainer than that. This is one of the benefits of speaking in tongues. It is not gibberish and self-seeking at all and certainly not restricted to a few people in one place of the bible!
Anyone who believes that needs to repent quickly.
Peter then realized that God wants everyone in this thing. He wants all men to be saved and complete in every way, including being filled with the Spirit!

Since Ye Believed?

In Acts chapter nineteen, Paul went to Ephesus, where he found certain disciples of Jesus. They were saved, blood washed believers. He asked these believers a valid question, still good for today, “Have you received the Holy Spirit yet”? They were born again, so had received the Holy Spirit in that capacity, but he asked them if they had been baptised in the Holy Ghost. They were like me in my early days, not knowing a thing about it. They replied, “What are you talking about”? They knew nothing. He taught about believer’s water baptism then continued as follows. Note my emphasis.

And as Paul laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; AND they spoke in [foreign, unknown] tongues (languages) and prophesied. Acts 19:6.

The bible is very specific when describing this event, saying that 12 men were involved. If we count the original group of people mentined in Acts 1:13-14 where it lists them by name and also mentions Mary, the mother of Jesus, there were now at least 132 people who spoke with other tongues. Mary did too!  Once more we see that the debate that this experience was or is only for a select few simply does not have credibility.

Receiving the Spirit today

When I received the Holy Spirit, I knew nothing about it from a doctrinal perspective. I knew of the existence of the original languages and understood that the priests I knew and my new pastor would have studied them in part at least, but that was it.
I thought I would have to learn how to talk in these languages now to become a member of the church.

The night I was baptized in the Holy Spirit was much like the experiences I just described. The Holy Spirit just fell on me, but I realize that this might not be the norm for everyone. In fact it probably is not.
I hear people say that they want tongues, or ask others if they want to receive tongues and that is wrong!
We do not ask for tongues! We seek to receive the HOLY SPIRIT and the resultant manifestation or initial physical evidence is speaking in tongues.

We use our own vocal chords and lungs when we talk. Our own mouths speak the words.
It is so when we speak in tongues. The Holy Spirit does not do the talking—we do! When we speak, we have to open our mouths and say words. It is the same with speaking in other tongues. Therefore when I pray with someone to receive, I tell them they they have to speak, but to stop speaking in their own native language and start talking in their Heavenly language. It really is as simple as that. People clutter it up! Stop trying so hard! Just receive!

There is a law of physics that is in operation in almost everything we experience in everyday life. It is the law of equal and opposite reaction, stating To every action, there is an appropriate corresponding reaction. When air is blown into a toy balloon it stores energy in the balloon. When released, the stored energy in the balloon is expelled. That is the action. The reaction causes the balloon to fly around the air in circles! That is the reaction.
A jet engine works on similar principles.  There are other illustrations I could use, but this gives the idea.

When someone places hands on someone to receive the Holy Spirit, He comes in! That is the action of which I spoke.
The reaction is speaking in tongues. There is no mystical effort, method or formula to employ. Physical feelings and emotions have nothing to do with it, because it is a faith thing. Sometimes we might experience some kind of physical sensation, but this is not what is at stake. In fact, looking for manifestations can lead to problems!

You cannot conjure it up or try to force the issue. That is plain stupid! It causes much confusion and achieves little. There are no set methods or procedures to employ because it is the Holy Spirit who does the enabling.

I have seen people tell others to repeat saying words like “Hallelujah” thinking that this has some triggering affect. They mean well, bless their little hearts, but it is trying to force the issue. Others have gone as far as to try to grab someone by the jaw and wave it around! That is also dumb. All it does is cause problems to the seeker. Similarly there are no time constraints. The tarrying has already been done. The Holy Spirit has come. All one has to do is receive him. Lengthy prayer meetings are not necessary either. There is no need for all night sessions and the like. At best, I would say that such efforts are pure works! All of the above and more amount to nothing than foolish behaviour by immature believers and usually achieve little or nothing.

If you want the Holy Spirit, ask Him to become real to you the way Jesus said and to do what Jesus said He would do. Invite Him in. Get hungry and thirsty for more of what you already have in God and keep asking. You can do this in private or in a public meeting. It does not matter.

What DOES matter however is that the outcome must be the initial physical evidence of speaking in other tongues.
It does not matter if you stutter or stammer, if it sounds foolish or not or if you have a fluent flow of the language you ultimately speak (and speak you must) as the Holy Spirit gives you the ability to do so.
I can tell you with assurance that it gets better the more you exercise it. If you drive a motorcar with a manual gearshift, cast your mind back to the time you were learning. If you were anything like me, you would have stalled that thing, crashed the gears and so on. I have two feet but there are three pedals? What foot do I use now?  Where is that confounded gear?  All those questions caused me to look down at my feet, at the pedals and at that gearstick every time I did something.
Do you drive like that now? By the way some people drive I think so, but the point I make is that you and I learned to be proficient in it.
If we consider what we are studying today in similar light, it is really no big deal. We just need to learn how to do it and grow in it!

Common Issues:

A common question posed by scoffers or those who simply do not understand is, "What If I Get Something Else?"
A quick answer is that you do not get anything else!


Dear friend, the devil is a liar and always was a liar but he is no fool. He knows that if you tap into the resources of God in all aspects, you will be a force to be reckoned with. One of his lies is to induce fear into those who do not know the truth. One such lie is that you do not know what you could receive when getting out there into this territory. Poppycock!

That attitude is totally unwarranted and is nothing less than pure fear mongering. Fear does not come from God!
Therefore if someone is afraid of what might or might not happen, God is not the author.
Such debate has been passed down from one person to another for generations and is based on a lie.

I believe that it was Smith Wigglesworth who told the following story. He was in his hotel room somewhere and woke in the middle of the night to see a dark shape standing at the foot of his bed. He got a shock and commanded it to leave in the name of Jesus, but it remained there. He kept doing this all night, afraid of falling asleep, but the thing remained there, dark and menacing. When morning came, he saw that it was a raincoat hanging on a hook on the door!

Many Christians are afraid of shadows! Some fear, fear itself. Some are just scared of the unknown.

Some do not want to get out of their comfort zone.

They do not know God or their position in Him and that is all I will say on the matter.

My quick answer to this issue is that you cannot get anything other than what you ask God for! If you are a blood washed saint of God, you will receive what you ask for and nothing else. The people who try to tell you that are dumb and ignorant or plain fools standing on thin ice. Telling someone else those things is telling Jesus that He is a liar! He clearly stated in Luke 11:9-13-
… Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.  If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Notice His reference to receiving the Holy Spirit! If you seek the Holy Spirit, you will receive the Holy Spirit.

God is not schizophrenic.

Neither should you be. Some people think that we tongues talkers think we are better than those who do not exercise themselves that way. That is untrue. We are better then we were with out it, but not better than others. That is pride and ego at work. Remember that we are human and can make mistakes, but we can learn to avoid making them. The arguments that abound are often based on human error, citing Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth. He wrote to address many issues, not just the tongues thing.

They had been getting into all kinds of errors concerning marriage, finances and into excess and misuse of the gifts and he was telling them what to do and how to go about it. Far too many people get it mixed up.
Paul taught about the gifts, one of which is the gift of tongues, addressing the issues of how to operate and function correctly in them.

When he spoke about the far better way, he did not tell us that love is the best gift! It is not a Gift at all, but a by-product of the life of the Holy Spirit within, or, a fruit of the Spirit! He did however tell us to operate by and in love. Someone can be the nicest, gentlest, wonderful, loving believer imaginable but absolutely useless or powerless. They might possess the fruit of the spirit, but not have an ounce of ability in them. Others could be powerful and strong, exercise all of the nine gifts of the spirit and smash rocks with their words, but have a rotten attitude. They lack the love aspect.

God wants us to have both, or to be balanced!

When one is baptized in Holy Spirit, the initial outward evidence is and always is speaking in tongues. I will go so far as to say that unless one does speak in tongues they have not received the Spirit in this manner. The language spoken is what I will describe as ones individual private or devotional tongue. It is his or her prayer language that arises from receiving the Holy Spirit. When this happens, the believer is then a candidate to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and this is another topic I deal with in The Holy Spirit and His Gifts.

I am concentrating more however on the general purpose Tongues. Paul said that He prayed a whole lot in tongues, possibly more than all of them put together. He said that when someone speaks in this tongue, he speaks not to men but unto God and in such instances, no interpretation of that utterance is required… none! When one gives a message in tongues, interpretation is required. It is not translation but interpretation!

There Are defninte Advantages To Be Had!

The advantages of speaking in tongues are many and varied, but in essence the one who speaks edifies himself or herself! When we speak in the language of the spirit it may be likened to doing a workout at a gym. It seems to flex the spiritual muscles. It can allow clarity of thought to come. When for example there is a perplexing problem or some revelation required on a certain subject, praying in the spirit releases and strengthens faith and bypasses the intellect to go straight into the realm of the spirit. The Holy Spirit can then reveal things; give answers, give advice and direction and more.

When a believer speaks in tongues, he declares the goodness, might and majesty of God, speaking what to the natural mind are mysteries. Paul describes those words of adoration as glorifying God. If is a mystery then the devil cannot understand it. He has no substitute or counterfeit… none!

We often find ourselves with a need to pray but do not know what to pray or how to go about it. At this time, the Holy Spirit who knows the heart, mind and will of God in perfect detail helps us tune in. See Romans 8:26-27.

We can pray with the spirit AND we can pray with the understanding. This gives balance.

We can sing with the spirit AND sing with the understanding.

I know from experience that is based on these scriptures that when I have faced a situation and am not sure what to do about it, I simply start praying in the spirit—in tongues. Somehow, the answer arrives. I seem to gain an understanding on what to do, or what the problem is and can act accordingly. The Holy Spirit comes to my aid as He should and gives me appropriate understanding or revelation. It is a wonderful blessing. These things are strategic. That is one reason why the enemy fights it so much. He cannot counter such things, but resorts to strategies that undermine the truth, drive a wedge between believers and tie people’s hands to that they are rendered less effective.

Often times the worst opposition comes from other Christians!

It should not be so, but it is true. Such things can at times be attacks that are motivated by religious spirits! I am not talking about demon possession or such like, but due to immaturity, lack of knowledge and understanding or other issues, the enemy takes great delight in picking up on this to gossip, slander or vilify other believers in ways that should not happen. I’ve had people tell me I had a devil. I have been told that these things are not for today; that they passed away, or something better has come. The people saying such things wish that they could tear those pages out of the bible but they are there and there they remain! God put them there for all time for our benefit and once anyone starts tearing out pages of scripture, where does it stop? It is a foolish and dangerous practise! 

One reason that comes to mind is due to natural human nature and intellectual reasoning. In early Church history people like Constantine forced people to adopt Christianity, but there was no conversion experience. People simply carried old beliefs and idolatry with them into church life and the way of the Spirit was mixed with the way of anything else!

People were not encouraged to read scriptures and the priests interpreted them for the people. The dark ages began and superstition, ungoldly religious acts and practices invaded what was called the church, but God said that He will restore all things and this includes truth. People like Martin Luther received revelation of the bible truth of Justification by Faith and pinned his thesis to the door of the church. He was ostracized. To protect his truth he built a wall of protection around it and withdrew from that mainline church.

Other people like the Baptists discovered truth about believers’ baptism by immersion. They too came under attack for their beliefs and build a wall around themselves for protection. Along came Asuza Street when God started to pour out His spirit again and those folk were in turn attacked by Baptist type people. It seems that the last group to receive the last revelation of truth defends their truth and attacks the new restoration or move of God. Unfortunately, their self-preservation efforts also shut God out and they remain locked into their own little world. This is simplified, but depicts a pattern that also applies to the tongues aspect we are discussing.

Conclusion

I must bring this to a close now knowing that I have merely scratched the surface. Please prayerfully weigh up what I have shared and ask God to show you the truth. If you are real about that at least, He will show you things. Be prepared if necessary to change what is necessary. I had to do that. I had to cast aside mind-sets, tradition, ceremony and culture. I had to reconsider all of my childhood training and good parental upbringing (we had a great family life) and weigh it up against scripture.

When jet aircraft fly fast enough, a natural phenomenon occurs. The air is compressed so much that it forms what is like an invisible barrier. When pressing on the aircraft can break through that barrier and when it does, two sonic booms are heard that can be powerful enough to shake buildings and break windows. It is called THE SOUND BARRIER!

Dear friend… break the Sound Barrier! Press through and into a new dimension in God. There is so much He has for us all that we simply cannot  Dear friend… break the Sound Barrier! Press through and into a new dimension in God. There is so much He has for us all that we simply cannot grasp its fullness.

My life has been enriched and blessed. I am now better equipped as a husband and as a minister of the gospel and my relationship with God is a truly wonderful thing to enjoy.

I hope you find what I have found and move into the things that God has prepared for you.

I pray for you the way Paul prayed-
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you when I remember you in my prayers.  I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in your growing knowledge of him, — since the eyes of your heart have been enlightened — so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the incomparable greatness of his power toward us who believe, as displayed in the exercise of his immense strength. This power he exercised in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms far above every rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And God put all things under Christ’s feet, and he gave him to the church as head over all things. Now the church is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:15-23.

 

May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality].  May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,  That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God's devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]— To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it). Ephesians 3:16-21.


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