Monday, August 14, 2006

TONGUES THESIS: Part 2

.........Spirit ,can convict anyone of whether the present manifestation of tongues, is genuine or not, but before any conviction comes, the facts have to be presented first!

I could not trust Christ for my salvation until I found out His plan of salvation! For me, that came at the age of 35, while alone in a hotel room reading the Bible. Prior to that, I knew absolutely nothing about the true Bible doctrine! I had been raised a Roman Catholic, was an "altar boy" for 5 years, had stopped going to church, but studied with a non Christian cult (Jehovah's Witnesses) for 6 months at one time. I had no concept of salvation, but I knew I was lost, and would go to hell if I died! Needless to say, being lost and on my way to hell, was miserable to say the least!

In my hotel room, there was a New Testament Living Bible, and in the course of 3 nights, I read the Gospels, Acts, and got to the 3rd chapter of Paul's Epistle to the Romans when the glorious truth of Salvation was illuminated to me by the Holy Spirit! I was gloriously "born again" right in that room! I knew I was washed of my sin, and now on my way to Heaven by trusting Christ, but that is all I knew! I was a baby Christian with that small seed of Christ freshly planted in my old sinful life.

I had (and have) a lot to learn! I was a prime target for whatever the first Christians I would meet would teach me! The first Christians I met after my salvation experience was two weeks later, and were laymen from a local Full Gospel Businessmen's chapter. I met with three of them with whom I shared my salvation experience with. They told me to sit down in a chair and they would pray for me. I obeyed and they laid hands on me, but did not pray in tongues at that time.

I accepted an invitation to visit one of their churches that next Sunday. I went, and it turned out to be a non-denominational Charismatic church with about 500 people in attendance. Being the first church I had been in, other than a Roman Catholic Church, I felt the real presence of God! There were several "messages in tongues" with "interpretations" during the worship period before the pastor gave the message. I had honestly never heard about tongues before in my entire life to my knowledge, and of course, this was the first time I had heard them with my own ears! The sound of the manifestation, although I did not know what it was, gave me a very exciting "mystical" type of feeling! That is the only way I can describe how I felt at the time.

In the pastor's message, he explained what tongues were, or what he expressed them to be. Basically, he said that all Christians could have this "gift" from God if they asked, and this gift would enable them to talk directly to God in a language nobody understood, and it would by pass the speakers own intellect, and go directly to God, and even the devil would not understand it! He then said that after this message was spoken to God, they could pray for the interpretation of the message, and that someone with the gift would interpret the message which would be God speaking back!

At that time, all I remember is I was thinking, "I sure would like to be able to talk to God in my own heavenly language"! The pastor talked about the power it would give the speaker, and some other things I do not remember now, but the seed was sown! There was special power available to Christians who ask for it, and I could not wait to ask!

I had read about tongues in Mark 16, and Acts, only at that time, because I had not come to Corinthians yet. However, I had no concept what they were except what I had heard for the first time that morning! Right after the service, I rushed up to the pastor and told him about my salvation experience and asked if I could speak in tongues! He said I could if I would like to and he called the brother over who had invited me to church. He said, "This brother wants "the Baptism", so let us lay hands on him and pray for him." He then explained to me how this would work. He said they were going to "lay hands" on me and pray that Jesus would baptize me just like they did in the early church, and he said that when they started praying, I was pray with them, releasing my tongue to God! I had never prayed audibly before, so I never knew what to say. He then took both of my hands and raised them over my head and told me to keep them up. .Then they both placed their hands on my head and started praying in English and told me to pray out loud! Since I had never done it before, all I kept saying repeatedly was "Praise the Lord". After about 2 minutes of this, the pastor proceeded to say, "No more English now", and they both started praying in what sounded to me like some sort of foreign language, and after about another minute of this, in all of the extreme emotional excitement I was feeling, I also started trying to "mimic' (for lack of a better word) what they were doing, and I soon succeeded! I was able to pour forth several phrases of a language?? Unknown to me! They stopped praying and the pastor told me I had been "baptized in the Holy Spirit" and my "prayer language" would increase as I practiced it. He said to "practice" it every spare chance I got, and that I did, every day for the next 7 years!! He also told me that now that I had "the gift", the devil would come to me and tell me I was crazy and it was not real, and try and make me stop doing it, because he knew as long as I did it, he was defeated! But, if I would rebuke him in "Jesus' name", he would flee from me, and if I could hold on to my gift, I would get all of God's power just like the apostles had, and I would become an open channel to be used by God for healing, and miracles!
That was my introduction to the Charismatic movement!

I must say, up until that time, of which I was 35, and having lived with an inferiority complex all of my life, needless to say, I walked out of that church on a cloud feeling like someone important possessing "my gift" and anxious to be used of God for "healing and miracles". I stayed involved with Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship, becoming a Chapter Vice President within 3 months and only fellowshipping with Christians who were "Spirit filled". (This meant they spoke in tongues). I was taught that all the non-tongue talkers received the Holy Spirit at conversion, but, just a little! The ones who got "the Baptism in the Holy Spirit" later and spoke in tongues were full of the Spirit with the Spirit "running" over. Needless to say, I was thankful to be "Spirit filled".

I read all the books on the subject I could get my hands on and ate it all up, to say the least! As I used my "special" prayer language, it became very "fluent" even though I was either talking "angel language" or a language only God understood. I also was soon giving "messages in tongues" as well as "interpretations" in our church worship services. I was visiting "many and any" Spirit filled churches I heard about. I wanted to see what God was doing in all of them! As I look back, I always heard in our circles how "the Baptists" (or anyone else who did not believe in tongues) thought we were of the devil, so I did not go near any of their churches! I was also soon speaking, and giving my testimony at Full Gospel meetings. Of course, that led into my ministering after the meetings to lines of "seeking" people.

I was eager to teach other people how to receive the "gifts of the Spirit", and I laved my hands on many, instructing them as I been instructed, and many would start speaking in their "heavenly language". I also prayed for healing for many people. (I will share that part of my experiences in a later thesis on "Healing and Miracles; genuine vs counterfeit"). I was "on fire" for God wherever I went! I finally settled in an "Assemblies of God" church, and enrolled in their ministerial correspondence study called "Berean School". I spent 3 years completing all of the courses, learning only one sided biased opinion favoring the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit", etc. Naturally, it served to re-enforce my conviction and zeal! I finally was received into the Assemblies of God Minister's Fellowship as a "Christian Worker" (A junior minister) and 6 months later was licensed to preach by the Assemblies of God Denomination. I could write an entire book alone, on just my experiences of some of the fleshly exhibits I have seen happen in various Pentecostal churches, fully believing at the time, although embarrassed, that these things were perfectly normal! I taught a Bible study in one church, Sundays and Wednesdays, for 6 months, then "became associate pastor of another Assembly of God church for 7 months, and preached every

Cont.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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