"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."-Acts 1:8
I knew about the Trinity-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- from my Catholic up-bringing, but I never knew what the purpose was of the Holy Spirit. I heard of Pentecost (Acts 1), but I wasn't too familiar of this event....
After I came to receive Jesus (repent my sins) for the first time my freshmen year at UMM in the Spring of 1996, I was immediately prayed for to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at a local evangelism church service in Morris. I wasn't really sure what happened, but the pastor put his hand on my tummy and told me to look up while I raise my hands up the air like I'm receiving from God. He kept telling me like I'm receiving water and having it go to my belly.
Later, I would receive more teachings on it after I was similarly prayed for again. This time, I was at Morris Community Church (MCC-local home church now as of 3.31.04) when I would get prayer with 2 other college students a year and half later (sometime in 1997) at their old church building.
I then would encourage others to receive it when I was part of Alpha & Omega, a predominately African American christian student ministry I help co-founded in the Fall of 1998. We invited Spencer, evangelist from MCC, to speak/teach on it to our fellow peers one Friday evening at the Minority Resource Center T.V. Lounge. I can remember my peers all around the t.v. lounge yelling and shouting with joy. Individuals on the floor, some standing in a corner, and others jumping around! It was like a taste of Heaven! No, we are not a cult! Those who were present were some leaders from the predominate/majority Caucasian American IVCF. They were so impressed that they wanted to have this at one of their Wednesday meetings!
Before this IVCF Wednesday meeting, the A&O members that were present in this Friday "Pentecost-like" evening, came to share/testify the following Sunday at Morris Community Church. Then they invited the congregation or visitors that Sunday at the Morris Elementary School Auditorium to come up to receive prayer for this. A similar effect happened too, like at campus on Friday!
Then at IVCF, Spencer came to speak/teach it to the peers of those present from A&O on the previous Friday. As one expects, the similar effect happened too as this Holy Spirit outpouring became a domino-effect or wave!
I believe sometime later in the same quarter or next quarter (it's now called semesters), Hugh Laybourn from Lewiston Idaho was invited by Morris Community Church Campus Ministry to share/teach this at a 2-day crusade at Oyate Hall. What I can remember from this was he asked/challenge us "believers" to be more empowered/bold to do His work. Yes, it is hard to evangelize or share the Gospel. However, if we receive power from God to do it, we are able to become more effective...Amen!
I have to be honest, I've been slacking since 1999 on using the spiritual gifts that has been emparted to me through prayer. Yes, there has been spurts from 1999 to now where I try to use these gifts, but it last's temporarily or for a short time. With the current blockbuster movie, "The Passion", storming through our nation and Easter approaching. I feel we need to ride the wave that God is sending now and take advantage of this time to work together in building His Kingdom! Last night at homegroup, my faith was built up of hearing countless testimonies of people being healed and coming to Chirst. "For such a time as this". Let's go team!
Reason for Writing This
I'm writing this today-Wednesday, March 31st 2004 as I'm somewhat seeing a similar wave. I was at Chi Alpha last Friday, and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was taught. Then coincidentally, Neil-associate pastor, shared this at Morris Community Church this past Sunday! Hmmm..
*below are some verses I wrote down immediately after a teaching recently at Chi Alpha:
Samples of why we need "power"...
"When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast [it] before Pharaoh, [and] it shall become a serpent.
And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods"-Exodus 7:9-12
John 2-"Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus Like a Dove"
ACTS (whole book) -Acts 2-"Pentecost"
"But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:
To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.
And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
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:
(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. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,...
For more...Blue Letter Bible King James Version (Search: 21 verses on "Holy Spirit", 544 on "Holy", and 456 on "Spirit")
Speaking in Tongues
I started to speak in tongues after I was baptized in the Holy Spirit the same service I came to Christ. The pastor kept telling me to roll my tongue, which was very "foreign" to me. As I've grown in my relationship with God, it has become more natural.
One time I was speaking in tongues at work, the group home residents around me started laughing. After working there for 5 years (in June of 2004), my residents and I would do this at times. Just this past Sunday-Monday when I was working 10p-6a (awake overnite) after I was encouraged by my local associate pastor speaking on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on Sunday morning; I wanted to "practice" it. One of my residents appeared (started to act abnormal than the usual) to need prayer, when one is in desperation-I went all out in prayer with tongues. My resident calmed down and slept quietly rest of the night. It's really difficult to explain this situation, so personally contact me for the exact details.
Today (Aug 2005), I just met a college student asking about speaking in tongues. I decided to go this website and see what other notes I can add after talking with him. I want to add that if we just "ask" (Matthew 7:7) Him, I believe in my whole heart that "it'll be given".
"Heavenly Father, I ask you for the gift of speaking in tongues. As it is mentioned in your Word that you offer us to speak in tongues (along with the other spiritual gifts), I want to do your will. Use me effectively according to your will, purpose, and time...in Jesus' "mighty" name. Amen!
I gave this analogy to him when it comes to speaking in tongues at a church service: When you go to a horse race, you see the jockey (rider) and the horse. They both need each other to function effectively. It's like that person who is speaking in tonuges during a church service, it would be more effective if someone that is gifted in "interpretation" (1 Cor 14) applies this. Thus, this person is able to give a prophetic word of encouragement to an individual or the church body. This makes a service or any type of "spiritual gift" circumstance more effective.
...see Spiritual Gifts
Other Related Resources:
-I heard this story of a missionary in India who couldn't speak their language, so he spoke in tongues and they were able to understand him
Weird? Yes, it is very weird to make that funky noise, but Hugh shared that Jesus did some weired stuff too! Remember when he took some mud from the ground and slap it on a blind person's face. Then he was instantly healed-it wasn't the mud! It was all God, which we need to do when we speak in tongues. You gotta set your heart and mind in God in Spirit when you do speak in tongues or you'll be distracted and lose focus on the main purpose!
I personally can't really explain theologically, but I can spiritually share the the benefits of speaking in tongues. When I do this quietly in a public place, it helps me focus spiritually and not physically. It's because it's not an everyday worldly exercise. When I start speaking in tongues, it helps me focus on Jesus in worldly matters. It helps me go into spiritual warfare-knowing that it's God's battle and not mine when I enter unfriendly (not peaceful, spiritual strongholds, a heavyness in the air, spirit of depression, etc..) environments-especially at my work place (group home)
Also, I experience a very uplifting time with God when I speak in tongues when I'm singing to Him during worship music. Several times or more when I speak in tongues during singing, I somehow I'm able to go with the flow. An important note is I don't want to emphasize the speaking in tongues too much as a believer. I believe living more of a Christ-like life in repentance of our sins daily, so we can be more righteous and a brighter light to others as we grow in our relationship with Him!
This morning (Thursday, April 1st 2004), I woke up to a dream of a tornado west of my parent's townhome in St. Paul. I've had this dream many times already, which may be a sign of God's move that we all have to be in watch. I'll let you know of any reports that may come out of this later....
-2004 on March 29th "MCC-Associate Pastor" teaches and does an invitational prayer after service
Testimony: Congregation Member shares how she was desperation in prayer to see her sister not have an abortion, so she starts using her spiritual gifts (speaking in tongues). When sister and boyfriend goes to abortion clinic, they are confronted with protestors. Then a loving lady pulled boyfriend aside and shares for 10 minutes. She told him "to go", which they both do and decided to not proceed with the abortion.
-2004 on March 27th "Chi Alpha-Youth Pastor" teaches
-2003 Ben Goodman shared, focussing on UMM professors, and invited people to come forward for prayer
-1999 "Alpha & Omega": We invited Spencer, evangelist from MCC, to speak/teach on it to our fellowship group at the Minority Resource Center T.V. Lounge
Testimony: African American students become on "fire" and attends MCC the following Sunday to testify!
-1999 "IVCF" Spencer, evangelist, teaches and invites college students at Oyate Hall
Testimony: Student starts speaking in tounges, and a student nearby actually is able to interpret and understands what other student is saying.
-1999 "Fresh Fire" Guest Speaker: Hugh Laybourn from Lewiston, Idaho shared about receiving more from God to be bold in doing His work as Jesus taught us and displayed/practiced in the Book of Acts. Student came up front to get prayed for to receive from God directly by raising their hands in the air to show that the "real" source is from God-Himself-not man! He was a guest at IVCF for 2 days at Oyate Hall and Edson Auditorium
It's Tuesday, April 11th of 2006. I haven't added more to this site for awhile, but I decided to write more here after sharing at IVCF last week on "Empowering to be A Light for Christ". I felt God layed this message after listening and seeking him weeks before on what He wants me to share. I honestly can say that everything I shared was exactly what God wanted me to share, but in general. After reflecting on the spiritual warfare growing-up as a Christian, I felt the body of believers needed to learn more on this particular teaching to help them in their daily walk with Him. During a daily devotional, God layed in my heart to read Exodus 7 (as mentioned above in this site). I thought of the movie "Ten Commandments" and visualize the scene of the sorcerers of the Pharoah turning their staff into snakes after Moses/Aaron did the same. Well, as you know the story-God's power showed to be more stronger! I feel the Christian body of believers encounters opposing powers daily and feel helpless, but yet to understand that God is more powerful. Then I read Acts 8 (one of many chapters in this book of how God can empower us daily), which my eyes were opened to how the sorcerer (Simon) realized too God's power was much stronger. We need this!
Last Wednesday, I shared ways I "try" to get empowered daily as I grow in my faith:
-Repent daily by asking God to show you what sins you need to ask forgiveness because there is no day that we go through without sinning. This is an act of obedience to show God you want to grow and change daily. How can we be a light/witness to people God puts in our day to day lives without shinning more and more like Jesus? This is somthing I try to do before going to bed, so I can be a more brighter light/witness (before we can "make a difference" to others-family, community, state, nation, world, etc.., we need to start with ourselves!) for him the next day!
-As I reflect throughout the day, I have a "Praise Report Book" that I record everything I can think of what I'm thankful (1 Thessalonians 5) to God for?
-During my reflections (devotions at night before going to bed), I "try" to list all my burderns or worries (Matthew 10) and lay it on the cross because it's hard to go to bed with your "head running around". To take away from my self only, I also list of prayer request of people God put in my life during that day. For example, if someone (co-worker) shares about their problem they are going through, I write their name in this "Prayer Book"
-I end my devotinal prayer time at night with some Biblical verse/chapter God lays in my heart relating to the "theme" of the day. I have to be honest that there are many nights, I don't feel like doing this. But, I encourage you to at least "try" (e.g. pick a chapter from Psalms/Proverbs based on the day #-10th of April, so I'll read Proverbs 10 or Acts 10) to read a verse/chapter because it's like a soother for your mind and gives peace before going to bed. I "try" do the same when I get up in my morning deovitonals and then ask God how I can apply this for that particular day!
-When I get up in the morning, I try to sing to give praises to God for having me live a new day. After "singing" I write the song He layed in my heart to sing and "try" to remember this throughout the day. Then, I read the Bible (chapter/verse)-usually from the New Testament!
-While I get dress, I "try" to remember some Biblical "tools to equip me" (Ephesians 4-Armor of God, 1 Cor 12-"Spiritual Gifts" to be manifested, Galatians 5-"Fruits of the Spirit", etc..). This is very important because it's a battle every day and as a "soldier for Christ"; you always want that "feet of readyness".
-I then try to workout (push-ups/sit-ups) to get physcially "empowered".
Come Holy Spirit - Christian Music Video - Ground Zero Master's Commission - Karen Wheaton
'Come Holy Spirit - Christian Music Video - Ground Zero Masters Commission performed this Christian Music Video. The video tells of how the Holy Spirit can cleanse our lives of our sinful ways. Song - Let Your Glory Fill This Place by Karen Wheaton"
History of the Azusa Street Revival
The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake By Frank Bartleman (dunamai)
Pentecost Prior to Azusa Street
Azusa Street Centennial
Who Was William J. Seymour? (African American) By Dan Reaney and Gordon Robertson The 700 Club
*this particular started after a local church weekly (Tuesdays @7am) prayer this morning (Tuesday, April 25th of 2006). A fellow brother in Christ shared a "word" about the heart sleeping. We prayed about it and I then shared with him of a lady name "Corazon" (Heart in Spanish) I met the other day at a local church I was visiting in St. Paul this past Sunday. Then I thought about the recent share on "Empowering to be a Light for Christ" at a campus ministry (IVCF at UMM) group earlier this month. I decided to do a search on "heart"=> "cor"-heart and "amor"-love in latin
The Cause USA S.O.S. Ministries
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