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Power From On High
May 28, 2012
I am a Pentecostal in name and in experience. You can have the name without the experience which amounts to nothing.  Way back in the 70’s, I was invited to a small Pentecostal church in Kitchener, Ontario, where I received Christ as my Lord and Savior, after hearing the Word of God which produced genuine conviction in my heart of my need for salvation from my sins. As I stood trembling at the altar, with head down, eyes closed, I suddenly fell to the floor under the power of God’s Holy Spirit without anyone touching me or pushing me. I was genuinely “slain in the Spirit” which was an irrefutable experience that I can never forget or deny. I look back to that night as a young man and recognize that God was saying, “This is real!” The next day at work, I shared with a fellow employee my incredible spiritual experience, which according to his psychological training, I was merely manipulated by the preacher in my mind into some kind of hypnotic trance. Not a chance! The popular aphorism states, “A man with an argument is always at the mercy of a man with an experience”. I agree with that statement, however, every experience must be backed by solid Scripture, for even the devil can produce an experience, counterfeit though it may be.
 
Pentecost found its roots in Exodus 23with the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai on the 50th day after Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. It was called the “Feast of Harvest”. This was a one day Jewish festival that acknowledged God’s absolute dominion over His people. In Exodus 19, the Lord declares to Israel, “If you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine: And you shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD has spoken we will do” That was the Old Testament Day of Pentecost! Fully surrendered lives to God’s will and dominion.
 
Pentecost in the New Testament is celebrated 50 days after Easter (Passover) and marks the birth of the Church in an Upper Room in Jerusalem when the Holy Ghost fell on 120 disciples as they faithfully waited for 10 days at the command of Christ to “tarry until you are endued with power on high”, when suddenly the promised “promise” came! “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”(Acts 2:1-4)  This was a picture of fully yielded lives to God’s will and dominion, which some in the crowd that day in the streets of Jerusalem mistook for drunkenness!
 
Pentecostals have always been mistaken as being weird! I remember in public school how embarrassed I was when our class school teacher asked the class each one’s religious denomination. I reluctantly admitted to being  Pentecostal, knowing people thought we were crazy, but I didn’t know why! Today I know why. Unfortunately, some fringe, fanatical, extremely emotional charismatics have only added fuel to the fire over the years. Of course, these few overly zealous phonies who love a good “experience”, (fleshly as it is) always seem to get the critic’s attention, which is then considered to be the characterized antics of the entire denomination. The truth is, real fire and wild fire often burn together! Wise is the pastor who is able to discern and douse wildfire before it spreads out of control.
 
Pentecostalism is more than just a charismatic denomination that was formed 100 yrs ago—it is a living, dynamic, exciting filling of the Holy Spirit’s power called the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. 106 yrs ago on Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California, revival broke out in a small fifty member church called the Apostolic Faith Mission, pastored by William Seymour which became the birth of the Pentecostal Movement which has spread around the world with 250,000,000 adherents.
 
Right from the start, the revival was attacked by the devil in a smear campaign!
The Los Angeles Times described the revival like this in a front-page story titled "Weird Babel of Tongues"
The so-called Revival Meetings are held in a tumble-down shack on Azusa Street, and the followers of the weird doctrine practice the most fanatical rites, preach the wildest theories and work themselves into a state of mad excitement in their peculiar zeal. Colored people and a sprinkling of whites compose the congregation, and the night time is made hideous in the neighborhood by the howlings of the worshippers, who spend hours swaying back and forth in a nerve racking attitude of prayer and supplication. They claim to have the gift of tongues and be able to understand the babble.”
 
Another reporter described the Revival like this:
“What a disgraceful gathering...they cry and make howling noises all day and into the night. They run, jump, shake all over, shout to the top of their voice, spin around in circles, fall down on the floor jerking, kicking and rolling all over it. Some of them pass out and do not move for hours as though they were dead. These people appear to be mad, mentally deranged or under a spell. They claim to be filled with the spirit. They have a one eyed, illiterate, black preacher who stays on his knees much of the time with his head hidden between the wooden milk crates. He doesn't talk very much but at times he can be heard shouting, ‘Repent,’ and he's supposed to be running the thing...”
 
Quite often, proud, well-dressed preachers came to 'investigate' the Revival to expose it as false. However, their high looks were soon replaced with astonishment, then came deep conviction of sin which broke their opposition and then they would fall to the dirt floor on their knees, asking God to forgive them and to make them as little children. This is the dimension of supernatural power that the present day Church in North America knows nothing about. We may consent to it intellectually, while never knowing it experimentally.
 
In a recent Sunday service, while praying with a woman at the altar, a friend who has not been baptized in the Holy Spirit stood beside me as we both prayed. I began to quietly pray in tongues which he heard. After we were done, he asked me if I was speaking Hebrew. I told him that I was praying in tongues, to which he replied, “I felt the power as you were praying—I want that!” I believe that more and more of God’s people are desiring with an intense hunger for a greater dimension of power through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They are experiencing inner stirrings which can no longer be ignored. A yearning for more of what God has for them—a greater power and boldness in their prayer life and in their daily witness. As God begins to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, don’t be surprised when you begin to sense a subtle awakening in your spirit for a deeper walk with God, along with a growing desire for the supernatural gifts of the Spirit. You will become so dissatisfied with where you are spiritually speaking. This is the work of the Holy Ghost upon your life—it is not a hypnotic trance, it is not phony, it is not counterfeit and it is not wildfire. It is a genuine encounter with God backed by His Word. As this new experience occurs, fully surrender your life to God’s will and dominion in the matter. The promise in Luke 24:49 is for you! “And, behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you: but tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until you are endued with power from on high”
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