I recently gave a ride to a married couple. We talked about various subjects, with one of them being our Christian faith.
“Where do you attend church?” I asked.
“Assembly of God,” he replied.
“A charismatic church,” I said.
“Well, they aren’t into that so much anymore,” he replied.
His answer reminded me of what an Assembly of God pastor proclaimed to me almost thirty years ago: “I belong to a Pentecostal denomination that is almost embarrassed of its heritage – speaking in tongues.”
The Assemblies of God, Church of God in Christ and other Pentecostal churches have their roots in the Azusa Street Revival (1906 to 1913). It was during that revival that a black pastor named William Seymour taught on the gifts on the Holy Spirit. He watched thousands of believers being baptized in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues and eventually going into all of the world to introduce others to the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Most believers, then and now, do not have problems with the gifts of healing, prophecy, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, working of miracles and so forth, but there is one gift that carries a heavy stigma with it: speaking in tongues.
Does it make sense to speak in a mysterious language, not understood by other men, and only understood by God? No! It defies logic!
And yet, the early apostles felt every believer needed it:
The Apostle Paul said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” (Acts 19:2)
If the believers answered Paul negatively, what did the apostle do? He prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit:
And when Paul had laid hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. (Acts 19:6)
“No matter how noble, persuasive, or convincing the argument, the decision to exclude the Baptism of the Holy Spirit from the life of the church is a decision conceived in hell. Omitting this Baptism was a masterstroke of Satan. He knew this was the most destructive deception possible. It created lukewarm Christians.” (Mario Murillo)
I believe the Lord will soon pour out His Spirit on men and women like He did at the first Pentecost, almost two thousand years ago.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with different tongues, as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out. (Acts 2:4)
This move of the Holy Spirit will totally shake up the Body of Christ. Believers will leave their present churches and seek ones that will allow them to use their gifts. This revival will make the Charismatic Revival of the 1970s and 1980s look small by comparison. It will be a spiritual tsunami!
“Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” (Hebrews 12:26)