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To Speak in Tongues or To Not Speak in Tongues? That is the question. (Part 1)

The Holy Spirit Showed Up

I drove our new Buick Station Wagon to Des Moines on Monday, July 8, 1985, the fiftieth day after my salvation. There I called on corporate accounts to introduce them to Hunter Ross’s advertising programs. After my last appointment at 4 p.m., I headed back to Fort Dodge, a ninety-mile drive, hoping to see my son play in a high school baseball game that evening. Driving past Webster City on Highway 20, I experienced what Peter and the early disciples did on the first Pentecost in Jerusalem.

My mind concentrated on driving one moment, and in the next, a holy Presence flooded the interior of the car. Every part of me tingled as if jolted by a lightning bolt. I felt like opening my mouth to express the joy bubbling up within me and when I did, I spoke in tongues.

The Pentecostals and Charismatics refer to this experience as the baptism of the Holy Spirit.If you have a different teaching on the baptism of the Holy Spirit and think it refers to a different experience altogether, I’m okay with that.  The label is not as important as the experience.

I only spoke five syllables at first. So my biggest concern was whether I might forget the weird sounding words. I repeated them over and over again in my drive to the baseball diamond at Roger’s Park.

After parking, I sought Bill Sheridan to inquire about speaking in tongues. Did I need to worry about forgetting the syllables?

“Larry, it’s a gift of the Holy Spirit. He has a great memory,” said Bill with a laugh.

Speaking in tongues became my most used type of prayer from that day forward.

Excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven.

Surveys by Barna and Gallup estimate that only 7 – 8% of born again believers speak in tongues (prayer utterances unintelligible to the speaker).

About one in four (in Barna’s survey) said the practice is a sign of spiritual maturity, but more than two-thirds agreed that tongues-speakers, though usually sincere, are engaged in emotional outbursts that have nothing to do with God.

“Forty percent say that if they were to speak in tongues, they would be frightened by the experience,” Barna said.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” said sociologist Margaret Poloma of the University of Akron. She said a graduate student recently told her that he spoke in tongues once while he was at a high school church camp, but he never repeated it because it scared him.

“A lot of people are afraid of letting go for fear of the unknown,” Poloma said.

Russell Spittler, an Assemblies of God minister who teaches New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, said he believes that there is a hesitancy to speak in tongues in most Pentecostal and charismatic churches because “one might be thought to be a religious nut.” (See full article here.)

Why am I teaching on speaking in tongues?

On March 14, 2020, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart:

“Listen to My voice. Teach others to do the same. Great confusion shall soon come upon the earth. Many will believe they are doing My will, but will be deceived. Stress speaking in tongues.”

So, hold onto your kippers, mitres and plain old baseball caps as we dig into speaking in tongues.

(Continued in Part 2)

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

 

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May this be your best holiday season ever, full of joy, thanksgiving and fellowship with family and friends.

I am taking December off from this blog and will greet you once again in the New Year. God bless one and all!

 

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Inside Israel

Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is —

 

Greetings dearest sisters and brothers,

In The Name of Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus Christ, our Lord to Whom belongs ALL glory and praise and honor.  May He be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed and encouraged.

God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle. (Psalm 140:7)

The streets are again full of people who are breathing more easily and laughing and arguing.  The cease fire proclaimed somewhere between 5:30- 6:30 am this morning had their last few (5 or 6) breaches but seems to be holding now.  The crossing to bring goods into Gaza (Keren-Shalom crossing) has re-opened. Different commentators say different thing, different critics criticize different things, different prophets are proclaiming different things.  I am privy to no “inside information” but my heart is asking for The Holy Spirit to open my ears to Him.

Most of my letters are written in the midst, and this one is no exception.  As the rockets flew and my days crossed them flying like a weavers shuttle, I was asked to share with a group here on tour.  It has been a while since I have spoken in public, and I was asked to share the testimony of my aliyah experience. I realized that I have never shared that in full before with anyone.  The best that I can do in way of preparation is a combination of reading reading reading The Word, being on my knees before Him Who Alone has things of LIFE to share. While before Him, casting my thoughts back along the path that I have walked.

As I shared last night with this humble, hungry, loving,  alive group, I realized that most of you know very little  of the path that has brought my family and I here, to the center of Jerusalem where The Lord told me: “What you see – what you hear – write.”

As the fighting began I was about to tell you about our buses which I see daily.  When I got on the 77 a few days ago, the ceiling was strung with Israeli flags.  I noticed a flag in the front window, along with the usual array of flowers, chatchkas, and notes.  I smiled and thanked the driver for the flags.  No doubt they were to encourage us all in the midst of the political mud that has kept us from having a functioning government.

I thought back to the first time I got on an Israeli public city bus and was immediately assailed by the stark difference to any bus I that I had ever been on.  First of all, the music was blaring. Each bus driver has his own taste and I can hear a full array of music as well as talk shows and news. It is up to the driver BECAUSE it is, hum, well SORT OF like a co-operative.

I think that things have changed somewhat, but when we came bus drivers took their buses home at night and parked them in the street.  At times you would see a bus driver with his family on an outing instead of hauling passengers.  Likewise each driver decorates his bus to express his individual opinions.  More and more I do see undecorated buses, but nevertheless, it is part of our society. It’s color and taste.

We have moved to smart cards for tickets, but in the days of paper-punchy cards purchased from the driver, it never ceased to amaze me to watch people entering through the rear door of a crowded bus and pass up to strangers 100 shekel bills to make their purchase.  Their ticket and complete change was returned via the same route. Hand over hand of strangers on the crowded bus.

So, how did we end up here?  Where bus rides are filled with colorful people sharing deep and wonderful stories in assorted languages with anyone who is nearby. Such a tapestry of life displayed daily before my eyes in the hustle and bustle on pressures and responsibilities.

As I told the brothers and sisters last night, we may well be the most qualified people here to write a booklet on how NOT to make aliyah!

My husband is Native Aleut (Alaskan Native) and not Jewish:  I am the Jewish partner. Although I was raised as a traditional Jew in a fully Jewish family in NY, USA, it had been many years since I had been part of a Jewish community.  I identified with the life of Native Americans and had lost myself in their midst when The Lord found me.

So how can I share this story?  And, should I?  It will have to be in short chunks…piece by piece if it is to be done, for it is very long. 25 years here. 17 years from the “call” and “the promise.”

Let’s see what happens.

The word Aliyah means “to go up.”  For a Jew to come home to Israel is considered “going up” spiritually.  Every Jew by birth (the genetic testing popular today is not accepted) has the right of return, to make Aliyah, to come home and to become an Israeli citizen.

I had NO (as in minus zero) desire in myself to EVER make aliyah.  Indeed, I had never set foot in Israel until the day that “I came home.”

Now, this is ONE thing that is NOT generally advised!

BUT, since we are just getting word that another rocket was just intercepted, I will leave this story to perhaps continue at a later date.

May you and I be filled with The Holy Spirit afresh for His glory.  May He grant us discernment and keep us each from deception in these days…may He find our hearts humble, before Him, with one another.

Lovingly,

your sis J

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First the Blade (Chapter 32)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 32

Faith Summary

 

You’re probably thinking this book should be entitled Faith One-O-One because of my emphasis on faith. But my deep belief is that we need to have a solid foundation of faith to persevere in our journeys with the Lord.

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Walking with God always takes faith. Always. Always. Always.

I wrote this a few years ago, but it shows why we may need strong faith in the near future:

So, let’s say that you’re staying with your family at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (where the movie, Pretty Woman, was filmed), just off Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California. But all of a sudden, terrorists arrive and begin shooting their AK-47’s and exploding grenades, killing, and maiming everyone they see. Confusion and havoc reigns.

Somehow you’re able to barricade your family and yourself in a first floor cafe. You hear the terrorists walking your direction.  Who can you expect to help you?

Will the president help you? He’ll make a statement on TV, deploring terrorism, and will probably add, “Most Muslims are good people. These are just a few bad eggs!” After all, he needs the Muslim vote in the next election and doesn’t want to offend CAIR.

Will the governor help you? This is California, not Texas, so the Governor will first take a quick telephone poll to discover what the people think. You know, he’s running for office again and the election will be a close one. He also will appear on TV, deplore terrorism, announce that he is considering all options, even calling out the National Guard and will take a helicopter to the scene.

Will the mayor and city council members help you? These guys will be relegated to low-level radio interviews. And of course, they will deplore terrorism: yada, yada, yada.

What about the police? They and their SWAT teams will surround the hotel. Phone calls will be made to the governor, mayor, police chief and whoever else needs to be contacted before taking action. Valuable time will pass before a decision is made.

What about a DMORT team? This is the one positive that will happen almost immediately. A Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team from Region IX will be dispatched as soon as they hear about the attack. They will bring victim identification equipment, body bags, and storage units for the expected dead people.

Our only hope will be our strong faith in God.

 

If you do not have a great faith revelation, I recommend reading and studying the Word of Faith teachings by Kenneth E. Hagin. I disagree with him about his teachings on the doctrine of grace, but he’s by far the best faith teacher. His teachings will build strong faith in you.

If you are wondering about the prosperity teachings taught by many Word of Faith preachers, Kenneth E. Hagin never agreed with those teachings. Before he died, he warned those teachers of their greed and asked them to repent. Few listened to him.

You can read many of his books on line by Googling his name or purchase them, used or new, at Amazon.com. If you have time, check Salvation Army stores and other used bookstores, often you can buy them for pennies on the dollar.

Studying Kenneth E. Hagin’s teachings may be a good investment of your time, which may pay off in huge dividends for you in the future.

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 31)

 

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 31

Building Mustard-Seed Faith (p)

As far as churches go, the church building was not much to look at. The paint had peeled off its white clapboard siding and covered the ground with white flecks. The roof sagged. The sidewalks and steps had huge cracks. The small sanctuary seated a hundred and thirty people − at best.

During a four-year period in the late 1980’s and early 90’s, I attended that small Charismatic church. Its membership never surpassed thirty members, and for many Sunday services, just ten or twelve people sat in the pews.

Regular services were held on Sunday mornings and evenings, and of course, a Bible study on Wednesday nights. Every morning at 7a.m., there was a prayer meeting for revival in the city.

The city’s food pantry for needy people was located in the church’s basement. Most of the food items came from Second Harvest (now called Feeding America). The church also received a monthly stipend from the 700 Club to cover costs of the program.

Finances were always a problem for the church. The members were poor and there were not enough of them. Maintenance and repairs for the church building were always put off until something happened. We then all chipped in enough money to fix the problem.

The church’s pastors were an older couple. The wife was the head pastor and the husband was an associate pastor.

Okay, do you have the picture? Small church. Few members. Little money. Two pastors.

Yet, if Christians in the area needed a prophetic word, they came to the church. The pastors prophesied, I prophesied, and so did most of the other members. Any person who asked for prayer would leave with numerous prophetic words for his life. This happened all the time.

 

How could there ever be a problem with a group which had such strong prophetic gifts and who supposedly heard the voice of God?

The two pastors had apostolic callings with a vision for forming a network of churches. They hoped to plant new churches and add existing ones to the network. All would be under their apostolic guidance.

This sounded exciting enough at the time, but the two pastors had a chink in their vision: me.

The two pastors heard numerous prophecies spoken by various people about my life and had spoken many themselves. They interpreted all of my personal prophecies to mean I would be a part of their team. They wanted me to be their Silas, a prophet who would encourage and strengthen the brethren in their network of churches.

Their vision for my life did not match the one I had for me.

I shared with them what I believed the Lord wanted me to do, but they told me I was deceived. These conversations never ended well and usually one would say, “Larry, you need to really seek the Lord about your life. You don’t want to be deceived, do you?”

Why didn’t I just leave the church?

Part of the problem was the mixed-up pastoral authority teachings, which I believed at the time. These teachings taught that all believers needed to be submitted to a pastor and under his/her authority or be out of the will of God.

There was another side to the pastoral authority teachings. This one taught that because the pastor was the shepherd and head of the local church, the Lord would first speak to the leader about what a member should do with his life. This particular teaching was an offshoot of the Shepherding Movement.

I eventually knew I had to confront the pastors about their control issues in my life. A meeting was set up to air our differences.

I fasted and prayed ahead of time and had scriptures and prophetic words for them. But as I began speaking to them, one of the pastors spoke in tongues and the other one interpreted the tongues. As this happened, I felt a suffocating power overwhelm me so I felt drained and afraid. Along with the fear, I became confused.

The meeting ended with me submitting under their authority and wondering what had happened to me. So, I sought the Lord.

The answers did not come quickly for me. I struggled in the church for the next few months. A woman from another city eventually knocked on my apartment door one evening. She said the Lord had sent her to pray for me.

After she prayed, the fear of the two pastors left me and my spiritual eyes were opened.

You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed. (2 Corinthians 11:4 NLT)

The spiritual gifts are awesome tools given to us by God for the common good of all people. They contain the power of God and are distributed by the Holy Spirit.

But sadly, sometimes the prophetic gifts are not from the Holy Spirit, and may be from a familiar spirit or a lying spirit or another spirit. This is not a game. It’s an all-out war.

The last thing the enemy wants is for us to boldly walk in faith. To stop us, he will take advantage of every opportunity to derail us.

We need to have our faith built up so we understand there is only one mediator between man and God. His name is Jesus.

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 30)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 30

Building Mustard-Seed Faith (o)

Tiger Woods finished third in the 2011 Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, and won $330,667 for his four-day effort. Not bad, right?

Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters’ Champion, would have been satisfied with Tiger’s four days of golf scores because he missed the cut that year. Zach is not Tiger Woods nor is there another athlete like Tiger in the whole world. He is a minority of one.

Yet, Tiger by his own words was a failure: “Second place is first loser.” Third place would mean an even bigger loser by his definition, not a flattering description of his efforts at the 2011 Masters.

I myself cannot imagine the intense pressure Tiger must feel as he plays in a major golf tournament with thousands of media people checking him out from every angle. His swing. His putting. His attitude. His girl friends. His mistakes. It’s a wonder he can even hold a cup of coffee in his hands without spilling it all over himself.

What do you think drives Tiger Woods to keep putting himself through such a meat grinder like major golf tournaments?

Golf enthusiasts will say, “Its his deep pride which keeps him going. That’s the sum total of what Woods is all about: pride.”

To that, I will answer, “Liar, liar, pants on fire!”

I think Tiger Woods is driven by fear.

“Fear!” Woods’ fans may scream. “Not Tiger. He’s never been afraid of anything!”

What did Tiger first do when his infidelities and his marital problems became public? He hid out for months. Why? Because his life was a lie and his brand image a sham. He reacted in the exact same way Adam and Eve did because of fear.

I think Woods now heads to each major golf tournament, struggling to keep his fears in check. Fears that he will never ever again live up to the image of who he was in the past. And when you think about it: his image was a lie, not even a reality of who Tiger Woods really was.

Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)

I’m not against Tiger Woods, nor am I putting him down, but I hate the dark system, which drives him with fear: the kingdom of the world. And nothing would make me happier than learning Tiger has surrendered his life to Jesus and become a member of the Kingdom of our Lord.

In the Kingdom of our Lord, it’s not my successes or failures which matter, but instead it’s who Jesus is and what He’s done for me. I am already a success in His eyes because I am a member of His royal family. Any earthly successes I might possibly attain will only pale in value when compared to my citizenship in the Kingdom.

I can walk in the faith of knowing I am a royal prince, son of a great King, who loves me, owns me, and is always for me.

With this great revelation, have I ever known fear? Yes and it came from an unusual place: a church.

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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First the Blade (Chapter 22)

 

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 22

Building Mustard-Seed Faith (g)

I’ve looked at numerous videos on my computer concerning the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The scenes were horrible and disturbing. There was no possible way I could relate to the agony and loss the Japanese people suffered, even my prayers seemed inadequate.

One scene from a particular video invaded my thoughts and brought with it a nagging question. The particular scene showed the tsunami wave breaking through a housing development and heading out into a farming area. You could see the tsunami carrying homes, autos, buses, and debris in its wave undulations.

The nagging question was this: if I were caught by surprise and stood in the middle of that farm field, facing that oncoming tsunami, could I survive?

“Are you silly? There’s no conceivable way you can survive that scene. Where’s your logic, Larry?” one may say.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5: 7)

The number one hindrance to faith is we can only see our circumstances and nothing else. They loom as huge obstacles in our paths, impossible to get around. Then, because our focus is on the circumstances, our intellect, logic, and reason race ahead and calculate the odds of whether we’ll survive our sicknesses, poverty, dismal marital relationships, family problems, or disastrous situations (like the tsunami), and guess what? There’s never any hope for us. We are doomed.

Faith sees the circumstance – and never ignores it – but it instantly fixes its eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. (82) He is the One who calms the seas with a word or calls us to walk on water. He is the One who raises the dead and multiplies the bread and fish.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Our faith has to be focused on the mighty One who lives within us, not on our puny strengths or abilities. He must be our everything!

I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. (Philippians 4: 13 Amplified Bible)

Could I possibly stand in a field, facing an oncoming tsunami with all of its force, and survive? Yes, I could, but it’s not my decision to make, it’s His decision because He owns me. He knows when I’ve finished my course. I’m absolutely convinced He’s able to bring me to that particular end time period for my life. (83)

I sincerely believe that the more we know the One who lives within us, the less power our circumstances will have over us.

So, how can faith overcome our circumstances?

(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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