After so many years of wanting to experience what was experienced on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4), I finally did. Saturday night I was baptized with the Holy Ghost while praying at a revival. That is, God took control of my tongue as I was praying and I spoke in a language unknown to me. Speaking in tongues is not gibberish, as some believe. There are thousands of languages in the world, and some of them do sound like gibberish to people who’ve never heard them before. One language in South Africa, for instance, is nothing but clicking sounds. Also, there are cases of the tongues being understood by someone next to the speaker. For example, American missionaries have heard people in foreign countries speak English when filled with God’s Spirit, because English was unknown to the speakers.
Some will say Holy Ghost baptism is hypnotic, but people can’t be hypnotized to speak in a language they don’t know. Others say there are people who fake it when speaking in tongues, and they’re right. But to say all of the millions of people around the world who speak in tongues are faking it is ridiculous. Even science refutes the accusations of fraud. There have been many studies of this phenomenon, including one done by The New York Times and also Science Daily. Brain scans on people speaking in tongues showed diminished activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, an area that would normally light up when the speaker is in control. The reason is God is the One who's in control.
Despite this being a recent experience for me, I’ve known it was real since I was a child. I was probably around 10 years old when seeing another child a bit younger than me filled with God’s Spirit for the first time and she appeared to be in a trance. An onlooker who didn’t know better may have thought she was in a state of hypnosis, but I knew I was witnessing the supernatural. There were also people who attended my church for the first time and were baptized with the Holy Ghost. They knew nothing about it before then. One of these newcomers described the experience as “super-supremo sweet.” Besides speaking in tongues, people may jump or dance as God's Spirit moves through them. Sometimes the ignorant will mock them, just as it happened on the Day of Pentecost when mockers accused them of being drunk (Acts 2:13).
I never seriously sought the baptism of the Holy Ghost in church as a child, and when I returned in my early twenties, I let my addictions get in the way. I was free of my addictions in prison, but a new struggle for me was resentment for some people I was forced to be around. Some inmates are so bad they deserve to be treated like animals, but I can’t wish for them to be treated inhumanely. What they deserve and what should be done to them are different matters. Vengeance is God’s (Deut. 32:35). I’m not saying they shouldn’t have been in prison. They just shouldn’t be subjected to the kind of treatment I would have loved to serve them with.
I went to the altar Saturday night knowing that resentment was the main flaw in me. I made the decision right then to just let go. I felt that I was one with God as He entered me, and this infilling doesn’t have to be at an altar. Some people are filled with God’s Spirit right after water baptism, and they come out of the water speaking in tongues. For others it can occur in a prison cell (I had hoped that would be my case many times). When I was seeking this experience before prison, someone in church told me not to get discouraged, saying he’d been praying for it at an altar every Sunday for two years. Then one day he was driving and felt God’s presence. He pulled over and began speaking in tongues.
Someone from the church I now attend told me of her own experience there. She was there not knowing about the baptism of the Holy Ghost and was never even told what to expect. She was just praying and began to speak in other tongues, and then wondered what had happened. She knows now! I’m here to tell you that what occurred on the Day of Pentecost is still occurring today. It’s real and it’s wonderful. I’ve now added a new essay to my site called The Salvation Plan, in which I describe what the apostles taught and what occurred in the first churches. I wrote this essay years ago in prison, but I didn’t want to post it until I too had experienced everything I had written about. You have to experience this for yourself!
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