Pentecostals Made Me SO Mad !!

"For with stammering lips and another tongue will HE speak to this people." [Isaiah 28:11]

I grew up in a denomination that is opposed to "Pentecostalism." My wife was in total agreement with me that "Pentecostalism" was not for us. I was radically opposed to those folks that called themselves Pentecostals, that liked to infiltrate a non-pentecostal church, and start a "Bible Study." Then they got people interested in making odd noises that they called prayer and praise. They would then convert more and more members to their way of thinking and worshiping. Finally they would try to take over a church by voting out those in leadership.

From then on that church was a scary place where visitors might be called out of the congregation to be ministered to. People would do all manner of extroverted religious things that made introverted people, like myself, want to run for their lives.

They would change the ownership of the church property if they could pull it off, removing it from the denomination that may have poured massive amounts of funding into the procurement and installation of the church. If they couldn't get the property they might clean out the local church bank account, take the organ and furniture and leave an empty building for a stunned denomination to recover from. That was their way of serving God. Those people made me very angry!

In those days I perceived Pentecostals as all generally identical. I never even conceived of the possibility that the Pentecostal movement, like all movements, had its fringe and wacko elements. I only wanted to avoid Pentecostals.

When I was near 20 years of age, somebody did a very big favor for me; getting me to promise I would accompany them to a Pentecostal breakfast at a downtown restaurant. I kept putting them off and delaying on the keeping of that promise. But finally I realized I was going to have to stay true to my word, as much as I hated the thought of going to that breakfast! I kicked myself for getting into such a jam. I was so uncomfortable in that meeting. I was totally surrounded by all these extrovertish people, and I'm an introvert. I longed to escape from that restaurant!

During the testimony time a man arose to share with the group that during that very week he had met another gentleman who attended a certain denominational church. The testifier happily reported that he had led that ignorant churchman into the "true" experience of Pentecost. He made note that the churchman knew so very little about the Holy Spirit until the testifier had come along to enlighten that poor soul. At least that is how I interpreted his testimony.

It so happened that I was from that very denomination. And we in that denomination considered ourselves to be some of the most well informed people of any denomination concerning the Holy Spirit. And so anger rose up in me. When I walked out of that meeting I was even more convinced that I was correct in my beliefs and those Pentecostals at the breakfast were the ones with the problem. How dare they say that folks in my denomination needed anything!! They were the ones who were ignorant, I thought!

Later on God called me into the professional ministry. Believe me, I learned all the scriptural proof texts needed to undermine these Pentecostal types. I didn't want them in my church splitting it wide open and causing troubles. I became quite good at shooting Bible truth bullets. I remember bringing one Pentecostal to the point of tears. I hemmed them in with Scripture and showed them the error of their ways, as I confidently cornered them.

I preached sermons warning my parishioners of the heresy of this "mistaken" doctrine. I was certain I was saving them from the excesses of this wrong way that missed the truth and turned good Christians into sloppy believers who practiced gifts, but lived unholy lives.

I based all my arguments on the lives of real people that I had seen, who espoused tongues and Pentecostalism but who lived rather undisciplined lives, changing churches and trying to take over. It never entered my mind that I might NOT be experiencing the "A" or "B" team in the Pentecostal movement. It never dawned on me that I might be seeing the maverick Pentecostals, the deluded ones, the fringe elements. And so I went on my merry way, certain of my superior understanding. I was so certain I had the genuine insight on the whole matter.

Nevertheless I was a hungry person, hungry for more of God. I sought after everything my own denomination taught about the deeper life in God. And they did have much insight. I remember when the Holy Spirit opened the door that I might experience something my denomination found in the Bible called Entire Sanctification. It was a real experience! It was the experience of "Perfect Love" from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit convicted me concerning my unloving attitude toward Pentecostals. The Holy Spirit gave me a love for Pentecostals. I still hated their doctrine...but at least I loved them. I felt sorry for them. I pitied those poor ones, those deluded ones. If only they knew what I knew they would have changed denominations and started going to church with me, or at least that was my subconscious thinking.

I remember praying at the altar of the little church I pastored. I called upon the Lord with all my heart to bring revival. And I was so totally all out in my plea that I only put one restriction on the Lord. "Lord, send revival! Do whatever you have to do, eh except of course in case I'm wrong about the gifts of the Spirit, please don't send any of that tongues stuff because my overseer will remove me from the ministry in a heartbeat. So anything is okay short of that, just in case I'm wrong."

Years went by and no major revival. I changed ministry positions within my denomination two more times, moving to different regions of the Country to minister to different congregations.

At the last little country church, in a farming community in Southwest Wisconsin, the congregation came to me and gave me very unusual news. The church was going to self destruct in 30 days. They appreciated me, but they had decided to close the church. They had consulted with the denominational district overseer and he had agreed. It was all over for that little congregation. They had fought the battle for 30 years and were all old now. They were not physically able to go on. They had agreed to take me on as their last ditch pastoral effort, but when the church didn't turn around and grow within 24 months they reminded the overseer that he had agreed to give the church only one more chance. They would all now drive 27 miles down the road to the next closest church in the denomination. It was a sad moment.

And so the church just went out of business one Sunday, right before my eyes. It was such a small congregation that I had been working with no salary. They were such precious people. They had worked very hard for many years trying to make that church blossom. They were so kind to provide a place to live and that parsonage was to be sold. They needed me out of that parsonage as soon as possible. I had gotten a job with the County Soil Conservation Office. I made barely enough to feed my family. In fact my wife, Jan, had to stand in a line in the snow to get government surplus cheese and rice so we didn't starve. It was a time of testing. I was such a long way from my native California!! But God came to my rescue. I resigned my County job. We traveled on peanut butter sandwiches, a Ryder truck, and K.O.A. camps. And we got back home to family in California. Thank you JESUS!!

Through all of these adventures a new thing had started happening in my prayer life. I had begun to pray the Lord's prayer in a unique way. Whenever I got to that part that said:

"Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." [Matthew 6:10]

When I prayed that phrase I pointed at my chest, the temple of my body that was made of clay, "earth." And I had begun to ask God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost to bring THEIR Kingdom into "THIS" temple, my piece of earth, and to rule in that temple just as truly and just as fully and just as freely as God rules every square inch of Heaven above.


Once safely back in California, near family again, I found myself being courted by a congregation in a sister denomination. I had been sent to supply pastor a lovely congregation in a beautiful building, a congregation that was just not happy with any pastoral candidate their denomination sent them. That denomination believed in Entire Sanctification also. They were a part of the Holiness Movement like my own denomination. They were non-pentecostal, but later I learned that they would tolerate a few Pentecostal and Charismatic types in their midst.

That local church wanted me to be their pastor in a very strong way, even though their denominational leadership was not willing to have a pastor that remained connected to any other denomination. I was an outsider to that denomination. I was not familiar with their history and their outlook. There was a lot about that denomination that I didn't know anything about. But the people kept asking me to seek to join them as their pastor.

I reminded the congregation of this technical problem. I encouraged them to seek for a pastor from their own ranks. But they had been looking for two years and were not happy with anyone that their denomination sent their way. The new denomination demanded that I must transfer my ordination to them and resign from my original denomination. Otherwise they would not allow me to pastor that people. My denomination indicated it would not tolerate me pastoring in a sister denomination for a lengthy period, without a lot of red tape and reporting.

After a lot of prayer and seeking, God spoke to me. The Lord said that HE wanted me to accept the invitation to be pastor of that church. I could feel the call of God Almighty deep within my being. The Lord God was calling me to lay down something very, very near and dear to me, my denomination. I knew that I was to be the pastor of that strange new church. And so with an emotional shaking I began the process of laying down a denomination that had been a part of my family for three generations!! I loved my denomination. I had determined years before that if all the members of my denomination went bad I would stay on to be an example of what a good member should be. But now I was leaving it, and knowing that I would probably never return. Somehow I knew I wasn't coming back and inside I was grieving, but yet I had a great excitement about the call of God.

I loved the people of the new church. I liked the community. I was amazed at the beautiful facilities in which I would minister. But the new denomination itself held little attraction. And this concerned me. But I could still feel the Lord saying, "This is where you are to be."

Right in the midst of that transition an event took place that changed my wife's and my life forever. I was laying down the old denomination, getting ready to turn in one ordination and receive another, getting ready to go before boards and committees, filling out questionnaires and forms. I was already preaching at the new church each Sunday even though I had not been officially transferred. They wanted me that bad. So I was there in an unofficial mode, as a long term supply preacher.

I felt the great need of more prayer. I told my family and the office secretary, at the new church, that I was going to spend a certain Friday night praying through the night at the church office. As it turned out that Friday was a very tiring day and as I made the 45 mile drive to the church office I almost turned back. I couldn't see how I had enough stamina left to last through the night. About half-way to the office I was about to make a "U-turn," and go home, when I heard the Lord command me to continue on to the church. And so I pushed on.

I let myself into the church office. There on the desk I found two prayer requests left by the office secretary. I looked at the requests and read the names. These prayer requests were for two ladies. It seemed unusual to me that both names were international. One was the name of an Hispanic young women. I sounded the name out. The other was the name of a Japanese college student. I sounded that name out as well. I could not say I knew these people, even though they had visited the church. But they needed prayer.

I launched heartily into my prayer time. But, I laid the two special requests aside for later in the evening. I did not want to pray for these requests until I had broken through into the presence of the Lord. There was much preliminary prayer that needed to take place, it seemed to me. And so I prayed on about many things and many needs that I felt strongly about. My strength was lessening. As I had feared, on the drive to the office, I found myself barely able to go on as 11 P.M. approached. Just as I entered the third hour of prayer it happened!!

I was down on my knees, on the carpet of the office. Then I was sort of sitting and praying on the carpet. Then I was laying on the carpet, and before I knew it, I lost consciousness. I sank into a dreamless coma-like sleep. I knew nothing of time. I thought nothing. My mind and body were totally exhausted and my brain just turned off. There I was a kind of failure for the Lord, out of service, useless. The two prayer requests lay forgotten on the pastoral desk.

At home in bed my precious wife, Jan, was praying. It was between one and two A.M. in the wee hours of Saturday morning. And as she lay there, her heart went out to me 45 miles away. She thought, "I must join Clint in prayer. I will agree with him in whatever he is praying for."

During that week a Christian woman had approached my wife. This lady had said, "God wants to give you a prayer language. Would you be open to that?" She wanted Jan to try and pray in tongues right then.

Jan was turned off by this approach. She told the lady, "Thank you, but I will pray about it." To herself Jan thought, "If God wants to give me such a gift, HE can do it without any help from any one else!" Jan had no interest in such a gift, even if it was real. And as she lay in bed she realized that by her comment and decision she had thrown up a road block before the Lord. She had decided that the gift of tongues was not for her, regardless of whether it was real or not real, whether it was God's will or not HIS will. She did not want such a gift, had no desire for it. She was in agreement with her husband. But was she in agreement with God??

The memory of that conversation about tongues seemed to stand in the way. She had no idea that I was unconscious on the church office floor. But this tongues road block was blocking her from prayer. She sensed that without total surrender there was no use even trying to pray.

Then Jan prayed a prayer something like this:

"Okay Lord, if for some reason tongues is for real and it is for me then I won't fight you. Here's my tongue, use it however YOU want to. "

The moment she made that prayer, with her eyes closed in the darkened room, she saw a word appear in white letters, like as if she was looking at a black board. She could see this word very clearly with her eyes closed. The word was written in the English alphabet, but was totally unfamiliar to her.

After staring at the word for a bit she decided she would try to pronounce it. She sounded the word phonetically. The moment she said it, another word appeared next to it. When she pronounced that word another word appeared beside it. This kept on until there were several words before her. After that no more new words appeared. So she went back to the beginning and tried to pronounce her way down through all the words again.

After several efforts at saying the unknown words phonetically, another surprising event occurred. Abruptly her mouth disengaged from her mind, at least the pronouncing part of her mouth, lips and tongue. She could control the sound, and the volume, but she had absolutely no control over the enunciations. The lips and tongue just took off on their own. And for the next twenty-plus minutes a river of language poured, filling every second with many, many syllables. It sounded just like Spanish to her.

During the process she was so blessed that she attempted to say, "Praise the Lord." But all that issued from her lips was "Gloria a Dios!" Then she tried to say something else in English. But only what sounded like Spanish came out. She found that she could NOT say a single word in English! She could think in English. But she could not speak a word in English. She was in shock! And this river of Spanish was pouring so fast and so greatly that she began to even feel a bit exhausted in her body. But there was a wonderful presence of God.

After 20 or 30 minutes of this language, the flow ebbed and she found she could speak again in English. She heard herself say, "Thank you Jesus!" She praised the Lord for this wonderful touch and the mighty power of God that she was sensing. She felt wonderful, and she spoke a few more words of thanks. She knew something glorious was taking place.

But before she had spoken much more in English her lips and tongue disengaged again to pour forth another river. But this time the language was not a Latin based tongue. It sounded to her just like Japanese. For twenty minutes or so that Asian language went up out of her lips. Then she heard the Lord say to her, "That's enough now. Rest." And she fell into a peaceful sleep.

At 4 A.M. the next morning I awoke with a start on the church office carpet. I looked at the clock. I felt like such a failure! What seemed like a tiny forty winks of sleep had been five hours of total unconsciousness. I began to beg the Lord to forgive me. I told him I was so sorry I had let HIM down. I promised that I would pray on past day break for five extra hours until 9 A.M. to make up for my carelessness and irreverence and disobedience.

But the Lord answered back with these five words: "Go home to your wife!"

I said, "Lord, you know that she works very hard and always sleeps in until 8:30 or 9 A.M. on Saturday mornings, because she is so tired on Friday nights. If I go home now I will awake her." Jan worked a tiring 40 hour job that was very demanding.

Again the Lord said, but quite strongly, "GO HOME TO YOUR WIFE!!!"

When I arrived home Jan was awake and waiting for me. And she related to me the supernatural events of her night. Jan has never, ever lied, fibbed or twisted the truth. I knew she was totally serious...but I still had great difficulty taking in her story, until she got to the part about what languages she thought she prayed in. I opened my brief case and showed her the two prayer requests, one for a Spanish girl and the other for a Japanese college student. I was stunned and shocked by what God had done, through HIS Spirit!

The Holy Spirit, the Holy Ghost, had prayed the prayers that I did not pray. The Holy Spirit interceded for those two girls, and God did it without my help!! God did it by HIS Spirit and with HIS Spirit. HE prayed the perfect prayers that were needed for those ladies.

That evening, as we lay in bed about to turn off the light, the bed began to shake. For a half second I wondered if we were having a little earth quake. I had been in that bed during a small tremor in the past. But then I looked Jan's way and saw that something was happening to Jan. She was shaking from head to toe, not violently, but like a shivering! She was looking at me. Her lips were moving, but I heard nothing. Then she reached toward me with both hands and gently pulled my head to where my right ear was next to her lips.

I heard Spanish pouring from her lips at about 120 words a minute. Jan could understand a little Spanish, but no way could she speak Spanish like I was hearing. I began to listen to the words thinking that maybe I could remember some of my High School Spanish. The words were coming too fast. But I distinctly, to this day, remember hearing the Spanish word, corazon, which means heart.

The presence of God Almighty began to build in our bedroom as these words poured from Heaven through Jan's lips. The presence got stronger and stronger and stronger and stronger. And by then I was shaking, not from being blessed, but because I had never felt so much of God come into a room so fast. I was sure that Jesus, HIMSELF, was about to appear physically any second at the foot of our bed. It seemed to me that Jesus was standing right at the foot of our bed. As much as I love the Lord I was very nervous about looking Jesus Christ right in the eye! A couple of years later God fixed that problem when I sought deliverance from the oppression of the enemy.

I was wondering what all these words meant. Then Jan's hands came to me again to pull my ear close. Now I was hearing what sounded like Japanese. I'm no expert on languages, but I've seen my share of old World War II movies where subtitles are placed on the screen to translate the words of the Japanese commander or officer. And the language sounded just like that.

I felt so foolish. Here I was a witness to a great miracle and I didn't know what to do. The Spirit of God suddenly made me know that this was some very high form of prayer and that I could be a part of it if I just prayed in English and thanked the Lord. So I joined Jan and began to thank God in English and praise the Lord. I knew that I was now more in-step with what God was doing. A mighty prayer was coming forth and neither Jan nor I knew what it was all about. But we knew it was needed and it was correct. We knew it in our hearts.

That night some of my theology about the Holy Spirit got ground into powder and blown out the window! The next day in prayer I told the Lord, "I've preached on First Corinthians 12, 13 and 14 many times and they don't say what happened with Jan. I know those Scriptures well. In fact they seem to say that tongues should be less and less not more and more."

The Holy Spirit spoke to me and HE said in a sobering voice, "READ IT AGAIN!!!

So I opened my Bible and read those chapters again. Scales fell off my mind! For the first time I understood those chapters clearly. I had been blinded! My eyes had been covered by some kind of filter or veil. Now the Spirit of God had pulled the blockage off. Those chapters detailed exactly what had happened to Jan. I was wrong! God was right! God is always right!!

We were in a situation. I knew instinctively that we couldn't keep this a secret and be pure. We had to be honest with this new church. After all, they were non-pentecostal. This local church was very much against anything Pentecostal, even though the new denomination had a tiny bit of tolerance. But that local church was not open to such things. Two pastors before me they had defrocked a man for preaching about the gifts of the Spirit.

We went to the leadership and then to the whole church. We told them the story of what had happened to Jan. We told them that our beliefs about the gifts of the Spirit had changed radically. And we told them that they could simply write us off and forget us if they wanted. We told them we wouldn't hold this against them, that we understood if they turned away to search for another pastor.

But they were desperate. They took us anyway. We pastored in that fellowship for three years.

We went to the denomination and told them also what had happened. They were not terribly blessed. But they did allow us to transfer in.

Many wonderful things took place while we pastored in that church. But our growth in the Lord was moving us out of the parameters of that denomination. God was not going to force anything on those folks. God is good and HE doesn't force.

Near the end of my third year at the church, God revealed to me that I needed a special touch of deliverance to break a generational hold that the enemy had gained when my Mother went through a very trying time in her life. God met my need in a very glorious way. But it was too much for that local church, for they did not believe in deliverance ministry. At the denomination's request I surrendered their ordination document. The Lord moved me into lay ministry. I discovered that lay ministry has advantages that, for me, far exceed professional ministries.

Oh yes, not long after Jan, I too came into this wonderful experience of receiving a prayer language from heaven. Truly the Holy Spirit knows how to pray better. I still pray in English...but there are times in my private times with God when I have no words of my own. It is at those times that the Holy Spirit will pray through me. I've seen things changed instantly as I prayed in the Spirit.

I remember one time when I was under a terrible temptation. I was sinking quickly and I could tell that I was not going to be able to resist much longer. It seemed I had no power in myself to continue the battle. All at once, in my spirit, the Lord said, "Pray in your heavenly language!" I opened my mouth and a flood of strange words poured forth. In five seconds the temptation disintegrated. And I wondered how in the world I had been so close to giving in. New power to resist surged through my whole being. It was a God thing.

I thank God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost for the gift of a Heavenly prayer language.

And you know what? Real, loving, Spirit-filled Pentecostals don't sneak into non-pentecostal churches and take over. In fact, real, authentic Pentecostals seldom go to a non-pentecostal church, except to visit. And when they go they don't make a scene. They keep their experience to themselves, because they know that God doesn't force people.

When I had prayed that part of the Lord's prayer: "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven," [Matthew 6:10] I was giving God permission to release the gifts of the Spirit into my being and into my family. I meant that prayer very, very seriously, even though I had no idea of the ramifications of that prayer. But I'm glad God did what HE did! God brought a new dimension into my life and family. After Jan and I received our prayer languages my oldest daughter came into that experience. And then God filled my son with the prayer language as well. I was surprised as these two children were gifted with a prayer language, when I hadn't even pressured for such a thing. The Lord is so gracious and good!

This new understanding about the Holy Spirit has been costly. There are those who don't understand. But we want to obey the Lord. And if obeying brings separations we still want to obey the Lord. We don't want to be separated from God. God's wishes for us come first!


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