Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of the Christian church, the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit entered into this world with the sound of a mighty wind and tongues of fire transforming ordinary believers, empowering them to become witnesses for Jesus Christ to the ends of the world.
(Acts 2:1-4) ”When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
When the Holy Spirit came, it turned the life of the church upside down. At this time, there were gentiles and Jews from all over the world gathered in Jerusalem, and they were all wondering when they heard how the disciples began to speak to them about God’s great deeds in their own language.
It was so wild that the critics blamed the disciples of being drunk in wine, even though it was early morning 9 am. They did not know about the new wine that the Holy Spirit was serving, and it seems like the same critics are around today!
Speaking in tongues has become a rare phenomenon, even in the Pentecostal church. Here we can find so-called believers who believe that the gift of tongues is not for everybody to receive, together with people who no longer speak in tongues in the congregation because they have become so seeker friendly that they don’t read their Bibles. Check it out. It says that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for the believer, but for the unbeliever. 1 Cor 14.22.
Let me give you an example. On my first crusade in the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic, I stood on the platform in the biggest sports arena, not knowing what I was going to preach. As I looked through a few different preachings, I suddenly realized that it was the actual day of Pentecost, so what would be more natural than preaching about the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I preached with boldness and spoke the Word, and after that, I invited people to come for prayer. The first 5 came to the altar, then 10, then 20, then 30, then 40 and so on. Finally, there were about 100 people, who wanted to be filled with Holy Spirit and power.
Everybody stood, staring at me, expecting that I was going to fill their mouth with unintelligible sounds, and again I had to stress the importance to them, that it wasn’t me, but God who gives. Instead of praying for people individually, I released the power of God in the hall.
“Be filled,” I shouted, but at first there was no reaction. People just stood with their mouth open like young birds waiting for God to fill them and heaven to open up.
When I looked out to the people, my eyes caught a young guy, who had received the language of the Spirit the night before. The Holy Spirit showed me that I should ask him to come up on the stage. And when I put the microphone in front of him, he immediately started speaking in tongues.
This young man’s family was known by everybody in there so it became a mighty sign for the people gathered. Immediately when he started speaking in tongues, it spread to the first row. More and more people began speaking in tongues, and soon the stage and the floor was full of young, elderly, and old people, praising God in new tongues. After the meeting, a parent went on stage to take his daughter home. She was among those slain in the Spirit. When I left the arena, he came walking all by himself. I rolled down the window in the car and asked about his daughter. The man told me that he had to leave her on the platform because she was too drunk to walk on her own!
Pentecost is wild. It might not look presentable when the Holy Spirit falls on people but it is definitely needed for revival to break out. It is not our plausible words of wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that does the difference. We need the supernatural. More miracles and less apologetics, so that our faith should not rest in the wisdom of men but in the Power of God (1 Cor 2.4-5).
If you want to learn more about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you can read more in Christian Hedegaard’s new book, “Holy Spirit Wildfire”, who is available on Amazon. Holy Spirit Wildfire