Some time ago, I heard about a pastor from a denominational church who while on his vacation visited a church that was hosting something similar to one of our Holy Spirit Rallies. After hearing the message about the power of the Holy Spirit and seeing Him demonstrate His presence, the pastor responded to the invitation for those desiring to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. The asking for and receiving of heaven’s gift were glorious. (Luke 11:13; Acts 2:39) His personal Pentecost launched a power-packed, changed man back into his ministry assignment. (Acts 1:8)

Upon returning from his vacation, the pastor chose to not share his Acts 2 experience from his pulpit. He knew that his denomination didn’t understand or approve of this present-day work of the Spirit.

Needless to say, his preaching was noticeably different. Service after service, once emptied altars were now filled with people responding to the unction that came from his newfound walk in the Spirit. People took note of their “new” pastor. The fire in his sermons was undeniable. The miserable lectures of yesterday were now replaced with heart-piercing, powerful messages from heaven.

As you can imagine, the awareness of the “newness” caused questions. One church elder was bold enough to challenge their changed pastor. He informed the pastor that he and many in the congregation wanted to know what brought about this pronounced change. After a lengthy probing, the elder brought up the big question, one that the pastor had been anticipating. He asked if this change was brought about by what some people have identified as the wild, crazy, radical belief about people today can speak/pray in other tongues. And, to be more exact, was he a “tongue-talker”?

You already know what happened after the pastor gave his affirmative answer. It wasn’t long until the denomination’s hierarchy notified the pastor to come to the denomination’s headquarters to explain what had transpired.

Days later, this meeting started with pleasantries that lasted for a brief few minutes. As was to be expected, the kumbaya warmth soon disappeared as the denomination’s leaders asked the pastor to give a simple yes or no to the question of whether or not he spoke in other tongues. The pastor’s affirmative answer changed the atmosphere in the room. Soft conversations and pleasant smiles were quickly replaced with stern, heated comments from the leaders. In picking up the denomination’s Handbook of Doctrinal Standards and Practices, the leaders then began to wave it in the pastor’s face as they made it known that this being baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues was not in their denomination’s handbook.

Saddened but yet unswayed, the pastor respectfully looked into the faces of his fellow ministers, the leadership that he had admired and respected for so many years. With the insight that could have only come from the Holy Spirit, the pastor picked up his Bible and held it before them as he told them that this doctrine was in this blessed book and nothing else mattered. The meeting immediately adjourned for nothing else could be added or taken away from this biblical, unerring truth.

Let me close by adding a quotation that I read years ago.

“I don’t care whether it upsets my doctrine or not,
I’m going to stay with the Bible no matter who it
separates me from or who it identifies me with.”
~John Osteen “Removing Hindrances to
Receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.”

May this be said of us today.