May 22, 2020 Love For His People ministry in Charlotte, NC USA
“…when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:6-8, NKJV
When the small group of about five of us from Columbus High School (Catholic) met for a time of study, led by my friend Terri Smith, they ended the meeting by praying for me. It was 1973, my senior year in Waterloo, Iowa, and they had told me prior that they would seek the Lord on my behalf, to receive something more, way beyond what I could have already learned in 12 years of religious education. Having grown up in the Midwest state of Iowa*, in one of the finest school systems in the USA, I knew I needed and thus desired more in my life.
And I was not disappointed. After they circled around me, laid hands on my head and shoulders, I began to know the Holy Spirit in a very real, very tangible way. I was 18. He had been around for all eternity.
This One was no longer in my mind, my heart, my soul as just the “Third Person of the Trinity”. Nor was He just “Holy Ghost” – like Casper the friendly ghost who I grew up watching on TV. He was no longer some foreign concept that somehow, I was supposed to have believed in without ever seeing. Of course, I was taught to believe that in the Apostles Creed from my youth up.
No, Holy Spirit, without the “The”, became my Guide, my Comforter, the One Who gave me the ability to pray in a language which I didn’t know, for things I wasn’t sure I was praying for, Who had just come into my life. He had also endowed me with gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are listed in Scripture, found in Romans and Corinthians, written by Paul the apostle, the believing Jew in the Messiah, the One Who had fulfilled His promise in sending Holy Spirit.
Instrumental as part of the foundational stone in my Christian life, was the first gift of speaking in tongues. From that point on I knew, really knew in my heart that I was praying the right prayers. It was not just for the Pentecostals down the street, which previously I had considered somewhat weird. Nor the Protestant and Catholic Charismatic people, which were being blessed all around the world with that current move of the Holy Spirit in the 1960s and 70s.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit had come to me. That moment in time forever changed my life. Forever changed my life.
Yeshua (Jesus) had fulfilled His promise to His followers, the Jews in 33 AD, that after His death, burial, and resurrection He would send His Holy Spirit to them, for the power they would need to obey His commission to take the Good News, the Gospel, to the nations. They too were not disappointed.
As historically and factually recorded in Acts 2:1-13 (I am quoting here from the Complete Jewish Bible), we know what happened to these first disciples, all Jewish believers in Yeshua.
“The festival of Shavu‘ot (Pentecost as known in English) arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place. Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them. They were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
Now there were staying in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) religious Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd gathered; they were confused, because each one heard the believers speaking in his own language. Totally amazed, they asked, “How is this possible? Aren’t all these people who are speaking from the Galil (Galilee)? How is it that we hear them speaking in our native languages? We are Parthians, Medes, Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Y’hudah (Judah), Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome; Jews by birth and proselytes; Jews from Crete and from Arabia. . . ! How is it that we hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things God has done?” Amazed and confused, they all went on asking each other, “What can this mean?” But others made fun of them and said, “They’ve just had too much wine!”
I am not much of a wine drinker (just have not gotten a liking to the taste) but obviously these Jewish believers had quite a reaction when the power of the Holy Spirit came upon them that day. The lives they then lived from that point on proved to the world that indeed they were empowered by Someone outside of just a fleshly commitment to obey the Lord. Holy Spirit had given them the courage, the boldness, the empowerment they would need to take that which Yeshua (Jesus) had taught them, to a dying world which too needed what they had been given.
Lord knows we each need the Holy Spirt today in our lives.
I have been to the Upper Room in the Old City of Jerusalem several times. Though we cannot always know the “exact” location where anything ever happened in mankind’s history, this surely is close enough for me. And when I have gathered with many, many Christians, and Jews, believers in the One God, in that place, I can tangibly feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.
From that initial day in 1973 with my high school friends, the 3rd person of the Trinity, God Himself, has led me in the ways of the Lord. He has spoken words of guidance, hope, direction, and encouragement into my spirit. He has taught me the ways of God the Father, and the impacting knowledge of the Only Begotten Son, Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus Christ.
During the late 1990s, here in Charlotte, North Carolina, dozens of us would gather each Friday night at All Nations Church, in an actual converted horse barn which, along with my Dad, Louis Martin, had first taken out the horse stalls to begin transformation of the place!
The gathering was called the “Watch of the Lord” by Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda, to have 8 hours of praise and worship of the Lord, prayer for Israel, the USA, and the nations, prophetic words, and healing for the sick. Each Friday night from 10 pm to 6 am. To this day it continues, though with a few less hours. (You can read, and see photos, of those years in my book, “The Promise. One Man’s Journey To See God’s Word Revealed, 2013).
One amazing facet of the evening/early morning hours were the lengthy times of praying in tongues together. In fact, on one special night, we had a minister present who spoke of how the Lord had instructed him to pray for hours in tongues, unknowing what he was praying for. Years later, at a critical time in his ministry, the Holy Spirit told him that those previous hours of praying in tongues had prepared him and those around him for the great plan God had brought him to, in which he needed the faith and courage to build a Christian radio station in the Northeast corner of the USA. The ground had been prepared through his obedience, and the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, to then build.
To this day I regularly pray in tongues.
We not only look to the annual special season of Pentecost, celebrated for centuries by the Church, but all the way back to the very first time of Holy Spirit’s coming during the Lord’s Feast of Shavuot, occurring in the Jewish city of Jerusalem, Yerushalayim.
The Holy Spirit came then, to empower and send out the believers. His ongoing desire is to do the same for us, for those who continue to seek the Living God of Israel and His plans and purposes to be fulfilled in their lives.
Come Holy Spirit. (Or as in Hebrew, Bo Ruach HaKodesh). Fill our hearts and souls with Your presence, O Lord.
Now think on this.
Ahava and shalom,
Steve Martin, Founder/President Love For His People, Inc.
*The Iowa educational school system, in the 1970s, had the final testing for students that was used in the nation at that time, based on its high standards of teaching high school students. It was called the Iowa Basic Skills. And the Catholic school system was known for having an even higher standard than what the state, and nation, had set.
UPCOMING ALIYAH FOR HIS PEOPLE EVENT IN THE CHARLOTTE, NC/ROCK HILL, SC REGION – Register now.
Carolyn Hyde will also lead Messianic worship!
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Now Think On This #511 – in the year of our Lord 05.22.2020 – “Holy Spirit” – Friday, 5:25 am in Charlotte, NC USA