My Testimony

I received Jesus Christ as savior as a young child. I truly believe that a child can be born again. I know that I couldn't have done anything we might call big sins but I was a sinner in need of salvation just as everyone needs to be saved from sin.

I don't remember who was preaching, I just remember the place. Not that the actual place matters  but I will share that anyway. It was at the Kentucky Ave Church of God in Akron Ohio. I went to the altar at the end of the service and was saved. I know we are not saved by feelings but I did feel something. I did feel the presence of God. I remember shaking all over from emotion as a child. It was real. I know emotion is the flesh reaction to the Spirit of God and the emotion itself may or may not be present in all who receive Jesus Christ but in my case I did feel the presence of God. I do believe that I was "born again" by God's spirit by my faith in Jesus and that He came to save me from sin. I venture to guess that I may have been about 7 to 10 years old.

Growing up as a young girl and a teenager I didn't always do everything I was supposed to and I made many mistakes and had ups and downs but I don't remember the Lord ever forsaking me. 
One occasion I remember was when I was riding my bike. I was headed down an alley which sloped downhill. I started to turn into a neighbor's driveway but I saw instead that I was headed straight toward a drop off with sharp bushes growing. I closed my eyes and braced myself for a fall, and prayed. I remember saying the name of Jesus. I opened my eyes and I was safely headed down the driveway. I didn't fall over the edge. 

On another occasion my dad was at work and he felt a burden to pray for me like I was in some kind of danger. At that same moment some man in the neighborhood was trying to get me to come into his bedroom. He lived in the same apartment building as we did. I was very innocent and did not fear this person. I never would dream that he would harm me. Nevertheless, I turned around and went with my sister who was nearby and we left. I believe it was my dad's prayers that stopped me from going with the man. Years later that man was charged with sexuality molesting a little girl.  

The Church of God taught (in those days) that after one is saved, he or she is sanctified which is a second blessing in which you lose your desire for the things of the world and become more consecrated to Jesus Christ. Some teach this as a progressive thing called growing in the Lord. I do recall a time when I was praying at the altar and made a deeper commitment to the Lord that I thought was sanctification. I never hear that taught in the Pentecostal churches much anymore but  all of us should keeping seeking God after one if first saved. As I got older I began to realize to argue over whether one is sanctified with a one time experience or gradual is not necessary. It probably happens both ways. Some of us change completely and jump in with all our being when we first come to Christ. Others take a little longer because we are more cautious and have to build ourselves up in our new faith. So change may be different with different believers. 

The church I was raised in also taught about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit that comes to those who ask God and obey God. They taught that the evidence of the Holy Ghost baptism is speaking in other tongues. I tried as a child, as a teenager and a young lady to receive this baptism many times praying and seeking at the altar in church revival meetings but to no avail. Some told me that I had the Holy Ghost already. I realize that some believe that the baptism of the Holy Ghost is given when one is saved. I kept seeking though and nothing happened until I was in my twenties. I don't know what I was doing wrong. 

One gift of the Spirit is speaking in another tongue or language. This is the one gift that causes many to stumble and reject the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. First of all tongues are not something to fear and it is not something that is to be looked down upon. Tongues are not to be considered the least of the gifts either. I do not claim to understand all about the gift of tongues and why God chose to give this gift to some of His believers. All I know is that this is a gift of God and we should not be afraid of any of God's gifts nor should we put it down or take it lightly. We should never try to explain it away because we did not receive a particular gift.

Some believe that this gift of tongues is separate and not the same as the tongues we receive when we first receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I don't know if this is true but I do know that speaking is tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit and is from God. Why would the apostle Paul instruct us on the gifts of the Spirit, namely tongues, if it was not necessary or if it was not real?  Why do we forget that Paul also instructed us not to forbid the speaking in tongues. 

He did emphasize love, not to put down the gifts of the Spirit but that we would make sure to operate in love along with anything we do for the Lord. He wanted to make sure we understand that without love, the gifts would profit nothing. I believe this love is the love of God that comes from God and not the love the world thinks as love. I don't believe Paul was telling us that if we had love we would not need the gifts of the Sprit. If that was the case then we wouldn't need wisdom or knowledge for those are gifts of the Sprit also. 

I don't want anyone to accept anything I say of my own experience but check everything out by God's word. I will testify about my experience and you can compare it to the word. To reject it or accept it is your choice.

When I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit back in the 1960's, some said that I already had the baptism of the Holy Spirit years before I spoke with tongues. Some believe that the Holy Spirit baptism comes at the time a person is saved. I didn't know it though because I was in a church that taught that tongues were a sign that one had received the Holy Spirit baptism. So I probably didn't know I had the Holy Spirit if I did before that time. 

I was sitting in the back seat of my dad's car coming home from church, I felt the presence of God and started praising the Lord, my language changed and a beautiful flowing language that I never heard before proceeded from me. Most call this, speaking in other tongues. I don't see how anyone could ever doubt the existence of God if they ever experience a supernatural visitation like that.

Since that time I speak in tongues almost every time I pray. That has not stopped. That has been over 56 years. If someone ever comes up with silly reasoning about the existence of God or Jesus Christ, I think back to that time and remind myself that God gave me a sign and I knew then and now that He is real.

I was not in church at the time, no one was praying for me, no one was laying hands on me. I was not caught up in the emotion of any service. I was quiet and just listening to my dad and step mother when this happened to me and I was not worked up or in a frenzy. I just started thinking about God and began to just say, Praise the Lord. Then I started speaking in tongues. 

I miss the times in church when everyone goes up to the altar and prays at the end of the service.  We don't see that much anymore. They still give altar calls for sinners to be saved and believers with a problem to come to be prayed for but I miss the times when we would all go just to pray.  Not because anything was wrong but just to pray. Those where times when we were refreshed and strengthened in the Lord. I wonder why our churches have abandoned this. Maybe we are in too big of a hurry to get home. 

Having said that though, I am glad that my experience with receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit was in a car and not in church. The reason being that no one can say I was just worked up or picked up something I heard someone else say. No one was teaching me to speak with tongues and no one was prompting me. What happened to me that night was straight from God. I was not even seeking the Holy Ghost at the time. I was just thinking about God. I do remember when I was at church in that morning a man asked me if I had received the Holy Spirit yet and I said, No. He looked at me and said. "You will".  I think that boosted my faith and it was a same night in the car that I received the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with other tongues. 

Why God uses the sign of tongues I don't know. I could guess that maybe it's a sign that the gospel is for every nation and that we are to go into all the world to preach the gospel. I don't know anyone though, only a few isolated incidents, where a person used the gift of tongues to preach to other nations where they spoke that particular tongue. The apostle Paul said that tongues do edify the person who is doing the speaking. 

I do know this, there are times when I feel like praying for a certain person or a certain incident and I don't have the words to pray and I pray in the Spirit or in tongues. Sometimes I praise God and worship in tongues and even sing in tongues on occasion. It is something beautiful and nothing strange or weird about it. We can pray a lot easier and intercede for others when speaking in tongues.

As to way it took me so long, I'm guessing that I have always been on the shy side and having people pray for me in public would have hindered me if I thought people were watching me pray. In the back seat of a car at night, that wasn't a problem. My youngest daughter also received the Holy Spirit baptism in a car on her lunch break at work. God is not limited to one place thankfully. This was years later as she was not born yet when I received God's wonderful gift. I only had two children back when I first received the Holy Spirit.

I know there are denominations that do not believe in this and I know that it is hard for some to understand but it is in the bible. It is a supernatural witness that God is real. The apostle Paul explains that it is for a sign. He did not say that we are not to speak in tongues. He only explained that if we came together and all of us started praising God in tongues then those who might need God's word preached to them in a language they could understand, would not be able to understand the word of God. We would be edified but those that could not speak in tongues and join us, would be left out.

Paul was not putting down this gift, nor forbidding it, he was explaining how to conduct ourselves so everyone present is edified by our worship services. If you hear someone get excited and break out in tongues in public that does not mean that he is doing anything wrong unless he or she does not stop and continues on and on so that the preacher cannot preach. It is no different than if someone started singing in the middle of the service when no one else was singing. It might cause a stir but unless they continued on and on so that no one could preach or bring the word then it wouldn't be wrong.

If it is prayer time and people are gathered at the altar praying out loud in prayer like some churches do and you hear someone praying in tongues there is nothing wrong with that. He or she is praying and they are not hindering the word of God from being preached. Paul was not forbidding the speaking of tongues during prayer time, only when the time came for the word of God to be presented.   

If someone tells me that they have the Holy Ghost baptism and do not speak in other tongues, I'm certainly not going to contradict them even though I came from the type of church that taught that way. Who am I to tell someone they don't have the Holy Ghost? 

I do wonder however, why some would even ask the question, "Do I have to speak in tongues to receive the Holy Spirit?"  Our attitude should be, "Do I get to speak in tongues when I receive the Holy Spirit?"  Why do so many resist something from God?  However, do not ever take my word for anything, search the scriptures. Our attitude should always be willingness, not, "do I have to".   If God has something to give me that I need, I want to receive it. 

You might look at a few Pentecostal people you know of and have seen things that were weird or of the flesh that you did not understand; but that should not make one turn away from something given of God because some of us mess up. Do those that believe in the salvation message reject it when someone who claims to be saved messes up and goes back into sin?  Does that make the salvation message not real?  So when you see a few people mess up or even sin that doesn't mean that speaking in tongues is not real or not for us today. We don't reject the book of Proverbs because Solomon fell away from God in his latter years. He wrote the Proverbs when he was living for God. 

We know that if there is something good that God gives, the devil is going to try to mess things up so that people will reject it. We have heard of many miracles of healing but all are not healed, does that mean that God never heals? I know many try to take credit for what God does and take all the glory but that still doesn't make the gifts of God not real. 

The gifts of God are perfect but we are not perfect. Just because we make mistakes and mess up big time does not mean that God's gifts are not real and that He does not give them today. You could use that same argument to say that salvation is not for today if that was the case because not everyone who receives the gift of salvation lives without messing up once in a while.

Yet I repeat over and over, check everything I say by the word of God. These messages are written to get us to search the word not to get anyone to accept everything I say. Check it out. Any person who is afraid for people to check out what they say by the bible, should not be preaching or teaching. You check it out and if you think I'm wrong or any person who has an article on this website is wrong about something, then give it to God and pray for me or the other person. For now agree to disagree.   -Dorna

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