All posts filed under: Spiritual Gifts

Denzel Washington Credit: GabboT/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

An old woman’s prophecy over actor Denzel Washington said he would speak to millions

Denzel Washington, 62, is a popular American Actor, playing major roles in such movies as Remembering the Titans, Training Day and one of my favorites — The Book of Eli. He has won two Academy awards and three Golden Globes. In an interview with Parade Magazine, Denzel spoke of his strong spiritual roots, including his father who was Pentecostal preacher for nearly five decades. Denzel added that he reads the Bible daily and has read it through completely three times. God had a call and a purpose for Denzel and he tells of a prophetic word given him by an older woman at their church who many considered a prophet. She told Denzel that one day he would speak to millions of people. Denzel was 21 years old and had just flunked out of college. He was sitting in his mother’s beauty shop, when the old woman approached him. In an interview with Access Hollywood, Denzel recounts what happened next: It was March 27, 1975. I started acting four months later. She said, “You know …

Morgan Freeman Credit: Nathan Congleton/Flickr/Creative Commons

Morgan Freeman on the Gift of Tongues

The Christian Broadcasting Network published an article on comments actor Morgan Freeman recently made on his encounter with the Gift of Tongues at Newlife Pentecostal Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was part of a documentary series Freeman is doing called “The Story of God.” In a recent episode he describes this charismatic gift as “powerful.” Freeman said: “All around me people have been swept up by an invisible force. And now they speak what they believe is the language of Heaven. I can see on their faces that they are genuinely somewhere else. “Now, whatever it is, they felt that power; they are not the same. Experience changes them, how they see themselves, how they relate to others, how they change their lives. “That was a powerful experience. I could feel the energy in that space. Normal people suddenly transformed by some power and then just suddenly return to normal. But Pentecostals believe they are bringing heaven down to earth.” These are interesting statements as the experience seems to have genuinely impacted Freeman. The …

Called to be a superhero with flaws?

My Prophetic Journey Part 15: The Last Word

[This is part of a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] God desires an army of broken and weak supermen and women to change the world. In II Corinthians 12:7-10 we read about Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Verse 9 says, “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” In many ways – pedigree, education and position – Paul was a heavy-weight, a “superman” if you will. But it was Paul’s thorn, his weakness, that drove him closer to God. Being used by God in the prophetic, or in any gift, is not about our greatness, but His grace. Several years ago God gave me a disturbing vision of myself. He showed me a before and after picture of me as a vessel. The first picture was what looked like an empty tin can with a number of nails and nasty looking screws sticking into it from the outside. God told me, this was you. The next …

Michael the Arch Angel battling Satan by Luca Giordano (1632-1705): Wikipedia

My Prophetic Journey Part 14: The Angel and the demon

[This is part of a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] As we journey in the prophetic, we are involved in the supernatural realm, and our perceptions can help or hinder us. Fear is something that can definitely hinder. Even as a young Christian I was oppressed with fear, including a fear of the devil.   Somewhere in my family’s past there was a very dark shadow.   As I got older I still had an unhealthy fear of the enemy. Several years ago my wife and I prayed for a friend who had a number of issues in her life. I got a vision while praying for her. I saw a demon sitting on top of a well. God revealed that she had a Christian inheritance in her family, but the enemy was doing all he could to keep her from accessing that godly well. I have only ever had one vision of a demon and this was it. This demon was a small stupid looking imp, and my …

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Credit: Wikipedia/Michael-David Bradford

Coincidence or is this the reason why membership in the Southern Baptist church shrunk?

On May 13, 2016, the missionary arm of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) announced that it will now allow its missionaries to speak in tongues privately. This ended a policy initiated in November 2005, when the board said it would no longer accept missionaries who spoke in tongues. Originally the board allowed missionaries to speak in tongues in their personal prayer life, but forbid any public expression. On its application form one of the first questions asked was if the person spoke in tongues. The question will remain but will not impact a person’s ability to work as a missionary with SBC. The Southern Baptist church, the largest protestant denomination in North America, believes the gift of tongues, also called glossolalia, ended with the age of the apostles and is no longer valid today. Then the very next year, 2006, in a nearly unanimous vote (36-1) trustees of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary announced they will no longer allow anyone to promote speaking in tongues on campus and will not hire any person who knowingly …

Credit: Mazda Hewitt/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 13: Prophetic props

For several years I helped to teach introductory level classes dealing with the prophetic. These classes were divided into two parts – a teaching session, and a practical application. We often had people come who had little to no prophetic experience, who just felt they should be there. One of my greatest joys was seeing these people come alive in God, realizing that they could hear from God! When I attended Bible college our classes always had opportunity for budding preachers to practice preaching and teaching in a safe environment. Why should it not be the same for those stepping out in the prophetic? In teaching the introductory prophetic classes I enjoyed coming up with practical exercises using props. One of these props was an empty chair. I remember putting our prime minister’s name on a slip of paper, putting it into an envelope, and putting the envelope on the chair. The group gathered around the chair. They were told that the name of a real person was in the envelope, but weren’t told who …

Antique baggage lock Credit: Michael Kappel/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 12: Using your keys

[This is the twelfth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] Years ago I worked doing security in a large corporate hotel. When I came on duty I would sign out the large set of keys that I would carry with me during my shift. I had keys for every part of the hotel except the manager’s office. I had authority from the manager to open or close any door I needed to at any time I chose. With so many keys it took some time to learn which key fit into which locked door, especially in the dark. And, I needed to be sure to never lose the keys – guarding their safe keeping was a huge responsibility. My journey in God has been very much like being given spiritual keys and learning how to use them. In an emergency in the darkness you have to know which key fits which door in order to “save the day.” Over the years God has taught me kingdom …

Old well in France Credit: Jean Guillaume Coutard/Flickr

My Prophetic Journey Part 11: You Can’t Draw Water from an Empty Well

[This is the eleventh in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] When I was first called to the prophetic ministry I remember the admonition to not only know the Word, but to live it, and have it as a great well to draw out living water to refresh others. In the past number of years, at the beginning of the year I often have gotten “marching orders” for that year for an area to study, a book of the Bible, like Amos, or a person’s life, like Joseph. As examples, here are a few of the lessons that I learned from these studies. Amos was a farmer, and spoke the language of a farmer. God used his rural background to speak repentance to the northern capital of Bethel. God does not always send us to our “own” people. The book of Isaiah is almost like the whole Bible in one book. Isaiah is in some ways the opposite of Amos – he was an educated blue-blooded prophet …

View from the pulpit. Credit: Tyrone Warner/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 10: Prophetic Protocol

[This is the tenth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] The title of this next article in this series could be, “The Means Must Justify the Ends,” or, sometimes it is more important how you do something than just getting it done. One pitfall in the prophetic is when those who are idealistic or insecure look with criticism on a person or group who does not respond to the word they give in the way they think they should (“if they don’t do as I say, they are rejecting God’s word”). Fortunately, a prophet’s pride is no match for God’s grace. Another situation that can challenge our attitude and response is when you feel you have a hot word from God, but are not given a platform to share it. Moses is a great example of what our attitude and response should be. He was a deliverer, Law giver, and also prophet, and Numbers 12:3 says, “(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all …

Stave Church in Scandinavian Heritage Park, Minot, North Dakota. Credit: Bobak Ha'Eri

My Prophetic Journey Part 9: How to minister in North Dakota and not even be there!

[This is the ninth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] Years ago, while a member of a senior prophetic team in a large church, I ran into a continual problem. The team would be invited to minister out-of-town on weekends, and I rarely could go. I ran a small retail business, and it was almost impossible to get Saturdays off, even for God’s work! It drove me crazy. It came to a head one time when our team was invited to minister at a church in Minot, North Dakota. I really, really wanted to go, but my boss said no, and I decided I would spend the weekend in a major pity party. A few days before the trip our team leader had a planning/prayer meeting regarding the weekend. She came to me, expressing how badly she felt that I was unable to go. She shared that she felt under attack from the enemy, and knowing how I felt, asked if I could keep her in …

Credit: Neil Howard/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 8: The Challenge of the Roller Coaster

[This is the eighth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] In the last few articles in this series we looked at four lessons God taught me in my journey in the prophetic. This one is also an unavoidable lesson. Lesson 5 – The Challenge of the Roller Coaster At times having a prophetic gift can be like living on a roller coaster. When your word hits the mark and saves the day, you’re a super hero – on top of the world! But when you get it wrong or it’s a challenging word that just gets strange stares, and the worship leader is encouraged to sing something, anything – then what? The roller coaster descends full speed to the bottom! But you are not alone, and there is hope! I have heard from a number of prophets that God often chooses the weak to show His strength, and that many who are called to the prophetic struggle with insecurity. His plan is to change us, to …

Radar Valley, Goldstone, California Credit: Jason Major/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 7: Learning the Radar

[This is the seventh in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] As described in the previous article, God continues to teach us as we move into the deep end.   He stretches us, and is always faithful to give us what we need. Lesson 4 – Learning the Radar At times I have gotten a vague word just walking into a situation. I learned the hard way that not every prophetic impression was to be shared publicly. Sometimes it was a matter of being within radar range – that many who are within radar range will be hearing the same thing. On these occasions, if God’s Spirit is saying, “John 3:16,” before a meeting even starts, then “all who have an ear to hear” will pick up on that. If someone speaks that verse out, it may be the role of another who sensed the same thing to affirm it with an “Amen!” or to affirm it with that person to encourage them. As I have shared before, …

Credit: Boris Hajdukovic/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 6: Confirmation

[This is the sixth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] In the last article on learning in the prophetic, I discussed the importance of timing. This is the next lesson the Lord made real to me. Lesson 4 – Confirmation Whenever you book a flight, a car rental, a hotel, or order a major appliance, it’s normal to get a confirmation number. When the person at the desk confirms your number, then you know that your booking or purchase is as good as in your hand – it’s done. It seems that it’s harder to trust our Heavenly Father to confirm what He’s given us than it is to trust someone we don’t know behind a desk! How many times have I missed God’s timing because I have wanted seventy times seven confirmations! It seems common to a lot of people being used in the prophetic that there is a definite learning curve in this. In my previous post, I described the pounding heart, dry mouth, …

Prophet Ezekiel on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo (1476-1564) Credit: Wikipedia

My Prophetic Journey Part 5: When to share or not to share

[This is the fifth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] In previous installments of My Prophetic Journey I recounted how God answered my prayer to teach me lessons in the prophetic, starting with the first two lessons. The learning continues! Lesson 3 – When to share or not to share Even on a lighter note, timing is no joke – ask a comedian! But, seriously – timing is vital. When I first started to prophesy, God would give me a verse or short word at the beginning of a meeting. My blood pressure would go up, my heart would go into warp drive and I felt that if I did not share this word right now I would die. I’m sure many can relate. I had to learn patience! One time in particular God gave me a clear word, but I didn’t feel free to share it for several months. I felt like I was pregnant with a word and could not deliver it. Finally I …

The Prophet Elijah in the wilderness being fed by crows after fleeing Jezebel by Washington Allston (1779 - 1845) Credit: Wikipedia

My Prophetic Journey Part 4: Motives

[This is the fourth in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] In my previous article, I shared how God showed me that His love should be the foundation for my life and ministry, as “Lesson 1.” As I continued to look to Him for His lessons in the prophetic, the lessons impacting my life just kept getting better. When we leave it up to God to decide what we need to learn, it will be bound to be not what we want, but just what we need. Lesson 2 My next lesson was all about my motives. It started with me asking God for the next lesson, so I could prophesy better, and for an answer I got silence – nothing! I said to God, “Here I am,” and for quite some time I did not hear from God – not one word for anyone. It was embarrassing – it seemed everyone and their cousin’s dog were prophesying, but not me. I started to worry about what …

Off to prophetic school Credit: Michael Fawcett/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey Part 3: School Starts

[This is the third in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] Having wrestled with God’s call, and worked through some things involving God’s grace and work in my life as discussed in my last article, I was finally on board with God’s call into the prophetic. I read all the books and study notes that I could, and attended seminars on the prophetic. One day, either in a stroke of rare brilliance, or naivety, I came up with a plan. I bought myself a large hardcover blank notebook and said to God, Why don’t You teach me some prophetic lessons? A by-product of that would be learning to hear from God more, so that sounded great to me. God answered that prayer, and I began to fill the book with some tough lessons – be careful what you ask for! For a period of time God would deal with one thing (usually involving character and attitudes), and then would let that lesson become part of me. After …

Wayne's redemption box

My Prophetic Journey Part 2: The Redemption Box

[This is the second in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] After discussing “The Call” in Part 1, I must mention the story of the redemption box, because the story of this journey would not be complete without it. Often in Scripture God teaches us deep spiritual lessons about His kingdom by comparing them to natural mundane things around us, as in Jesus’ parables. Another example would be when Moses stood before the burning bush, and God asked him, “What is that in your hand?” and used the shepherd’s staff to show Moses His power. One day God spoke to me and asked me, “What’s that box in your hand?” As a metal artist I love spending time in junkyards, looking for scrap metal to turn into art. I seem to have a particular penchant for old metal boxes, for no other reason than the challenge of restoring them and making them useful again. One day at one of my favorite junkyards I saw a future treasure, …

The Prophetic call Credit: DraconianRain/Flickr/Creative Commons

My Prophetic Journey: The Call

[This is the first in a series of articles on the ministry of the prophet and gift of prophecy.] I would like to share the story of my call and journey in the prophetic ministry. This is not a teaching on the Five W’s of the prophetic ministry (whatever that would be) – this is a very personal journey of God healing brokenness, not so I could prophesy, but so I could walk whole in Him! I grew up with very low self-esteem, thinking I was stupid, school was a nightmare, and I never seemed to fit anywhere. I remember as an 11 or 12-year old contemplating killing myself because I hated everything about myself – I was damaged goods and I just wanted the pain to stop. I was extremely shy and afraid to stand in front of anyone for any reason. As a young believer there was a person in my life who had a “prophetic ministry.” I watched this person “minister” out of their unresolved issues. Their ministry was dark and almost …

American soldiers advancing on Japanese positions in World War 2.

Do you have Desmond T. Doss’ spiritual gift?

Mel Gibson’s most recent movie Hacksaw Ridge received a 10-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. Standing ovations are not common occurrences at this festival, much less for movies with a Christian faith theme. Gibson’s movie, which will be released in theaters in November, is based on the life of a heroic soldier from World War II — Desmond T. Doss. As a Seventh Day Adventist, Doss was a conscientious objector and was unwilling to become involved in the actual fighting. The Seventh Day Adventists denomination officially holds to the position of pacifism. Like most people, it is easy to consider conscientious objectors as little more than cowards. But that could not be said about Doss, who died in March 2006 at the age of 87. According to an article in the New York Times, while growing up his dad put a poster over Desmond’s bed. It had the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s prayer emblazoned on an image of Cain standing with a club over the dead body of his brother Able – …

Mural of a dam construction by William Gropper (1939). Photo: James Vaughan/Flickr/Creative Commons

A secret purpose for the ‘gift of tongues’

With King Saul trying to kill him, David and his army had developed an uneasy alliance with the Philistines. For a few days, David and his army had joined the Philistines for some battles, but the Philistine commanders were wary of David’s loyalties and eventually asked him to return home. But while David and his men were gone, scouts for the Amalekite army had discovered that other than for a few old men and young boys, David’s base at Ziklag was unguarded and launched a raid on the base. When David and his men returned from what had turned into an utterly useless venture they found Ziklag burning and empty. Their wives and children hauled off into captivity. David’s men immediately turned their anger and frustration on David. It was his dumb decision to join the Philistines that caused this mess. David had made a huge mistake. But there was one thing that set King David apart — during times of stress and adversity he purposefully strengthened himself in the Lord. 6 Moreover David was greatly …

Pentecostal camp meeting in Colorado. Photo: Masonerecycleicious/Flickr/Creative Commons

Why Paul wishes we all spoke in tongues

Back in the early 70s, I was saved in a church belonging to a denomination with a strong evangelistic, missionary emphasis. Though the church was not charismatic, it was not opposed to  the gift of tongues. Its semi official position was “seek not, forbid not” with more of an emphasis on “seek not.” However, the particular church that I had been saved in had formed out of the Jesus’ people movement and over time fully embraced the charismatic. Speaking in tongues was as controversial back then as it is today. As a result of the denominational influence, I had started to develop a negative attitude towards the gift and was looking down upon those who practiced it in the church I attended. But at a Bible study group, I felt the Lord speak to me of my need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I asked some of the people in attendance to pray with me for the in filling. It was a dramatic moment as I was instantly filled with God’s Spirit. I can …

Small Pentecostal church service in Liberia. Photo: Multimedia Photography/Flickr/Creative Commons

What happens when you do a neuroimage scan of a person’s brain as they speak in tongues?

In some ways it’s odd how Speaking in Tongues has become the lightening rod of dissension in the church. According to the Bible, it is one of the supernatural gifts given a person when they are filled with the Holy Spirit. On one side of the spectrum you have those who believe Speaking in Tongues and most of the other charismatic gifts ended with the writing of the New Testament, while those of a Pentecostal/Charismatic persuasion believe it is a gift still needed today with some believing it is a sign of the filling of the Holy Spirit — meaning all people filled with Holy Spirit will speak in tongues. According to the Bible, speaking in tongues also called glossolalia occurs when the Holy Spirit moves on a person and initiates this language. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul described it this way: 15 What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the …

Cornfield Photo: Don Burkett/Foter/CC BY-NC-ND

Did speaking in tongues save Kathi’s life?

In August 2011, David and Kathi Byker were awakened at 4 am by sounds in their home in Grandville, Michigan. Two men wearing ski masks and dressed in black stood over their bed. Armed with knives, they demanded money. Leaving a cell phone and instructions on how to pay a ransom with David, the intruders kidnapped Kathi (60). With a knife at her neck, the kidnappers duct-taped Kathi’s hands, mouth and eyes and threw her into the back seat of the Byker’s SUV which they stole. As they drove off in the middle of the night, Kathi was terrified about what lay ahead. She believed they would kill her. The two kidnappers eventually met up with a third person — the ringleader. He and one of the kidnappers remained behind to arrange the payment while the third drove off with Kathi in the back seat. Driving with a knife in his hand, he would turn and threaten to stab Kathi if she didn’t stay lying down on the seat. Terrified and not knowing what to …

Chris Pratt Photo: Gage Skidmore/Foter/CC BY-SA

Did a prophetic word about his future fame play a role in Chris Pratt becoming a Christian?

[by Dean Smith] You may be familiar with Chris Pratt. He is a Hollywood actor who most recently starred in Jurassic World. Released in June 2015, Jurassic World is a blockbuster setting a global record of US$511.9 million in ticket sales on its opening weekend. In the movie, Chris plays Owen Grady — a Velociraptor (a mid-sized raptor) trainer and expert. According to Variety magazine, Pratt earned $1.2 billion in 2014 making him the highest paid actor that year. He earned his big payday starring in Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie. But Pratt is also a Christian and his faith comes out in an interview with QPolitical where Pratt shares his struggles with the premature birth of his son, Jack, born in August 2012.  Pratt said that he and his wife Anna Ferris prayed for weeks for their son born nine weeks premature and weighing only 3 pounds.

It took 10 years, but Southern Baptists will now accept missionaries who speak in tongues

[by Dean Smith] It took nearly ten years, but on May 13th, 2015, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) announced it will now allow missionaries into its organization who speak in tongues. In 2005, SBC’s missionary arm passed rules stating it would no longer accept any who spoke in tongues to serve in its organization. Speaking in Tongues is a practice commonly found among Charismatic and Pentecostal churches. Many believe it is a sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit and is considered one of the spiritual gifts. The gift was prominent in the early church as it was one of the main gifts manifested on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). As the first century closed the gift and filling of the Holy Spirit began to wane and for centuries speaking in tongues was relegated to groups the Catholic Church often considered heretical. However, the Azusa street revival that took place in Los Angeles, California in 1906, thrust the gift into main stream Christianity.

New Head of Anglican church “Speaks in Tongues”

On March 21, 2013, Justin Welby – 57 – was appointed the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury replacing Rowan Williams as head of the 77-million strong Anglican church. In an interview with Charles Moore of the Daily Telegraph, Justin who is an evangelical, admitted he spoke in tongues. Tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit first manifested on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:2-4). Today, it is part of the spiritual life of those in pentecostal churches and the charismatic movement. Describing his experience, the Archbishop said,