"Nothing more impressive than an intellectual and spiritual approach to seeking truth and a willingness to embrace it unconditionally."

Friday, February 26, 2010

Gifts of the Spirit

So many times when Pentecostals think of the gifts of the Spirit our minds immediately go to prayer lines, calling people out, prophecy or telling people their zip codes. This is not the way the gifts of the Spirit always work. One of the examples of the gifts in operation that has stood out in my mind over the years was in a revival at James Swindle's church. My father had preached a message and conviction was as heavy as I had ever felt it in my life. Dad had been burdened for a particular man that was husband of one of the ladies in the church, and he was in that service.

After preaching dad began to repeat the phrase, "yes you can, I said you can (I already hear the Obama jokes flying at me now lol)." This man's wife told someone after church that her husband had just leaned over and said to her, "I can't live it," and was immediately greeted with my father saying, "yes you can, I said you can." Needless to say, the Holy Ghost won the battle, and the man prayed through and is still serving God today. That man had no doubt that God was calling him and had his number. That is the real gifts of the Spirit from which God and God alone gets the glory.

Johnny Carroll: Man of Dreams

My father, Johnny Carroll, has been blessed with a unique relationship with God. God speaks to him specifically and frequently, but not in the manner you might think; God often speaks to him in dreams. I cannot not tell you how many times that it has amazed me the way things God has shown him in dreams have come to pass. I would like to share a couple of those stories with you.

One the neat dreams that my father had was concerning a lady that would pray through in one of his revivals. One night my father had a dream that he, and some other church people, came across a shallow grave, and in that grave was a body. The grave was so shallow that you could see the outline of the person. So, my father began to remove the dirt with his hands, and very quickly uncovered a woman who was bound with rope. My father took a pocket knife and carefully began to cut away the ropes that bound her. In the dream the lady was short, with short dark hair.

Within a day or two a pastor called my father and asked him to come and preach a Revival. Of course my father told my mother and I the dream the next morning after he had it. So, when the first night of that revival came, in walked this lady, she was short and had short dark hair. My father immediately knew this was the lady that he had saw in the dream. She, like that lady in the dream, was bound with many ropes; ropes of cigarettes, and numerous other addictions. For 21 straight nights of revival my father prayed with her for at least 1 1/2 hours every single night, but my fathers faith never wavered because of what the Lord had shown him in the dream. On the 21st service she received the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

Another time we were camping as a family and during the night my father had a dream that he and my mother were fishing. My father was catching the fish and was throwing them up on the bank where my mother was. After a while he asked mother, "how many do you think there is," and she responded, "about 20-25." He was amazed that she had guessed so low and said, "there is at least 50." He woke up immediately and the Lord spoke to him that the fish were souls, and the that he was going to give us a revival of about fifty souls.

So, when we got Bakersfield, CA, for the first three weeks or so dad didn't preach but just a couple sermons. In fact, Brother Dawson said that he was wondering if he could even preach. After the first three weeks or so revival began to break and about fifteen weeks later the dream had come to pass!

I could spend hours telling stories just like this. It was amazing growing up and seeing a man operate in a dimension of faith for souls that you only read of in great revival books of the past. God has blessed me to see this occur hundreds of times.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Coming Soon: dailytheos.com

Richard Tanner, of Cornerstone Apostolic Church, is launching a website designed to publish papers on various Apostolic issues: Theology, Devotionals, Men's and Women's issues. Richard Tanner will serve as editor and a contributing author. Other authors will include: Steve Pixler, Darin Plowman, Joe Fabion, John Carroll and many more. I will post another blog when the site has been launched. I will be writing mostly about Christology; my first article will be, "The Impeccability of Christ." I hope that you enjoy.