I often sit and think back over the years, to try to understand why, and where, things went so wrong in my thinking and understanding concerning the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
As I think back, I know that this story could be quite personal and offensive to the people who were involved, so I have decided to leave out names of people and places.
I think about the Apostle Paul, and where his journey began and I compare it to mine.
Paul was born into a very religious family and tradition. He was surrounded with teachings and religious training from his earliest years of life.
Just as we all are from somewhere, he had his beginning. His journey to arrest the Christians in Damascus became the turning point in his entire life.
It was a “Damascus Road Experience” that forever set his heart to serve the risen Lord Jesus Christ whom he had so fervently protested.
Sincerity was in his heart. He lived to serve the God whom he believed in, in a most powerful and purposeful manner.
He was on the road to become a Great Man of God, and thought only on standing for the “truth as he knew it.”
He was very sincere, but sincerely wrong!
What a shock to his system it must have been, when finally he learned the truth about Jesus and His followers!
There was a bright light, so bright that it blinded him, then the voice of The LORD whom he was set to destroy.
Helpless and weak, he fell to the ground, unable to rise. “Saul, Saul! Why do you kick against the pricks? Is it hard for you….” The LORD pleaded to the awakened warrior.
His first word was “LORD”, for he knew that none other could have such a voice and power!
Yet he had to ask, “Who are you?” He honestly did not know. But from that moment Saul became Paul, the greatest of all new testament Apostles.
He was a murderer, for he had sought out many Christians already and had them killed, yet he was forgiven because he had done it in innocence and ignorance.
So it is with all of us. We must make the journey out of darkness into that marvelous light. From misunderstanding, to understanding. From that which is false to that which is true.
I remember a little story that so effectively illustrates that place where I was at one time in my understanding.
It begins with a old fashioned water well or cistern, like people used to have many years ago. The well was rather large, for men had gone into the earth to dig with shovels till they reached the water.
The well had been lined with stones to the top where a stone wall surrounded the opening. Over the stone wall was a wooden frame with a pulley, rope, and bucket, to lower down into the well to lift out drinking water.
Down in the well, below the world above, lived a family of green frogs. Their world was small and the sky was a spot. In the well on the side grew a beautiful fern and some dainty flowers.
The frogs had a small perch on the rock face on which to sit, and a small wooden tree limb that had somehow fallen into the well. This was their world, this was all they knew.
They would wait for a bug to fly into the well for a meal. All was very well in the little cistern. Happily they lived out their uneventful life.
One day a green frog was swimming when the bucket fell to fetch water, and he was caught up in the bucket. Up, Up, he went, until the Light became very bright and he could not see.
Aware of danger, he jumped and pushed with all his might until he flew out of the bucket. Suddenly he was in a whole new world. He never even dreamed there was such a beautiful place. It was so large compared to his little world below.
Well, this story illustrates a very important lesson. In our lives where we are, we understand only what we have been taught and what we have experienced.
Our lives have been shaped by our environment, and our family of friends. We all have come from somewhere.
The place I came from was a wonderful Christian family. My father and mother were good Christians, and they loved me and cared for me in our Christian home. I thank God for them, for they taught me about God, and because they took me to a Church, I came to know Jesus as my savior at the age of twelve.
My family was very religious. We believed in the Bible and went to Church a lot. I often say “I cut my teeth on a hymn book!”
I can not remember a time I did not go to Church. Even if I did not wish to go, my parents insisted, thank God, that I go and learn the Bible and believe in Jesus.
As you have probably already figured, and have seen the place that I am taking you, my family had a certain set of religious beliefs and a denomination, where they belonged and followed. Everything we studied about the Bible was in the world in which I lived in.
It is quite understandable then, that my thinking was governed by those things, and my personal beliefs.
At the age of seventeen, I heard the call from God to preach the Gospel. It was during a moving series of revival meetings that had been held in our home Church, that I answered this call.
A tall skinny preacher who was an Indian from Oklahoma, had come to preach. He was the most powerful man of God I had ever heard, up to that time. It was under his preaching that God moved in my life to become a preacher.
Time and space is not enough to go into all the details, but through a series of events, I was influenced to go to Bible College and seek an education to become a preacher.
Up to this time I was accustomed to a very formal and reverent type of Church. Emotionalism was not the normal order of the services.
The singing was from hymn books and was quite beautiful. I had been taught to be quiet and reverent in the Church, and I always wore my best clothes when I went into the Church.
I have tried to remember just when and who it was whom, I heard describe the Pentecostals. I still do not remember, but all I know is that I had a very narrow view of them.
Somewhere I had come to believe they were very wrong about something. I did not know or understand exactly why. I think it was over several things primarily.
First, I was taught against too much emotionalism.
Second, I was raised to question the honesty of “Divine Healers” and,
Third, I was definitely and carefully taught against Pentecostal beliefs such as “talking in tongues” and falling down.
I was of the opinion that they were “holy rollers” and that it was not God who made them roll! Ha Ha!
I can remember hearing about a man called Oral Roberts, and as far as I can recall, I can not remember ever being told any thing good and positive about him or his brand of religion.
I can recall pictures in my mind of the wild extreme Pentecostal people, who did all sort of emotional things. I was well on my way to become very negative, to say the least, and really I didn’t know exactly why.
When I arrived at the Bible College, this sort of thinking continued. I remember going to class studying the Bible and Church related subjects.
I still remember the day that this older preacher who taught our class taught us lessons on why we did not agree with the Pentecostals. The teacher was a very well known “Man of God” who had served many years on a foreign mission field before he became a professor.
He was the most knowledgeable man I had every listened to concerning the Bible, and I took what he said as fact.
I remember that day just like it was yesterday. He got up in the class and said today, “We are going to talk about “Why we do not believe in, or practice the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.””
He read the passages of scripture which mentioned this subject, then he began a long lecture on what it all meant.
I remember him teaching us that the experience was only for the early Church, and it was when the Holy Spirit first came into the world after Jesus left for heaven.
He very masterfully used many scriptures to prove his points. He was very convincing. I believed what he said, without hesitation. It all sounded perfectly true.
I remember that he taught us the difference between them and us, on the belief of healing, explained that the Pentecostals believed that healing was in the atonement, and that it was not true.
According to him and his neat little package that day, the people who believed that it was God’s will to heal all sick people were misguided from sound biblical truth.
He asked the question, “If it is God’s will to heal the sick, then why don’t all sick people get healed when we pray for them?”
In fact, he said the reason is because it is evident that God’s will for some is to be sick, in order to glorify God. He pointed out the passage referring to the Apostle Paul, and his prayers to The LORD to remove the thorn in his flesh three times, and The LORD said, No.
“When you are weak, then you are strong,” so as logic followed, then the faith healers who also claimed the power of God to heal, were not right.
He then began to point out to us, that it had been discovered that many had lied about their healing. That many Pentecostals had not been honest, and had done untrue acts to prove that they were full of the Power of The Holy Spirit.
Well you can see that this young preacher boy, who by the way, did not know enough about the Bible to question any thing he said. I was so impressed with his character and knowledge that I bought it all, hook, line, and sinker!
Upon graduation from Bible College with a Graduate of Theology degree, I became an ordained Pastor and worked as a Pastor in the denomination I was raised in.
I was like the Apostle Paul, who was convinced by his teaching that Jesus just could not be the one to come, and that all Christians were destroying the true faith of Moses.
Through the years, I became just as able to explain it all away, as my teachers. I had a set of answers for the best of them, and I could use them.
I became quite proficient in this matter. I even thought of myself as very well informed and able to help anyone who was led astray into this way of belief. I was sure that these beliefs were of the devil, and designed to hurt, not help, the cause of Christ.
On many occasions I set out to “Help” them by delivering them from this form of doctrine, which I felt to be very hurtful to the Body of Christ.
Oh, I was as sincere as I could be, and was very dedicated. I was sure I was right. I have preached many sermons from pulpits where I railed upon the “tongue speakers and healers.”
I hated talking in tongues, and fully believed that anyone who “jabbered” in unknown languages, was truly possessed by evil spirits. I had even heard of men who had cast out demons, who claimed they were “tongue speaking demons.”
I have been asked to leave houses after I insulted their beliefs about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I was really just plain mean and ugly. I loved to “Bible Bash” with the Pentecostals.
One of the main reasons that I believed as I did, was because of what they (many of them at the time) believed about eternal salvation.
Many of them believed that a man could be lost again after salvation if he sinned . I was also turned off by the teaching of many of them that believed,”if you had not received the Baptism and spoke in tongues, that you were not saved.”
To me these extreme teachings indicated they were wrong. I even believed that their works religion had caused them to miss true Bible salvation, and they most likely were not saved themselves.
I literally believed that in order to help them from their sad state, they must first be delivered from demonic powers.
Well, I like Paul, had set out to set things straight. I joined in with the “Fundamentalist Movement.” I considered myself superior in knowledge. I was determined to live and preach the “true doctrine” of the Bible.
This is a brief account of my life. I have not gone into all the details, but only attempt to state to you my religious training and background.
I must say, although, that The LORD did, even in the midst of all this, have mercy upon me, and He even used the Word of God which I preached about Jesus, to cause many to be saved and become Christians.
The truth of the Gospel of the Grace of God, which I believed and preached, did still work in the salvation of many. I have come to know that God does use all of us “in spite of ourselves” to accomplish His will.
In 1989 my life came apart and I left the ministry. For a number of years before that time, I began to experience many things as a minister and pastor which I could not cope with.
You have heard of the “burned out preacher” who quit preaching. Well that was me. I will not go into all the awful details, but will only say that I became very tired and discouraged, and wished to just live a normal life, away from all the pressures of the ministry.
This of course led me into a time period of my life which turned in a downward direction.
My marriage came apart, and I found myself alone. I ran away from reality. I ran to the backside of the desert of New Mexico and did not tell anyone of my past.
I did not wish for anyone to even know that I had been a preacher. I had always said, the worst thing anyone could be is a “hypocrite”. I had made up my mind to not do that one thing, or cause anyone to be hurt by my conduct.
I had tried very hard for years to maintain my Christian walk and life. I had sincerely wanted to be a good Christian, and to serve The LORD and help others.
Now I just wanted to begin again. But we all know that sin will cost you more than you intended to spend, and take you farther than you intended to go!
I became an artist. I had always been artistically inclined, and I had painted oil paintings for many years as a hobby, as well as selling my paintings from time to time.
In that year some friends and I went into the back country of New Mexico, south of Albuquerque, in search of rocks and to explore an “off the beaten trail” place.
For many years I had been fond of such trips, when I enjoyed hunting arrowheads and rocks. It was on that trip, that I found in the ground a strata of Alabaster. This began my years of stone sculpting.
I believe that this time as an artist and stone sculptor, was a time in my life which I can look back at and call “the providence of God”.
You see, I was a Christian and I was still a believer, even if I was back slidden and had lost my way. God blessed me in spite of myself and took care of me.
Finding the alabaster stone changed my life. I became a successful sculptor. Today I still enjoy sculpting. The life of a sculptor and artist gave me somewhere to be at the time, and gave me a purpose.
I found myself in the desert, in a very remote place, and far from any town or house. It was 35 miles to anywhere. In the desert place, where I dug the alabaster stone, I found quietness and peace in the outdoors.
God Set Me Up!
I know now that The LORD led me into this place in the desert to reveal Himself, and His great love for me.
He had for a long time loved me,and wished for me to understand Him and to know His ways. I had gone down a long road of misunderstanding.
I knew a lot about a lot, but I needed a relationship with The LORD. I had been religious and had walked in my religious training, but now I would learn to walk with God.
I know now that I had to get to a place where I could listen to what The LORD was really speaking.I had gone for years running on ideas and beliefs that I had been taught by men.
Oh, not all of them were man made, for I had truly experienced salvation at 12 years of age, and I had heard the voice of God calling me to preach the Gospel.
I had been taught by the Holy Spirit that was in me, that I had received Him when I was born again, and I had learned many things about God and His Word.
I was not void of understanding, but I needed much more. There were evidently many things missing in my life and knowledge of God.
The LORD wanted me to know more. He loves me as a son and wants the best for me. I had truly begun to wonder about that last statement.
I had missed it in my relationship with Him. Now I was a man, who was going wandering around in the dark, I could not find the door. I stumbled as a drunk man. and had wounds without a cause (no good reason).
I found myself in a desert place, literally, and in a desert place, spiritually. I had lost my way.
In 1999 early in the year, I heard the voice of God very loud and clear. He said to me: “I will not let you go another year the way you are going!”
I was shaken and very disturbed by this. It had been going on 10 years since I had quit preaching, and run away into New Mexico.
I had not heard The LORD speak for a long, long, time. It was like the first time all over again. I recognized His Voice, but I was really shaken by the experience.
I cried out, “Or What? What do you mean? What do you want me to do, surely you don’t want me to preach again, after all this time and everything I have done.”
There was no answer. I heard nothing… This began a time of great distress and searching. I even began to go back to Church, for I had quit years ago. I tried to make my situation better, but it did not work.
I could not find any peace in any Church. I went to preachers and pastors. I asked for help and found NONE.
It was like the heavens were brass. One preacher told me, that what I had done was something, “I would never ever be able to undo, because when a preacher falls he takes too many with him.”
This was a great help to me, boy…. “Do you really think I will never be able to make things right?”
He even told me, “Oh, your welcome to come here to church, and sit back there with the rest of them.” I said “Who?” and he answered, “The rest of the divorced people,” and then he added, “I could not even ask you to teach a class of junior boys!”
I look back at that experience, and I now know that someone should tie a rope around that preachers leg and drag him out of the pulpit. That kind of abuse is the worst kind that any person could inflict upon any one.
By the time Easter of that year had come, I was the most miserable person in this world. I could not sleep at night, I had come to the end of my money, my sculpting was not working, I could not sell anything, I lost my gallery and went out of business, my friends departed, for who wishes to be around someone like that?
I went to bed one night and tried to sleep. I could not. It was like someone had put sand and rocks in my sheets!
I rolled over and over and could not get comfortable. Then as I rolled over I heard The LORD say…”Well, what are you going to do now?”
I said, “What do you want me to do?”
There was NO ANSWER, ALL WAS SILENT… This went on for the entire night, over and over and over, until I was totally worn out.
The next day I told the few people I knew, “I am going out to my desert place where I dig stones. (I had by this time moved a 30 ft. trailer out there to stay in while digging stone).
I told them I would not come back to town until I got things straight with God. They asked me how long I would be gone and I answered, “I do not know, but I can not live this way any longer, I must find out what God wants of me!”
I went and bought a Bible to read and some study help books. (Strong’s Concordance, dictionary of Bible words, and an English dictionary) I bought writing paper and pencils. I knew enough about God, that I would need them, if I was going to hear from God!
I went into the desert and began to fast and pray. I took no food to eat and went prepared to fast. I began to study the Bible and to research the teaching of “fasting”.
The first day, after much study and prayer, I was laying on the floor of the trailer, reading. I read in the Gospel story where Jesus had gone into the desert and fasted and prayed for forty days.
I read where the devil had come to him and tempted him to turn stones to bread. Jesus Said to him, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds form the mouth of God”.
When I read that verse, it jumped out and hit me. It was really something! I was amazed at this verse and began to search the concordance for references. I found a reference in Deuteronomy 8.
I began to read this chapter, and the story about the children of Israel and how The LORD had led them out of bondage from Egypt, into the desert, and fed them with manna from Heaven.
It said that he had taught them that, “Man should not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God…”
I continued to read about their journey into the desert with Moses and how The LORD had blessed them with many things like water, food, and protection. As I read, I came to verse 11 in that chapter, and then I read it, “Beware that you do not forget The LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His precepts, and His statutes which I command you today…”
Suddenly the presence of God came upon me with such force that it felt like I was being smashed by the weight of His Person. It was very heavy, and pressed me down to the floor. I could not breathe.
I saw my life flash before me and I literally thought, “Now He has come for me and I am going to die.”
I felt like the most vile and terrible sinner in all the world. I saw my terrible sin, and it was very bad. I could not speak, so I cried in my mind, “LORD, if you do not let me breathe, I will die!”
Then I caught my breath and I heard Him speak to me these words: “Why have you done this to Me? Don’t you know that I love you, and I have been here all this time just waiting for you to come to Me?”
Then I felt His great Love. It was like I felt Him put His arms around me, and He loved on me. It was so wonderful!
For hours, I do not know now how long, I thought I was in a trance. Everything was gone, and all that was left was The LORD and I. It was, and is not fully describable even now. I can not put into words all that I felt and experienced.
All I know, is that night I made everything right, and found the most peace and joy with my God that I have ever experienced. I have not been the same since that night. I lost my mind…and I hope I never find it…Praise God!
I heard Him say something else that I will never forget as long as I live. He said, “I can not do everything.”
“But LORD” I said, “Surely there is nothing you can not do?”
But He assured me that there were some things He could not do. He said, “I cannot make you love Me. If I did force you, then it would be Me loving Myself.
You must CHOOSE Me and love Me. It must be your choice.”
Then the told me, that He wanted me to love Him. He needed my love, and desired to have fellowship with me. I really felt like this was the most important desire of His heart. He just wanted me to love Him.
Five Days With The LORD
For five days and five nights He never left me, and He talked with me all day and up into each night, until I was so tired that I had to sleep.
He would say, “Go to bed, We will talk later.”
Every morning He woke me up at 3:00 AM sharp. I heard Him say, “We must talk some more.”
It was so very wonderful. Time would fail me and space on these web pages would not be sufficient to tell you all that happened, and the things He said. I am still remembering and learning from this encounter with God.
During this time He taught me many things . It was all day and up into each night. Many things. Whole passages of scripture and things I had never understood before.
I saw whole sections of the Bible that I had never understood before. I had to change my theology about many things. It was so wonderful to understand.
One night I was talking with The LORD and I asked Him, “LORD, am I right about what I believe about the Pentecostals and their belief in speaking in tongues, and like things?”
This is what He said, “But the Greatest Gift is Love.”
He did not have to tell me I was wrong in words, for I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I had been wrong.
I understood His meaning. This is what He really said that night…. ”Yes, you have not understood the Holy Spirit gifts.
But let Me say that first you must know that the greatest gift to be desired is LOVE.
Without Love you are nothing, and all the other gifts will not help you.”
I said LORD, “I will speak in tongues if you want me to. I have never believed that this is for me, but I will do it if you want me to.”
I heard nothing, but I felt the desire to speak come up in me — but it would not come out. It was as if it was stuck in my vocal chords. I did not speak and could not get any thing to come out of my mouth.
I remember how I felt then. I felt so ashamed about how my attitude had been toward so many people. But I was very glad in my heart, for I knew then, that they were not lost as I had believed, but they were His.
This was suddenly so very wonderful to know. I felt His heart and His love for those that are His. I had never loved like that before. It is something that even (now) in 2008, I still feel. His great love for His People.
He made me to know in my heart, that I was forgiven for the things I had said and done to many in ignorance.
Even as Saul ignorantly killed Christians thinking to do good, I feel even now his forgiveness. But I do know I was wrong, wrong about the way I felt about people, wrong about judging them wrongfully and being so ugly.
Then He began to teach me over the months ahead. I went back to town and I cried for over three months, every time I tried to tell anyone what had happened in the desert.
Every one was shocked at the change in my life. Some did not understand, and even thought I had a mental breakdown. Some accused me of not being truthful, and making up stories.
I went looking for a Church to attend and I was driving down the road on a Sunday Morning, when I passed a Church. It was one of those Pentecostal Churches. I heard The LORD say…”What about this one?”
I told Him, “But LORD, I have never been in this kind of Church in my life. Do you want me to go here?”
He answered, “Yes, turn in here.”
I parked the car, I went in, and they began to sing worship songs. It was so absolutely real. I noticed, and could almost see the wind of the Holy Spirit blow from one side of the Church to the other.
When the Wind hit me, passing over, I began to weep and cry at the same time, exactly like it had been in the desert many times with The LORD.
I said, “LORD, You are here! This is the same wind and power I felt in the Desert!”
I heard a woman down the isle close to me speak in tongues, (I had always been very critical before of women tongue speakers because Paul said, the women should be silent in the church). The moment I heard her, I heard The LORD say, “What about that, Ken Dewey?”
Then I knew the truth even more. I ran down the isle along with many that day and fell on my face to worship The LORD, and to thank Him for showing me the truth I had long not known.
But I had still not spoken in tongues myself, having not been able to do so.
One day after many experiences like the one described above, I came to fully understand all that the Bible teaches about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
I was totally convinced in the truth of this doctrine. Yet it was not totally working in my own life. I had a girlfriend whom I had dated for years, and who had never been able to accept all the things that had taken place in my life.
I had tried and tried to help her understand, even took her to the desert, hoping that God would speak to her as He did to me. I said If she experiences Him as I did, then we will become a team. But she did not receive this as I did.
One day The LORD told me to go to her and tell Her that she needed to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, that this was what she needed to understand.
Well, I had never told anyone in my entire life that they needed the Baptism! But now I believed this truth, so I went to tell her.
We got into a terrible fight that day. She misunderstood me, and thought I was trying to tell her she was not saved. Than she said, “I have the Holy Spirit already, but now you are telling me I must have my Holy Spirit Baptized!”
She was very angry and I finally left her house very upset. I drove away from her house, knowing in my heart that she and I we never going to get to the place of understanding, at least I felt like it was over forever.
I began to weep and become very brokenhearted, and felt defeated. As I drove and wept, SUDDENLY, I broke out talking in heavenly languages. Peace flooded my heart, and I then began to feel the love of God help me through this very real moment.
I pulled to the side of the road, because I could not see the road clearly. I sat there talking in tongues for a long time.
Since that time I talk in tongues any time I desire, and The LORD has richly blessed me with much revelation knowledge, given me through this gift.
I want you to understand, that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not just talking in tongues.
Many talk about the Baptism like all it is, is tongues. No, it is much, much more, than tongues.
- POWER to be witnesses.
- Power to live and move and work for The LORD.
- Power to understand and pray supernaturally.
I know now that speaking in tongues is only the evidence of the Baptism, and that those who have this Baptism will have this wonderful gift of praying in heavenly languages; to build them up in the Faith, and bring them into maturity.
This certainly is not all I could say, but this will show you how The LORD has brought me to this understanding and has supernaturally worked in my life.
The Baptism in the Holy Ghost is a supernatural work of grace, and is needed by all Christians to enable them to walk in power and victory.
I now labor with those who I once sought to help and destroy, thinking then to do God a service. I am happy to say I now have joined the ranks of God’s Spirit Filled Believers!
If I had received it long ago, than perhaps I would have not had the difficulties I experienced, and the failure of my former ministry or even my marriage.
This is the reason I labor to take the time to explain this greatly needed and misunderstood teaching in God’s Word.
It is my prayer that this testimony and the further teachings that will appear on these pages will help you and bring you too into the fullness of The Holy Spirit Power!
~ Desert Prophet Ken Dewey
The light will shine in His glory… In the desert.
Evangelist/ Prophet/ Pastor Ken Dewey is the founder of “OUT OF THE DESERT MINISTRIES“ in Belen, New Mexico, USA. He writes on this Web Site, many Prophetic words, Sermons and teachings while leading people into true church settings and preaching in an End Time Gospel Ministry.
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