Brother Raymond C. Wilson has been a Baptist minister for many years. In 1969, while on the way to India for meetings, he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. A new dimension was added to his joy and ministry by the new experience of speaking in the unknown tongue.
The Holy Spirit presses heavily upon him to tell others what the new experience has meant to him.
This testimony has been written with a hope, and a prayer, that others who "hunger and thirst," may take courage and seek diligently, until they find this ever flowing "river."
"They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony" (Rev. 12:11).
In Mark 5:19 Jesus said to the man whom He had delivered from the power of satan, "Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord has done for you." So in this message, I want to tell my friends and acquaintances, and those who have never known me, of some wonderful things the Lord has done for me.
As a young boy of nine, I made a profession of faith in the Lord and joined the Baptist church. Then after thirteen years of doubt and fear, I received the assurance of salvation. But before I received this assurance, I made the Lord three promises. Number one was that if there was no other way for others to be saved except for me to die for them as Jesus did, I would do it. Number two was that if I knew God wanted me to preach, I would obey. Number three was that if God wanted me to go as a missionary to a foreign country, I would go.
Several years later I surrendered to preach. God blessed my ministry, and I had the joy of seeing many lives and homes changed. I never had any more doubts about my salvation. That was settled, but I felt a need for more power in the ministry. I felt that according to the New Testament record of the early church, God's people should have more power in the conflict with the forces of evil. More and more I felt that we had a "form of godliness," but in large measure denied the "power thereof." And I knew that after all the Holy Spirit was to be our power. Jesus had said, "Ye shall receive power AFTER the Holy Ghost has come upon you" (Acts 1:8). But I was taught that with salvation we received that special power. I accepted the idea without making a serious study of the question. In line with that interpretation, I surrendered the gifts of 1 Corinthians 12 to another period of history. But as the years passed, I became more and more distressed about that surrender.
Finally, I began to inquire of those who believed that miracles and the gifts of the Spirit, were for God's people today. They told me of experiences through various manifestations of the Holy Spirit. In attendance at services I heard the interpretation of some messages in tongues that went a long way toward assuring me that it was of God. It seemed that the message was fresh from the coals of the altar of heaven. In time I was convinced that the experiences recorded in the New Testament were for us today. But as Brother Osteen has said, "I was all fenced in by tradition, and did not know how to get out."
And, above all, I did not know how to receive the baptism of the Spirit. But I started timidly trying. Many Pentecostal evangelists tried to help. Workers in many altars tried, but the more they laid hands on me, prayed and tried to help, the less spiritual I felt. I tried to do what they told me to do, but was always glad when they began to get tired and drift away. It gave me an excuse to leave. This process continued, I am very sorry to say, for fifteen years or more.
But in February of 1969 I went to India with a Baptist preacher after attending his meeting in Dallas. This preacher had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit several years previous. On the way over his instruction helped me greatly. I realized that my chief problem was mechanical. Through all of the years and the seeking sessions, I had waited for the Spirit to take hold of my throat, tongue and lips to produce the speech.
One night in the hotel in Paris or Brussels, when the brother was trying to help me, he made the point. "They spoke!" That was a real revelation to me, for I had never thought "they" did anything except let the message flow. The friend explained further that the Holy Spirit gave the "utterance" from down below where He dwells within us. That the utterance comes forth as my lips and tongue and throat cooperate. So with this new light, I began to move not only tongue, but lips as well. Faint and strange sounds were heard, and I realized that the secret had been discovered. I went to my room and practiced some more that night, and came to realize it was like learning a new language. I had said "ta-ta" and "la-la" for many years, but I Learned that night that even to speak English, the lips must move if distinct sounds are to be made.
Another helpful thing pointed out was that the Holy Spirit dwells in the "inner parts" of the body and that the voice comes from there. That helped me because I had always thought of the Spirit coming from the outside -- from the distance as the Dove descended on Jesus. But with that new knowledge, I opened up my throat and vocal chords and let my heavenly Guest speak. Since that night He has been speaking every day, and a joy never known before has been mine.
All of these simple details are given with the hope that some one else might be helped. Someone else may be stumbling over the same "stumbling blocks." I see people standing in line to speak in tongues. Some refuse to move a facial muscle. In that attitude the natural language cannot be spoken, neither can the Holy Spirit speak through them. While in India it was a precious and peculiar joy to help the native people receive the Holy Spirit. They were like children wanting all the good gifts that God had for them.
Many scriptures have a fuller meaning, and a more direct application to my life since the Holy Spirit speaks through me in the unknown tongue. I had always known that we grieved the Spirit if we failed to give a testimony or speak for Christ, when the opportunity arose. But I had never thought of the Spirit Himself as a Guest dwelling in my body, desiring to do his own speaking through my lips. Countless times in life, the emotions of my spirit have been too deep for expression in the natural language. I did not know the Spirit would take over and make intercession through my lips. I always rejoiced that He made "intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered," but I did not know that He would speak through me.
Shortly after learning this, it occurred to me that it could be like a friend coming to live with you. He comes, you invite him in extending your best welcome. He would sit down and start to speak. But you placed your hand over his mouth. You continue to talk and express your delight at his coming. Again, your guest excited and delighted at your welcome would start to express himself. But, again, you would cover his mouth tight. This process could be continued throughout his stay. This would seem both absurd and cruel. But now, as I think of the many times that emotions like a storm have risen in my spirit; I know that my Guest, the Blessed Holy Spirit desired to speak and express in Supernatural language things too deep for the natural mind.
Another exciting truth which I had never been taught, and which I had overlooked completely, was that of a very special line of communication and fellowship with God. Of course, we all know of our precious privileges of approach to God through prayer with our natural understanding and language. That is wonderful. But I had missed the "bonus," the "extra," the "exceeding" riches of his grace. We may confer with the Creator of all things, the Ruler of the universe, the "God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," not only through the natural languages; but through a special coded, unknown tongue that none but God can understand.
In I Corinthians 14:2 Paul said, "For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God. For no man understandeth him; but in the Spirit he speaks mysteries." To me this is exciting. We may by-pass the static of "principalities and powers" of satan ; we may by-pass the attacks of "wicked spirits in high places"; while we confer directly with God in a language devils cannot understand. At any hour of the day or night we may tap the line and talk to God in this most special way. Hallelujah!
Washington has its "Hot Line" to Russia with all the secret codes. But the child of God may talk with his Heavenly Father in the most personal and intimate way, at any time. That is if he speaks in the unknown tongue.
And this leads to further discussion of the value of speaking in tongues. It was after I received my gift, that I began the search to locate its value. Another scripture which I had read, but passed over, stood out like a mountain peak when I began the search. It was I Corinthias 14:4. "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue, edifieth himself." The word edify means to strengthen, to build up, to instruct, to enlighten. It sounds like a modern self improvement course. It sounds like a modern educational course. And it is "without money and without price." When one speaks in the unknown tongue it instructs him; it enlightens him; it strengthens him; it builds him up; it improves him. What a program! What an educational opportunity. Yet most young people never heard of it. The average church has kept it concealed in its Bible. What a shame -- and a loss!
The masses of the world are struggling today for education. Harvard, Princeton and Yale offer their programs. Local schools and colleges offer courses for all ages. Many schools have strong faculties. But I am talking about God's provision for the education of the race He created. He is for education. He included a means of education with his plan for the eternal salvation of the race. The gifts of the Spirit are a part of the salvation package. Several of the gifts, including the unknown tongue, contribute to the cause of education. The most illiterate of earth may finish this course with honors. In the great mercy and wisdom of God, "The world by wisdom knew not God," but He chose that "by the foolishness of preaching" we might be saved.
Therefore, when one hears the gospel of Jesus Christ, and receives Him as Savior, there opens up as it were a "Pandora's Box" of opportunities for edification in all phases of life. No entrance examination is required. He need not know the ABC's. He need only know Jesus! Hence, the enormous crime of our failure to have given long ago the message to "every creature!" I am speaking of learning from a faculty that knows all about Science, the origin of man, astronomy and outer space. And your private teacher is the Holy Spirit.
This is a special course available to those who speak in the unknown tongue. It is available to no others so far as I can find. And, for a moment I could not dismiss lightly nor as not of greatest importance, any gift that God offers his child. And, it is so heart warming to know that the one whose life requires that he or she perform the most lowly tasks of' life, may by day and night commune with God in the secret and unknown tongue. And as he or she experiences "joy unspeakable and full of glory," the edification process will be imparting new knowledge, new strength, and new light. The same is true of the one who serves in high position. The same is true for everyone made in the image of God. It is no surprise then that Paul said, "I wish that you all might speak in tongues" (I Corinthians 14:5).
Before Paul began the discussion of spiritual gifts as recorded in I Corinthians 12, he said, "I would not have you ignorant concerning spiritual gifts." Unfortunately, I belonged under that classification. Since I had accepted the prevalent idea that the gifts were not for God's people today, I did not notice closely their discussion. For example, it was after I began to speak in the unknown tongue that I discovered that Paul had more than one way to pray. I was surprised when I realized that in one form of prayer lie knew what he was asking, but in the other he did not understand.
The truth jumped out of I Corinthians 14:14 one day when I read, "If I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful." Right then and there I saw that in his warfare with the devil, Paul had a double barrel shotgun instead of a single barrel! And that is shouting ground. That is tremendous reinforcement for prayer, because certainly we know that the Holy Spirit knows what to pray for better than we.
And Paul quickly made it clear for all to see that he would settle for nothing less than the BEST, in weaponry in the war with satanic forces. He wrote his decision down for you and me to read: "I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding." He would not settle for mini-mini or for mini, nor for minimum. But he would settle for MAXIMUM! He would fire the biggest weapon that God provided in his arsenal.
In time of battle the good soldier will use the best weapons available. If a lion were stalking you and your family out in the open spaces, you would prefer the double barrel gun rather than the single. Even so, "The devil as a roaring lion goeth about seeking whom he may devour." His plan is to grab a boy, a girl, a mother or a father at every opportunity. Fathers and mothers of this wicked generation should have double barrel prayer guns blazing day and night from every home to save their children from destruction! Prayer with the "understanding" is not enough. That has already been proved! Bring into action the "other" barrel -- the other tongue, the unknown tongue! Do you think for a minute that you, as a parent have a right to do less than the BEST to protect your child from destruction by satan?
Prayer in the unknown tongue is a weapon given that one may be strong in the Lord and "in the power of his might." God would not have given the gift, if it had not been necessary. God would not have given it, if He had not meant for his people to use it! It was never meant to be accepted or rejected as whim or fancy.
We are in war! "Principalities and powers supernatural, are our antagonists. They are too strong for us in the natural! We cannot win against them in the natural! God has provided supernatural help. "The weapons of our warfare -- are mighty through God..." (II Corinthians 10:4).
Prayer in the unknown tongue is just one of the means provided by a loving Heavenly Father to insure that "in all of these things we are more than conquerors" through Christ. The burden of my heart is that multitudes of God's children will wake up to the eternal seriousness of this question. Surely every parent, every guardian of every home should seek this gift of prayer in the unknown tongue, for the protection of those whom God has entrusted to his care.
Prayer with the natural understanding has been a benediction to my life. The tenderest memories of life revolve around sweet hours of prayer. But prayer in the Spirit has added a new dimension of assurance, joy and power. When the Holy Spirit prays through me in His own language, I know that it is according to the "will of God." "For the Spirit" searches the deep things of God."
My prayer is that multitudes of God's people around the world will be aroused to the knowledge of the existence, and the potential of this neglected weapon of warfare And that they will add prayer in the Spirit to their prayer with the understanding to the "pulling down of strongholds."
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the SPIRIT -- with all PERSEVERANCE..." (Ephesians 6:18).The Raymond C. Wilson Testimony
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The Raymond C. Wilson Testimony
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