Through the prophet Joel, God says, 'I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh...' He goes on to talk about the first and the latter rain. I believe that the first rain fell 2000 years ago on the Day of Pentecost, and that today we are living in the days of the latter rain. As a young man I was determined I would have an experience with God that was incorruptible, that could not be destroyed, that would last until the appearing of Christ! In the late 1950s, I heard that the first World Pentecostal Conference in Jerusalem would be held on the Day of Pentecost, in May 1961. - I was determined to be there to receive a new baptism of fire! My Bible says that the church of God began in fire on the Day of Pentecost, and the church will end in fire when Christ returns!
When I got there I was so disappointed. I had gone for only one reason: to be in Jerusalem believing God would send another Pentecost. There were 3000 in the conference: 2999 tourists, and me! Nothing happened, nobody laid their hands on me, I didn't fall over, I didn't feel any power, nothing. I had done everything to be there, spent two years organising, in order to meet with God, and nothing, absolutely nothing happened! And I came home.
Exactly forty years later, May 2001, I was again in Jerusalem in the same hall, this time to evangelise! Before it started I spent days walking round the hall praying and crying to God, "40 years ago I was so hungry, so determined to receive new power from the Holy Ghost, but You didn't do anything! I didn't receive the new fire! What was wrong?"
God answered me, "Forty years ago, after you came here, what happened?" I said, "My whole life changed!" I became a missionary to Israel, coming up to eight times a year, bringing tourists. In order to get to Jerusalem I had to go behind the Iron Curtain, through the communist countries, and God opened my eyes. I made contact with believers, people were pleading with me for Bibles and God began to put a new power in my life. I thought my ministry was just Israel, but God said no, it's with the Russian speaking peoples.
My real experiences with God have never been in a church, or in a conference - not even in Jerusalem, although Jerusalem changed my whole life. It was first in my teenage cry for God - then in my throat cancer - then in my prison that I found God. What will it be next time, what will happen this year? I still don't have enough power, I'm still not satisfied that God has answered me fully, what will it be next? All I know is that it is step by step, and I have not reached the end of the road yet.
Listen to today's podcast: PENTECOST