Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
HEADS-UP: The spiritual focus of this post is controversial in Christendom–the so-called Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The article I just linked gives a list of Scriptures many believe support this doctrine, should the reader be new to it, or just curious.
This is an experience I have adhered to since not long after I converted to Christianity from religion. I am prompted to comment on it as I have noticed that it so happens to be a topic (re)gaining ground just now. Perhaps because as the days become more challenging, spiritually, we really need all that, in my view, Jesus promised us.
But just now, I think there is another reason for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, its gifts and “operations”, a reason related to some technology many might think is just another tinfoil hat conspiracy theory. But if there is validity to it, perhaps what is “released” in the Holy Spirit Baptism may be among the best, ever, “spiritual ordnance” against some pretty potent technological weaponry. See what you think.
“Voice to Skull Technology”?
What I am referring to is the so-called “Voice to Skull” technology (actually available since the mid-seventies…that we know of, anyway), a weapon described thus:
Nonlethal weapon which includes (1) a neuro-electromagnetic device which uses microwave transmission of sound into the skull of persons or animals by way of pulse-modulated microwave radiation; and (2) a silent sound device which can transmit sound into the skull of person or animals. NOTE: The sound modulation may be voice or audio subliminal messages. One application of V2K is use as an electronic scarecrow to frighten birds in the vicinity of airports. (Source: Wired magazine, 5/9/08)
The linked article features a screen-shot graphic that explains this device that, the author claims, has been scrubbed from is original position on the U.S. Army’s “Voice to Skull Devices” site. However, these days, one finds interesting articles everywhere on this stuff, aka, “Voice of God” weapons. Here is just one listing on one search engine.
This technological ordnance is supposed to be virtually undefeated in the world of all-conquering weapons. In the world of non-weapon technology, it has its uses as well, but most of what a researcher finds is on the topic of how to use it to control/exploit the often unwitting victims. Here is one of the non-scrubbed articles that expands this concept–and details the menace. One of the most chilling statements is, “Technology to block unwanted voices is being investigated.”
And, of course, we have at least one well-publicized illustration of its use–or the use of a similar technology–in the Middle East War, to disarm enemy combatants by transmitting the “voice of (God)” who “told them” to drop their guns. So there’s potential–and very real-danger there that we ought to heed.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit Override?
Aside from what both real and theoretical conspiracies might implicate about such technologies, however, my thoughts go to God’s “overrides,” so to speak, for even the biggest, baddest (and most expensive) weapons systems (not to mention the big, er nano, guns invisible to the eye and brain) that human beings can conjure up. One of those, I believe, would be the Holy Spirit “gifts” imparted at the Baptism of same*.
Prior to my conversion to, as I reference it, “non-denominational, garden variety Christianity,” the only vaguely related idea I had of any kind of additional, Holy Spirit “event” in one’s life was what Roman Catholicism and other denominations label “The Rite of Confirmation“. Been there. Did that. Checked it off the list of approved–and proving–“sacraments” available to Catholics. Didn’t mean much else to me, a twelve-year-old, outside of a pretty new, yellow-flowered dress and (white) patent leather shoes, and a cake to celebrate. As for kissing the Bishop’s ring, which was part of the rite, I did, but eeeeeeew.
However, after what I believe to be my Baptism of the Holy Spirit in about 1980 (a quiet, simple prayer event sans drama, rite, bells, or whistles, like my conversion in 1973) I have since realized how my spiritual world shifted on its axis. But in my case, anyway, slowly. Over time.
There was no (as I had feared from the skeptics) screaming, laughing, falling-down-as-if-drunk (and hurting oneself?), speaking in “another tongue” (but how could you tell if people weren’t just faking it?). Of course, I have since learned that both sincere and ambitious people can have intense experiences and/or just make them up out of either a lack of knowledge–or for effect (and bucks). Or for those who, like St.Thomas, need a tangible proof of the event, some do testify of one manifestation or other.
But here’s the thing.
I had been a born-again believer for a few short years prior to my Holy Spirit Baptism. My spiritual growth from entrenchment in the religious culture of my earlier years was in bits and spurts. I was excited to learn the plain Gospel for the first time (as the Holy Spirit via the living Word of God began the cleansing process of ridding my mind, spirit, and psyche from previous extra-biblical doctrines in Roman Catholicism) while at the same time dismayed that I could go days without learning, reading, and meditating. I wanted more, but, you know, life…busy…sin nature…
I began learning about this new thing that was not the Confirmation rite. I learned, read, meditated, and discussed. My fears were calmed, but more importantly, I realized here was something I could see was real.
One night, I went with a couple of friends to a small service where the leader was praying for anybody who wanted this Baptism. I went forward. He prayed a simple prayer. I said, “yes” to this. Got in my car and drove home. That was it.
Although I had studied enough to know that for some believers, there were, again, genuine phenomena such as praying “in tongues,” “interpreting” same, “prophesying,” and the like (in order as per Scriptural protocol, of course), and some of my friends did experience, for example, a “warmth” of God’s love envelop them, and maybe one or two sensed a new “prayer language” sort of bubbling up, but at first I knew none of that.
I was pretty much like the early believers referenced here: And he (Paul) said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit (Acts 19:2). So he prayed for them. They received.
However–and to my previous concern about not attending to God as much as I wanted and thought I “should” (still laboring under the old religious “works” system)–lo, my hunger for things of God, focal point Scriptures, increased a hundred fold, as it were. Maybe a thousand-fold, in time.
Couldn’t get enough, in between, well, life…busy…
And this still goes on.
I’ve noticed this newfound hunger and thirst for all things God in others, as well.
I’m still busy (though semi-retired) but in-between this and that my spiritual hard drive is continually humming. From what I’m formally reading and studying in the Biblical anthology, to just, well, having this kind of ongoing “mental conversation” with God, now I can’t remember when I wasn’t aware of God. The older I get, the more my prayer/meditation turns to thanking Him for His daily bounty, be it practical or prophetic; literal or literary.
I mean, the more you get to know the Creator, the more creation pulses with the evidence of Him…**
And, yes, shhhhhhhh, I do pray in tongues. But it’s okay, really. No drama, usually silently, praying first in English that my prayers will do what they are designed to do and above all, align with God’s Word and glorify Jesus.
My topics are usually protection and provision for my family, friends, home, neighborhood and town, and for anyone/anywhere else I believe I am “assigned” intercession. For example, you, readers, for whom I pray every time I release a blog post, so that what is of God sticks, and what is not, doesn’t.
In faith, then, I pray.
But the bottom line is (this for the skeptics): what, anyway, can it hurt?
But, of course, I believe the importance of the praying in tongues manifestation of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit has much more value than that, along with all the other gifts and ministries imparted.
And these days which might well be a fast-moving prelude to the end of the Church Age, we can use all the help we can get, which is, I believe, one of the reasons we are encouraged to operate and to pray “in the spirit (joined to ἀπεκαλύφθη); ἐν πνεύματι, in the power of the Spirit, possessed and moved by the Spirit) at all times.”
And, no, I’ve never fallen down, “acted as if I were drunk,” or any of the other things one hears about, and some of which are decidedly not the Holy Spirit, but another. So discernment is always in order. But at the same time, consider the response of the first bunch of believers to this phenomenon:
14Then Peter stood up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and addressed the crowd: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen carefully to my words. 15These men are not drunk as you suppose. It is only the third hour of the day! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:… (Acts 2:15).
So maybe it’s just me with the quieter version.
And of course all believers who have received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are wholly “saved” and filled with God’s Spirit prior, but this Baptism of the Holy Spirit was something admittedly new, perhaps enhanced would be a better term. Hard to describe because there is no “hierarchy of the saved”. The parable of the 11th hour workers, for one reference, verifies that.
But to sum up my personal experience, from then to now, I’ve been discovering the “seven level chess game” (rather, the Antikythera device-like) length, depth, and breadth of God’s Word, which since my Baptism has amplified immensely. It’s like turning a bright light on in an already adequately lit room in order to be able to see every nook and cranny available for viewing. With more illuminated all the time. That is the best metaphor I can think of.
So, how does the Baptism of the Holy Spirit relate to Skull to Brain weapons?
IF such technological weapons are, indeed, invisibly and silently webbing the planet, co-opting brains severally as they will, so to speak and there is nothing we can do about it (and just think about the potency of the soon-to-cover-the-planet 5G technology–here’s a pitch–and here’s the pits–to exploit everybody’s brain), we need some kind of supernatural intervention, it seems, because
IF we have no counter-measures against the Skull to Brain invaders in the natural (but maybe tin foil hats that could serve as Faraday shields are not so silly, after all?), and
IF, as many believers note, there is real, evil-scattering power in the Word of God (not to mention healing, prophesying, miracle-performing, teaching, and praying “in diversity of tongues” and interpreting them) just think of what kind of spiritual heads-up in a very real world saturated with evil God may have provided us with, through Jesus Christ and this Baptism He promised.
I, for one, took the chance.
What about you?
BUT PLEASE NOTE: this is not to say every Christian, Baptised in the Holy Spirit or not, is not the apple of God’s eye or that without the Baptism He won’t continue to assist, save, deliver, heal, and comfort whoever “draws close to Him” in repentance, and supplication.
It’s just that, well, you know, why not consider this experience, too?
Right there, maybe.
In the privacy and quiet of your own living room.
Or maybe, if your church believes this doctrine, get someone to pray with/for you there.
What can it hurt?
Especially these days…
Technological geniuses may well have devised the worst, possible, weapon. ever. Scary, too. Imagine “hearing” some “voice in your head” commanding you to do this or that. Craaaaaaaaazy, eh? Other people would think so, too, no doubt!
But there is One smarter, more powerful, and (eternally) hard to best. For one thing, He doesn’t need microwave towers and Artificial Telepathy (insert sound of Twilight Zone theme song, here) to advise, comfort, direct, and deliver His people.
So, yah. I think He knows exactly how to override Sk2B.
OH, and there are many stories of how God answers prayers out there that will help build your faith. Google “stories of how prayers were answered,” or something similar. Over time, I’ve accumulated many testimonies of my own, as well, some of which are included in my posts.
See what you think.
*Here is just one explanation of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that treats the controversial topic with clarity, grace, and provides an illustrative metaphor to calm the arguments and, I believe, encourage everyone. Of course, here are innumerable papers, articles, and scholarly texts devoted to this subject, should one choose other presentations.
**UPDATE: it occurs to me that here is another metaphor the describes more my “experiences” of the quiet kind, “with” my Creator, by way of the created. Enjoy.
Here are several more offerings of mine on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.