This is going to be a difficult article to write. I have never before publicly shared this story. It will be misunderstood by some and misused by others. So, it is important that I begin by making some clarifying statements.
1. I have many friends, good friends, who hold to the continuation of the extraordinary spiritual gifts seen in the Word of God during the Apostolic Age of the Church. While I hold to a Cessationist theological construct, I do not determine friendships based on a person’s agreement or disagreement with me on this issue. I used to determine friendships this way, many years ago, but God has allowed me to grow up and mature since then.
2. I do not question the genuineness of someone’s faith in Jesus Christ because they hold a Non-Cessationist position regarding the continuation and application of spiritual gifts.
3. I will be critical in this article about what I believe are unbiblical behaviors I’ve seen with my own eyes. This does not mean I am mocking genuine Christians who believe all of the spiritual gifts are extant and functioning in the Church, today.
4. I hope this article/testimony will serve as an encouragement to all Christian, cessationists and non-cessationists. I hope this article/testimony will encourage my Christian brethren to turn to the Word of God and allow His Truth to be the final arbiter of whether or not what I experienced was of the Holy Spirit or another spirit, entirely.
5. I’ve wanted to write this article for years, but the time has not seemed right until now. Monitoring the back-and-forth between Pastor John MacArthur and Dr. Michael Brown, as well as some of the talk about the upcoming Strange Fire conference (which I am attending), serve as part of the motivation for this article/testimony.