I am posting this vision to provide some insight for Michael PM's question yesterday about speaking in tongues. Reverend J. E. Stiles Sr.'s received this vision during one of his meetings and recorded it in his book, "The Gift of the Holy Spirit"
One day while praying with people in a large prayer tent at a camp meeting, a lady came forward who wanted to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. ... When we lay hands on her, the spirit began to move on her. Instead of beginning to speak a language at once as I expected, she began to speak one little single syllable word over and over again. She was so delighted that God had put one supernatural word on her lips that she did not stop to question what it was , or what it sounded like, but she just tossed it right back to heaven carrying her praise.
With reckless abandon she looked up and shouted that one little word loudly and rapidly. As I knelt facing her, watching what was happening, God suddenly brought a vision before me, to my utter amazement. Right up out of the ground, beside the woman, there sprung a plant, like an enormous asparagus stalk. There were no leaves or limbs, but just a growing tip which shot up about one inch every time the woman said the one word that she was speaking. In wonder I watched this tip shooting up as it rapidly climbed toward the top of the big tent. Suddenly, she spoke a second word, and instantly a limb shot out to one side. Then a third word brought another limb. And then just a free language began to flow like a river, with each word bringing a new limb on the tree. I could see nothing except the woman on her knees beside the most perfect, symmetrical tree that I have ever seen. And this heavenly stream of praise flowing out of her mouth in a supernatural language.
When I recovered a little from my amazement, I said, " O, Lord, what can this mean?" Then God spoke to me. (I am very skeptical of these people who are always saying God told them this or that, and only a few times in my life can I say that God spoke to me, when it was as distinct and clear as a person speaking right beside you.) When he spoke, He said, "Do you remember the story in the Bible of the hornets, which I promised would drive out the Canaanites before the children of Israel, after they entered into the promised land?" "Yes, Lord," I replied, "I remember about the hornets, but what could those hornets possibly have to do with this woman and the scene which is before me?"
Again the Lord spoke and said, "Just wait, and I will explain to you. I told the Israelites that I would not send the hornets and drive out their enemies all at once, lest the land become desolate and the beasts of the field multiply against them, but by little and little I would send the hornets to drive out the enemies, and as they moved up by faith and possessed the cleared land, I wold send the hornets to drive them back a little farther." ... Then he said, "I put one supernatural word on this woman's lips and at once she possessed it and began to use it to express her praise and adoration. When I saw that she would not stop to question, but joyfully use what I gave her, I put another word on her lips, and when she did the same with that one, I added another word." (During all this, the woman was before me praising God in that wonderful new language He had given her, and the vision remained unchanged.)
"Then when I saw she would joyfully use all I gave her, not questioning in any way, I poured on this complete language which flows with such beautiful freedom. The tree before you is symbolic, in its complete symmetry and loveliness, of the perfection of the supernatural language I have given her." ... During the next two years I told many people about this experience and showed them that if they would use what God gave them, even if there were only stammering sounds, He would give them a complete flowing language. (published in 1948)
Faith does not question, measure, or judge, but launches out into the deep. God still wants to baptize his children in the Holy Spirit, and as Baptizer, Jesus still stands at the door and knocks at the hearts of those who will gladly receive the Holy Spirit and put his gifts to use. Yesterday as I read the title to Paul N.F.'s post, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit", the spirit immediately completed the verse in my mind and called my attention to the latter part, "whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption" Sealed for a purpose, to participate in the day of redemption! Notice it doesn't say "until", but "unto". What if you aren't sealed? This seemed to be a flash of revelation in which the Holy Spirit was pointing out the requirement for oil in your vessels to participate in the rapture. I had never seen this verse in this light before, but if the gematria is precise, how much more the actual words in the text.
J. E. Stiles Sr. 1891 - 1959
Stiles was born in northern California in 1891. He studied and taught at the University of California and was a farmer. In the late 1920s, he decided to become a full-time minister. He explored the Foursquare denomination, but settled into the Assemblies of God. He served as a pastor in Woodland, Calif., for two years and in Hayward, Calif., for 17 more.
The Assemblies of God and other Pentecostal bodies had long taught that a Christian could receive the Holy Spirit only by "tarrying" and pleading with God until agonizing insights and personal worthiness were rewarded with an experience of the Spirit.
Influenced by Howard Carter, Stiles bucked tradition when he insisted that the Bible taught that the Holy Spirit was received by simple faith, not by wrestling with God. Incensed denominational officials reprimanded Stiles, accusing him of leading people into a "light" or "unselfconscious" experience with the Holy Spirit. Stiles left the parish ministry around 1946 to travel and spread his message of receiving the Spirit by faith alone. In 1959, Stiles estimated that he had led 10,000 people into receiving the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues, including about 1,000 in an eight-month tour of Canada.
Moved by a lack of biblical teaching on receiving the Holy Spirit, Stiles published a pamphlet called "How to Receive the Holy Spirit" for free distribution after his meetings. Stiles also published a book called The Gift of the Holy Spirit in 1948. This book told how to receive the Holy Spirit by faith, evidenced by speaking in tongues.
The book became a classic, especially among those who had been frustrated by strained attempts to receive the Spirit. The book went through 10 printings totaling over 50,000 copies.