We are a Non-denominational Bible believing and teaching Charismatic church. Our beginning is told in the following paragraphs.
We had no teaching on the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire; but when I received it, I told my wife,
"This is it !"
Even while serving in Hitler's army in Russia and Holland during World War II, and long before I became a Christian, the merciful hand of God was present in my undeserving life. As my wife and I look back we realized that God had been with us all these years, patiently waiting for us to turn to Him. It is not hard to recall many miracles He had performed - saving me from death during World War II and protecting me from harm in the P.O.W. camps.
Through the Iron Curtain
After the war, having been born in Berlin, I was released as a prisoner of war in the Russian sector of that divided city in 1947 and united with my mother. I wept as she told me of the horrible things the invading armies had done, and determined to get out of there. It was the Lord who guided me through the Iron Curtain to West Germany where He found a place for me on a farm as a shepherd. Immediately I sent for my mother, two brothers and two sisters. We became once more a united family. It was there also that the Lord gave me a wonderful wife. Our very lives are testimonies of His gracious mercy; I praise Him continually.
In 1953 after waiting over two years for the necessary papers, it was the Lord again who brought us to this blessed United States of America. Having had experience and a Master Degree as a shepherd in Germany, there has been no difficulty in finding work. God has cared for us wonderfully though all this time.
In the fall of 1969 my wife and I attended a spiritual retreat conducted by our Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. Forty-eight of us spent three wonderful days among the tall redwoods trees, reading the Bible and praying. The Spirit of God was present among us. Out of the third chapter of the book of Revelation the Lord spoke to me about being lukewarm. I realized I was not a true follower at all and needed His help, having tried to live the Christian life up to that time all by myself.
I Had Been a Lutheran Forty-Six Years
Our entire family had been among the most active members of our local church. My wife was a Catholic but became a Lutheran in 1959. I had been a Lutheran all my forty-six years, and had held the offices of an elder, chairman of Christian education, choir member, chairman of the "Lutheran Hour" and "This Is The Life" TV program, and had served on various committees. But these were not filling some deeper need in my life; something was missing - I did not know what. Anziety had become a way of living. There was no peace in my soul.
During the retreat under the redwoods I "leveled" with the Lord and confessed all my sins to Him, even the little hidden ones that I believed hurt nobody but myself. When we left there to return home, it was with peace and assurance, and with a new fire in our hearts. Jesus told Nicodemus that a man must be born again if he is to see the kingdom of God. Accordingly, September 19, 1969 had be ome the date of my new birth. It was at this point that I looked back and suddenly realized that God had been in my difficult life all the time.
A Whole new world opened up to us when the Lord became my personal Saviour, new life beginning first in our home. We started to read the Bible every evening with our three teen-age daughters (our two sons were already married). We began to pray. It was a shock to discover that I had not really ever learned to pray, except to repeat the Lord's Prayer. Slowly our prayers changed as we grew in faith. The Lord opened our eyes and we discovered hidden treasures in His Word as He gently led us step by step. By this time growing within me was a great hunger I could not express. I felt the call to serve Him full-time; how and when I did not know, but only that we should move by faith.
Our Experience Offended Others
Regretfully, we left the Lutheran Church when we found that our experience of the new birth was offending everyone - including the minister. Attending with our friends had become very difficult. A burden faced me to find a new church home. We began to visit other churches, seeking the Spirit of the Lord in them.
Then it happened! On February 12, 1970, after we had our family devotions and my wife and I had said our goodnight prayer, the Lord touched me and I received a mighty baptism in the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues.
It was midnight! The power was so strong that it lifted me up and shook me, as a mighty wind blowing through a tree. As I opened my mouth, heavenly utterances broke forth as a new well gushing out water. It was the day of Pentecost repeated! I remembered the words of Jesus:"...out of his belly shall flow rivers of living waters. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him (Jesus Christ) should receive..."John 7:38-39. The infilling of the Holy Spirit traveled like a slow fire from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.
My wife was astonished! I told her, "This is it!" We had never had any teaching about this except from reading the book of Acts. Oh what a blessing! We praised the Lord, and called our three teen-age daughters, praying that my wife and they also would receive the Baptism. But the Lord chooses His own time. My wife received the baptism in the Holy Spirit three days later in a Pentecostal church, and my three daughters later received at a one-week youth camp meeting.
Several years ago God led us to the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International and I became a member of the Eureka, California chapter. We look forward eagerly to each chapter meeting for more blessings and testimonies about the Lord's mighty saving and healing power. I had been invited to speak several times at the breakfast meeting.
Doors of Service Are Opening
I am presently witnessing for Christ wherever and whenever possible, determined nothing shall hinder me. Having heard His call, we are resolved to be ready at any moment that He might show us where He wishes us to minister next, and in the meantime are walking through every door of service which He opens.
One door was opened in 1971 at which time I was privileged to serve in Germany, and to write a book, "To the Jew First", in which I told the story of my life and calling into the ministry.*
The Lord has appeared occasionally to me in dreams and visions, during which I would wake up under the power of the Holy Spirit speaking in tongues. However, because this eventually brought me in trouble with the new church in which I was ministering, the Lord gave me the assurance of a non-denominational charismatic ministry, so we began to hold services in our home. God has been gracious to us, healing many people of cancer, epilepsy and various types of sicknesses. Many have also received salvation and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. I write gospel tracts as the Lord leads and as He sends names and addresses we mail the tracts out with my book. We also conduct street meetings, and have appeared on TV programs.
This walk in the Spirit is truly a glorious experience; and I continually thank God for the many revelations He has accorded me, particularly concerning those who attend our meetings - enabling me to minister more effectively to them.
This is what is needed - the power of God in action today!
Taken from the book: "The Acts of the Holy Spirit Among the Lutherans Today"
*Request a free copy of the book "To the Jew First" by Pastor Karl H. Bietz