James Goll challenge to Acts 2 Experience
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is for everyone and is evident by the ability to speak in unknown tongues. However, a story about James Goll would seem like a challenge to that.
Before I get started on that, who is James Goll and why would we care? He is a prophetic leader that has made quite the following writing books in recent years. He is pretty respected in many circles for giving pretty accurate words from the Lord. In fact, he gave Steve Hill a word about the Brownsville Revival a week before it broke out!
I have known Jim for quite a few years and knew of him as a small child when he was a minister at Kansas City Fellowship that was later Metro Christian Fellowship led by Mike Bickle. Being around prophetic people was a way of life growing up. Jim Goll was one of many.
James Goll is a challenge to Acts 2
Why do I say that? According to his testimony, he believes that he was filled with the Holy Spirit by prophesying; NOT speaking in tongues. He later received a prayer language. How does that work out theologically?
Before I answer that, let me give you two passages from the Book of Acts,
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4)
And later in Acts…..
When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:6)
If we only use Acts 2 as a model, it would clearly James Goll was wrong but if you consider the passage of Acts 19, he might not be far off as some Pentecostal think he would be. Who is to say which came first there? Could it be possible that some of them had prophetic utterances before speaking in tongues? We do not know for sure.
Personally, I do not have a major issue with it as Jim does pray in the Spirit today. It is a matter of prayer language before prophetic ministry or after I guess.
What we learn from this?
Honestly, I do not base my theology on some random example, even if that example is a popular author. The truth is still the truth. The evidence is still a prayer language. That does not change.
I would not take the story of James Goll too seriously and I would for sure, not build a doctrine around it. That is very dangerous to do. I would just file it in the “odd things I don’t get” folder. Plus, looking at that verse in Acts 19 opens the door for the misunderstanding.
In the end, James Goll is biblically filled with the Holy Spirit with the initial physical evidence of unknown tongues today. That is what matters.