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Divine Support
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We are very pleased to acknowledge the dynamic and powerful ongoing support of the Lord God Almighty, the Lord and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. This research has received distinct and critical inspirations of the key ideas involved, as gifts of His generous grace. This is in addition to the general guidance, support, and encouragement He has provided. Therefore it is only appropriate to give to God all the credit and honor for any value in this work.
Soli Deo Gloria.

On this page we present a description of a personal encounter of Dr. Peter V. Homeier with God, in his own words.

I would like to describe how I met God, a remarkable occurrence. It gives me a sense of fulfilment to lay my story out here. I do know that most people do not like being preached at, so I would like to avoid this. Instead, I would like to simply place before you, with as little interpretation as possible, just what happened to me. This is not meant as a theological treatise; it is merely my experience. So without more ado, let me begin.

A Knock at the Door

The year was 1975. I was 19 years old, an undergraduate student at CalTech in Pasadena, California, and had just begun my sophmore year there, intending to major in Mathematics. I was living in the student house on campus called Ruddock House, rooming with one other guy named Larry. One evening in September, I was alone in my room, studying at my desk for a midterm the next day. I was just minding my own business, not bothering anyone, when there came a knock at the door.

My roommate Larry and another guy, John, came in. Both these guys were part of the group of "born-again" Christians on campus. I regarded this group with a certain kind of wary skepticism. Personally, I felt that I had a sincere faith in God, but there was something about their way of being more fervent or excited about it that didn't match where I was. For one thing, sometimes these people would actually carry Bibles around, like it was just any kind of book. I never did that. So while I liked many of them, I kind of kept my distance, observing them but thinking that perhaps they were a little "fanatical."

For myself, I had believed in God for as long as I could remember, respecting Him and loving Him as a quiet, personal matter, but not having any real sense of contact or involvement with Him. It was as if He was way far away, behind a cloud, thinking kindly towards me, but completely apart and uninvolved. I greatly respected Him, though, and felt that if ever it was possible for God to let me know of something that He wanted me to do, then I would certainly try everything in my power to do it.

I would probably have called myself a Christian at this time, although I was greatly puzzled by who Jesus really was, what the Cross was all about, and what on earth some people meant about having a "personal relationship" with Jesus. I thought, how could you have a personal relationship with an historical figure? But basically, I respected God and felt very glad for the relationship I felt I had with Him.

So as I said, I had kept a skeptical eye toward these "born-again" types at CalTech. But over the past few weeks since the start of the quarter, something had been happening to softly change my attitude. I tended to watch others, although I rarely said anything. I noticed that there was a difference between the "born-again" Christians and the other students in the house. For the most part, generalizing, I saw the Christians at least trying to be kind to people, to reach out and help them. I don't mean to say that I saw them being effective in this, but I could see that they were at least trying; and for the most part, the non-Christians seemed to act as if they didn't care. I mulled this over in the back of my mind.

Stepping Outside Time

So when I greeted Larry and John that night, there was perhaps something special in the air. Something must have been different, because we started getting into the most exciting conversation. It went on for hours and hours. It was one of those magical moments when time seems to pause and extend into timelessness. We started talking about galaxies, and molecules, and everything in between. We started talking about God, and miracles. We even talked about miracles happening not only two thousand years ago, but today. I was amazed, as the guys told me stories of people speaking in languages they did not know and had never humanly learned, and even about people being physically healed miraculously of all kinds of illnesses!

This blew my mind. I was astounded. I knew that if even one time there could be one subatomic particle that did not operate according to the laws of physics, those laws would have to be significantly extended. So I watched these guys as they talked. If they were lying or putting me on, I would have known. But because I knew them, it was obvious to me that they were telling me the clear truth.

While we were talking, a thought gradually came into my mind. As I have said, I was very pleased with my relationship with God. But as I was listening to them, the thought came, "Perhaps there's something more."

As I continued to listen and talk with them, another thought gradually came to my mind. It was, "If there is something more, then I want it."

In the midst of this, and wrapped up with many of these miraculous events they were describing, was something they called "the baptism of the Holy Spirit." It seemed that it was through this baptism that people began to speak in these new languages. I had never heard any of this before, this was totally new to me.

Eventually the talk wore down, and we came to the end. At this point Larry and John asked me if I wanted them to pray for me for this gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Not knowing what I was getting myself into, I said, simply, "Sure!"

So we sat down on the bed (the dorm room was so small, there was nowhere else to sit). Larry and John put their hands on my shoulders, and we all began to pray, asking for this baptism of the Holy Spirit. I was praying with them for a few minutes when I heard John begin to speak in another language! I tell you, a chill went down my spine! It was so strange. It was clearly a language, with words and phrases and intonation, but I was pretty sure it was no language that I had ever heard before, and I had never heard John speak in any foreign tongue at all.

I didn't know what to expect. I was kind of wondering if perhaps my own mouth would start opening and closing on its own, flapping around with sounds coming out of it. Well, that didn't happen. But something else did.

I gradually became aware of a physical warmth in my chest, like heat. It was a very distinct feeling, like a glowing inside. I thought, "This is weird! Nobody told me anything about feeling a physical warmth." But we all kept praying, and I felt the warmth increasing and growing stronger. It grew stronger and stronger, and it kept on growing stronger, and then it continued to grow, mounting up with terrific force and intensity until it was like I was sitting underneath an invisible waterfall, that was coming down and crashing on top of my head, going inside my head, flowing down through my torso, down my legs and out my feet! It was rushing, and pouring, and gushing, and flowing! It was the most terrific flood pouring down tumultously all through me!

If you have ever seen one of those travel posters from Hawaii, showing a couple in bathing suits underneath a fern-draped waterfall, that's how it felt.

Except that it didn't feel exactly like water, but more like a mixture of love, acceptance, laughter, peace, security, joy, giggles, snuggling under the covers at night, being held and cared for, and just being completely and totally loved. It was like a stream of molten fiery liquid glowing gold. If there was any single word to describe it, it would have to be "glory."

I was laughing, and I was crying, and I didn't have the slightest idea what on earth was going on! I have never in my life taken drugs, but I cannot imagine anything else comparing to this! I never realized it before, but for the very first time in my whole life I felt really and truly loved, unconditionally, fully, to the core of my being. And I knew it was God.

This lasted for perhaps about fifteen minutes, and then it gradually started lessening, and slowly faded away. But I was still completely dazzled. In fact, my roommate Larry can vouch for the fact that I was walking around CalTech for the next three days in a haze, with a silly dazed grin on my face! I was still just glowing inside from what had happened to me.

Bobbing in the Wake

After three days, I came out of this daze, and I said to myself, "Oh my goodness! This is for REAL!!! I have to find out about this!" So for the first time in my life, I started going to church and Bible studies and other meetings with these guys.

One of the first places I went was a weekend retreat away from CalTech, where we began going through the Gospel of Mark, to read about Jesus's life. I had never read the Gospel of Mark before. To everyone else it was old hat, but to me it was all incredibly new. At one point they got to the story about the Transfiguration. (Mark 9:1-13) This was where Jesus took a few of his disciples up on a mountain and He was transfigured before them, glowing white with glory. During this there comes a cloud overhead from which a Voice speaks, saying "This is My beloved Son; listen to Him!"

This was absolutely astounding to me! One of the big questions I had in my mind was who Jesus was. Suddenly I realized the answer. This cloud and the voice, it had to be God. And if that's God, then Jesus must be His Son. That's the answer! Jesus is God's Son! I never knew that before. I was astounded!

I didn't realize this until now, as I am writing here, that maybe one reason this scripture impacted me so directly was because it was so similar to what had happened to me in my dorm room. It was the glory and the presence of Jesus that had shone down on me, not visibly, but overwhelmingly in my heart and mind.

Well, things went on getting even more amazing and wonderful, with all kinds of adventures and ups and downs. But to sum it all up, that night when the two guys prayed for me was the fulcrum of my life. Everything changed, pivoting on that night. Before, it was like I was living my life in black and white; and suddenly it was like someone turned on the color. I never knew life could be so beautiful. It was heartbreakingly wonderful, because I knew I was loved by God. He had reached down and touched me, Himself, personally, when I had no idea that He even could do something like that. He had mercy on me, seeing me in my broken and lonely neediness, despite my mental walls of defense, and sought me out and poured out His Holy Spirit on me. Although He used those two guys to pray for me, He called me and showed me the way to find Him by His Own hand.

Since those days, He has taught me many more things, and I have seen both miracles and trials. But through it all, I have come to know the Lord whose Presence I felt that night more and more closely, as we have grown together in an intimate, personal relationship--another thing I never knew was possible. Whatever happens from here, I know I will be forever with my Jesus, my God, and this is a happiness greater than everything else combined.

Many intelligent people are surprised to see an educated person profess faith in Christ. For a reasonable explanation of the essense of Christianity, I suggest the book
English: Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
German: Pardon, ich bin Christ von Clive St. Lewis

C. S. Lewis was a professor at Oxford University in the twentieth century. He was a decided athiest who became convinced of the validity of the Christian faith, as he described in
English: Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis
German: Überrascht von Freude von Clive St. Lewis, Christian Rendel

It has occurred to me that some people reading this page might need to know more about Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and how to be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. In the spirit of serving, I am providing the following information.

The Gospel

The good news, or "gospel," can be summarized in a few simple concepts:

1. God loves you, and has a beautiful plan for your life. God desires to protect, care, provide, guide, and relate warmly and intimately with you, forever. He made you, gave you the life you live today, and wants you to live with Him forever. He knows every detail of your life, and cares for you more fervently, richly, and tenderly than anyone you have ever met in all your life, more than parents, children, or spouses. Encountering God means meeting the greatest Friend and Lover you could ever have in all your life.

2. Sin has separated each of us from the bounty of God's wonderful love. All of us have sinned, but God is holy, and cannot ignore sin. (Romans 3:23) Most people admit they have sinned, but they do not realize the drastic and deadly consequences of what they have done. The fit and appropriate punishment for our sins is death, both physical death here and eternal separation from God in the world to come. (Romans 6:23) And the eternal separation is not some kind of mindless sleep, but an unending roasting torment in the literal fires of Hell. (Luke 16:19-31) God does not wish for anyone to perish, but His absolute holiness cannot abide sin, and His justice requires that we reap what we have sown. It grieves God's tender heart to see any of his creations condemned to such a horror for eternity, so He has provided a way of escape for those who choose it.

3. No amount of good deeds, philosophy, or religious activities can cross the gulf that sin has created. No one can be "good enough." There is nothing we can offer in our own behalf, other than our very lives, that is, to literally die. There is no protection from this, and no escape, none at all, except the one way He has provided. There is a great and terrible Day appointed when God will judge us all. It is reckless presumption to assume that the standard of goodness we use for justifying ourselves is what God will use to evaluate us. This attitude is no less reckless for it being so popular these days. If we are judged, He will use our own inner consciences as the standard, testifying for or against us, as we know in our hearts. (Romans 2:15-16) Sadly, none of us have a conscience which is clean, knowing all too well those things we have done that are wrong. And God is absolutely holy, like a burning fire. (Hebrews 12:29)

4. The only way of escape is Jesus Christ. Jesus has bridged the gulf between us and God through His Cross. He suffered and died in our place, completely absorbing the just punishment for our sins, destroying their power over us. The blood Jesus shed on the Cross cleanses us from all sin. As God's mercy, this opens the way for us to return to God's loving arms. We escape the judgement we deserve, just as if we had never sinned. Jesus is the only way, as He himself said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." [John 14:6]

What God has done

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Jesus has paid the price for our sin, which we could never do. He who had never sinned, willingly suffered and died for those who had sinned. God affirmed all Jesus taught and confirmed Him as His Son by raising Jesus from the dead. This factual, historical miracle is the core evidence that Jesus was who he said he was, and that all we have written here is true. Jesus at the Cross has done all the "heavy lifting" here to restore us to God. But there is a part reserved for us.

What we must do

We must on our part accept the free gift of salvation offered by God. It's freely offered, but it must be accepted, just like a Christmas present from a friend, or it doesn't get delivered.

Accepting salvation means admitting that we have sinned, that we need forgiveness, and receiving the forgiveness of God through the price that Jesus paid on the Cross. This is called "accepting Jesus as Savior." Accepting salvation also means taking Jesus as our authority, and making a committment to honor and obey Him. This is called "accepting Jesus as Lord." This is what is meant by the scripture in Romans 10:9:

... that if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

This must include obedience to the will of God, or the repentance means nothing. We must be willing to change what we do, say, and think, to live loving, holy, and righteous before Him. If we become His child, we must reflect His nature. This is essential. It is not simply saying a set of words that saves us, but a change of heart, reflected in deeds.

If this is what you wish to do, of your own free will, then pray the following prayer.

Lord God, I admit to you that I have sinned, that I have done wrong things that have hurt myself, others, and You. I am sorry for this, and I need Your forgiveness for these things. I understand that Jesus died on the Cross for my sins. I choose to take Jesus as my Savior and Lord, and to trust and obey Him in all things. Please accept His sacrifice in my place, and forgive me for all my sins. Please accept me into Your family, and show me how to live from here on. Change me so that I can live the life you want me to live for You. I love You, Lord, and I want to know You more.

Now that you're saved

If you have prayed this prayer, and meant it, you are now saved, and restored to relationship with God. Jesus called this being "born again." (John 3:3,7) As a new Christian, here are some suggestions to help you in your new life:

1. Start reading the Bible every day. The best place to start is in the Gospel of John, one of the books in the New Testament, the second half of the Bible.

2. Pray, all the time, about everything. God loves to hear you pray, and He will answer you.

3. Find a good, Bible-believing church and attend regularly, and become truly involved with the other Christians there. You are now part of the family of all believers, and we were never meant to be isolated from each other, but to love each other in warm fellowship.

4. Be baptised in water at your church, as Jesus commands. This will confirm you in your new faith, making a public declaration of your salvation and your trust in Jesus. The Bible also describes how water baptism cuts us off from our prior life of sin, and sets us free to live dedicated to God. (Romans 6:3-4)

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

If you have prayed the prayer above, or if you are already a Christian, you may not have heard about the "baptism of the Holy Spirit." This is an additional experience, separate from salvation. When one is saved, you do have the Holy Spirit within you, but that is not the same as being baptised in the Holy Spirit. Being saved is like finding a well within yourself of eternal life where you can drink and find satisfaction and peace. Being baptised in the Holy Spirit is like having that well burst forth as a geyser with tremendous power, flowing outward in many rivers which can satisfy others around you. This is what happened to me in the story above.

John the Baptist was a very holy man who in the years before Jesus became known prepared people to follow Jesus by calling them to repent, and baptising them as a sign of repentance. John said,

"I baptise you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (Luke 3:16-17)

The wheat are the born-again Christians who will be gathered into Heaven, but the chaff are the unrepentant who will be cast into a literal, horrible, fiery Hell, forever. This is the most terrible fact of all.

But for us who are Christ's, we are safely protected in God's love (Romans 8:38-39), destined for eternal life with God in Heaven. In addition, while we are still here on earth, He has prepared an equipping to enable us to live the way He wants, effectively. After Jesus' resurrection, He was with his disciples, and said,

"Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit. ... you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:4-5,8)

The First Outpouring

What Jesus described here actually happened a few days later:

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)
Each of the disciples spoke in a language they did not know personally, but which was understood as a real language by others there in the city from different parts of the Roman Empire. This dramatic event was seen and heard by many, and three thousand people were saved that day, making this the birth of the Christian church.

What is "speaking in tongues?"

This "speaking in tongues" is a miraculous sign of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. It is speaking in a real language that you have never learned naturally, and do not understand mentally, yet you are able to speak with the words being formed on your tongue by the Holy Spirit.

Once, in a class on tongues at church, I was speaking quietly in tongues, and the man next to me asked me if I knew Italian. Confused, I said no, but he said I had been speaking Italian! Amazed, I asked him what I had been saying, and he replied that I had been saying phrases about loving God and praising Him.

Speaking in tongues is impossible by human means, but God shows his awesome power through this enabling, among others. It is not a surrender of your will, mind, or personhood, but a cooperating with the Spirit. It is a wonderful tool for praise and worship, and for private prayer to God, for the Scriptures say that this kind of prayer is perfectly according to God's will (Romans 8:27).

I did not experience speaking in tongues that night I was baptised in the Holy Spirit, but I did a few months thereafter, and have continued to this day. It is a daily reminder of His miracle-working power, and an effective tool for intercession. It is a wonderful gift, and it is available to all who receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is received the same way as salvation, by asking for it in faith. It cannot be earned or deserved, it is simply freely poured out on those who ask. Jesus said,

"Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" (Luke 11:11-13)

If you would like this baptism of the Holy Spirit, pray the following prayer.

Dear Jesus, I ask You to baptise me in Your Holy Spirit. I want to be filled with Your power. Let the rivers of Your Spirit flow through me. Please give me everything of the fullness of Your Spirit, so I can accomplish all things that You want me to do.
If you have prayed this, believe now that you have received the Holy Spirit, and give Him place to express His power through your life. You may feel words coming to your tongue in another language you do not know. This is fine, let them come out, this is the Holy Spirit. If you don't feel such words, don't worry about it, they will appear later if you wish.

Please note that everyone I have spoken to that has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit has had a different set of feelings and experiences. The experience I described above was rather on the dramatic end of the spectrum, but that in no way makes it more valid or real or significant than other people's experiences which were much more quiet. This is important, and it is common to wrongly judge validity by intensity. God gives each person what they need.

Don't judge the validity of this event through the strength of the feelings, but through the security of God's Word, as in the Scriptures above. The real test of the validity of this experience is in the fruit of a changed life. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Now that you're filled

Now that you have been filled with the Spirit, here are two suggestions to grow in this:

1. Read in the book of Acts in the Bible about others who were filled with the Spirit. Also, 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 give good advice about various spiritual gifts. The best rule is to always exercise such gifts in love, as described in 1 Corinthians 13.

2. If you have spoken in another tongue, continue in that daily. It will edify you and build you up. You do not need a great sense of emotion or power in order to speak, just start. Like exercising a muscle, it strengthens with use.

Your brother in Christ Jesus,

Peter Homeier

Making formal methods into normal methods.