THE ROAR OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” — Acts 4:31
One of the earmarks of a move of God is the sound of people praying. Nearly every true move of the Holy Spirit in the world was and is birthed by people who travail in prayer. For the last several years, the staff and students of Jimmy Swaggart Bible College (JSBC) have been seeking God for a move of God to take place. First in ourselves and in our school, then in our church, our nation, even the world. This last semester (Spring 2018) I encountered, time and time again, a phenomenal move of the Spirit in both our scheduled classroom sessions and our prayer meeting times. These aren’t just times when it is easy to pray, but these are times inspired by the presence of the Holy Ghost. A comment will be made, a testimony will be given, a truth will be told, and all of a sudden the presence of the Holy Spirit will sweep through the room. Students will begin to worship and pray, crying out to God for the needs in their own hearts and bearing a burden for the rest of the world to hear the truth of the gospel.
The View of This Administrator
As an administrator at JSBC, there is nothing better than to walk down the halls of our school and hear the sound of true Pentecost emanating from a classroom. As one gets closer, the sound rises into a tremendous crescendo and the intensity of it stirs the soul with a desire to join in the praise and prayer. I like to refer to this sound rising from the hearts of our students and staff as the “roar of the Holy Spirit.” Some of the students are weeping. Others are crying out to God. Some are praying in tongues as the Spirit of God gives them the utterance. A few have their heads on their desks. Still others are walking throughout the room, their hands raised to heaven, as tears flow unchecked over their cheeks. Students are lying prostrate on the floor. Others are sitting on the floor, huddled in the corner, and seeking God from a broken heart.
The presence of God is almost tangible. It is the result of the Holy Spirit’s moving. It is the Holy Spirit at work in the heart of the student. While there is emotion, this is not just emotionalism. The students have not been worked up into a frenzy by a speaker. Instead, they are responding individually to the precious touch of the Holy Spirit and together in mass they are calling upon their God. The result is the roar of the Holy Spirit.
The State of Bible Colleges
I’m sad to say that the scene I’ve just described will not be found or reenacted much around our nation today. Most institutions would laugh at this activity and deride us for allowing such immaturity to happen. The Bible colleges that once were on fire for God—colleges that produced men and women empowered by the presence of the Holy Spirit—have fallen by the wayside. The fires of Pentecost that once burned bright and strong have fallen prey to psychology, educational requirements, the desire for numbers, and the lust for revenue. The small Pentecostal Bible colleges and schools that existed right after the turn of the 20TH century turned out missionaries and evangelists that opened up Third World countries to the saving power of Christ and set this world aflame with a desire for the things of God. They were accompanied not by ecclesiastical approval and acclaim but by the signs, miracles, wonders, and gifts of the Holy Ghost.
The need for learning is ever on our minds and hearts here at JSBC. Our students deal face-to-face with biblical text in almost every class. There are some classes that deal with things other than a specific text, but sooner or later how that subject relates to biblical truth comes into play.
Our students are learning how to approach their walk with God, how to live by faith and grace. They discover the marvelous benefits of the new covenant—what Jesus provided by His death on the Cross—and they are learning how to apply these truths to their everyday lives. While not all will be full-time ministers, it is vital that we have another generation that learns how to walk with God minus the trappings of religious dominance, rules, and traditions of men. Our classes are not a cakewalk, as it were, but require both in-depth and hands-on work with standard biblical tools for proper exegesis and comprehension. We offer a variety of degrees, both in-house and online. The best choice for you? Well only God can tell you where you need to be. Pray about coming to JSBC or joining through the online experience. When you are ready, travel online to www.jsbc.edu or give us a call at (225) 768-3890, and let the roar begin in your own life!