I’ll never forget the first time I heard someone singing the heavenly song. I later became friends with the young worshipper (Rick Amato who later went to Bible School with me). He was strumming his guitar, playing a spontaneous melody and singing in what I thought was Latin. I later heard others singing in different languages and was told that they were singing in their heavenly language. It was beautiful, terrifying, and had the sense of God’s glory on the singing. This was one of the signs that attracted me to the followers of Jesus, they had more than a creed, there was obviously a supernatural presence among them and that is what I was after. I needed something real and I had finally found it. This heavenly song was a big part of birthing the Pentecostal movement of the 1900’s. Here is a testimony from the Azusa Street Revival as witnessed by Frank Bartleman.
“Friday, June 15, at “Azusa,” the Spirit dropped the “heavenly chorus” into my soul. I found myself suddenly joining the rest who had received this supernatural “gift.” It was a spontaneous manifestation and rapture no earthly tongue can describe….No one could understand this “gift of song” but those who had it. It was indeed a “new song” in the Spirit. When I first heard it in the meetings, a great hunger entered my soul to receive it. I felt it would exactly express my pent-up feelings. I had not yet spoken in “tongues.” But the “new song” captured me. It was a gift from God of high order, and appeared among us soon after the “Azusa” work began. No one had preached it. The Lord had sovereignly bestowed it with the outpouring of the “residue of oil,” the “Latter Rain” baptism of the Spirit. It was exercised, as the Spirit moved the possessors either in solo fashion or by the company. It was sometimes without words, other times in “tongues.” The effect was wonderful on the people. It brought a heavenly atmosphere, as though the angels themselves were present and joining with us.”
I received this gift almost 44 years ago, since that time it has been a daily part of my life. Like Paul taught, we can sing with the Spirit and sing with our understanding. I like to go back and forth singing scriptures in English then singing in the beautiful heavenly tongue. Doing this keeps us built up in the faith and delivers us from the foolish attractions in the world.