Thea's Story--Part 3
Aug 27, 2009
Refugees were categorized by nationality and religion in those days, and Thea's parents had been nominally Catholic. So she was sponsored to go to a Catholic high school and college. She became an American citizen in 1944.
After finishing college, she joined a lay missionary group, but first she needed to experience the Holy Spirit. It was near Cincinnati, Ohio that she began to pray to the Holy Spirit. She had been taught about God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but she really knew little or nothing about the Holy Spirit at that time. She wrote,
"God the Father had protected me, and Jesus Christ was my Friend and my Savior, and now I was to get to know the Holy Spirit. That is God's Spirit, who comes in and guides us into all truth; He is the Spirit of Christ.
"I didn't know how to receive Him. I was part of a religious denomination at the time that did not know much about the Holy Spirit. So I asked on my own.
"One night, in 1948, I woke up. I went to the hayloft of the farm, where I could pray. I asked in that hayloft, 'God, if there is a Holy Spirit, and if He is to come into my heart, and if I am to know what you want me to do, please fill me with this Holy Spirit.'
"And the Spirit came down on me. I can only express it as tremendous Light coming all over me. When the Holy Spirit comes down on a person, He can come down in many different ways. For me, it was a tremendous experience of warmth and of light, and of joy, and a feeling of lightness that I had never experienced before. I burst out into song. Words came out of my mouth that didn't seem like English, or German, or any other language that I knew. Not until later in life did I realize that what was given me that night was the gift of tongues. This is the Holy Spirit speaking through a person in a language that is unknown to them. I was in that state of ecstasy and joy for quite a long time and knew now without doubt that the Lord had chosen me to do a work for Him."
Thea then worked for 15 years among the young people in the slums of New York and Brooklyn, using art and music and other unorthodox methods to teach children.
"A time came that I became quite ill. A heart attack forced me to stop teaching for a while. As I lay in my hospital bed and could not breathe, I thought, 'Maybe this is all I was called for. Father, I taught Your life as you gave it to me to give to these children. Perhaps I was able to reach a few young lives and help them re-orient themselves to You and make something out of their lives here on earth.'
"At that moment I had almost stopped breathing and thought I was going to die that night. Suddenly, a figure appeared at the foot of my bed. Again, it was the same eyes, the same smile, only now He was a grown man. It was Jesus. I knew Him, recognized Him in the light. He spoke gently to me again, and I replied, 'Is it time? Can I go home now?'
"He said, 'Not yet.' Then He spoke something that shocked me and really disturbed me for a long time. He said, 'You don't know Me yet; you don't know Me.'
"I gasped, 'But Lord, I've done everything You've told me to do. I love you. And I've taught You to the children, and I've given You my whole life. I've given up marriage that I might serve you better. Look at all the things I've done for You.' I tried to list them.
"He was so gentle and sweet. He just smiled at me and shook His head and said, 'You don't Me. You don't really know Me.' And with that, He disappeared.
"I fell into a very sound sleep, and when I awoke the next morning, all the machines that had shown me to be dying of a heart problem indicated normal. The doctors came and tested me, not knowing what had happened. They couldn't understand it, because all of a sudden the tests were fine, and I had a healthy, sound heart.
"I left the hospital and pondered over and over again, 'What do You mean, I don't know You?' . . . You see, my concept of Him was 'doing'--doing good for others, doing things for others. I didn't realize that when you fully know somebody, there is such an intimate relationship, there is such a 'oneness' with that person, that you don't have to speak, you don't have to 'do,' you just know each other and become ONE with the beloved.
"And thus began a whole new search of knowing how to know Him."
Not long after this, Thea moved to Florida to care for her ailing mother. There she came in contact with the new Charismatic Renewal. But her next significant experience came in 1978 at the huge Charismatic Renewal meeting in Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where 20,000 "charismatic" believers had gathered. Speakers had come from all over the world, testifying of the work of the Holy Spirit's outpouring at that time. Thea writes,
"We prayed and scanned the [written] program eagerly. Where would we go? Which of the prominent speakers would we hear? And we realized our Father was saying 'No' again and again.
"Far down on the program, in a small meeting off campus with a speaker we had not heard of, was a lecture entitled, For Those Who Seek Jesus Only. On that name we perceived without doubt the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We didn't understand, but we were obedient and went.
"The little auditorium held about three hundred people. As we entered, a group of young people were singing to God and praising Him. All were waiting for the speaker to come. Then surprisingly, one of the young men stood up in the midst of this group, and a love song flowed from his lips. It was a very different song, not that of a human, but a love song that Jesus was singing to us.
"Suddenly, the very atmosphere was charged. Vibrations filled the room that I cannot describe. Everyone felt it. There was tingling in our bodies. There was ringing in our ears. We were hearing music and sounds that one can't describe in the physical.
"And then the whole room was lit up with an indescribable awesome light. I have seen pictures of atomic blasts, and they were nothing compared to that light that morning. The light not only filled the room, but it seemed to fill our bodies, engulfing us, permeating us totally.
"People reacted many different ways. Crying, rejoicing, some seeing their sins and falling down in repentance. Then the figure of my Lord appeared to me in that Light. As I saw Him, I was literally taken out of my body. My spirit was taken out--I had no longer felt my body in any way, but I was sucked out of my body into this light.
"Immediately, He began to speak to me. He called me and told me to be His 'trumpet.' He said, 'You are to be my trumpet, and you are to awaken My people from sleep. You are to go to My country, to the New Jerusalem' . . .
"He told me to warn the people of the judgment ahead, and at the same time to call them back to Him. . . He told me many things that were only gradually explained to me later on. But it was an all-out call to go to His people to tell them about what was going to happen in the next ten to fifteen years, and how they were to prepare themselves for that time.
"I did not fully understand the whole message, but that was the general tone of it. Gradually, I came back into my body. It was then almost a week that I didn't know if I was sleeping or eating or what I was doing, because the Lord kept showing me things. He was opening the Bible in a way that I had never understood before."
The reference to "ten to fifteen years" is of interest to us, because (dated from 1978) this would bring us to 1988-1993. I know from talking to her later that the "fifteen years" came from the story of Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:6). Hence, the year 1993 was important. It was the 40th Jubilee of the Church when the Age of Pentecost ended, and we began to transition into the new authority of Tabernacles."
This is the third part of a series titled "Thea's Story." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones