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Filled with the Holy Spirit

 

In this guest editorial, Pastor Mur shares his memories of being filled with the Holy Spirit and how he was reminded of this blessing of God while reading Robert Graves’ article, “The Focus of the Charismatic Experience” that appeared in Summer 1999.

 

Robert Graves’ excellent article on “The Focus of the Charismatic Experience” (Pneuma Review Summer 1999, Vol 2 No 3) gave new life to some of my memories. His words brought me back to 1961 when I was thirty years old and knew absolutely nothing about Protestant theology. Back then I thought that the person who had painted “Jesus Saves” on the rocks overhanging the NJ Turnpike was crazy. A friend, who I thought might help me with my career, invited me to go hear Billy Graham. At that meeting I was gloriously saved, one of those story book conversions.

A few months later, I was enrolled at the Philadelphia College of the Bible, a cessationist institute which required each student to sign a pledge that they would not go near a Pentecostal church. That was fine with me. For while I had somewhat revised my opinion about the person who painted “Jesus Saves” on the rocks, I was “safe” in Bible College, and I wanted no part of the devil, demons, holly rollers or weirdoes that ignorantly claimed to be part of the church.

The Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, in Philadelphia’s City Center, in 1976.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Alas, I unknowingly went to a Pentecostal service and ended up challenged to seek the Baptism in the Holy Spirit including its initial evidence of speaking in tongues. That quest proved far more difficult than I first thought, and I ended up attending all sorts of meetings where I heard that the Spirit was falling. One memorable evening I went way out into the Pennsylvania countryside to hear Sister Seville preach. She said that the Ethilopian (her word, repeated many times that night) would never change his color and a leopard would never change his spots. Since I knew that signs and wonders followed the preaching of the word, I endured through her message, but I went home the same as I had come, still unfilled.

Finally on July 4, 1964 in the Academy Room at Philadelphia’s old Bellevue Stratford Hotel, the site of a Full Gospel Businessman’s meeting featuring Kathryn Kulhman, God rewarded my quest. I was filled with His Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. This prayer language I have exercised daily and more often for 35 years. During that time my life, values, ideas and hopes all have changed as I grew into maturity in the Kingdom of God. Those years included a career beyond my dreams in engineering, which even brought national recognition. Ten years I was a part time student at Fuller Theological Seminary. I watched as my wife was miraculously and instantly healed. I have also had the opportunity of serving on the pastoral staff at two of Foursquare’s (International Church of the Foursquare Gospel) largest churches and on Foursquare’s national finance committee. I have known these blessings and more, many more.

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Category: Fall 1999, Spirit

About the Author: H. Murray Hohns went home to be with Jesus on November 28, 2012. He was on staff at the largest church in Hawaii and served on his denomination's investment committee from 1999 until his death. Hohns held two degrees in Civil Engineering, an MA in Theology from Fuller Seminary, and served as an instructor at Foursquare's New Hope Christian College (formerly Pacific Rim Christian College) in Honolulu. He wrote six engineering books and hundreds of articles in every type of newspaper, magazine and journal.

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