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Receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit: A Testimony

Have you had difficulty receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit, or is it difficult for you to help others receive it? With Scriptural teaching, it is very simple to understand and receive. I would like to share one example of how easy this can be.

In January 1991, I attended the National Reserve Officers Association Midwinter Conference at the Washington, D.C. Hilton Hotel. I was an Air Force Reserve chaplain with the rank of Captain. I had initially decided not to go to the conference.

One week before it began, however, I received a telephone call from the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver, Colorado. The voice on the other end stated, “May I speak with Chaplain Linzey?”

Image: Jeremy Yap

“I am he,” I replied.

“You have been selected by the Military Airlift Command Headquarters at Scott AFB, Illinois, to go with orders to the National Reserve Officers Association Midwinter Conference at the Washington, D.C.

Though I could have declined the offer, the Holy Spirit instantly told me to go. I discerned something unusual in the phone call. I said to the sergeant on the phone, “Yes, I will attend. Please send me the tickets.”

The tickets arrived that Saturday. I arrived Sunday in Washington, D.C. The conference began on Monday morning. My orders were to attend leadership seminars each day. On Tuesday, the second morning of the conference, at nearly 10:00 a.m., while I was going down an escalator between leadership seminars, another Air Force officer, Major Rick Kuhlman, was coming up the other escalator. As we passed one another, I noticed that he was looking directly at me. I had never seen him in my life. Naturally, I looked away.

When I reached the bottom of my escalator and got off, I heard a commotion. I turned around just in time to see the major running down his escalator to catch up with me. He introduced himself. “I’m Major Rick Kuhlman. Are you a chaplain?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“I saw the cross on your uniform while you were coming down the escalator. There are 1,300 officers and their wives at this conference. You are the only Air Force chaplain I have seen here. We are having an Air Force luncheon at 12:00. I was asked to give the invocation because no Air Force Chaplain was known to be present. Would you be willing to give the invocation?”

“Yes, I would be delighted to,” I said.

“What denomination are you?”

“Pentecostal Church of God.”

“Meet me at the head table. I’ll save a seat for you and we’ll get more acquainted.”

Two hours later, I met Major Kuhlman at the head table in the banquet hall. Just after the program began, I was introduced to deliver the invocation. While we were eating, I asked Major Kuhlman about his background. He told me he was a born-again Christian and Southern Baptist by church affiliation. We had a delightful time of fellowship.

After the luncheon, we parted ways. However, Major Kuhlman caught up with me again in the main corridor outside the banquet hall.

“Tonight, there is going to be a prayer meeting. Would you like to come?” he inquired.

“I would be delighted to attend.”

“I don’t know where it will be yet. I’ll give you a call this evening with the details.”

“That will be fine. I look forward to it.”

After the leadership seminars had concluded for the day, I had dinner and went to my hotel room to rest before the prayer meeting. At approximately 6:00 p.m., the phone rang in my room. It was the major.

“Good evening, Chaplain Linzey,” the major said.

“Good evening Major Kuhlman,” I replied.

“The prayer meeting will be at 7:00. Can you still attend?”

“Yes, I would like to,”

“We have not found a location yet. Can we have it in your room?”

“Certainly,” I answered. “I look forward to it.”

“There will only be two people coming—a first lieutenant and me. The first lieutenant is a missileer from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. His name is P.K. Wheeler. He goes by ‘P.K.’”

“That’ll be fine. I’m looking forward to it,” I replied.

As soon as we hung up, the Holy Spirit immediately told me that someone was going to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit at the prayer meeting. I did not know whether it would be the major or the first lieutenant. But I began praying that God would give me guidance to minister effectively to that individual. Neither did I know how the prayer meeting would be conducted, but under the leading of the Holy Spirit, I began to review the Scriptures I had planned to share with them and then spent time on my knees beside my bed praying.

Promptly at 7:00 p.m., there was a knock on my door. I opened the door, and there stood the major and the first lieutenant.

“Good evening, Chaplain Linzey.”

“Good evening,” I replied.

“I would like to introduce you to First Lieutenant P.K. Wheeler,” the major said.

“I’m glad to meet you. Please, come on in.”

After we were seated at my small hotel room table, the major said, “P.K. is a relatively new Christian. This morning you stated that you were a Pentecostal chaplain. Would you pray with P.K. to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit?”

My heart melted. The major instantly confirmed what the Holy Spirit told me when I hung up the phone an hour earlier.

“I would be glad to. Let’s open up the Word of God,” I replied.

For about thirty minutes, I read the Scriptures about how the Holy Spirit came upon judges, prophets, kings, and military leaders temporarily to fulfill a specific task; the promise of the Holy Spirit in Joel 2:28-29; John’s forecast of Jesus as the baptizer in the Spirit in Matthew 3: 11; Jesus’ prophecy of the permanent outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Luke 24:49; the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:1-4; the subsequent filling of the Spirit in Acts 8:14-17, 10:44- 46, and 19:1-7, each with the manifestation of speaking in tongues. Then I explained the difference between devotional tongues and the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians 14.

Afterward, I took a few minutes to answer questions the lieutenant had about the Scriptures.

Then I said to the lieutenant, “The major and I will be praying in the Spirit. During that time, I will lay my hand on your head to receive the baptism just as the apostles laid hands on believers to receive the baptism. Your lips will begin to tremble. At that moment if you will open your mouth and enter in with us by speaking anything you did not know, you will be speaking in tongues in a matter of moments.”

So the major and I began praying in tongues. After about a minute, I laid my hand on the lieutenant’s head and said, “Raise your hands.” Instantly, his lips began to tremble and he energetically began speaking in tongues with us.

After about 20 seconds, I said, “Stop.” I explained that the reason I told him to stop was to show that he was in full control of his speaking, as the Scripture says, “The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” (1 Corinthians 14:32, MEV). Then to prove that he could begin speaking in tongues anytime he wished, I said, let’s pray in tongues some more.” We did.

I gave him further instruction about praying in the Spirit daily. Joy was all over his face, and we continued having a spiritual time of fellowship. The major was filled with excitement and said, “I have never heard it explained so simply before and I have never seen anyone receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit so easily.” He had been praying earnestly for the lieutenant to be filled with the Spirit. And it finally happened!

As soon as the men left my room, I lay down to rest again, and immediately, the Holy Spirit told me that this was the reason why He told me to accept the invitation to come to Washington, D.C.

A year later, I phoned Major Kuhlman to ask how the lieutenant was doing and asked, “Is he still speaking in tongues?”

“Yes, he’s still speaking in tongues, and he wants to know the Scriptures you shared with him, because he’s telling his Baptist pastor about it. Why don’t you call him up?”

The following day I phoned the lieutenant. He said, “I believe our meeting in Washington, D.C. was a divine appointment.”

“I believe you’re right,” I replied. “Have you been sharing your experience with others?”

“I’ve been sharing it with my Baptist pastor, and now he wants the baptism in the Holy Spirit, too! Would you please tell me again those Scriptures that you shared with me?”

“Certainly,” I answered.

Major Kuhlman also asked for the list of those Scriptures so that he could effectively teach others about the baptism. I have followed the biblical model for decades in ministering in the baptism in the Holy Spirit and I have seen thousands receive it as a result. To many people, the baptism in the Holy Spirit seems difficult to receive or only for the especially holy. In reality, the baptism in the Holy Spirit is clearly and simply presented in Scripture. And it is for all believers.

Here are the Scriptures I shared in Washington, D.C., and the five Scriptural I followed that can help you in praying with others to receiving the baptism in the Spirit:

  1. Study the Scriptural foundation by reading Joel 2:28-29; Matt. 3:11; Luke 24:49; John 7:37-39; Acts 1:8, 2:1-18, 2:38-39, 8:14-17, 10-44-46, 19:1-7; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 6:19, 12:13, and 14:10 and 14.
  2. Inform the believers that you will begin to pray in the Spirit (speak in tongues).
  3. Inform them that when you lay your hand on their heads, to raise their hands and enter in with you. They are not to speak in their native language. As Oral Roberts said, “Get with those who are praying in the Spirit and enter in.”
  4. Encourage them to speak out by faith, for every utterance has meaning with God according to 1 Cor. 14:10 (MEV). It is impossible to make a mistake. There is no counterfeit.
  5. After believers speak in tongues, encourage them to do so daily. Believers who do not speak out by faith should not be made to feel guilty. Be encouraging and willing to pray together with the believers again if they need more encouragement.

May God bless you as you lay hands on and pray with others to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit.



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Category: Spirit, Summer 2020

About the Author: James F. Linzey studied church growth under C. Pete Wagner and signs and wonders under John Wimber at Fuller Theological Seminary. He served on the large ministry team at the Anaheim Vineyard and is the chief editor of the Modern English Version Bible. He has a BA degree in Biblical Studies from Southern California College, and an MDiv degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the author of numerous articles and books, speaker, and recording artist.

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