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Rodman Williams: The Gift of the Holy Spirit Today: Dimensions

36. And perhaps the believers in Antioch (as noted).

37. “How could a man think he was passing out the bread of life every Sunday and still remain so utterly hungry himself? I was empty, and I knew it. This was the end of the line.” So writes Erwin Prange about his situation as a Lutheran pastor in his first parish. Then, “all at once a voice seemed to come from nowhere and everything … ‘The gift is already yours. Reach out and take it.'” As Prange then stretched out his hands toward the altar, palms up, jaws tightening and mouth open: “In an instant, there was a sudden shift of dimensions, and God became real. A spirit of pure love pervaded the church and drenched me like rain. He was beating in my heart, flowing through my blood, breathing in my lungs, and thinking in my brain. Every cell in my body, every nerve end, tingled with the fire of His presence.” See Prange’s autobiographical account, The Gift is Already Yours (Plainfield, NJ: Logos, 1973), pp. 52-53. Though the language is not precisely that of being “filled with the Holy Spirit,” the whole experience was one of moving from emptiness to fullness, and such a fullness as Prange vividly describes.

38. The Greek verb for “be filled” is plerousthe which is present imperative signifying continuity: “Be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit.”

The Gift of the Holy Spirit Today: Response (Chapter 3)

The Gift of the Holy Spirit Today by J. Rodman Williams, was published in 1980 by Logos International. Used by permission of the author. Reprinted in Pneuma Review with minor updates from the author.

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Category: Spirit, Summer 2002

About the Author: J. Rodman Williams (1918-2008), Ph.D., is considered to be the father of renewal theology. He served as a chaplain in the Second World War, he was a church pastor, college professor, and key figure in the charismatic movement of the 1960s. Beginning in 1982, he taught theology at Regent University School of Divinity in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and became Professor of Renewal Theology Emeritus there in 2002. Author of numerous books, he is perhaps best known for his three volume Renewal Theology (Zondervan, 1996).

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