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Wanting What the Lord Wants, an Interview with Paul King

Paul King, who is a Bible teacher, evangelist, educator, historian, pastor, and cancer survivor, has distinguished qualifications to talk about what God has done and what God is doing. In this interview with, we speak with him about his own story and his recent book, Is It of God? that addresses crucial questions about biblical discernment. Please tell our readers how you came into the Charismatic Renewal.

Paul King: I grew up in the Christian and Missionary Alliance, which believed in the filling of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit on paper, but little in practice because of fear of Pentecostal excesses. I was baptized in the Spirit in my first year of college, out of the ongoing overflow of the Asbury College revival in February 1970. I was attending Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, and had returned from a beach evangelism team to Florida, feeling very frustrated that I had no power to witness. A student ministry team from the Asbury Revival came to Beaver Falls in April 1970, sharing their testimonies of the great outpouring of the Spirit upon the students. They had something I didn’t have and I began seeking. A few weeks later, I wandered into an Assemblies of God church and the pastor laid hands on me and prayed for me. I did not speak in tongues, but I went out from there with a power I never had before, and I began doing street witnessing with great power and effects, and kids were getting saved.

Even though my Pentecostal friends said I didn’t get it, I did realize that although I didn’t speak in tongues, Jesus said the evidence of the baptism in the Spirit was power to be a witness (Acts 1:8). My ministry was so powerful and effective that Young Life asked me to join their staff. I prayed for the Lord to give me His better gifts, not tongues. I began to get words of prophecy and supernatural words of knowledge even though I had not spoken in tongues. But the Lord convicted me, saying, “If you are not willing to receive what you consider the least of my gifts, what makes you think you should receive any of my gifts?” I was so humbled and convicted, I repented, and began praying, “Lord, I want what you want. If you want me to speak in tongues, I want to speak in tongues. If you don’t want me to speak in tongues, I don’t want to speak in tongues. I was praying this 10 months after I was baptized in the Spirit while driving to my uncle’s home to paint his house. Strange words came to my mind and I spoke them out. I prayed, “Lord, if this is genuine, give me an interpretation.” Immediately to my mind came the words, “The arm of the Lord is extended to you,” and I knew it was real. I had no emotion like I did when I was baptized in the Spirit, just a calm peace (Good thing while I was driving!)

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Category: Living the Faith, Summer 2019

About the Author: Paul L. King holds a D.Min from Oral Roberts University and a D.Th. from the University of South Africa. He served for 16 years on the faculty of Oral Roberts University as Coordinator of Bible Institute programs and Adjunct Professor in the College of Theology and Ministry. Author of 12 books and more than 60 articles, he was ORU 2006 Scholar of the Year. He has also served as Scholar-at-Large for the D.Min. program at Alliance Theological Seminary, Doctor of Ministry Mentor for the Randy Clark Scholars program at United Theological Seminary and Global Awakening Theological Seminary, Leadership and Church Ministry Consultant and Trainer, an ordained pastor with the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Interim Consulting Pastor for the Plano (Texas) Chinese Alliance Church, and Faculty Director of Purdue Ratio Christi/Christian Faculty and Staff Network. His books include God's Healing Arsenal: A Divine Battle Plan for Overcoming Distress and Disease (2011), Anointed Women: The Rich Heritage of Women in Ministry in the Christian & Missionary Alliance (2009), Only Believe: Examining the Origin and Development of Classic and Contemporary Word of Faith Theologies (2008), Genuine Gold: The Cautiously Charismatic Story of the Early Christian and Missionary Alliance (2006), Binding & Loosing: Exercising Authority over the Dark Powers (1999), and A Believer with Authority: The Life and Message of John A. MacMillan. Twitter: @PaulLKing.

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