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Sister Harrietta Turner


Testimonies of Our Family Receiving The Baptism Into The Holy Spirit


I’ve noticed lately that many Christians do not know what some of us are referring to when we speak of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. Many think our ‘charismatic’ worship is just emotion or something we conjure up similar to the enthusiastic crowds at ball games who shout and wave their hands about while often jumping to their feet to cheer.

Although my father was a Presbyterian Minister I was led to the Lord at age 22 by a Spirit-filled Assemblies of God lay minister and his wife. Through them I learned of the experience called the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. I did not receive it at the time of salvation. Two years later I was serving as Director of Christian Education at a Presbyterian Church. After I had been seeking the Lord for a deeper experience of Him this same couple visited me from a distant NC city and laid hands on me praying that I would be filled with the Holy Spirit. And I dramatically received the infilling . There were no outward signs but I seemed to be floating on clouds in the heavenly places as I walked down the street or attended to my duties. This continued for about 3 days. From then on I did not have to memorize my daily group prayers which we offered together at our church staff meetings. And witnessing to others of His saving grace began to flow easily.

I was aware of the phenomenon of speaking of tongues from the book of ACTS and in books I read of the modern day Christian experience of it but I did not receive it at that time. Later I prayed for it and tried to speak in tongues without success. It was just words I was producing and not the Spirit’s utterances. So I began to pray more regularly to receive this gift. And a few years later I had a dream in which this same couple who led me to Christ came for a visit and laid hands on me and I saw flaming tongues of fire around my head.

At this time also a booklet by Mrs. Gordon Lindsay of Christ for the Nations Institue came into my possession. It was about receiving the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. She explained that there were 2 parts to it. The first was receiving the infilling. The second was co-operating with the Holy Spirit and speaking out the syllables He gave in another language until one was securely fluent in the Spirit-given language or languages. She mentioned that some Christians receive the first part but never or much later receive the 2nd part. I knew that was my own situation.

When the couple who had led me to the Lord soon came and prayed for me to receive tongues and after reading Mrs. Lindsay’s book it was the timing of the Lord I was enabled to speak out with another language with the power of the Holy Spirit. I remember I continued to do so while walking up and down in the quietness of my father’s Presbyterian Church for a long time and from then on was enabled to exercise this initial sign of having received the infilling whenever I wanted to or was Spirit-led to. I was never given the public ministry gift of tongues which I Corinthians Chapters 12 and 14 say that some receive. Later after our family retired to live at Montreat, NC I heard that quite a few members of our former church received the Spirit’s infilling and unfortunately there was a church split with those who received it having to leave and join or found another church.

Years later after I met the man who had become my husband who was serving life in prison the same couple who led me to Christ led him to Christ and subsequently I told him of the Holy Spirit infilling. He listened with acceptance and one day in his prison a fellow inmate, a black Christian, asked him if he wanted to be prayed for to receive the Holy Spirit infilling and he said yes. He was prayed for and received it then. He did not want and does not believe that tongues was necessarily part of this experience. He did accept I Corinthians Ch. 12:30 as meaning that not all Christians will speak in tongues. There are quite a few other gifts but this testimony is not to go into these at this time but only into the initial infilling.

When our son Matthew who was age 7 and had been saved for 2 years heard that his father had been baptized with the Holy Spirit he asked to receive this also. Our minister was too busy whenever I thought of asking him to pray with our son so I never got around to it. One day a Stewardship representative from the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries visited our home since my mother was always requesting the advice of Ministries about estate planning. I asked him if he ever prayed for people to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and he said that he did. When I explained that Matthew wanted to be prayed for he laid hands on Matthew’s head and as he was praying for him Matthew almost fell to the floor under the power of the Spirit but caught himself as he did not know what was happening.

That night during his prayer time … in faith Matthew thanked the Lord for giving him the Holy Spirit’s power. He did not pray in tongues and since earlier he had expressed that he did not want to in case he should be over-powered by the Spirit and speak aloud in tongues in school resulting in his being embarrassed I did not mention tongues to him.

A few nights later while he was in his bed and I was nearby in the living room but close enough to hear and see him I felt God’s power pervading the house. He called me in and when I went to him he said he was disappointed that he had not received the ability to speak in tongues when he was baptized with the Spirit. I told him that I thought he did not want to but he assured me that he did.

I had recently heard a taped message by Barbara Ann Chase, the charismatic former Catholic nun who was a well-known convention speaker. She explained a method to enable children to come into the fullness of the Spirit with the accompanying sign of speaking in tongues. She said to begin singing Jesus Loves Me with them and tell them that when they were aware of unfamiliar sounds coming in to their minds that they should substitute those sounds for the English words in the song and sing them out loud to the same tune as Jesus Loves Me.

I told Matthew that we could try that. So we began to sing and the power of God was even more manifest. I gradually used my prayer language to sing the words of the song and Matthew gradually began to sing in a prayer language. The manifest presence of the Spirit grew even stronger…so we continued this way for a long time. And for years afterward he and I would pray in tongues together during our daily devotional time together. However eventually he began to feel that this was just a rote habit and also he began to become interested in the things of this world. He has never prayed in tongues again or desired to although he is now 30 years old but he has been touched by the Spirit occasionally in visible ways.

May this testimony of our family encourage others to seek all that our Lord has available and to understand more fully how it is appropriated.


 

 

 


Harrietta Turner flyinhi@bellsouth.net
PO Box 565
Spruce Pine, NC 28777

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