THE PRICE OF GOD'S MIRACLE WORKING POWER
My Personal Testimony
This chapter is a brief condensation of my book, The Price of God's Miracle Working Power. It includes my personal testimony of how God met with me while I was alone in a closet, fasting and praying. At that time, God told me personally of thirteen things in my life that stood between me and having His miracle-working power in my ministry. He also revealed to me that those very same things were also keeping multitudes of others from knowing His mighty power. The book is a mighty revelation from heaven and is thoroughly scriptural and doctrinally sound.
Immediately after my conversion at the age of twenty-three, God gave me a definite call to the ministry. That call was so definite that I never doubted the reality of it.
Being a Methodist, I knew nothing about the baptism of the Holy Ghost. In fact, before I was converted, I knew nothing about any part of the Bible. I couldn't even quote John 3:16 or name the Four Gospels. However, immediately after my conversion, my heart was hungry to know all that I could know of my Lord, and I began to search the Scriptures. I asked God to lead me to the scriptures that would bring me the greatest benefit. He began to reveal the truths of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, the signs following, the gifts of the Spirit, and the supernatural things of God.
It was not long until God led me into a Pentecostal church where I began to see, in a small measure, the blessings of God and a few of the manifestations of the Spirit. It was in these meetings that I became convinced of my need for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I began to pray and seek God for that experience.
Thirty days after my conversion, in an Assembly of God camp meeting in Miami, Oklahoma, I was gloriously filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.
I had read, Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you (Acts 1:8), so I fully expected that, with the infilling of the Holy Ghost, I would immediately have power to heal the sick and perform miracles. But it did not take me long to realize that more was required than the baptism of the Holy Ghost, in order to consistently see these results. The baptism of the Spirit provides access to this power, but the gifts of the Spirit provide the channels for its operation. I immediately began to pray and seek the gifts of the Spirit. I felt that I must have power to heal the sick, for I knew that, according to the scriptures, God never called anyone to preach the gospel without also commissioning him to heal the sick.
Two years after my conversion, I married and began my ministry. In every revival meeting, I always scheduled at least two nights each week to preach divine healing and pray for the sick. During this time, we saw a large number of miraculous hearings as God honored the preaching of His Word. But I knew that God's plan included greater things for me, and I believed there would come a time when this plan would be a reality in my life.
The search for God's power
Many times, my wife and I searched the Scriptures together, becoming more convinced as we did so, that God's promises concerning the gifts of the Spirit, the signs following, healings, and miracles were meant for us today. It was clear that God had promised these things to us as His ministers. But it was also clear that we did not possess that power in the fullness that God had promised. We knew there must be a scriptural reason why we were lacking this power. Since God cannot lie, the fault had to be within us!
While pastoring my first church, I made up my mind that I must hear from heaven and know the reason why my ministry was not confirmed by signs and wonders. I felt sure that, if I fasted and prayed, God would reveal what stood between me His miracle-working power in my ministry. I was so hungry for the power of God in my life that I felt I could not stand in my pulpit and preach again until I had heard from God. I made up my mind that I would fast and pray until I got an answer, And, I told my wife of my plan.
It was then that I had the greatest battle of my life. Satan was determined that I should not fast and pray until God answered. Many times, he whipped me by tricking me out of my prayer closet. Satan knew that if I ever actually contacted God, it would hinder his evil cause. So he set out to do all in his power to keep me from making that contact.
Day after day, I went into the prayer closet, determined to stay until God spoke to me. Again and again, I came out without the answer. Again and again, my wife would say to me, "I thought you said this was the time you were going to stay until you got the answer." Then she would smile in her own sweet way, remembering that the spirit ... is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).
Again and again, I answered her, "Honey, I really meant to pray it through this time, but---!" It seemed there was always a reason why I couldnt stay in that closet until the answer came. I always justified myself by saying I would pray it through tomorrow. Things would be more favorable then.
The Lord encouraged my heart by calling to my attention how Daniel held on in fasting and prayer. He wrested the answer from the hands of Satan, although it took three weeks to do so (see Daniel 10:2 and 12.)
The spiritual struggle
So the next day I was on my knees in the closet again. I had told my wife I would never come out until I heard from God, and I really thought I meant it. But a few hours later, when I began to smell the aroma of food being prepared, I was out of the closet and in the kitchen, inquiring, "What smells so delicious, Dear?"
At the table a few moments later, God spoke to my heart. I had only taken one bite of food, when I stopped. God had spoken to me. I knew in that moment that, until I wanted to hear from God more than anything else in the world - more than food and gratification of the flesh I would never get my answer from God.
I quickly arose from the table and said to my wife, "Honey, I mean business with God this time! Im going into the closet and I want you to lock me inside. I am going to stay there until I hear from God."
I had said this so many times before that she was beginning to wonder if I really could subdue the flesh long enough to defeat the devil. "Oh," she replied, "youll be knocking for me to open the door in an hour or so." Nevertheless, I heard her lock the door from the outside, saying, "Ill let you out any time you knock."
I answered, "Ill not knock until I have the answer that I have wanted so long." At last, I had definitely made up my mind to stay there until I heard from God - no matter what the cost!
Hour after hour I battled the devil and the flesh in that closet! It seemed to me that days were slipping by and my progress was so slow. Many times I was tempted to give it all up and try to be satisfied without the answer - to just go on as I had been doing. But deep in my soul I knew I could never be satisfied doing that. I had tried it and found that it was not enough. So I kept on waiting.
A visitation from God
Then the glory of God began to fill the closet. As the interior of the closet began to grow light, I thought my wife had opened the door - but she had not. Jesus had opened the door of heaven and the closet was flooded with light, the light of the glory of God!
I do not know how long I was in the closet before this happened and it doesnt matter. I only know that I prayed until! The presence of God was so real and powerful that I felt I would die right there on my knees. It seemed that, if God came any closer, I could not stand it. Yet I wanted it and was determined to have it.
Was this my answer? Was God going to speak to me? Would He satisfy my longing heart at last, after these many years? I seemed to lose consciousness of everything except the mighty presence of God. I tried to see Him and then was afraid that I would, for suddenly I realized that should I see Him, I would die (see Exodus 33:20). Just His glorious presence was enough!
If only He would speak to me now! If He would just answer my question, "Lord, Why cant I heal the sick? Why cant I work miracles in Your name? Why do the signs not follow my ministry as they did that of Peter, John, and Paul?"
Then, like a whirlwind, I heard His voice! It was God! He was speaking to me! This was the glorious answer I had been waiting for since my conversion at the age of twenty-three!
In His presence, I felt like one of the small pebbles at the foot of the towering Rockies. I felt unworthy to even hear His voice. But He wasn't speaking to me because I was worthy, He was speaking because I was needy. Centuries ago, He had promised to supply that need, and this was the fulfillment of that promise.
It seemed that God was talking to me faster than any human could possibly speak - and faster than I could follow, mentally. My heart cried out, "Speak a little more slowly. I want to remember it all." Yet I knew I could never forget! God was giving me a list of the things, which stood between me and His power. After each new requirement was added to the list in my mind, there followed a brief explanation about the requirement and its importance.
If I had known there were so many things to remember, I would have brought a pencil and paper! I hadnt expected God to speak in such a definite way, giving me such a long list. I never dreamed I was falling so far short of the glory of God. I hadnt realized there were so many things in my life that generated doubt and hindered my faith.
As God continued to speak to me, I began to feel in my pockets for a pencil. At last I located one and began searching for a piece of paper. I couldnt find any. Suddenly I remembered the cardboard box filled with winter clothes that I was using for an altar. I would write on the box. Now I was ready!
The life-changing list
I asked the Lord to please start all over again and let me write the things down, one at a time. I asked Him to speak slowly so I could get it down on paper.
Once more, God started at the beginning and repeated the many things He had already revealed to me. As God spoke to me, I wrote down what He said.
When the last requirement was written on the list, God spoke once again. He said, "This is the answer. When you have placed on the altar of consecration and obedience the last thing on your list, ye shall not only heal the sick, but, in my name, shall ye cast out devils. Ye shall see mighty miracles as, in my name, ye preach the Word. For, behold, I give you power over all the power of the enemy."
God revealed to me the things that were hindrances to my ministry - the things that prevented Him from working with me, confirming the Word with signs following. They were the very same things, which were hindering thousands of others.
Now it began to grow darker in the closet. I felt His mighty power begin to lift. For a few more moments, His presence lingered...and then I was alone. Alone, yet not alone.
I trembled under the mighty lingering presence of God. In the darkness, I fumbled at the bottom of the cardboard box, tearing off the list I had written down. In my hand, I held the list. At last, here was the price I must pay in order to have the power of God in my life and ministry - the price tag for the miracle-working power of God!
Frantically I pounded on the locked door. Again and again I pounded. Finally I heard my wife coming. She opened the door and the moment she saw me, she knew Id been with God. Her first words were, "Youve got the answer!"
"Yes, honey. God has paid me a visit from heaven, and here is the answer."
In my hand was the old brown piece of card board with the answer that had cost so many hours of fasting and prayer, waiting, and yes, believing!
My wife and I sat down at the table with the list before us. As I told her the story and we went down the list together, we both wept. There were thirteen items on the list when I came out of the closet, but I erased the last two before showing the list to my wife. These were too personal for even her to know. She has never asked me about them because she realizes it must remain between me and God.
The other eleven requirements make up the contents of my book, The Price of God's Miracle-Working Power. There is one entire chapter devoted to each of the eleven requirements. If you, too, long for the manifestation of the mighty power of God in your own life and ministry, be sure to read this book!
Since God spoke to me that day in the closet, many pages have been torn from the calendar. In fact, many calendars have been replaced by new ones. As time has passed, I have marked the requirements from my list, one by one. The list grew smaller and smaller as I shouted the victory over Satan and marked off one after another!
Finally, I was down to the last two requirements. Satan said to me, "Youve marked off eleven, but here are two you'll never mark off! Ive got you whipped."
But, by the grace of God, I told the devil he was a liar. If God said I could mark them all off, He would help me do it! But it was quite some time before I was able to mark off the last two.
I will never forget the day when I looked over my list and found that there was only one thing left! Praise God, if I could mark that one off, I could claim the promise God had made to me.
I had to claim that promise! Millions were sick and afflicted - beyond the help of medical science. Someone must bring deliverance to them. God had called me to take deliverance to the people and God has called every minister of the gospel to do the same! (see Ezekiel 34:1-4.)
Many times as I traveled across the states, God had poured out His Spirit on my meetings. However, I knew that when I marked that last item from my list, I would see miracles such as I had never seen before. In the meantime, I would patiently strive toward victory, trusting God to help me until the victory came. I knew that, when victory was mine, God would be glorified and others, too, would be encouraged to seek for His power.
A great moving of God's power
As I wrote this book, I was conducting a "Back to God Healing Revival" in Oakland, California. Many said it was the greatest revival in the history of Oakland. Hundreds said they had never witnessed such a dynamic moving of the power of God. Night after night, the waves of divine glory swept over the congregation. Many testified of being healed while sitting in their seats. Again and again, we felt the mighty power of God settling over the meeting. People rose to their feet to testify of instant healings some of which were visibly miraculous, such as outward tumors disappearing and cripples being made whole.
I felt goiters disappear at the touch of my hand, in Jesus name!
There were many shouts of victory as the blind received their sight. One woman testified, "It was like coming out of the dark into the sunlight."
We prayed for a woman with throat trouble. After a few moments, she hurried to the ladies rest room. After returning to the auditorium, she testified that, after prayer, something came loose in her throat and came up into her mouth. She had hurried to the rest room to dispose of it. It was some kind of foreign growth (probably cancer), whitish-orange in color.
Ruptures as large as a person's fist disappeared overnight. Cancer, deafness, tumor, goiter, sugar diabetes - every known disease and many unknown - disappeared as, in the name of Jesus, we laid hands on the sick. In many cases, healings were verified by doctors reports and x-rays.
We stand in holy awe and marvel at the miracle-working power of God. It moved, night after night, from the beginning of the meeting. Hundreds were delivered from the power of the enemy - saved, healed, or filled with the Spirit.
In this meeting, it was impossible to have what is generally termed as a "healing line." At least ninety percent of those we laid hands on were immediately prostrated under the mighty power of God. Some danced a few steps or moved drunkenly under the power of the Spirit before falling (see Jeremiah 23:9). Under those circumstances, it was impossible to have people march on after prayer.
Many would brand this as fanaticism, but it is not! It is the mighty power of God moving upon the people. It is the same miraculous power that caused John to fall at his feet as dead (Revelation 1: 17).
Many say that the most outstanding thing about this meeting was that such a large percentage of the sick received miraculous deliverances. It would be a conservative estimate to say that at least ninety percent - or even more - of those prayed for were marvelously healed.
One nights service was designated "Holy Ghost Night." The auditorium was packed to the doors, with people sitting on the altar benches. Eternity alone will reveal the number of people who were filled, or refilled, with the Spirit. We announced that, in this service, hands would be laid upon seekers for the infilling of the Spirit, according to Acts 8:17. After the sermon, all who had not already been filled during the service came forward for prayer. With only a few exceptions, everyone we touched in the name of Jesus, fell prostate. What an unusual sight - to stand on the platform afterwards, and look upon the many "slain of the Lord." They were in every available altar space and even down the aisles! Sweeter yet was the sound of the heavenly music as voices joined in united praise to God. The Holy Spirit filled obedient believers and they began to speak in new tongues and magnify God (see Mark 16:17; Acts 10:46).
Although I do not claim to possess the gift of healing, hundreds were miraculously healed in this meeting, as well as in following campaigns. I do not claim to possess a single gift of the Spirit, or to have power to impart any gift to others, yet all the gifts of the Spirit were in operation, night after night. God confirmed His Word with signs following!
Victory, at last!
Why did I see such a change in the results of my ministry? You ask WHY? Have you not guessed?
At last, the final item was marked off the list! Hallelujah! Many times, I almost gave up hope of ever being able to mark that last one off. But, at last, it is gone! By Gods grace, gone forever!
With the marking off of the last requirement on my list came the fulfillment of Gods promise. The sick were healed, devils were cast out, and mighty miracles were seen, in the name of Jesus, as His Word was preached!
Are you hungry for the power of God in your own life? Then get alone with God. Seek Him with an open heart and ask Him to show you the things that stand between you and Him (read Isaiah 59:1,2). Do not stop until you are victorious over everything that generates doubt and unbelief!
This is not a "magic formula" - it is not an easy way, but it is one that works. It may often seem to be a hard and lonely road, but God has promised in His Word that, if it is followed, miracle-working power will be ours!
If you are truly hungry for more of the power of God in your life, get a copy of my book, The Price of God's Miracle-Working Power.