REV. JOHN G. LAKE: How I Came to Devote My Life to the Ministry of Healing
No one could understand the tremendous hold that the revelation of Jesus as a present day healer took on my life, and what it meant to me, unless they understood my environment.
I was on of sixteen children. Our parents were strong, vigorous, healthy people. My mother died at the age of seventy-five, and my father still lives and is seventy-seven.
Before my knowledge and experience of the Lord as our healer we buried eight members of the family. A strange train of sickness, resulting in death, had followed the family, and for thirty-two years some member of the family was an invalid. The home was never without the shadow of sickness during all this long period. When I think back over my boyhood and young manhood there comes to my mid remembrances like a nightmare of sickness, doctors, nurses, hospitals, hearses, funerals, graveyards and tombstones, a sorrowing household, broken hearted mother and grief-stricken father, struggling to forget the sorrows of the past in order to assist the living members of the family, who needed their love and care.
At the time Christ was revealed to us as our healer my brother, who had been an invalid for twenty-two years, and upon whom father had spent a fortune for unavailing medical assistance, was dying. He bled incessantly from his kidneys, and was kept alive through assimilation of blood-creating foods almost as fast as it flowed from his person. I’ve never known any other man to suffer so extremely and so long as he did.
A sister, thirty-four years of age, was then dying with five cancers in her left breast, having been operated on five times at Harper’s hospital, Detroit Mich., by Dr. Karstens, a German surgeon of repute, and turned away to die. There ws a large core cancer, and after the operations four other heads developed–five inall.
Another sister lay dying of an issue of blood. Gradually day by day her life blood flowed away until she was in the very throes of death.
I had married and established my own home. Very soon after our marriage the same train of conditions that had followed my father’s family appeared in mine. My wife became an invalid form heart disease and tuberculosis. She would lose her heart action and lapse into unconsciousness. Sometimes I would find her lying unconscious on the floor, having been suddenly stricken, sometimes in her bed. Stronger and stronger stimulants became necessary in order to revive the action of the heart, until finally we were using nitro-glycerine tablets i a final heroic effort to stimulate heart action. After these heart spells she would remain in a semi-paralytic state for weeks, the result of over-stimulation, the physcians said.
But in the midst of the deepest darkness, when baffled physicians stood back and acknowledged their inability to help, when the could fo darkness and death was again hovering over the family, suddenly the light of God broke through into our soul, through the message of one Godly minister, great enough and true enough to God to proclaim the whole truth of God.
We took our brother who was dying to a Healing Home in Chicago. Prayer was offered for him, with the laying on of hands, and he received an instant healing. He arose from his dying cot and walked four miles, returned to his home and too, a partnership in our father’s business, a well man.
Great joy and a marvelous hope sprang up in our hearts. A real manifestation of the healing power of God was before us. Quickly we arranged to take our sister with her five cancers to the same healing home, carrying her on a stretcher. She was taken into the healing meeting. Within her soul she said, “Others may be healed because they are good. I have not been a true Christian like others. They may be healed because of their goodness, but I fear healing is not for me.” It seemed more than her soul could grasp.
After listening from her cot to the preaching and teaching of the Word of God on healing through Jesus Christ, hope sprang up in her soul. She was prayed for and hands laid on her. As the prayer of faith arose to God, the power of God descended upon her, thrilling her being. Her pain instantly vanished. The swelling disappeared gradually. The large core cancer turned black, and in a few days fell out. The smaller ones disappeared. The mutilated breast began to regrow and became a perfect breast again.
How our hearts thrilled! Words can not tell this story. A new faith sprang up within us. If God could heal our dying brother and our dying sister, and cause cancers to disappear, He could heal anything or anybody.
Our sister with the issue of blood began to look to God for her healing. Herself and husband were devout Christians, but though they prayed for a time, prayer seemed unanswered, until one night I received a telephone call saying that if I wished to see her in life I must come to her bedside at once. On arriving I found that death was already upon her. She had passed into unconsciousness. The body was cold. No pulsation was discernible. Our parents knelt by her bedside weeping, and her husband knelt at the foot of the bed in sorrow. Her baby lay in his crib.
A great cry to God, such as had never come from my soul before, went up to God. She must not die. She could not die. I would not have it. Had not Christ died for her? Had not God’s healing power been manifested for the others, and should she not likewise be healed?
No words of mine could convey to another soul the cry that was in my heart, and the flame of hatred for death and sickness that the Spirit of God stirred within me. The very wrath of God seemed to possess my heart. We called on God, after telephoning and telegraphing believing friends for assistance in prayer. I rebuked the power of death in the name of Jesus Christ. In less than an hour we rejoiced to see evidence of returning life. She was thoroughly healed, and five days later she came to father’s home and joined the family at a Christmas dinner.
My wife, who had been slowly dying for years, and suffering untold agonies, was the last of the four to receive God’s healing touch. But, oh, ere God’s power came upon her I realized as I never had before the character of consecration God was asking, and that a Christ should give to God. Day by day death silently stole over her, until the final hours had come. A brother minister was present. He went and stood by her bedside, and returning to me with tears in his eyes, said, “Come and walk.” And together we strolled out into the moonlight. He said to me: “Brother Lake, be reconciled to the will of God,” meaning by that as most all ministers do, “Be reconciled to let your wife die.” I thought of my babies. I thought of her whom I loved as my own soul, and a flame burned in my heart. I felt as if God had been insulted by such a suggestion. Yet I had many things to learn.
In the midst of my soul storm I returned to my home, picked my Bible from the mantel piece, threw it on the table. And if ever God caused a man’s Bible to open to a message that his soul needed, surely He did then for me. The Book opened at the tenth chapter of Acts, and my eyes fell on the thirty-eight verse, which read: “Jesus Christ, anointed by God of the Holy Ghost, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the DEVIL; for God was with him.”
Like a flash from the blue these words pierced my heart. “Oppressed of the devil!” Then God was not the author of sickness, and the people whom Jesus healed had not been made sick by God! Hastily taking a reference to another portion of the Word, I read again from the words of Jesus in Luke 13: “Ought not this woman * * * whom SATAN HATH BOUND, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond?” Once again Jesus attributed sickness to the devil. What a faith sprang up in my heart, and what a flame of intelligence concerning the Word of God and the ministry of Jesus went over my soul. I saw as never before why Jesus healed the sick. He was doing the will of His Father, and in doing his Father’s will was destroying the works of the devil. (Heb. 2:14)
In my soul I said, This work of the devil, this destruction of my wife’s life, in the name of Jesus Christ shall cease, for Christ died and Himself took our infirmities and bear our sicknesses.
We decided on 9:30 a. m. as an hour when prayer should be offered for her recovers, and again I telephoned and telegraphed friends to join me in prayer at that hour. At 9:30 I knelt at her dying bed and called on the living God. The power of God came upon her, thrilling her from head to foot. Her paralysis was gone, her heart became normal, her cough ceased, her breathing was regular, her temperature was normal. The power of God was flowing through her person, seemingly like blood flows through the veins. When I prayed I heard a sound from her lips. Not the sound of a ????? as formerly, but now a strong, ????? voice, and she cried out, Praise God, I am healed!” With that ????? caught the bed-clothing, threw them back from her, and in a moment was out on the floor.
What a day! Will I ever forget it, when the power of God thrilled our souls, and the joy of God possessed our hearts at her recovery!
The news spread throughout the city and the state and the nation. The newspapers discussed it. Our home became a center of inquiry. People traveled for great distances to see her and to talk with her. She was flooded with letters of inquiry.
A great new light had dawned in our soul. Our church had diligently taught us that the day of miracles were passed. Believing thus, eight members of the family had been permitted to die. But now, with the light of truth flashing in our hearts, we saw that such teaching was a lie, no doubt invented by the devil, and diligently heralded as truth by the church, thus robbing mankind of it’s rightful inheritance through the blood of Jesus.
Others came to our home. They said: “Since God has healed you, surely He will heal us. Pray for us.” We were forced into it. God answered, and many were healed. Many years have passed since then, but no day has gone by in which God has not answered prayer. People have been healed, not by ones and twos, nor by hundreds, or even thousands, but by tens of thousands. For I have devoted my life, day and night, to this ministry.
In due time God called me to South Africa, where I witnessed such a manifestation of the healing power of God as perhaps the world has not seen since the days of the apostles. Christian men were baptized in the Holy Ghost and ????? forth in the mighty power of God, proclaiming the name of Jesus, laying their hands on the sick, and they were healed. Sinners, witnessing these evidences of the power of God, cried out in gladness, and gave themselves to the service of God, like as it was in the days of Jesus, “there was great joy in that city,” and that nation.
Finally, God brought me to Spokane, where we have ministered to from two hundred to five hundred sick per week. The city is filled with the praises of God because of the blessed manifestation of God’s healing power everywhere. People have come from one ????? thousand miles for healing. Some have written letters, other have telegraphed, and some have cabled from half way around the world, for prayer, and God has graciously answered. Ministers and churches throughout the land have seen that, though the church has taught that the days of miracles only belonged to the times of the apostles, the statement was a falsehood, and that the healing power of God is as available to the honest soul today as it was in the days of Christ on the earth, and that the “gifts and callings of God are without repentance,” and that Jesus is the Healer still.
The Spokesman Review, Sunday, March 3, 1918
The Church at Spokane
Ministrations for the sick at your home if necessary. Telephone Main 1463.
Ministration by prayer and laying on of hands every weed day from 10 a. m. to 4 p. m. Personal ministration and private interviews.
Tel. Main 1463.
The Church Services
Sunday School, 9:30 a. m.
Church Service, 11 a. m.
Divine Healing, Preaching and Demonstration Meeting, 3 p. m.
Services a the Healing Rooms, Rookery Bldg., 3d floor.
TUESDAY, 8 p. m., Bible Study, Rev. Joseph Osborne.
WEDNESDAY, 8 p. m., Teaching on Divine Healing, Rev. Chas. J. Westwood.
THURSDAY, 2:30 p. m., Divine Healing, Teaching and Testimony Meeting, ,Rev. J. G. Lake.
FRIDAY, 8 p. m., Spiritual Life Lecture, Rev. John G. Lake.
EVANGELISTIC SERVICE SUNDAY, 8 P. M.