August 8, 2014
Let's get right to this story. I'll back up just a bit for you to get the context of what unfolded next.
Last week, I left off with what happened when I asked the following question to the gathered group in the Eskdale ward house, “Is there someone here tonight who has been in some kind of accident where you were severely injured? Perhaps you have an injury that has been with you since your childhood. If you will stand and come forward, the Lord will heal you tonight.”
I wasn’t even hardly prepared for what happened next!
Immediately, a gentleman in his fifties stood up in the back row. His face was grotesquely misshapen, the result of a fire he had been burned in as a teenager. He wore glasses that had to be a quarter-inch thick or more.
He pointed to his face and roared, “Oh yeah? You say this Holy Spirit is real? Let’s see Him do something about this!”
Ever have your knees quake? Ever shake in your boots? Betcha my heart sank right into my shoes in that instant. Faith as a grain of mustard seed? Right! Would you believe a quarter -- or even a tenth -- of a grain of mustard seed?
In my mind, I said, “Lord, you wouldn’t? Oh My God! Lord, if you don’t show up on the scene right now, we can pack our bags and get out of here.” It was put up or shut up time! Either the Lord was who He said He is, and He was going to honor His Word, or we were done!
I was so scared; words wouldn’t come out of my lips. Never in my whole life had I ever faced such a challenge. I just motioned for him to come forward. He got out into the aisle and began to walk towards the front.
All of a sudden something just exploded in my spirit! In that instant I absolutely KNEW the Lord was going to do the miraculous! About ten steps from the platform, I couldn’t wait for him any longer and stretched out my hand towards him saying, “In Jesus Name!”
As he reached the steps of the platform, I heard a gasp from the folks sitting on the front row. They were seeing what I was seeing. The flesh was pulling back into place on his face. The scarring was disappearing. New eyelids were forming where the old ones had been burned away.
I thought I’d seen a creative miracle in Phoenix with that eighteen-year-old girl whose arm had been restored, but this….this was different! It was breathtaking!
Now this gentleman was standing in front of me on the platform, and with 300-plus other people, I was watching the flesh pull back into place on his face. Let me tell you something. If you’ve never seen that kind of creative miracle before, it literally takes your breath away.
Here’s a guy who had not only been burned physically, he'd lost much of his eyesight and needed really thick glasses to see even a little bit. Topping that off, his emotions and personality had been scarred by the obvious rejection he had suffered because of his grotesque physical appearance.
As he reached the platform and finally stood in front of me, he took his glasses off. It was then that everyone could see the new eyelids that had been forming around his eyes. Without eyelids, a person’s eyes look almost – no, forget the “almost” – scary! Bizarre! It’s a sight you don’t easily forget.
Taking his glasses off, he looked me straight in the face. I still wasn’t over the shock of seeing such miraculous ongoing creation, and I stumbled a bit for words.
“Umm….Sir, what do you see,” I said cautiously. He looked at me for a second and then responded, “Well, you kind of look like a tree.”
Under any other circumstances, his response would have been almost comedic. What flashed through my head in that instant was Jesus at Bethsaida. (See Mark 8:22-26) I remembered that Jesus had spit on his hands, touched the blind man man’s eyes and said to him, “What do you see.” The man responded to Jesus, “I see men as trees walking.” Jesus had touched the man’s eyes the second time, and his eyesight was restored.
When that incident flashed through my head, I instant reached up and put my hand over the man’s face and said, “Sir, in Jesus’ name, receive your eyesight.”
I pulled back my hand and again said to him, “Now, what do you see?”
He looked at me, tears began trickling out of tear ducts that hadn’t worked since he had been burned, and he turned to look at folks in the audience. With his old glasses still hanging by his fingers at his side, he began calling the names of friends who were sitting next to him. “Frank, John, Fred, I can see you. I can see you.”
Pandemonium exploded in that place. Without so much as a ‘by your leave’ or a word of invitation of any kind, the center aisle suddenly filled with folks who wanted prayer and personal ministry. It caught me completely off guard.
I turned to Brother Bill and said, “Brother, this is more than I can handle myself. Why don’t we split this into two prayer lines?”
He nodded his head and came back up to the platform, and we instructed the people to form two separate lines. I took one line, and Brother Bill took the other, and we began ministering to those folks one-by-one.
It was a night of miracles. One after another after another after another. Periodically, we would face a particular need where we would stop and agree together in prayer.
One such incident involved a mother with a child of perhaps four years of age. He had never walked in his life because of club feet. When the Lord healed that child, and he began to take his first steps across that platform in front of everyone, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place.
Blind eyes were healed that night. Both physically and spiritually. Deaf ears were unstopped, both physically and spiritually.
The word “impossible” lost any meaning that night. Doubt, unbelief, skepticism, fear….you name it….all of it went out the door as Brother Bill and I ministered to those folks for nearly five straight hours.
We lost track of the miracles that occurred. We lost track of time. It became meaningless to us.
It had to have been around 12:30 in the morning when we ministered to the last person in line. Funny thing, though. Nobody left that place.
When I looked up for the first time at the crowd, I realized that it was 12:30 in the morning and the place was still full. Folks just went back to their seats after receiving ministry, and sat there watching what the Holy Spirit was doing in their midst.
Ever notice how reality has a way of banishing contrary doctrines? You can be taught something, and believe it your entire life, but when you actually see the Lord working in your midst, and His works are contrary to what you’ve believed all your life, your thinking and your doctrines undergo radical revision.
I never had to say another word to those folks about who the Holy Spirit is, or how He functions, or what His purpose is. Mist in outer space? Brother, did that doctrine ever disappear that night. For those Mormons, anyway!
Another thing. I never preached salvation that night. But the reality of Jesus’ presence and His power working in their midst brought those folks face to face with their need for a relationship with Him. And people started accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior with an entirely new understanding.
The best was yet to come that night, however. You think it was exciting up to this point? You think those Mormons were getting some doctrinal revision? They hadn’t seen anything, yet. Neither had I. Had to admit, even my doctrines were undergoing some revision!
The last person had been ministered to. The last one in line, anyway. All through the night, the Mormon bishop had been sitting in his seat on the platform, watching these events unfold. Periodically, he would get out of his seat, come and stand next to us to watch the miracle unfold, then go back and sit down.
Now, he got out of his seat, and came and stood in front of me. He folded his arms and the look on his face was as though he was looking far into the distance. The first words out of his mouth were, "Well, I've seen enough!"
You can imagine my instantaneous reaction. The very first thought that went through my head was, Oops! This has been too much for him. We're getting ready to get our walking papers.
Funny how the mind tries to take you off track with doubt, isn't it? Believe me, the Enemy WANTS you to doubt, or to be in fear. Nevertheless the bishop continued after a short pause. "I've seen enough. I'm convinced."
Then he said, “When you started off tonight, you quoted that scripture from Mark, ‘These signs shall follow them that believe: in My Name they shall cast out devils….’ I have seven devils that live inside of me, and I can tell you the day and the hour they came in.”
Think I was shocked? That doesn’t describe it! I’d never heard anyone say anything like that in my life. I didn’t know a person could know something like that. Because of my religious pre-disposition, for me to hear it out of the mouth of a Mormon bishop made it all the more astonishing.
It just didn’t fit. My doctrines didn’t allow for that sort of thing. Oh, sure. I knew that the casting out of evil spirits was a major part of Jesus’ ministry. But so far as I knew – at least as far as I could remember – I’d never met anyone in my life who had a demon. (Truth be told, I had run into a number of folks in bygone years who were afflicted by evil spirits, but had no foundations to recognize what I was seeing.) What I knew about demons (the KJV use of the word, devils, is inaccurate) could fit on the head of a straight pin.
Teaching on the ministry of deliverance was simply something that I had never grown up hearing. I had heard that Christians couldn’t have evil spirits (that was a lie), and most of the people in ministry I’d ever encountered had a “hands off” attitude about the ministry of deliverance. Their attitude – and mine up to this moment in time – had been one of fear in taking on Satan. After all (so the thinking is with some folks) Satan is almost as powerful as God. Got to really be careful or Satan might get you if you don’t know what you’re doing!
What a pile of horse puckey! The fear of evil spirits, demons, devils, whatever you choose to call them, is planted by the evil spirits so you won’t touch them – so they will be left alone to operate and contaminate the will and processes of the Lord in your life with impunity. They are threatened by the presence of Holy Spirit and the authority we have in Christ Jesus, and they will do whatever they can to distract or sidetrack.
My mind was reeling. I said to the bishop, “How do you know you have these devils? How do you know when they came in?”
He began to unfold – in front of that group of people – a tale of sinful activity he had engaged in for years. He began to confess specific sins – such as adultery – with his wife sitting on the third row hearing this confession for the first time in their married life. As he talked about his yielding to the temptation to engage in adultery, he said it became easier and easier and easier.
“One day,” he said, “it was out of control. I wanted to stop. I suddenly knew that I was being driven by a force, by a presence that wasn’t me. Now I had to do it. And I’ve lived in torment with it.”
He went on to relate a series of events that had unfolded otherwise in his life, and how he knew that these demonic spirits had taken control of these various aspects of his life and his behavior.
Tell you what. It was all new to me. I turned to Brother Bill and said, “Brother, have you ever dealt with anything like this before?”
He grinned, shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well, a little.”
Wheww! A little is better than none at all. I would gladly take someone who had actually engaged in successful deliverance -- even if there wasn't an abundance of experience. So I asked Brother Bill Christopulos to stand on one side of the bishop, and I stood on the other.
Once more, it was put up or shut up time. This had been a major part of Jesus’ ministry. The fact that I didn’t understand it, and the fact that I had never been involved in this kind of thing before was completely irrelevant.
The Greek word used throughout the New Testament that gets translated, Savior, is the word, soter. It actually means: healer, deliverer, savior. It means one who makes whole. It comes from the root word, sozo, which literally translates to: to save, to deliver, to protect (both literally and figuratively), to heal, to preserve, to make whole, to make one do well (prosper).
Didn’t matter that I’d never done this before. The Lord was about to do what He does best: save, heal, deliver, make whole, etc., etc., etc. I didn’t know else to do but to take the man’s confession at face value. So I put my hand on the bishop’s shoulder and started in, “You Spirit of Adultery, come out of him in Jesus’ name.”
What happened next was something none of us were prepared for. He was yanked into mid-air and levitated as though by a gigantic unseen hand. His body rotated in the air horizontally, then slammed to the floor, and he began to writhe on the floor like a snake. I’d never seen the human body go through the contortions he was going through. I didn't know the human body was capable of such things -- and, honestly, it isn't! Normally, that is.
Sorry, but I have to leave you with another cliffhanger! Stay tuned, folks! This story just gets better and better.
Let me remind you that if you are in need of healing or deliverance from any kind of torment, please join our prayer conference calls on either Monday or Wednesday of each week at 7:00 PM Eastern. Once again, the number to call is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#. To get into the queue for prayer, when Randy opens the call up for everyone, hit *6-1 on your keypad. Let us minister to your need for healing!
Blessings on you!
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