The Marvel of God’s Touch
April 22, 1917
The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.
Strengthen ye the weak hand, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up theron, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk thee: and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Mrs. Annie E. Norton’s Testimony
Synopsis by Reverend John G. Lake
One day she was cutting a ham with a saw. ( That is a bad business- not to cut ham with a saw, but to cut it with anything.) In the act of cutting the ham she cut her first forefinger to the bone. In a few days the arm had become paralyzed. Then a condition set in that in some respects resembled gangrene. However, it was not gangrene. Physician after physician examined her. Dr. O’Neil of the Paton Building here, a splendid gentleman, had charge of her case.
Dr. O’Neil was so profoundly interested in her case that he called the other physicians of the city to examine her. She was taken to the Old National Bank Building, where 250 of Spokane’s physicians examined her. No remedy could be found. The disease had extended up the arm and they believed perhaps they could prolong her life by amputating the arm. So it was done, only to discover that the disease was just as prevalent in other portion of the body as it was in the arm. Amputations therefore were valueless.
Dr. O’Neil, in conjunction with the Medical Association of this city, I believe, offered a thousand dollars to any physician anywhere who would provide a real remedy, but none was found. Her suffering was so terrible that the only easement from pain and the possibility of sleep came through of narcotics. In consequence, she became a morphine fiend.
The other day she told me this incident. She was stopping in a public home, conducted by an association of the city, in which one of the features of teaching was that the Bible was written by drunken men and was all foolishness, that wise people took no stock in it, etc. After she reasoned this out for some time, she said in her own soul, “I am not going to attend the meetings of this association any longer. I have had enough.” Consequently, one night at nine o’clock, during a drowning rain, the matron pushed her out of the from door and bid her go. She had two suitcases. She carried one of them across the field to where there was a large fir tree, then returned in the rain for the other one. In the meantime the matron, fearing the woman would die of exposure, called up the police station and told them there was and insane woman, and that they ought to come out and take care of her. When the driver of the patrol wagon arrived, he recognized her at once. She was well-known. They brought her downtown and made proper provision for her. On account of the terrible strain that her husband was subjected to for money and the care of his wife and the loss of his rest continuing for years, he had a paralytic stroke, followed by a second and a third. Finally, the family was reduced to poverty. This is the common story for so many who do not know God. Man’s way, when he travels by himself, is a hard way. That is the reason that when the soul of man opens to God and he discovers in Jesus Christ a Deliverer and Savior, his soul rejoices.
I wanted to have the privilege for giving this synopsis of her testimony, because I wanted to say some things that I knew might not interest Mrs. Norton as they will others.
Mrs. Norton’s case was discussed not only by the local medical fraternity, but by the medical journal of the United States. Also, the British Medical Journal, one of the greatest medical publications of the world, published her case in detail, with a photograph showing the decomposed state of her body. Decomposition had become such that the little finger fell off. Her hands were nothing but a mass of rottenness with bones exposed.
Yet they tell us that the days of miracles have passed. They tell us Jesus Christ is the Healer no more. They tell us there is no such thing as a baptism in the Holy Ghost. Who are the doubters, the Medical Fraternity? No sir, the medical association has invited her to come next Thursday and let them hear from her own lips what God has wrought in her. Who opposes her testimony? Who opposes the fact of healing? Not the doctors, but the churches and the preachers. Those who stand to represent the Son of God and proclaim His salvation. What kind of salvation? A salvation without the power to deliver, a salvation without the power to save a soul from its direst distress and need, a salvation only valuable in the life to come and without the poser to deliver a soul from present torment.
Bless God, the testimony of our sister, and those like her, is bringing back t the world again the consciousness of Jesus Christ, a present power, a living Savior-not a dead one- a divine Christ, the living consciousness of the Holy Ghost. Blessed be the name of God.
As I listened to some of the details of our sister’s testimony on Thursday afternoon, my soul was thrilled, and I said, “no greater service can be rendered to the people of Spokane and the world than to let them know of the love of the Lord Jesus and the mightiness of His salvation and the reality of His healing power.”
Mrs. Norton’s Personal Testimony
I am glad to stand before you this afternoon, because every word the brother has said is true. And really, he has not begun to tell you the condition I was in. As the brother has told you, I sawed my finger when cutting a ham bone. I took the saw to saw the ham bone and sawed my finger on the right hand.
They took me to the hospital, but instantly the hand became paralyzed before I could get from the table to the stove, showing the poison there was in that meat. Feeling never came back again. ‘They took me to the hospital. In eight days blood poison and gangrene set in and I began to have chill and fever. The ninth day I went to Dr. O’Neil. My husband had told me he believed it was blood; also my groceryman.
When I came down to the doctor in the afternoon and he saw my hand and I told him how long it had been, he will never be whiter when he is dead. He said, “Are you aware there is gangrene present there now?”
I said, “No.”
He said, “It is worse than blood poison. You must go to the hospital tonight.”
I was taking care of two babies, one six months old and the other eleven weeks old. I was taking care of them with one hand; thinking as the finger healed the feeling would come back. I told him I could not go to the hospital then. He said, “Well, if you don’t go to the hospital you must have a trained nurse.”
I said, “All right.”
The nurse was supposed to dress my hand every hour and use hot applications, but instead of that she dressed it at ten o’clock and stayed in bed all night. Of course, I was sick all night, and the next morning my fever was very high. My called the doctor. His auto broke down, and he knew if he did not go to the bar and report he would lose his job. So he asked this nurse if she would remain until noon. She said, “Yes.” He thought she would help take care of the little ones. As soon as he left she wanted me to promise I would keep her by the week instead of going to the hospital, but I told her I could not until the doctor came. So she left.
My fever was 104 degrees. The doctor said, “Babies or no babies, we will have to put them in a home, and you must go to the hospital.” So my sister took one and a neighbor took the other, and I went to the hospital.
Dr. O’Neil counseled with the other doctors and ordered me put on blood poison treatment, but each morning the finger would raise up blood and lay wide open and clear around this it was black. The doctor would take his lance and cut it off each morning, but the next morning it would be back on the good flesh, back and burning, a burning like fire. They kept on cutting the flesh until they had it cot off back to the hand and scraped the bone. Then they amputated the finger.
About the sixth day the doctor said, “I would let you go home if [sentence incomplete]”
I said, “Doctor, I still feel that intense burning.” On the eighth day it broke out as black as black could be, and it would burn out holes. It would commence with a little brown spot. The sister would sit down sometimes and watch them break out. Gradually these spots would get blacker and blacker and in about an hour a hole would be burned clear to the bone. Finally, the hand was a perfect mass of these black holes and the fingernails came off.
Then they thought they could get ahead of the disease by amputating the arm. But it was just a few days later when it spread and began to break out on my breast, and there were sixteen sores at one time. They would not heal. They were just those dry, black holes. It would burn out in these holes, and then it would kind of quit burning, and then start in another place.
It searched up and down my body this way for four years, and the fibers were all eaten out of this left shoulder. After I had been sick about three years, the other arm began to break out. It began first in the elbow as large as and as black as could be. You could not take a saw and saw smoother than this was doing.
Then the hand became affected. It began to appear about six in the evening (showing hand) and you can see how the tendons are eaten out. This is all new flesh now on the back. Fifteen months ago the bone was all bare. The hand became in that condition from six o’clock in the evening until ten o’clock the next morning – the tendons all eaten and the flesh off the hand.
For months I was blind, almost stone blind, and my body in this terrible condition. After the first year they only gave me morphine. Of course, I could not sleep. They gave me every other opiate before they put me on morphine. I did not want to take it, but I went so long they finally began to give me this. They could not give me enough to ease the pain and put me to sleep. They gave me two doses of hyscene and the rest of the time morphine. It seemed to me it did me no good, but the doctor said I could not have stood it without.
This went on for about three and a half years. Then I went to Olympia, through the influence of my sister who wanted me to come there. She did not realize how bad I was. He had two little children, and with my habit of morphine she was afraid to take me into her home. So I went into a little shack, and my boy would come up and stay for two or three days. I really persuaded him to go back where he could make a living for himself. Hu husband was east of the mountains and did not have any money or means to send me, nor to come to me. I had a little money to get morphine, besides what morphine was sent to me. I did not pray for death for I did not know God. It seemed as if everybody turned me down. Everybody said, “She is only an old morphine fiend,” and there was not one, but my sisters that knew the arm was off.
I began to take more morphine. There was on drugstore where I used to get nine dollars of morphine a month, besides from four to six hundred tablets every two weeks, which were furnished me from Spokane. I had two hypodermic needles and when one was out of order I would use the other. I went to Olympia in October and lived alone up until about the first of December, when these saints found me. It was through my little boy. He was down at the restaurant and [sentence incomplete].
He said, “She is awful sick and has one arm off and the doctors want to take the other off. “ His mother came over and she wanted to know about our circumstance. I told her we had plenty. I still had a good deal of pride. She said, “Do you know you are saved?”
I said, “Yes,” but I knew I was not. I knew I was not fit to die but I did not want people to talk to me.
She went to the mission and asked for prayer, and after the morning closed, there was a minister and his wife and this lady and another couple came over and talked and prayed with me. They came about six times in about two weeks.
From the first of December to the twenty-third, the fifth time they prayed for me, I was worse than I had ever been, and it seemed as if there was no hope whatever. The doctor came up that morning. They were not doing anything for me, but just watching the case. He said, “Mrs. Norton, we have got to take off that other arm. You cannot live thirty-sis hours.” M My body was turning black in spots. Mortification had already set in. It was a beautiful sunshiny day, and it was a little room I was in, but it was as dark as the darkest night I ever saw. It seemed as if the light gradually went out. Then it seemed as though there was a heavy weigh, similar to a cloud, but it just came down, shutting my life out. My breath was getting shorter. I was sure I was dying. The doctor said by taking off the hand and arm I would live three or four days, but I did not want it.
These people, the mother and her daughter, Ellensburg, came in. They wanted to pray for me. They had already prayed five times. I said, “There is o use of your praying for me. I am worse than I have ever been.” Then I acknowledged I was not saved. They wanted to know if they could pray that I would die easy. I said, “Yes.” They knelt by the bed and laid hands on me and began to pray. I know they had not prayed over ten minutes until I heard a voice saying, “If I heal your body and forgive your sins will you go anywhere and do anything for Me?
I knew it was the voice of Jesus. I said, “Yes, Lord, I will, if You will just take this pain away.”
Just then, Jesus appeared just as plain as anyone here, first at the foot of the bed, then He stepped around the bed and held out the right arm. He reached out with His right hand and touched the tips of my fingers, and as He did so every bit of pain left my body, and I felt the warm glow go all through my body.
From that minute I have never suffered a minute with that burning sensation. I got right up and walked the floor and praised God for what He had done. I had not eaten a bite for four days, but it seemed I had strength at once. I never was so happy in my life. Then the people started a story about me being insane.
That was about 3:30 p.m. In about an hour’s time I settled down, so I dressed myself. I never thought of clothes before. These sisters could not wait until time for meeting to tell the good news, so they telephoned. When they returned, I was eating. They were going to leave me and go to the service, but I said, “I am going with you. Wait until I put on my coat and scarf.” I waded the snow and walked two blocks to the mission. I was the first one on the floor that day to tell what the Lord had done for me. He not only healed my body and forgave my sins, but took away the morphine habit. I was buying nine dollars worth a month, and getting from four to six hundred tablets every two weeks besides. I had taken morphine about two p.m. that day, but after I was healed I never touched morphine to take a dose again, and I have had no desire for it whatever. I threw two hundred tablets and two hundred hypo syringes away.. I did not throw them away at once, for I had thought of selling them.
The Lord showed me every little thing I had ever done in my life from eleven years old, written off line after line: dancing, playing cards, drinking beer, etc. Then He showed me I much burn these things up. So one morning when three ladies come over, I said,” I do not believe I will go.” I just felt so heavy. They insisted on my going, so finally I said, “I have got to burn up these hypo and syringes.” So I did, and when I got about halfway across the floor I fell on the floor, and I was under the power of the Spirit of one and a half hours. Jesus came again and showed me heaven, my mansion, crown, and also put the white robe on me, I wanted to stay. But He said, “No, you will only have to go back for a short time, but you must go and tell people.”
Friends, it will pay you to seek for heaven at any price. If you had only seen what I saw and knew the reality of heaven and hell. I could look down and se my body on the floor, and it seemed as though I could not go back in my body. I was so icy and cold. While lying on the floor I spoke in tongues, and they said I delivered message after message in tongues. No one knows how happy I have been since. There is no day but what I am talking to Jesus.
I have never suffered for anything to eat or wear since I was healed, but I did before.
During my sickness my hair turned perfectly white. After I had been healed a year, this last January, my hair began to turn dark, and I have used nothing on it but soap and water. It began to turn form the ends of the hair up toward my head.
Reverend John G. Lake
We have listened to our sister’s story form her own lips, and from my private conversations with her I want to say that the story she has told you this afternoon does not convey one-half of the suffering and torture that her private conversations revealed. Everyone understands how difficult it is to convey such things to an audience.
If I had been going to preach this afternoon I would have spoken to you upon the subject of “Christ, the Eternal Healer,” for there was never a period when Jesus Christ was not the Healer. Neither will there be a period when Jesus Christ was not the Healer, so long as healing is necessary for the human race.
I anticipate such a period from the Word of God at the end of the Kingdom age. We have not yet entered the kingdom age, but the Scriptures portray a kingdom age to come. I anticipate, as I said, a period at the end of the kingdom age, when the Word reveals He, Jesus, “Who hath subjected all things to Himself, will Himself also be subjected unto the Father, that God may be all in all.”
The phase of the Gospel that interest me today, as I know it does you, is that in this day and hour this woman’s testimony shows that where souls have touched God and have entered by the way of the cross into a living experience in Jesus Christ, until the baptism of the Holy Spirit comes upon their heart, that to them prayer is answerable, as it ever was; that the dynamic power of God is not lessened, but that His radiant glory still flows from the soul of Jesus, filling spirit and soul and body with His eternal power.
In the midst of the darkness of this world, in the midst of the horrors of war, such a war as the world has never known, in the midst of a period when perhaps there is more human agony than there has been in any similar period in the worlds history, our sister’s voice and testimony comes like a blaze of light from the throne of God, revealing, bless God, that in the midst of the darkness, he who turns his soul upward may yet experience Christ’s heavenly power.
God has laid a burden on my heart which is perhaps somewhat different from that which burdens the soul of most men. I am not half so interested in the hell to come as I am in getting people out of the hell they are in now. To my soul, Jesus Christ is a very present Savior. To my soul, the touch of Jesus has lost none of its holy virtue. To my soul, the salvation of the Son of God is the most pregnant, vital force in the universe of God. The salvation of Jesus is not through the acceptance of a concept or an idea. It is through the acceptance of Himself, and He comes by the living Spirit, a divine dynamic into the nature of man. Bless God.
One thing stands forth in Mrs. Norton’s word- that the touch of Jesus imparted to her a life and power and healing virtue and saving grace so mighty, so intense that the curse of hell in which she had lived for four years vanished instantly. Blessed be God.
So the touch of Jesus in the soul of man liberates the nature of man from the bondages of darkness, of sin, doubt, or fear, and lifts the soul of man into the likeness and righteousness of Christ, translating his very spirit into the kingdom of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is a kingdom of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into which the spirit of man has the privilege to enter.
Our sister tells us that her spirit left her body and went with the Lord into the heavenlies; that He showed her the estate of the really redeemed; that He showed her also what those endure who know not God and are yet in darkness. And as she told us these things, one thing came to my soul: a prayer to God that by His grace my soul may grow big enough that when my ministry in this world is accomplished, I may yet have the privilege of proclaiming the salvation of the ever-dying Christ wherever such be needed.
I knew one man who once said in my hearing that he prayed that God Almighty would cause him to grow big enough in God and pure enough in heart that he might go even to the damned and preach Jesus Christ and His resurrection and his salvation. My soul said, “Amen,” and it has been saying amen ever since. Blessed be His name.
To my heart Jesus Christ is the Eternal Healer. He was the Healer in the beginning. He was the Healer before there was any flood. He was the Healer after the flood. He was the Healer during His earth life. He is the Healer in this dispensation. He is the Healer forever! Bless God. So long as need of healing exist, Jesus is the Healer. Blessed be His name.
So I have become an enthusiast for the Son of God. His salvation to me is the mightiest conception that ever dawned in the nature of man or God. And I long and pray and rejoice in the expectation of a day to come when the universal race of man and the angels in heaven and creatures of earth will join in one glad song of holy power and glory to the Son of God, saying as the Scriptures indicate, “Honor and might and glory and blessing be unto Him who liveth forever and ever. Amen.”
Dear God, we bless Thee for the privilege of being here. We bless Thee for the privilege of listening to the words of our sister. We bless Thee, God, that Christ’s salvation reached her soul. We bless Thee, God that He hath taken captive death and hell through the light of His countenance and the glory power of His being, touching her hand, and the damnation left her, and hell in her was banished, and the Christ came in, and the glory shone forth, and the grace of Jesus was manifested. Blessed be God.
Lord God, we pray Thee that Thou wilt enlarge our hearts, that by Thy grace we may proclaim this uttermost salvation to all men.
And in Thy name, dear Christ, we say once more, that with all the energy of our heart, with all the force of our nature, by all the dynamic power that the Holy Ghost imparts to our soul, we shall proclaim anew the living Christ, the eternal Savior, the abiding Healer. Glory be to God! Amen.
THE TESTIMONY OF A CHRISTIAN DOCTOR
I do not think this service would be complete without a word from Doctor Betten, as a medical man. Doctor Betten, would you please give us a word, as a medical man?
Dr. Herman B. Betten
It was my privilege many months ago to give a message from this platform. I think the burden of my soul then was along the lines of “The Stewardship of Wealth,” and the burden has not left me yet. Somehow, I am praying to God for men throughout this country and throughout the world who will present themselves before God to be His stewards.
However, as the brother has asked me to say a word, perhaps it is very far from my mid to say anything today. My soul has been moved so deeply by the testimony.
I have never seen such a clinic as I have seen in Brother Lake’s Healing Rooms. I have come up to his healing rooms and talked with them, and (turning to the ministers) you know the joy I have had. And I have put in lots more time with the patients than with the Doctor. That is why I have got such joy in my soul. And I do not know a disease under the sun that has not been here.
I want to say this much. It was my privilege to practice medicine for twelve years in the city of Montesano, and I want also to acknowledge the blessing of God upon my labors during those twelve years, because I was walking in all the light that God gave me. And I believe that God will bless any man or women that is like Him if he is walking in all the light he has.
However, I thank God that He has given me more light, and now I am duty bound to walk in all the light God has given me. But I have nothing by kindness and love in my heart for the medical profession, because I believe they are doing a great service in the world. There are thousands upon thousands and millions of people who have not the faith to look straight to God for what He has for them in Christ Jesus. And I thank God for what He has for them in Christ Jesus. And I thank God for what doctors and surgeons are doing in the world. Of course there are good ones and bad ones among us, the same as in all the professions. But I believe the surgeons are doing lots in the world, mostly in the way of prevention. I think that is the most interesting thing in our work. John B. Murphy, who died recently, said “ Had I life to live over again he would not be a surgeon. I would give my life to the study of preventative medicine.”
I have not the time to discuss the whole realm of medicine and surgery.
I have been her for several months. I have been away during the past winter, but before this last winter I spent several months in Spokane, and I have been studying this work. I have spent a great deal of time in the Healing Rooms talking with the people who come there to be prayed for . And if there was any doubt left in my soul as to the readiness of God, through Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, of doing the same things that were done during the earth life of the Lord Jesus Christ, I think that douby vanished during these months.
I feel I must say something in reference to my own experience previous to coming here. I came to the end of my rope once in my practice. It was a case of scarlet fever. The family was a large family and a poor family. The passed through a siege of scarlet fever, not knowing what they had. The last child was twelve years old. She got through with the disease, so far as the disease proper was concerned. But the mother brought her to my office for bleeding at the nose. As any physician would do, I inquired into the history of the case, and on inquiry I found that the whole family had passed through a siege of scarlet fever. The disease in the body of this child had altered the blood. It was thin like water. I attempted to check that hemorrhage of the nose. I used all I knew but without avail. But that condition was only a part of what was going on in the body. That child, even while in my office, was bleeding to death in her own body. I found she had black and blue spots all over her body. I got a sample of the urine. It was like [blank space in manuscript]. There was blood in the stool – blood, blood everywhere. I have never seen a case like it before or since.
They went home without getting any relief. I was curious, so I went out to see her the next day, ad if ever I saw a person dying this girl certainly was. And I would gladly give testimony in court anytime that she was dying. She was as white as a sheet and the head was turned back, the eyeballs were staring, and all you could see was the whites of the eyes. Her pulse was a running pulse. It was impossible to count it. The respirations, instead of being fifteen or twenty, were about three or four to the minute. It looked as if she could not last more than an hour or two. The parents were already discussing funeral arrangements.
Finally I said, “There is one thing more we ought to do. I am a physician, but I am working under another, the Great Physician,” and I suggested prayer. Bless God for that scene. The father and mother came in, the hired man came in, the children came in. The all knelt in a circle on the floor, and I knelt in the middle of the circle. Then I offered a brief prayer. I did not have the light I have now. I did not know that it is always God’s will to heal the sick. I did not know that then, but I did the best I knew. I said this in my prayer, “God, they say the age of miracles has ceased. I do not believe it. Jesus Christ, You are at the right hand of the Father Almighty. You are living. I know You are. You ae just the same as You always were. You are the same yesterday, today, an forever”
This thought comes to me in that connection. Some of the folks say Jesus Christ did miracles to prove His divinity. I do not say He did not, bt I say that Jesus Christ did miracles because He could not help Himself. He could not help Himself. It was His very nature to do so. When He was in the presence of the sick ones He healed them all. He did not do it to establish His divinity, but because it was just like Him to do it. It would not have been like Him if He had not.
Well, if He healed folks in those days it is logical that He does it now, because His nature has not changed. He cannot help manifesting His nature. So if any of you are sick today, just come to Jesus and trust Him to make you whole. It is His nature to do it. He cannot help Himself. If you come to Him in faith, believing in prayer, it is impossible for you not to be healed.
So in that simple prayer I said to God – I put in the “if,” it was the best I knew then. I said, “If it be for the vest interest of all concerned and for the glory of God raise this child as it were from the dead.” That was the best I knew then, because I did not know that it was always the will of God to heal the sick. I left without seeing a sign or symptom of the answer.
The next morning, the brother came galloping to my office saying “Doctor, my sister is well.” Some might think it was some sudden mysterious thing that can be explained by saying she had passed the crisis. If it had been a crisis, she would have slowly and painfully make her recovery.
I want to testify that God blesses and man according as he walks in the light God gives him. God blessed me and heard the prayer for it was as far as I could go then.
But after I came to Spokane ad listened to the teaching here and also waited on God in prayer, I came to the deep settled conviction that it is always God’s will the heal the sick – that no imperfection in mind, body, or spirit is in harmony with His will.
I want to explain my position, I feel my brethren are doing good in the world. I will have to admit they are doing a little harm too. I will use an illustration to explain.
Sometimes we want to take a toy or something that is dangerous away from our little one. If I simply walked up and took hold of that thing and tried to pull it away I might have difficulty, but when I hold up before her little eye something that is still brighter and more attractive, I have no difficulty at all , she immediately hands over the thing I wanted her to leave. That is the way I feel about medicine and surgery. It is not that I do not appreciate what my brethren are doing, but then God has given me something better. And when I compare, or rather contrast, the flow of the mighty Spirit of God through the body of a man or woman or a child that I am praying for I look up to God and I ask Him, “How is it possible that I ever could have been guilty of carving up people?”
I do not believe I use to sin in the years that I practiced medicine and surgery, but as the new light has dawned upon my soul I have been overcome by contrition as I have seen and felt the power of the mighty Spirit of God sometimes coursing through me, through my own body into the body of the one prayed for. Praise be to His holy name. I certainly have wondered that it had not dawned on me before.
I feel to say, in praise to God, and call attention to the promise that was given to me personally. I believe that all have a similar promise in the Word of God, but there has been a promise given to me personally by the Spirit of God that I shall claim as long as God permits me to walk upon this earth and as long as I shall have the privilege of claiming the promise for any of my fellowmen. I think it will illustrate the difference of the ministry that God has called me to now and the ministry in which I was engaged for so many years.
A lady was out in the waiting room hall. She motioned to me to and pray for her, and as I placed my hands on her, she said, “O Doctor, God has certainly given you the gift of healing.” Now, I do not know whether He has or not, but I know this; that I can by the grace of God pray the prayer of faith, that I can take the promise of God and claim it, whether I have the gift of healing or not. “They shall lay their hands on the sick,” and whether I have the gift of healing or not, I can at least claim that promise. As often as I have claimed that promise the Son of God has honored it.
She had hardly uttered these words when the Spirit came on her, and she began to speak in tongues, and I listened to one of the sweetest messages my soul has ever heard. I cannot give you the message – it is sacred. Much of it was for me personally. But I want to say this, when the sister reached over and put her hands on my shoulder and said, “Doctor, this is for you,” I was thinking of the years gone by and how little I was doing for god, and I was bracing my soul for a rebuke. Then these words came: “Your many years of faithful service have not been in vain.” I do not know that I ever listened to anything that melted my soul as that did. Then the message went on: “Through the Christ in you, I will do that which the human physician cannot do.” The reason I have given up the medical profession is not because I do not think it is a good thing, but because I found something else that is better.
I have to admit that I was disgusted with my work in the practice of medicine and surgery. Most of my work was among the acute cases, and I could not help but feel that most of these people would have gotten well anyhow, whether I treated them or not. But every now and then one of the old chronics came along, and I knew I could do nothing for them. There is so little we can do for the chronics and if we cannot do much except in the acute cases, it is not very much.
While I was in college one of the teachers once said, “One-third of the cases you will be called upon to treat are going to get better no matter what you do. Another third of them are going to die no matter what you do. There is another third that maybe you will be able to help a little bit.”
But thank God, no man or woman has ever presented themselves to me since I have had the teaching on the subject of healing but what the need of that one was met by God. I have had my battles. Brother Lake and the brethren associated with him know the battles I had in my soul. Nobody ever gets to a place worthwhile in God without battles in the soul. But when I once got hold of the truth that God did not want anything imperfect in me – in my body, spirit, or mind – from that day not one has ever presented himself or herself to me – man, woman or child – that I had any doubt, any question in my mind but what the Son of God, in answer to my faith, would exercise omnipotent power through the Holy Ghost to meet the need of that one. That is a far different experience from what I had as a physician or surgeon.
The True Perspective
The work of the medical profession is man’s best effort to bring healing to the world. It is man’s invention. It is the best the arm of flesh can do. It is the best man can do to save himself from the works of the devil (sickness and disease). Like all of man’s other efforts to bring satisfaction and salvation to the human race it circumvents God’s method. God’s method of healing is a Person. Jesus said that He was the Way (John 14:6). He is the Way of salvation and healing. He paid for both at Calvary. “For there went virtue (power) out of him, and healed them all” (Luke 6:19). This is God’s only way of healing. He works only through His Son.
Like Dr. Betten, there are many Christian doctors who have never see the true light on divine healing. When they do, they will abandon man’s method for God’s method. You can no more mix God’s way of healing with man’s way than you can mix God’s way of salvation with man’s way of salvation. God’s way is so superior there is no comparison. Man’s way has its failures and harm. There is no failure in God. He is true to His Word. It there is any failure it is the people’s faith that fails.
When a person receives new light for a deeper walk with God and refuses it, that person comes to a standstill in his Christian experience. He has set a limit on his progress. He has set a limit on his usefulness to God. This is true not only concerning God’s way of healing, but in other aspects of the Gospel. A person may take Christ as their Savior and reject the baptism of the Holy Ghost as He was received by the limit they will allow Him. People who refuse to go in God will perpetuate their limitation in those they win to Christ. This gives the world the idea that the Church is divided.
Some say all healing comes from God, therefore it makes no difference whether you trust God or the medical profession. This is only a rationalization to justify going to the medical profession. There is only one way of divine healing. They may feel that “the end justifies the means,” but this is a false premise. It is false in this case as the teaching and pattern-ministry of Jesus is pushed aside as false and misleading. He never used the medical men of His day in any way, shape, or form.
Some feel it is alright to mix God’s way and man’s way. They know man’s way is not sufficient to meet the need. In mixing the two they are saying God’s way is not sufficient either.
As with the salvation of your soul, it must be Christ and Him alone. He will not share His glory with another. It is the same with divine healing. If you are going to profess Christ is your personal physician then make His so in fact. HE wants first place. There is no room for a second. He will not share His glory with another. God offers you the best way. Why settle for less?
Editorial note: The Old National Bank building referenced in the testimony still exists. It was around six blocks east of their meeting place. Here is a Wikipedia entry with a picture: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_National_Bank_Building