[Untitled: The Power of God]
January 12, 1922
Jesus said in Mark 16, “These signs shall follow them that believe,” That is your trademark. He meant these words for every last one of you. Jesus said you could do it. I was sitting in the home of DeValeras in Krugersdorp one day, when a man came in looking for me. He had traveled over the country, following me from place to place, trying to catch up. He suffered with a sunstroke, which affected his mind. He proved to be a friend of the family I was stopping with. He sat on the opposite side of the room, and after awhile a little child six years old who had been sitting near me went across the room and climbed up on the man’s knees. The man had a great cancer on his face. That child put her hands on that cancer, and I saw the thing wither and disappear. It was gone in half an hour, and the man was healed in a few days. Then she laid her little hands on top of his head and in a few minutes he said, “Oh, the fire that has been in my brain has gone out.” The man’s mind was normal.
Power Belongeth Unto God
The simplest soul can touch God and live in the very presence of God and know His power. Man’s intellectuality is not an assistant to knowing God. It is rather a detriment. You have to overcome the treacherous knowledge and pride that has been developed in your own soul before you become childlike enough to believe God like a little child does.
Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. -Matthew 18:3
Go up and down the line, go to our greatest universities, our great hospitals, our great scientific establishments and find a man that really know God and exercises His power. No sir, you don’t.
But in the other hand, you find that these men are ones mostly affected with doubts. They are the prey of questions and doubts. What is the reason? Because of the fact that they have cold, material knowledge. Men have become material in their nature. Their spiritual connection with god has become deteriorated. The element that comes from heaven is not there. The light of heaven has not shined in their soul. The radiation from God’s heart is not reaching them.
What is the explanation of a genius? It is the result of a soul that unconsciously go out into God’s great realm and discovers what is there. I had a preacher and friend who was very intelligent. He said one day, “Mr. Lake, while I sat there, something came down and stood there, and it was so visible an clear, I made a drawing of it.” It was a baby bed different from anything produced before. So he is getting a patent for it. It came down while I was preaching. What was the secret? Simply, under the inspiration of the Spirit of God his spirit entered that creative realm and produced that thing.
These signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. -Mark 16:17-18
That was to be the characteristics of Christians forever, no matter where you found them anywhere. Ow anybody with reasonable intelligence sees that these are spiritual things. They are not material things. You cannot create them. No man in the natural can cast demons out of another. You cannot manufacture a chemical that will cast a demon out, and yet that is the thing that is going on in the medical world all the time. What do they do with an insane man? They give him bromide. Bromide has no effect on the spirit. It will paralyze the nerves after awhile; that is all.
These things Jesus meant should be purely spiritual. Now the power that was to put these things into operation was to be the power of God. Jesus said, “All power is given unto me….. Go ye therefore [and do these things]…..these signs shall follow.”
Christianity was not to be just preaching, but demonstrating. Go and preach the Gospel- demonstrate it. People have a right to see. Jesus was not a bigot; He did not get med when people asked questions. When the palsied man come down through the roof, Jesus looked up and said, “Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” And every old hypocrite got his prejudice up. “Who can forgive sins but God only?” Jesus did not say, “You are a lot of bigots,” but turning to them said,
Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, thy sins be forgiven thee; to say, Arise, and take up they bed and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins (He saith to the sick of the palsy), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. -Matthew 9:2-6
And he arose and took up his bed, and I will guarantee the crowd jammed a way through to let him out.
Now when Jesus met the situation in the mind of the disciples, they were asking about power. (Where do you get the connection?) He said, “Ye shall receive power,” the power to give this manifestation and demonstration, “after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you? (Acts 1:8). “But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
I planned to go to Africa as a boy. Looked forward to it through my young manhood. Eventually, I married and my wife became an invalid, and when she did the door seemed closed. Later on she was healed. My very best friend went to Africa and was insistent that I join him. But I said, “No, I am not ready.” I felt in my soul I was not ready. Then a couple of years later the knowledge of God through the baptism of the Holy Ghost was brought to me, and God in His love and mercy baptized me.
One day I went out to help a chore boy pull a cross-cut saw to cut down an oak tree and as I did the Spirit of God spoke and said, “Go to Indianapolis. Prepare for a winter campaign. Get a large hall, and in the spring you will go to Africa.” And it all came to pass.
It is power. Power is manifest in many ways. There is the power of faith, which draws to you what seems impossible. One day after I had gone to Indianapolis, Indiana, an had been preaching for some time, my old preaching partner said, “John, if we are going to Africa in the spring it is time we were praying for the money.”
I said, “Tom, I have been praying ever since New Year’s, and have not heard from heaven or anybody else.”
He said, “Never mind, John, how much will it take?”
I replied, “Two thousand dollars.”
He said, “Come on, John, we are going to pray.” So we knelt down by Tom’s bed and prayed. The answer came to his soul. I heard him saying, “Jesus, You told me You would send that money and it would be here in four days.” After awhile he slapped me on the back, saying, “Don’t pray anymore, John, Jesus told me He would send the money and it would be her in four days.”
Four days later he came back from the post office with a letter containing four, give-hundred-dollar drafts. The letter read, “I was standing in the bank at Monrovia, California, and something said to me, ‘Send Tom Hezmalhalch two thousand dollars.’ It is yours, Tom, for whatever purpose God has shown you.”
We went straight out and bought our tickets. I had a little money. Tom had bought the tickets, but when you are traveling with a wife and seven children there are a lot of other expenses besides tickets. We followed this practice. We never told what our own needs were, but we did tell the Lord. So finally all the little money I had was gone.
When I paid the pressman I had $1.50 left. As the train pulled out of Indianapolis my secretary threw in a $2.00 bill; then I had $3.50. There was a lady in our party traveling with us as far as Detroit. I needed $10 to buy her a ticket to Northern Michigan. As we rode along I said to Mrs. Lake, “Jen, I need $10 to buy Winnie a ticket.” So we prayed and came on into Detroit at eight o’clock, and as the train pulled into the station my brother and married sister were there to meet us and among them was a younger brother, Jim. Jim was a student at the University. Jim took me by the arm and we walked to the other end of the station. Then he said, “Jack, I hope you won’t be mad about it, but I would like to give you this,” and he pulled out a $10 bill. I thanked him and went and bought Winnie her ticket.
I still had the $3.50 left. We took ship at New Brunswick. So I bought some canned beef, canned beans, etc., and still had about $1.50 left. When we finally got on the ship I had $1.25. I gave fifty cents to the table steward and fifty cents to the bedroom steward, and I still had twenty-five cents when we reached England. We were five days in Liverpool, and as we had a through ticket it entitled us to hotel expenses. So that is the way God got us to Africa.
Now power is not only the exercise of dynamic force that casts out demons. Power is the action of the Spirit in you to believe Him and put your confidence in Him and trust Him. That is the secret the Christian has that other men do not know. A nice manly fellow said to me the other day, “I would like to be a Christian, but I don’t believe I could stand.”
And I replied, “Boy, neither would you unless something happened in your soul that gave you power to stand.”
Brethren, we are not living in that relationship to God where we ought to be to command the power of God. There is a power of God to be had. It is for you to command. It may come to your life in the quietest settled state of soul. I am a Quaker in my own makeup, even though I preach loud. Sometimes when the Spirit comes on your soul it will make you a Quaker. I am a Quaker in my spirit, but so far as dependence on the Spirit of God is concerned, God taught my soul that thing of rest in God and letting God work the problem out. You can rave and tear, but that don’t help the situation. But if you rest in God and believe Him, it will come to pass. Set your soul toward God and He will bring it to pass.
I told you of Mrs. Frogge, the most developed woman in God I have almost ever known. I asked her one day, “Mrs. Frogge, how long were you praying for the baptism of the Holy Ghost?”
She replied, “Mr. Lake, I never prayed for the baptism. When I knelt down, I said, ‘Jesus, what is the reason I am not baptized?’ And Jesus would show me this thing and that thing that I must make right.” Then eventually there was a final day when she asked, “Why am I not baptized?” and Jesus told her that when she had written five letters to different ones who had wronged her, and whom she held a grudge against, He would baptize her. She sat down and wrote these letters, carried out and mailed them, and came back and sat down. As she did so, the Holy Spirit came upon her and she was not able to move and sat there for six hours while the Lord talked to her.
She came to see me, and I saw she had been in contact with God. She said, “Mr. Lake, as I sat at the table in the kitchen, Jesus came and sat on the other side, and I asked Him all the things I wanted to know, and He answered me.” I never had any experience like that. I had some questions that were puzzling me, and so I told her about them and asked her to present them to Him the next time He appeared like that and get the answers. About ten days later she came back with the list of questions and answers. When I went over the list, I said, “These answers never came from anywhere else but out of the heart of God.” Surely they were God’s answers.
That is the intimacy some men possess and that all may possess. I am aware there are differences in our nature. Some are more material in their natural construction than others. I was raised and trained as a financier. My life was spent among that class of people. I ought to have been just as cold-blooded and just as steely hard as could be. That was the difficulty I had to overcome.
I sought God night and day in prayer and tears and fasting for nine months, and I watered my way with my tears every inch, until one day God baptized me, and I do not believe there ever was any man more surprised than I, because I had arrived at the place of despair. Beloved, if you will take these truths of God which I have tried to impart to you and let them e a stepping-stone by which your soul will cultivate that intimacy with God, you will be blessed.
Wonderful flashes of holy power come on occasions to one’s soul. One night a gentleman arose in the audience who wanted to give thanks to God. To my amazement, I learned he had been a terrific drunkard. I invited him on the platform, and when he was finishing he said, “Perhaps there are other drunkards who would like to speak.” And they began to gather until there were two hundred. God is in the saving business. That is His business. It is a dreadful sadness when men do not know God intimately and well. Men do not know what they are missing. Men have little conception of what He is until you become in intimate touch with God and know Him indeed.
I want to show you the accumulation of spiritual power. Perhaps you have not learned to throw your souls together in believing faith on behalf of the one needing the blessing.
(Told incident of woman in Wales. Did not take it.)
You have wondered about Jesus and His relation to God, and you wonder how Jesus Christ could be the Son of God and be God. Supposing that part of me that was over there in Wales and was able to take in all these things had stayed there. Supposing it had decided to take on itself a body and remain in Wales. What relation would it be to me? It would be born out of my nature. It would be part of myself. I believe God gave me that experience to settle forever in my soul that question of Jesus Christ and His relation to God the Father. And Jesus, though being one with the Father, still maintained His own individuality, and it is no longer a problem to my soul.
I want to tell you that Jesus Christ came out of the soul of God and He came to the world and gave His blood for you and me. And when Jesus gave His blood for you and me, beloved, it was God that did it. To my soul, Jesus is not the Son of God in that He is separate and detached from God. He is God. His blood was the life of the heart of God. It was God’s manifestation of His divine affection for the world He had created.
I would rather face any other thing in all God’s eternity than to face that Lord who loved me with such a passion that He shed His blood for me and I had been negligent and thoughtless about it. Brethren, we owe Him a duty that we can never know. That is the reason we love God. God is giving His soul. God is giving everything He can give for our benefit, for our salvation, our healing, to empower us with His Spirit, to bring us into that place where we have a real relationship with Him, Where we can become His servants, His sons and co-laborers.
Brethren, if you had to look straight into His eyes, as we are going to have to do one day, what would your answer be? Supposing I should say, “Well, Lord, I was so busy acquiring a little farm over at Hillside that I did not have time to love You. I did not have any time to honor You. I did not have any time to tell anybody else about You?” Well, your farm is gone and you are not there anymore, and here you are at the great day, God’s eternal day. How trivial these thigs would be. We would be ashamed to utter them. Our hearts would smite us so that we would be unable to say them.
Don’t you know our attitude toward God is just as childish as that? In the name of Jesus Christ, don’t let the trifling things absorb your soul and keep your mind away from God, because the great eternity is out there where we will live forever and ever, and we will want to know all we can of God before we face Him. It is His love and kindness and grace that will be our biggest condemnation. After God has been offering the depth of His nature to us, what a thing it will be to look into face of our Lord and realize that we have spurned it, instead of realizing the big purpose of God.
That is the reason I want you to give your heart to God, because it is the biggest thing, it is the manliest thing, it is the truest thing a man can do. If there is any honor in a man’s soul he will want to do so.
(Sang hymn, “Lord, I’m Coming Home.”)