The Portland Vision
May 20, 1920
In May, 1920, John G. Lake moved to Portland, Oregon to start and oversee another Apostolic Church. During this time he had the following vision:
He could not sleep so he walked in the shadows of the tall trees in Mount Tabor Park.
“Through the park is a footpath coming down through the trees that leads out to the street where we live, and in my vision I was seemingly out in the street, at the foot of this footpath, and as I looked up in the park I was attracted by a quite brilliant light far up in the park. It was very slowly coming down the pathway to the street. I stood somewhat surprised, supposing it was some night man on some duty in the park, probably searching for something or somebody. As it approached I discovered that, instead, it was an angel presence, and the brilliance was an illumination surrounding him. He stood a few feet from me, and said to me, "I have come to answer your prayers. Come with me.”
Three wreaths: black, pink white.
One dropped in San Francisco. One Honolulu. He said: “Through great suffering, through much tribulation, these have conquered.”
CHINA: A man, a European, was lying on the ground. Close by lay his wife. On one side of her a boy of about seven or eight and on the other side a girl of about ten or twelve. Turning to me the angel said, “These have given their all for the Lord and His Kingdom.” He took a white wreath and as he held it in his hands tears fell upon the wreath and each tear turned into a diamond. It was covered by sparkling diamonds. He dropped the wreath and it lit by the head of the dead missionary.
TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY to MOSCOW and PETROGRAD, He explained the state of suffering of those under Soviet rule. Some scenes were so pitiable that my own soul was moved to tears. He said, “The Dragon, the great red dragon, the hater of Jesus, the enthroner of the human beast-he shall come to his end and none shall help.”
He wanted to ask about Africa but was restrained by the demeanor of the angel. Only limited questions were permitted and some did not consider worthy of an answer.
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA: “The heart of Jesus was once gladdened here through the glory, the grace and the power of God manifested here. But human pride, formalism and lack of faith have brought disappointment to the heart of Him we love. But the glory will return, and the tried and true, those who have suffered and labored and prayed, will be rewarded. But all self- seekers shall be dethroned.”
INDIA: He could comprehend the soul struggle of certain elements. The angel said, “The present struggle is not a struggle to attain a knowledge of Jesus or to know His salvation. It is, rather, an endeavor to enthrone the heathen ideal of human efficiency.”
PALESTINE: He was made conscious of the enmity between the Jews and the Arabs. The angel said, “The Kingdom must first be in the hearts of men.”
PORTLAND: Church at Portland: “To my amazement, on approaching the building, high in the atmosphere a half a mile or more, I discerned millions of demons, organized as a modern army. There were those who apparently acted as shock troops. They would charge with great ferocity, followed by a wave, and yet another wave, and yet another wave. After a little while I observed there operated a restraining influence that constituted a barrier through which they could not force themselves. With all the ingenuity of humans at war, this multitude of demons seemed to endeavor to break the barrier or to go further, but were utterly restrained. In amazement, I said to the angel, "What does it mean?" He said to me, "Such is the care of God for those that strive in unselfishness for His best.”
I discerned the heart of the angel was overburdened. In answer to this the angel said, “Human selfishness and human pride have consumed and dissipated the very glory and heavenly power that God once gave from heaven to this movement as you have beheld tonight.”
We were now at the foot of the pathway again. He took a step or two away, and in a sort of despair my heart cried out, “Angel, these are struggling for want of an ideal. What constitutes real Pentecost? What ideal should be held before the minds of men as the will of God exhibited through a movement like this?”
During all this time I had carried my Bible in my hand. Reaching for the Bible, he opened to the Book of Acts, ran his finger down over the second page, that portion where the Spirit of God came down from Heaven. Proceeding through the Book of Acts to its great outstanding revelations and phenomena, he said, “This is Pentecost as God gave it through the heart of Jesus. Strive for this. Contend for this. Teach the people to pray for this. For this, and this alone, will meet the necessity of the human heart, and this alone will have the power to overcome the forces of darkness.” When the angel was departing he said, “Pray. Pray. Pray. Teach the people to pray. Prayer and prayer alone, much prayer, persistent prayer, is the door of entrance into the heart of God.”
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