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D.L.Moody*Smith Wigglesworth's Vision*William Tyndale
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Smith Wigglesworth*W.V.Grant*Maria Woodworth-Etter*William Branham*John Wycliff

(Please scroll down to read the messages on Smith Wigglesworth's vision/William Tyndale)

D.L. Moody 

INTRODUCTION

D. L. Moody died in the last days of the 19th century. Dr. R. A. Torrey was probably his closest associate and friend. Dr. Torrey was the first superintendent of the Moody Bible Institute and set up a curriculum for that Bible Institute which has been a pattern for others like it. When Moody died, Torrey soon took worldwide lead in great citywide campaigns in Australia,
England and America. In 1923 Dr. Torrey was asked to speak at a great memorial service on "Why God Used D. L. Moody," and this is that remarkable address about that amazing man, probably the greatest man of his generation, as Dr. Torrey says.

The reader will notice that R. A. Torrey and D. L. Moody both used the term, "baptized with the Holy Ghost" just as it is used in Acts 1:5 about Pentecost. Later, because of some wildfire and theological differences of people who used the term, "the baptism of the Holy Ghost," Plymouth Brethren said that that term should refer only to Pentecost and the origin of the church. Thus in retreating from other movements, they took out of the Moody Bible Institute and other Bible institutes the teaching of D. L. Moody and R.A. Torrey, and took out the emphasis which those great men of God had put on the fullness of the Spirit, or baptism with the Spirit. And so Dr. C. I. Scofield, in the note to the Scofield Bible, took the Plymouth Brethren position and forsook the position of Moody and Torrey which he originally held.

But Dr. Will H. Houghton, president of Moody Bible Institute, in an edition of this little book, Why God Used D. L. Moody, said, "But let no one quibble about an experience as important as the filling with the Spirit. In this little book Dr. Torrey quotes Mr. Moody as saying, in a discussion of this very matter, 'Oh, why will they split hairs? Why don't they see that this is just the one thing that they themselves need? They are good teachers, they are wonderful teachers, and I am so glad to have them here, but why will they not see that the baptism of the Holy Ghost is just the one touch that they themselves need?' " And Dr. Houghton further said, "The tragedy is that so many are technically correct and spiritually powerless."

God is looking for men whom He can mightily use in winning souls. We pray that many a reader of this booklet will earnestly decide to follow the pattern of D. L. Moody in the qualities which made him so God could use him with mighty power to win multitudes!

John R. Rice


WHY GOD USED D. L. MOODY
by R. A. Torrey

Eighty-six years ago (February 5, 1837), there was born of poor parents in a humble farmhouse in Northfield, Massachusetts, a little baby who was to become the greatest man, as I believe, of his generation or of his century -- Dwight L. Moody. After our great generals, great statesmen, great scientists and great men of letters have passed away and been forgotten, and their
work and its helpful influence has come to an end, the work of D. L. Moody will go on and its saving influence continue and increase, bringing blessing not only to every state in the Union but to every nation on earth. Yes, it will continue throughout the ages of eternity.

My subject is "Why God Used D. L. Moody," and I can think of no subject upon which I would rather speak. For I shall not seek to glorify Mr. Moody, but the God who by His grace, His entirely unmerited favor, used him so mightily, and the Christ who saved him by His atoning death and resurrection life, and the Holy Spirit who lived in him and wrought through him and
who alone made him the mighty power that he was to this world. Furthermore: I hope to make it clear that the God who used D. L. Moody in his day is just as ready to use you and me, in this day, if we, on our part, do what D. L. Moody did, which was what made it possible for God to so abundantly use him.

The whole secret of why D. L. Moody was such a mightily used man you will find in Psalm 62:11: "God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that POWER BELONGETH UNTO GOD." I am glad it does. I am glad that power did not belong to D. L. Moody; I am glad that it did not belong to Charles G. Finney; I am glad that it did not belong to Martin Luther; I am glad that it did not belong to any other Christian man whom God has greatly used in this world's history. Power belongs to God. If D. L. Moody had any power, and he had great power, he got it from God.

But God does not give His power arbitrarily. It is true that He gives it to whomsoever He will, but He wills to give it on certain conditions, which are clearly revealed in His Word; and D. L. Moody met those conditions and God made him the most wonderful preacher of his generation; yes, I think the most wonderful man of his generation. But how was it that D. L. Moody had that power of God so wonderfully manifested in his life? Pondering this question it seemed to me that there were seven things in the life of D. L. Moody that accounted for God's using him so largely as He did.

(1) A FULLY SURRENDERED MAN

The first thing that accounts for God's using D. L. Moody so mightily was that he was a fully surrendered man. Every ounce of that two-hundred-and-eighty -pound body of his belonged to God; everything he was and everything he had, belonged wholly to God. Now, I am not saying that Mr. Moody was perfect; he was not. If I attempted to, I presume I could point out some defects in his character. It does not occur to me at this moment what they were; but I am confident that I could think of some, if I tried real hard. I have never yet met a perfect man, not one. I have known perfect men in the sense in which the Bible
commands us to be perfect, i.e., men who are wholly God's, out and out for God, fully surrendered to God, with no will but God's will; but I have never known a man in whom I could not see some defects, some places where he might have been improved.

No, Mr. Moody was not a faultless man. If he had any flaws in his character, and he had, I presume I was in a position to know them better than almost any other man, because of my very close association with him in the later years of his life; and furthermore, I suppose that in his latter days he opened his heart to me more fully than to anyone else in the world. I think He told me some things that he told no one else. I presume I knew whatever defects there were in his character as well as anybody. But while I recognized such flaws, nevertheless, I know that he was a man who belonged wholly to God.

The first month I was in Chicago, we were having a talk about something upon which we very widely differed, and Mr. Moody turned to me very frankly and very kindly and said in defense of his own position: "Torrey, if I believed that God wanted me to jump out of that window, I would jump." I believe he would. If he thought God wanted him to do anything, he would do it. He belonged wholly, unreservedly, unqualifiedly, entirely, to God.

Henry Varley, a very intimate friend of Mr. Moody in the earlier days of his work, loved to tell how he once said to him: "It remains to be seen what God will do with a man who gives himself up wholly to Him." I am told that when Mr. Henry Varley said that, Mr. Moody said to himself: "Well, I will be that man." And I, for my part, do not think "it remains to be seen" what God will do with a man who gives himself up wholly to Him. I think it has been seen already in D. L. Moody.

If you and I are to be used in our sphere as D. L. Moody was used in his, we must put all that we have and all that we are in the hands of God, for Him to use as He will, to send us where He will, for God to do with us what He will, and we, on our part, to do everything God bids us do.

There are thousands and tens of thousands of men and women in Christian work, brilliant men and women, rarely gifted men and women, men and women who are making great sacrifices, men and women who have put all conscious sin out of their lives, yet who, nevertheless, have stopped short of absolute surrender to God, and therefore have stopped short of fullness of
power. But Mr. Moody did not stop short of absolute surrender to God; he was a wholly surrendered man, and if you and I are to be used, you and I must be wholly surrendered men and women.

(2) A MAN OF PRAYER

The second secret of the great power exhibited in Mr. Moody's life was that Mr. Moody was in the deepest and most meaningful sense a man of prayer. People oftentimes say to me: "Well, I went many miles to see and to hear D. L. Moody and he certainly was a wonderful preacher." Yes, D. L. Moody certainly was a wonderful preacher; taking it all in all, the most wonderful preacher I have ever heard, and it was a great privilege to hear him preach as he alone could preach; but out of a very intimate acquaintance with him I wish to testify that he was a far greater pray-er than he was preacher.

Time and time again, he was confronted by obstacles that seemed insurmountable, but he always knew the way to surmount and to overcome all difficulties. He knew the way to bring to pass anything that needed to be brought to pass. He knew and believed in the deepest depths of his soul that "nothing was too hard for the Lord" and that prayer could do anything that God could do.

Often times Mr. Moody would write me when he was about to undertake some new work, saying: "I am beginning work in such and such a place on such and such a day; I wish you would get the students together for a day of fasting and prayer" And often I have taken those letters and read them to the students in the lecture room and said: "Mr. Moody wants us to have a day of fasting and prayer, first for God's blessing on our own souls and work, and then for God's blessing on him and his work."

Often we were gathered in the lecture room far into the night -- sometimes till one, two, three, four or even five o'clock in the morning, crying to God, just because Mr. Moody urged us to wait upon God until we received His blessing. How many men and women I have known whose lives and characters have been transformed by those nights of prayer and who have wrought mighty things in many lands because of those nights of prayer!

One day Mr. Moody drove up to my house at Northfield and said: "Torrey, I want you to take a ride with me." I got into the carriage and we drove out toward Lover's Lane, talking about some great and unexpected difficulties that had arisen in regard to the work in Northfield and Chicago, and in connection with other work that was very dear to him.

As we drove along, some black storm clouds lay ahead of us, and then suddenly, as we were talking, it began to rain. He drove the horse into a shed near the entrance to Lover's Lane to shelter the horse, and then laid the reins upon the dashboard and said: "Torrey, pray"; and then, as best I could, I prayed, while he in his heart joined me in prayer. And when my voice was silent he began to pray. Oh, I wish you could have heard that prayer! I shall never forget it, so simple, so trustful, so definite and so direct and so mighty. When the storm was over and we drove back to town, the obstacles had been surmounted, and the work of the schools, and other work that was threatened, went on as it had never gone on before, and it has gone on until this day.  As we drove back, Mr. Moody said to me: "Torrey, we will let the other men do the talking and the criticizing, and we will stick to the work that God has given us to do, and let Him take care of the difficulties and answer the criticisms."

On one occasion Mr. Moody said to me in Chicago: "I have just found, to my surprise, that we are twenty thousand dollars behind in our finances for the work here and in Northfield, and we must have that twenty thousand dollars, and I am going to get it by prayer." He did not tell a soul who had the ability to give a penny of the twenty thousand dollars' deficit, but looked right to God and said: "I need twenty thousand dollars for my work; send me that money in such a way that I will know it comes straight from Thee." And God heard that prayer. The money came in such a way that it was clear that it came from God in direct answer to prayer.

Yes, D. L. Moody was a man who believed in the God who answers prayer, and not only believed in Him in a theoretical way but believed in Him in a practical way. He was a man who met every difficulty that stood in his way -- by prayer. Everything he undertook was backed up by prayer, and in everything, his ultimate dependence was upon God.

(3) A DEEP AND PRACTICAL STUDENT OF THE BIBLE

The third secret of Mr. Moody's power, or the third reason why God used D. L. Moody, was because he was a deep and practical student of the Word of God. Nowadays it is often said of D. L. Moody that he was not a student. I wish to say that he was a student; most emphatically he was a student. He was not a student of psychology; he was not a student of anthropology -- I am very sure he would not have known what that word meant; he was not a student of biology; he was not a student of philosophy; he was not even a student of theology, in the technical sense of the term; but he was a student, a profound and practical student of the one Book that is more worth studying than all other books in the world put together; he was a student of the Bible.

Every day of his life, I have reason for believing, he arose very early in the morning to study the Word of God, way down to the close of his life. Mr. Moody used to rise about four o'clock in the morning to study the Bible. He would say to me: "If I am going to get in any study, I have got to get up before the other folks get up"; and he would shut himself up in a remote room in
his house, alone with his God and his Bible.

I shall never forget the first night I spent in his home. He had invited me to take the superintendency of the Bible Institute and I had already begun my work; I was on my way to some city in the East to preside at the International Christian Workers' Convention. He wrote me saying: "Just as soon as the Convention is over, come up to Northfield." He learned when I was likely to arrive and drove over to South Vernon to meet me. That night he had all the teachers from the Mount Hermon School and from the Northfield Seminary come together at the house to meet me, and to talk over the problems of the two schools. We talked together far on into the night, and then, after the principals and teachers of the schools had gone home, Mr. Moody and I talked together about the problems a while longer.

It was very late when I got to bed that night, but very early the next morning, about five o'clock, I heard a gentle tap on my door. Then I heard Mr. Moody's voice whispering: "Torrey, are you up?" I happened to be; I do not always get up at that early hour but I happened to be up that particular morning. He said: "I want you to go somewhere with me," and I went down with him. Then I found out that he had already been up an hour or two in his room studying the Word of God.

Oh, you may talk about power; but, if you neglect the one Book that God has given you as the one instrument through which He imparts and exercises His power, you will not have it. You may read many books and go to many conventions and you may have your all-night prayer meetings to pray for the power of the Holy Ghost; but unless you keep in constant and close association with the one Book, the Bible, you will not have power. And if you ever had power, you will not maintain it except by the daily, earnest, intense study of that Book. Ninety-nine Christians in every hundred are merely playing at Bible study; and therefore ninety-nine Christians in every hundred are mere weaklings, when they might be giants, both in their Christian life and in their service.

It was largely because of his thorough knowledge of the Bible, and his practical knowledge of the Bible, that Mr. Moody drew such immense crowds. On "Chicago Day," in October, 1893, none of the theaters of Chicago dared to open because it was expected that everybody in Chicago would go on that day to the World's Fair; and, in point of fact, something like four hundred thousand people did pass through the gates of the Fair that day. Everybody in Chicago was expected to be at that end of the city on that day. But Mr. Moody said to me: "Torrey, engage the Central Music Hall and announce meetings from nine o'clock in the morning till six o'clock at night." "Why," I replied, "Mr. Moody, nobody will be at this end of Chicago on that day; not even the theaters dare to open; everybody is going down to Jackson Park to the Fair; we cannot get anybody out on this day."

Mr. Moody replied: "You do as you are told"; and I did as I was told and engaged the Central Music Hall for continuous meetings from nine o'clock in the morning till six o'clock at night. But I did it with a heavy heart; I thought there would be poor audiences. I was on the program at noon that day. Being very busy in my office about the details of the campaign, I did not
reach the Central Music Hall till almost noon. I thought I would have no trouble in getting in. But when I got almost to the Hall I found to my amazement that not only was it packed but the vestibule was packed and the steps were packed, and there was no getting anywhere near the door; and if I had not gone round and climbed in a back window they would have lost their speaker for that hour. But that would not have been of much importance, for the crowds had not gathered to hear me; it was the magic of Mr. Moody's name that had drawn them. And why did they long to hear Mr. Moody? Because they knew that while he was not versed in many of the philosophies and fads and fancies of the day, he did know the one Book that this old world most longs to know -- the Bible.

I shall never forget Moody's last visit to Chicago. The ministers of Chicago had sent me to Cincinnati to invite him to come to Chicago and hold a meeting. In response to the invitation, Mr. Moody said to me: "If you will hire the Auditorium for weekday mornings and afternoons and have meetings at ten in the morning and three in the afternoon, I will go. " I replied: "Mr. Moody,
you know what a busy city Chicago is, and how impossible it is for businessmen to get out at ten o'clock in the morning and three in the afternoon on working days. Will you not hold evening meetings and meetings on Sunday?" "No," he replied, "I am afraid if I did, I would interfere with the regular work of the churches."

I went back to Chicago and engaged the Auditorium, which at that time was the building having the largest seating capacity of any building in the city, seating in those days about seven thousand people; I announced weekday meetings, with Mr. Moody as the speaker, at ten o'clock in the mornings and three o'clock in the afternoons.

At once protests began to pour in upon me. One of them came from Marshall Field, at that time the business king of Chicago. "Mr. Torrey," Mr. Field wrote, "we businessmen of Chicago wish to hear Mr. Moody, and you know perfectly well how impossible it is for us to get out at ten o'clock in the morning and three o'clock in the afternoon; have evening meetings." I received many letters of a similar purport and wrote to Mr. Moody urging him to give us evening meetings. But Mr. Moody simply replied: "You do as you are told," and I did as I was told; that is the way I kept my job.

On the first morning of the meetings I went down to the Auditorium about half an hour before the appointed time, but I went with much fear and apprehension; I thought the Auditorium would be nowhere nearly full. When I reached there, to my amazement I found a queue of people four abreast extending from the Congress Street entrance to Wabash Avenue, then a
block north on Wabash Avenue, then a break to let traffic through, and then another block, and so on. I went in through the back door, and there were many clamoring for entrance there. When the doors were opened at the appointed time, we had a cordon of twenty policemen to keep back the crowd; but the crowd was so great that it swept the cordon of policemen off
their feet and packed eight thousand people into the building before we could get the doors shut. And I think there were as many left on  the outside as there were in the building. I do not think that anyone else in the world could have drawn such a crowd at such a time.

Why? Because though Mr. Moody knew little about science or philosophy or literature in general, he did know the one Book that this old world is perishing to know and longing to know; and this old world will flock to hear men who know the Bible and preach the Bible as they will flock to hear nothing else on earth.

During all the months of the World's Fair in Chicago, no one could draw such crowds as Mr. Moody. Judging by the papers, one would have thought that the great religious event in Chicago at that time was the World's Congress of Religions. One very gifted man of letters in the East was invited to speak at this Congress. He saw in this invitation the opportunity of his life and prepared his paper, the exact title of which I do not now recall, but it was something along the line of "New Light on the Old Doctrines." He prepared the paper with great care, and then sent it around to his most trusted and gifted friends for criticisms.


These men sent it back to him with such emendations as they had to suggest. Then he rewrote the paper, incorporating as many of the suggestions and criticisms as seemed wise. Then he sent it around for further criticisms. Then he wrote the paper a third time, and had it, as he trusted, perfect. He went on to Chicago to meet this coveted opportunity of speaking at the World's Congress of Religions.

It was at eleven o'clock on a Saturday morning (if I remember correctly) that he was to speak. He stood outside the door of the platform waiting for the great moment to arrive, and as the clock struck eleven he walked on to the platform to face a magnificent audience of eleven women and two men! But there was not a building anywhere in Chicago that would accommodate the very same day the crowds that would flock to hear Mr. Moody at any hour of the day or night.

Oh, men and women, if you wish to get an audience and wish to do that audience some good after you get them, study, study, STUDY the one Book, and preach, preach, PREACH the one Book, and teach, teach, TEACH the one Book, the Bible, the only Book that is God's Word, and the only Book that has power to gather and hold and bless the crowds for any great length
of time.

(4) A HUMBLE MAN

The fourth reason why God continuously, through so many years, used D.L. Moody was because he was a humble man. I think D. L. Moody was the humblest man I ever knew in all my life. He loved to quote the words of another; "Faith gets the most; love works the most; but humility keeps the most. "

He himself had the humility that keeps everything it gets. As I have already said, he was the most humble man I ever knew, i.e., the most humble man when we bear in mind the great things that he did, and the praise that was lavished upon him. Oh, how he loved to put himself in the background and put other men in the foreground. How often he would stand on a platform with some of us little fellows seated behind him and as he spoke he would say: "There are better men coming after me." As he said it, he would point back over his shoulder with his thumb to the "little fellows. " I do not know how he could believe it, but he really did believe that the others that were coming after him were really better than he was. He made no pretense to a humility he did not possess. In his heart of hearts he constantly underestimated himself, and overestimated others.

He really believed that God would use other men in a larger measure than he had been used. Mr. Moody loved to keep himself in the background. At his conventions at Northfield, or anywhere else, he would push the other men to the front and, if he could, have them do all the preaching -- McGregor, Campbell Morgan, Andrew Murray, and the rest of them. The only way we could get him to take any part in the program was to get up in the convention and move that we hear D. L. Moody at the next meeting. He continually put himself out of sight.

Oh, how many a man has been full of promise and God has used him, and then the man thought that he was the whole thing and God was compelled to set him aside! I believe more promising workers have gone on the rocks through self-sufficiency and self-esteem than through any other cause. I can look back for forty years, or more, and think of many men who are now wrecks or derelicts who at one time the world thought were going to be something great. But they have disappeared entirely from the public view. Why? Because of overestimation of self. Oh, the men and women who have been put aside because they began to think that they were somebody, that they were "IT," and therefore God was compelled to set them aside.

I remember a man with whom I was closely associated in a great movement in this country. We were having a most successful convention in Buffalo, and he was greatly elated. As we walked down the street together to one of the meetings one day, he said to me: "Torrey, you and I are the most important men in Christian work in this country," or words to that effect. I replied:
"John, I am sorry to hear you say that; for as I read my Bible I find man after man who had accomplished great things whom God had to set aside because of his sense of his own importance." And God set that man aside also from that time. I think he is still living, but no one ever hears of him, or has heard of him for years.

God used D. L. Moody, I think, beyond any man of his day; but it made no difference how much God used him, he never was puffed up. One day, speaking to me of a great New York preacher, now dead, Mr. Moody said: "He once did a very foolish thing, the most foolish thing that I ever knew a man, ordinarily so wise as he was, to do. He came up to me at the close of a
little talk I had given and said: 'Young man, you have made a great address tonight.'" Then Mr. Moody continued: "How foolish of him to have said that! It almost turned my head." But, thank God, it did not turn his head, and even when pretty much all the ministers in England, Scotland and Ireland, and many of the English bishops were ready to follow D. L. Moody wherever he
led, even then it never turned his head one bit. He would get down on his face before God, knowing he was human, and ask God to empty him of all self-sufficiency. And God did.

Oh, men and women! especially young men and young women, perhaps God is beginning to use you; very likely people are saying: "What a wonderful gift he has as a Bible teacher, what power he has as a preacher, for such a young man!" Listen: get down upon your face before God. I believe here lies one of the most dangerous snares of the Devil. When the Devil cannot discourage a man, he approaches him on another tack, which he knows is far worse in its results; he puffs him up by whispering in his ear: "You are the leading evangelist of the day. You are the man who will sweep everything before you. You are the coming man. You are the D. L. Moody of the day"; and if you listen to him, he will ruin you. The entire shore of the history of Christian workers is strewn with the wrecks of gallant vessels that were full of promise a few years ago, but these men became puffed up and were driven on the rocks by the wild winds of their own raging self-esteem.

(5) HIS ENTIRE FREEDOM FROM THE LOVE OF MONEY

The fifth secret of D. L. Moody's continual power and usefulness was his entire freedom from the love of money. Mr. Moody might have been a wealthy man, but money had no charms for him. He loved to gather money for God's work; he refused to accumulate money for himself. He told me during the World's Fair that if he had taken, for himself, the royalties on the hymnbooks which he had published, they would have amounted, at that time, to a million dollars. But Mr. Moody refused to touch the money. He had a perfect right to take it, for he was responsible for the publication of the books and it was his money that went into the publication of the first of them.

Mr. Sankey had some hymns that he had taken with him to England and he wished to have them published. He went to a publisher (I think Morgan & Scott) and they declined to publish them, because, as they said, Philip Phillips had recently been over and published a hymnbook and it had not done well. However, Mr. Moody had a little money and he said that he would put it into the publication of these hymns in cheap form; and he did. The hymns had a most remarkable and unexpected sale; they were then published in book form and large profits accrued. The financial results were offered to Mr. Moody, but he refused to touch them. "But," it was urged on him, "the money belongs to you"; but he would not touch it.

Mr. Fleming H. Revell was at the time treasurer of the Chicago Avenue Church, commonly known as the Moody Tabernacle. Only the basement of this new church building had been completed, funds having been exhausted. Hearing of the hymnbook situation Mr. Revell suggested, in a letter to friends in London, that the money be given for completion of this building, and it
was. Afterwards, so much money came in that it was given, by the committee into whose hands Mr. Moody put the matter, to various Christian enterprises.

In a certain city to which Mr. Moody went in the latter years of his life, and where I went with him, it was publicly announced that Mr. Moody would accept no money whatever for his services. Now, in point of fact, Mr. Moody was dependent, in a measure, upon what was given him at various services; but when this announcement was made, Mr. Moody said nothing, and left that city without a penny's compensation for the hard work he did there; and, I think, he paid his own hotel bill. And yet a minister in that very city came out with an article in a paper, which I read, in which he told a fairy tale of the financial demands that Mr. Moody made upon them, which story I knew personally to be absolutely untrue. Millions of dollars passed into Mr.
Moody hands, but they passed through; they did not stick to his fingers.

This is the point at which many an evangelist makes shipwreck, and his great work comes to an untimely end. The love of money on the part of some evangelists has done more to discredit evangelistic work in our day, and to lay many an evangelist on the shelf, than almost any other cause.

While I was away on my recent tour I was told by one of the most reliable ministers in one of our eastern cities of a campaign conducted by one who has been greatly used in the past. (Do not imagine, for a moment, that I am speaking of Billy Sunday, for I am not; this same minister spoke in the highest terms of Mr. Sunday and of a campaign which he conducted in a city where this minister was a pastor.) This evangelist of whom I now speak came to a city for a united evangelistic campaign and was supported by fifty-three churches. The minister who told me about the matter was himself chairman of the Finance Committee.

The evangelist showed such a longing for money and so deliberately violated the agreement he had made before coming to the city and so insisted upon money being gathered for him in other ways than he had himself prescribed in the original contract, that this minister threatened to resign from the Finance Committee. He was, however, persuaded to remain to avoid a scandal.
"As the total result of the three weeks' campaign there were only twenty-four clear decisions," said my friend; "and after it was over the ministers got together and by a vote with but one dissenting voice, they agreed to send a letter to this evangelist telling him frankly that they were done with him and with his methods of evangelism forever, and that they felt it their duty to warn
other cities against him and his methods and the results of his work." Let us lay the lesson to our hearts and take warning in time.

(6) HIS CONSUMING PASSION FOR THE SALVATION OF THE LOST

The sixth reason why God used D. L. Moody was because of his consuming passion for the salvation of the lost. Mr. Moody made the resolution, shortly after he himself was saved, that he would never let twenty-four hours pass over his head without speaking to at least one person about his soul. His was a very busy life, and sometimes he would forget his resolution until the last hour, and sometimes he would get out of bed, dress, go out and talk to someone about his soul in order that he might not let one day pass without having definitely told at least one of his fellow-mortals about his need and the Savior who could meet it. One night Mr. Moody was going home from his place of business. It was very late, and it suddenly occurred to him that he had not spoken to one single person that day about accepting Christ. He said to himself: "Here's a day lost. I have not spoken to anyone today and I shall not see anybody at this late hour." But as he walked up the street he saw a man standing under a lamppost. The man was a perfect stranger to him, though it turned out afterwards the man knew who Mr. Moody was. He stepped up to this stranger and said: "Are you a Christian?" The man replied: "That is none of your business, whether I am a Christian or not. If you were not a sort of a preacher I would knock you into the gutter for your impertinence." Mr. Moody said a few earnest words and passed on.

The next day that man called upon one of Mr. Moody's prominent business friends and said to him: "That man Moody of yours over on the North Side is doing more harm than he is good. He has got zeal without knowledge. He stepped up to me last night, a perfect stranger, and insulted me. He asked me if I were a Christian, and I told him it was none of his business and if he were not a sort of a preacher I would knock him into the gutter for his impertinence. He is doing more harm than he is good. He has got zeal without knowledge." Mr. Moody's friend sent for him and said: "Moody, you are doing more harm than you are good; you've got zeal without knowledge: you insulted a friend of mine on the street last night. You went up to him, a perfect stranger, and asked him if he were a Christian, and he tells me if you had not been a sort of a preacher he would have knocked you into the gutter for your impertinence. You are doing more harm than you are good; you have got zeal without knowledge."

Mr. Moody went out of that man's office somewhat crestfallen. He wondered if he were not doing more harm than he was good, if he really had zeal without knowledge. (Let me say, in passing, it is far better to have zeal without knowledge than it is to have knowledge without zeal. Some men and women are as full of knowledge as an egg is of meat; they are so deeply versed in Bible truth that they can sit in criticism on the preachers and give the preachers pointers, but they have so little zeal that they do not lead one soul to Christ in a whole year.)

Weeks passed by. One night Mr. Moody was in bed when he heard a tremendous pounding at his front door. He jumped out of bed and rushed to the door. He thought the house was on fire. He thought the man would break down the door. He opened the door and there stood this man. He said: "Mr. Moody, I have not had a good night's sleep since that night you spoke to me under the lamppost, and I have come around at this unearthly hour of the night for you to tell me what I have to do to be saved." Mr. Moody took him in and told him what to do to be saved. Then he accepted Christ, and when the Civil War broke out, he went to the front and laid down his life fighting for his ountry.

Another night, Mr. Moody got home and had gone to bed before it occurred to him that he had not spoken to a soul that day about accepting Christ. "Well," he said to himself, "it is no good getting up now; there will be nobody on the street at this hour of the night." But he got up, dressed and went to the front door. It was pouring rain. "Oh," he said, "there will be no one out in
this pouring rain. Just then he heard the patter of a man's feet as he came down the street, holding an umbrella over his head. Then Mr. Moody darted out and rushed up to the man and said: "May I share the shelter of your umbrella?" "Certainly," the man replied. Then Mr. Moody said: "Have you any shelter in the time of storm?" and preached Jesus to him. Oh, men and women, if we were as full of zeal for the salvation of souls as that, how long would it be before the whole country would be shaken by the power of a mighty, God-sent revival?

One day in Chicago -- the day after the elder Carter Harrison was shot, when his body was lying in state in the City Hall -- Mr. Moody and I were riding up Randolph Street together in a streetcar right alongside of the City Hall. The car could scarcely get through because of the enormous crowds waiting to get in and view the body of Mayor Harrison. As the car tried to push its way through the crowd, Mr. Moody turned to me and said: "Torrey, what does this mean?" "Why," I said, "Carter Harrison's body lies there in the City Hall and these crowds are waiting to see it."

Then he said: "This will never do, to let these crowds get away from us without preaching to them; we must talk to them. You go and hire Hooley's Opera House (which was just opposite the City Hall) for the whole day." I did so. The meetings began at nine o'clock in the morning, and we had one continuous service from that hour until six in the evening, to reach those crowds.

Mr. Moody was a man on fire for God. Not only was he always "on the job" himself but he was always getting others to work as well. He once invited me down to Northfield to spend a month there with the schools, speaking first to one school and then crossing the river to the other. I was obliged to use the ferry a great deal; it was before the present bridge was built at that point.  One day he said to me: "Torrey, did you know that that ferryman that ferries you across every day was unconverted?" He did not tell me to speak to him, but I knew what he meant. When some days later it was told him that the ferryman was saved, he was exceedingly happy.

Once, when walking down a certain street in Chicago, Mr. Moody stepped up to a man, a perfect stranger to him, and said: "Sir, are you a Christian?" "You mind your own business," was the reply. Mr. Moody replied: "This is my business." The man said, "Well, then, you must be Moody." Out in Chicago they used to call him in those early days "Crazy Moody," because day
and night he was speaking to everybody he got a chance to speak to about being saved.

One time he was going to Milwaukee, and in the seat that he had chosen sat a traveling man. Mr. Moody sat down beside him and immediately began to talk with him. " Where are you going?" Mr. Moody asked. When told the name of the town he said: "We will soon be there; we'll have to get down to business at once. Are you saved?" The man said that he was not, and Mr. Moody took out his Bible and there on the train showed him the way of salvation. Then he said: "Now, you must take Christ." The man did; he was converted right there on the train.

Most of you have heard, I presume, the story President Wilson used to tell about D. L. Moody. Ex-President Wilson said that he once went into a barber shop and took a chair next to the one in which D. L. Moody was sitting, though he did not know that Mr. Moody was there. He had not been in the chair very long before, as ex-President Wilson phrased it, he "knew there
was a personality in the other chair," and he began to listen to the conversation going on; he heard Mr. Moody tell the barber about the Way of Life, and President Wilson said, "I have never forgotten that scene to this day." When Mr. Moody was gone, he asked the barber who he was; when he was told that it was D. L. Moody, President Wilson said: "It made an impression upon me I have not yet forgotten."

On one occasion in Chicago Mr. Moody saw a little girl standing on the street with a pail in her hand. He went up to her and invited her to his Sunday school, telling her what a pleasant place it was. She promised to go the following Sunday, but she did not do so. Mr. Moody watched for her for weeks, and then one day he saw her on the street again, at some distance from him. He started toward her, but she saw him too and started to run away. Mr. Moody followed her. Down she went one street, Mr. Moody after her; up she went another street, Mr. Moody after her, through an alley, Mr. Moody still following; out on another street, Mr. Moody after her; then she dashed into a saloon and Mr. Moody dashed after her. She ran out the back door and up a flight of stairs, Mr. Moody still following; she dashed into a room, Mr. Moody following; she threw herself under the bed and Mr. Moody reached under the bed and pulled her out by the foot, and led her to Christ.

He found that her mother was a widow who had once seen better circumstances, but had gone down until now she was living over this saloon. She had several children. Mr. Moody led the mother and all the family to Christ. Several of the children were prominent members of the Moody Church until they moved away, and afterwards became prominent in churches elsewhere. This particular child, whom he pulled from underneath the bed, was, when I was the pastor of the Moody Church, the wife of one of the most prominent officers in the church.

Only two or three years ago, as I came out of a ticket office in Memphis, Tennessee, a fine-looking young man followed me. He said: "Are you not Dr. Torrey?" I said, "Yes." He said: "I am so and so." He was the son of this woman. He was then a traveling man, and an officer in the church where he lived. When Mr. Moody pulled that little child out from under the bed by
the foot he was pulling a whole family into the Kingdom of God, and eternity alone will reveal how many succeeding generations he was pulling into the Kingdom of God.

D. L. Moody's consuming passion for souls was not for the souls of those who would be helpful to him in building up his work here or elsewhere; his love for souls knew no class limitations. He was no respecter of persons; it might be an earl or a duke or it might be an ignorant colored boy on the street; it was all the same to him; there was a soul to save and he did what lay in his power to save that soul.

A friend once told me that the first time he ever heard of Mr. Moody was when Mr. Reynolds of Peoria told him that he once found Mr. Moody sitting in one of the squatters' shanties that used to be in that part of the city toward the lake, which was then called, "The Sands," with a colored boy on his knee, a tallow candle in one hand and a Bible in the other, and Mr. Moody was spelling out the words (for at that time the boy could not read very well) of certain verses of Scripture, in an attempt to lead that ignorant colored boy to Christ.

Oh, young men and women and all Christian workers, if you and I were on fire for souls like that, how long would it be before we had a revival? Suppose that tonight the fire of God falls and fills our hearts, a burning fire that will send us out all over the country, and across the water to China, Japan, India and Africa, to tell lost souls the way of salvation!

(7) DEFINITELY ENDUED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH

The seventh thing that was the secret of why God used D. L. Moody was that he had a very definite enduement with power from on High, a very clear and definite baptism with the Holy Ghost. Moody knew he had "the baptism with the Holy Ghost"; he had no doubt about it. In his early days he was a great hustler; he had a tremendous desire to do something, but he had no real power. He worked very largely in the energy of the flesh.

But there were two humble Free Methodist women who used to come over to his meetings in the Y.M.C.A. One was "Auntie Cook" and the other, Mrs. Snow. (I think her name was not Snow at that time.) These two women would come to Mr. Moody at the close of his meetings and say: "We are praying for you." Finally, Mr. Moody became somewhat nettled and said to them one night: "Why are you praying for me? Why don't you pray for the unsaved?" They replied: "We are praying that you may get the power." Mr. Moody did not know what that meant, but he got to thinking about it, and then went to these women and said: "I wish you would tell me what you mean"; and they told him about the definite baptism with the Holy Ghost. Then he asked that he might pray with them and not they merely pray for him.

Auntie Cook once told me of the intense fervor with which Mr. Moody prayed on that occasion. She told me in words that I scarcely dare repeat, though I have never forgotten them. And he not only prayed with them, but he also prayed alone. Not long after, one day on his way to England, he was walking up Wall Street in New York; (Mr. Moody very seldom told this and I almost hesitate to tell it) and in the midst of the bustle and hurry of that city his prayer was answered; the power of God fell upon him as he walked up the street and he had to hurry off to the house of a friend and ask that he might have a room by himself, and in that room he stayed alone for hours; and the Holy Ghost came upon him, filling his soul with such joy that at last he had to ask God to withhold His hand, lest he die on the spot from very joy. He went out from that place with the power of the Holy Ghost upon him, and when he got to London (partly through the prayers of a bedridden saint in Mr. Lessey's church), the power of God wrought through him mightily in North London, and hundreds were added to the churches; and that was what led to his being invited over to the wonderful campaign that followed in later years.

Time and again Mr. Moody would come to me and say: "Torrey, I want you to preach on the baptism with the Holy Ghost." I do not know how many times he asked me to speak on that subject. Once, when I had been invited to preach in the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York (invited at Mr. Moody's suggestion; had it not been for his suggestion the invitation would never have been extended to me), just before I started for New York, Mr. Moody drove up to my house and said: "Torrey, they want you to preach at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York. It is a great big church, cost a million dollars to build it." Then he continued: "Torrey, I just want to ask one thing of you. I want to tell you what to preach about. You will preach that sermon of yours on 'Ten Reasons Why I Believe the Bible to Be the Word of God' and your sermon on 'The Baptism With the Holy Ghost.'"

Time and again, when a call came to me to go off to some church, he would come up to me and say: "Now, Torrey, be sure and preach on the baptism with the Holy Ghost." I do not know how many times he said that to me. Once I asked him: "Mr. Moody, don't you think I have any sermons but those two: 'Ten Reasons Why I Believe the Bible to Be the Word of God' and 'The Baptism With the Holy Ghost'?" "Never mind that," he replied, "you give them those two sermons.

Once he had some teachers at Northfield -- fine men, all of them, but they did not believe in a definite baptism with the Holy Ghost for the individual. They believed that every child of God was baptized with the Holy Ghost, and they did not believe in any special baptism with the Holy Ghost for the individual. Mr. Moody came to me and said: "Torrey, will you come up to my house after the meeting tonight and I will get those men to come, and I want you to talk this thing out with them."

Of course, I very readily consented, and Mr. Moody and I talked for a long time, but they did not altogether see eye to eye with us. And when they went, Mr. Moody signaled me to remain for a few moments. Mr. Moody sat there with his chin on his breast, as he so often sat when he was in deep thought; then he looked up and said: "Oh, why will they split hairs? Why don't
they see that this is just the one thing that they themselves need? They are good teachers, they are wonderful teachers, and I am so glad to have them here; but why will they not see that the baptism with the Holy Ghost is just the one touch that they themselves need?"

I shall never forget the eighth of July, 1894, to my dying day. It was the closing day of the Northfield Students' Conference -- the gathering of the students from the eastern colleges. Mr. Moody had asked me to preach on Saturday night and Sunday morning on the baptism with the Holy Ghost. On Saturday night I had spoken about, "The Baptism With the Holy Ghost: What  It Is; What It Does; the Need of It and the Possibility of It." On Sunday morning I spoke on "The Baptism With the Holy Spirit: How to Get It." It was just exactly twelve o'clock when I finished my morning sermon, and I took out my watch and said: "Mr. Moody has invited us all to go up to the mountain at three o'clock this afternoon to pray for the power of the Holy Spirit. It is three hours to three o'clock. Some of you cannot wait three hours. You do not need to wait. Go to your rooms; go out into the woods; go to your tent; go anywhere where you can get alone with God and have this matter out with Him."

At three o'clock we all gathered in front of Mr. Moody's mother's house (she was then still living), and then began to pass down the lane, through the gate, up on the mountainside. There were four hundred and fifty-six of us in all; I know the number because Paul Moody counted us as we passed through the gate.

After a while Mr. Moody said: "I don't think we need to go any further; let us sit down here." We sat down on stumps and logs and on the ground. Mr. Moody said: "Have any of you students anything to say?" I think about seventy-five of them arose, one after the other, and said: "Mr. Moody, I could not wait till three o'clock; I have been alone with God since the morning service, and I believe I have a right to say that I have been baptized with the Holy Spirit."

When these testimonies were over, Mr. Moody said: "Young men, I can't see any reason why we shouldn't kneel down here right now and ask God that the Holy Ghost may fall upon us just as definitely as He fell upon the apostles on the Day of Pentecost. Let us pray." And we did pray, there on the mountainside. As we had gone up the mountainside heavy clouds had
been gathering, and just as we began to pray those clouds broke and the raindrops began to fall through the overhanging pines. But there was another cloud that had been gathering over Northfield for ten days, a cloud big with the mercy and grace and power of God; and as we began to pray our prayers seemed to pierce that cloud and the Holy Ghost fell upon us. Men and women, that is what we all need the Baptism with the Holy Ghost.
 

To obtain a copy of this booklet, write to
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P.O. Box 1099
Murfreesboro, TN 37133
USA

SMITH WIGGLESWORTH'S VISION

The following account is of a particularly powerful vision given to Smith Wigglesworth during the early part of World War II, when he was being visited by a young Lester Sumrall (the well-known healing-deliverance evangelist and founder of the charitable organization 'Feed the Hungry'). This account of Wigglesworth's vision comes from pg 168-169 of Lester Sumrall's 1995 book, 'Pioneers of Faith':

"... Shutting his eyes again, he said, 'I see the greatest revival in the history of mankind coming to Planet earth, maybe as never before. And I see every form of disease healed. I see whole hospitals emptied with no one there. Even the doctors are running down the streets shouting.'

"He told me that there would be untold numbers of uncountable multitudes that would be saved. No man will say 'so many, so many,' because nobody will be able to count those who come to Jesus. No disease will be able to stand before God's people... 'It will be a worldwide situation, not local,' he said, 'a worldwide thrust of God's power and God's anointing upon mankind.'

"Then he opened his eyes and looked at me and said, 'I will not see it, but you shall see it. The Lord says that I must go on to my reward, but that you will see the mighty works that He will do upon the earth in the last days.'

"... The idea that I would get to see this revival was almost overwhelming. And in the last decade or so, I believe we have seen this revival begin to sweep the earth. We have seen amazing moves of God in Africa... Recently, I was in China and met with the underground church. I was told there are at least forty-five million Full Gospel Christians in China. I discovered a depth of prayer and integrity there that I have not felt anywhere else in the world... So I believe we are seeing Wiggles- worth's prophecy begin to be fulfilled. We are seeing the first stages of it."

The interesting thing (in light of Wigglesworth's prophecy that he would see at least the beginning of this end-time Revival) is that Lester Sumrall died on April 28, 1996. I find it uncanny the way God has been pointing to the significance of the year 1996 and also 1997. You may remember the prophecy of William Branham's that I mentioned in another article, where he prophesied that the church would go into a 'wilderness' period for forty years. As I said, this prophecy was reportedly given in Chicago on January 16, 1956 - at the tail end of the Healing Revival. And of course, forty years on from 1956 brings us to 1996. Interesting, isn't it? (Please see my 'Signs in the Heavens' article for more on all this. God really does seem to be pointing to the significance of these two years). Who knows what the near future may bring?

Something else I want to mention is that a well-known international preacher reportedly prophesied this year that two prominent Christian leaders must die before the great Revival will come. This lines up very well with what God has been showing myself and others, about key leaders of the 'Old Guard' needing to pass on before God's new leadership can truly emerge to lead His church into Reformation and Revival. (This is an important principle in God's economy, as is seen in the life of David, etc). It is my belief that if any one leader has 'dominated' the era that we have seen in the church over the past fifty years or so, it is Billy Graham. Much could be said about this, but suffice it to say that it would not surprise me to see God take him home in the near future, to give entry to His new leadership - who will 'dominate' the new era in the church. (Billy Graham has been ill for some time now, after all). Space forbids any further discussion of all this, but please do remember to look out for the fulfillment of the above prophecies.

It is my belief that we now live on the verge of the most momentous days in the history of the church. The glory of God is about to come down. And no longer will God's people be a laughing-stock, both of men and of devils. Clearly, the time is soon coming when God's 'mighty men and women of valour' must again come to the fore, as in days of old. I believe that God is again looking in our day for men and women who will risk everything for Him, who have died to sin and to self, who cannot abide fleshly showmanship or hype, and who desire only to serve God with a purity of spirit rather than an excess of soul-power.

Surely Watchman Nee's words are tragically true, not only of many Christians today, but sadly of many leaders also: "The corrupted old man in the believer has died but his soul remains the power behind his walk. On the one hand the sinful nature has been drastically touched but on the other hand the self life still persists and therefore cannot escape being soulish... To depend upon the soul life to carry out the wish of the spirit is to use natural (or human) force to accomplish supernatural (or divine) goodness. This is simply trying to fulfill God's demand with self-strength... Few are those disposed honestly to acknowledge their weakness and incapability and to lean utterly upon God. Who will confess his uselessness if he has not been humbled by the grace of God? Man takes pride in his prowess... He does not understand that however good to the human outlook his efforts may appear to be, they can never please God... He fails miserably to be spiritual and continues to abide in the soul." (Watchman Nee, 'The Spiritual Man', Vol.1-3).

It is in the barren 'wilderness' of brokenness and despair, that God chooses to deal with such soulish self-power in His servants. And it is only when this 'self' has been utterly put to the sword that God can af- ford to entrust these servants with His miracle-working power. Only when they desire nothing but His glory, can He grant them the weapons of a mighty warfare. As a prophecy that was given several years ago in America stated: "I have used many swords in years past; and some were made of polluted metals. I used them because they were the only weapons available to Me. But for this last Great Revival, I must have swords of the purest metals which have been through the hottest fires so that they will not break in My Hand..."

It is my belief that our Almighty God is now looking for men and women whom He can entrust with such an anointing. He is looking for a people who will truly "love not their lives unto the death", who know the dangers but who are willing to risk all (even in light of the failure of some in the past), to see God glorified and His standard raised in the earth in our day. We are still surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses - men and women who fought a glorious fight and ran a peerless race. And God is now looking for men and women of this same ilk, who hunger and thirst after Him, who press forward into the deep things of God, and who have willingly paid the price and spent much time alone with Him. Like Elisha, who would not let go of Elijah until he had received a double portion of that great prophet's anointing, they will never let go of God until He blesses them with a similar endowment.

Charles Finney said, "PRAY MOST for the Holy Spirit of God, and WRESTLE MOST with God for His blessing... If you have the Holy Spirit of God, you must expect to feel great distress in view of the condition of the church, and of the world." It is only through such fervent, agonizing, WRESTLING prayer that we can break through into these greater realms in God. And then, how Satan will oppose us! (And most likely, the church leaders also). As the apostle Paul wrote: "For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of OUR TROUBLE which came to us in Asia: that we were BURDENED BEYOND MEASURE, ABOVE STRENGTH, SO THAT WE DESPAIRED EVEN OF LIFE." (2 Cor 1:8).

As David, king of Israel declared, "My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God" (Ps 42:2). And it was clearly the apostle Paul's great de- sire, "That I may KNOW HIM [JESUS], and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death" (Phil. 3:10). Again, Charles Finney declared: "Revival comes from heaven when heroic souls enter the conflict determined to win or die... 'The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the VIOLENT TAKE IT BY FORCE.'" Some years ago, God shared with me the secret of becoming part of the new move of God. It is simply this:- "WHO DARES WINS". As I said before, I believe that God is currently searching for such men and women, "tried as by fire", who will lead His people into the coming great war. And "DARING" will be one of the most important qualifications. Tell me, friend, will you be one of these?... "But TARRY YE in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be ENDUED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH" (Lk 24:49).

William Tyndale

We have now to enter into the story of the good martyr of God, William Tyndale; which William Tyndale, as he was a special organ of the Lord appointed, and as God's mattock to shake the inward roots and foundation of the pope's proud prelacy, so the great prince of darkness, with his impious imps, having a special malice against him, left no way unsought how craftily to entrap him, and falsely to betray him, and maliciously to spill his life, as by the process of his story here following may appear.

William Tyndale, the faithful minister of Christ, was born about the borders of Wales, and brought up from a child in the University of Oxford, where he, by long continuance, increased as well in the knowledge of tongues, and other liberal arts, as especially in the knowledge of the Scriptures, whereunto his mind was singularly addicted; insomuch that he, lying then in Magdalene Hall, read secretly to certain students and fellows of Magdalene College some parcel of divinity; instructing them in the knowledge and truth of the Scriptures. His manners and conversation being correspondent to the same were such that all they that knew him reputed him to be a man of most virtuous disposition, and of life unspotted.

Thus he, in the University of Oxford, increasing more and more in learning, and proceeding in degrees of the schools, spying his time, removed from thence to the University of Cambridge, where he likewise made his abode a certain space. Being now further ripened in the knowledge of God's Word, leaving that university, he resorted to one Master Welch, a knight of Gloucester shire, and was there schoolmaster to his children, and in good favor with his master. As this gentleman kept a good ordinary commonly at his table, there resorted to him many times sundry abbots, deans, archdeacons, with divers other doctors, and great beneficed men; who there, together with Master Tyndale sitting at the same table, did use many times to enter communication, and talk of learned men, as of Luther and of Erasmus; also of divers other controversies and questions upon the Scripture.

Then Master Tyndale, as he was learned and well practiced in God's matters, spared not to show unto them simply and plainly his judgment, and when they at any time did vary from Tyndale in opinions, he would show them in the Book, and lay plainly before them the open and manifest places of the Scriptures, to confute their errors, and confirm his sayings. And thus continued they for a certain season, reasoning and contending together divers times, until at length they waxed weary, and bare a secret grudge in their hearts against him.

As this grew on, the priests of the country, clustering together, began to grudge and storm against Tyndale, railing against him in alehouses and other places, affirming that his sayings were heresy; and accused him secretly to the chancellor, and others of the bishop's officers.

It followed not long after this that there was a sitting of the bishop's chancellor appointed, and warning was given to the priests to appear, amongst whom Master Tyndale was also warned to be there. And whether he had any misdoubt by their threats, or knowledge given him that they would lay some things to his charge, it is uncertain; but certain this is (as he himself declared), that he doubted their privy accusations; so that he by the way, in going thither wards, cried in his mind heartily to God, to give him strength fast to stand in the truth of His Word.

When the time came for his appearance before the chancellor, he threatened him grievously, reviling and rating him as though he had been a dog, and laid to his charge many things whereof no accuser could be brought forth, notwithstanding that the priests of the country were there present. Thus Master Tyndale, escaping out of their hands, departed home, and returned to his master again.

There dwelt not far off a certain doctor, that he been chancellor to a bishop, who had been of old, familiar acquaintance with Master Tyndale, and favored him well; unto whom Master Tyndale went and opened his mind upon divers questions of the Scripture: for to him he durst be bold to disclose his heart. Unto whom the doctor said, "Do you not know that the pope is very Antichrist, whom the Scripture speaketh of? But beware what you say; for if you shall be perceived to be of that opinion, it will cost you your life."

Not long after, Master Tyndale happened to be in the company of a certain divine, recounted for a learned man, and, in communing and disputing with him, he drove him to that issue, that the said great doctor burst out into these blasphemous words, "We were better to be without God's laws than the pope's." Master Tyndale, hearing this, full of godly zeal, and not bearing that blasphemous saying, replied, "I defy the pope, and all his laws;" and added, "If God spared him life, ere many years he would cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the Scripture than he did."

The grudge of the priests increasing still more and more against Tyndale, they never ceased barking and rating at him, and laid many things sorely to his charge, saying that he was a heretic. Being so molested and vexed, he was constrained to leave that country, and to seek another place; and so coming to Master Welch, he desired him, of his good will, that he might depart from him, saying: "Sir, I perceive that I shall not be suffered to tarry long here in this country, neither shall you be able, though you would, to keep me out of the hands of the spirituality; what displeasure might grow to you by keeping me, God knoweth; for the which I should be right sorry."

So that in fine, Master Tyndale, with the good will of his master, departed, and Eftsoons came up to London, and there preached a while, as he had done in the country.

Bethinking himself of Cuthbert Tonstal, then bishop of London, and especially of the great commendation of Erasmus, who, in his annotations, so extolleth the said Tonstal for his learning, Tyndale thus cast with himself, that if he might attain unto his service, he were a happy man. Coming to Sir Henry Guilford, the king's comptroller, and bringing with him an oration of Isocrates, which he had translated out of Greek into English, he desired him to speak to the said bishop of London for him; which he also did; and willed him moreover to write an epistle to the bishop, and to go himself with him. This he did, and delivered his epistle to a servant of his, named William Hebilthwait, a man of his old acquaintance. But God, who secretly disposeth the course of things, saw that was not best for Tyndale's purpose, nor for the profit of His Church, and therefore gave him to find little favor in the bishop's sight; the answer of whom was this: his house was full; he had more than he could well find: and he advised him to seek in London abroad, where, he said, he could lack no service.

Being refused of the bishop he came to Humphrey Mummuth, alderman of London, and besought him to help him: who the same time took him into his house, where the said Tyndale lived (as Mummuth said) like a good priest, studying both night and day. He would eat but sodden meat by his good will, nor drink but small single beer. He was never seen in the house to wear linen about him, all the space of his being there.

And so remained Master Tyndale in London almost a year, marking with himself the course of the world, and especially the demeanor of the preachers, how they boasted themselves, and set up their authority; beholding also the pomp of the prelates, with other things more, which greatly disliked him; insomuch that he understood not only that there was no room in the bishop's house for him to translate the New Testament, but also that there was no place to do it in all England.

Therefore, having by God's providence some aid ministered unto him by Humphrey Mummuth, and certain other good men, he took his leave of the realm, and departed into Germany, where the good man, being inflamed with a tender care and zeal of his country, refused no travail nor diligence, how, by all means possible, to reduce his brethren and countrymen of England to the same taste and understanding of God's holy Word and verity, which the Lord had endued him withal. Whereupon, considering in his mind, and conferring also with John Frith, Tyndale thought with himself no way more to conduce thereunto, than if the Scripture were turned into the vulgar speech, that the poor people might read and see the simple plain Word of God. He perceived that it was not possible to establish the lay people in any truth, except the Scriptures were so plainly laid before their eyes in their mother tongue that they might see the meaning of the text; for else, whatsoever truth should be taught them, the enemies of the truth would quench it, either with reasons of sophistry, and traditions of their own making, founded without all ground of Scripture; or else juggling with the text, expounding it in such a sense as it were impossible to gather of the text, if the right meaning thereof were seen.

Master Tyndale considered this only, or most chiefly, to be the cause of all mischief in the Church, that the Scriptures of God were hidden from the people's eyes; for so long the abominable doings and idolatries maintained by the pharisaical clergy could not be espied; and therefore all their labor was with might and main to keep it down, so that either it should not be read at all, or if it were, they would darken the right sense with the mist of their sophistry, and so entangle those who rebuked or despised their abominations; wresting the Scripture unto their own purpose, contrary unto the meaning of the text, they would so delude the unlearned lay people, that though thou felt in thy heart, and wert sure that all were false that they said, yet couldst thou not solve their subtle riddles.

For these and such other considerations this good man was stirred up of God to translate the Scripture into his mother tongue, for the profit of the simple people of his country; first setting in hand with the New Testament, which came forth in print about A.D. 1525. Cuthbert Tonstal, bishop of London, with Sir Thomas More, being sore aggrieved, despised how to destroy that false erroneous translation, as they called it.

It happened that one Augustine Packington, a mercer, was then at Antwerp, where the bishop was. This man favored Tyndale, but showed the contrary unto the bishop. The bishop, being desirous to bring his purpose to pass, communed how that he would gladly buy the New Testaments. Packington hearing him say so, said, "My lord! I can do more in this matter than most merchants that be here, if it be your pleasure; for I know the Dutchmen and strangers that have brought them of Tyndale, and have them here to sell; so that if it be your lordship's pleasure, I must disburse money to pay for them, or else I cannot have them: and so I will assure you to have every book of them that is printed and unsold." The bishop, thinking he had God "by the toe," said, "Do your diligence, gentle Master Packington, get them for me, and I will pay whatsoever they cost; for I intend to burn and destroy them all at Paul's Cross." This Augustine Packington went unto William Tyndale, and declared the whole matter, and so, upon compact made between them, the bishop of London had the books, Packington had the thanks, and Tyndale had the money.

After this, Tyndale corrected the same New Testaments again, and caused them to be newly imprinted, so that they came thick and threefold over into England. When the bishop perceived that, he sent for Packington, and said to him, "How cometh this, that there are so many New Testaments abroad? You promised me that you would buy them all." Then answered Packington, "Surely, I bought all that were to be had, but I perceive they have printed more since. I see it will never be better so long as they have letters and stamps: wherefore you were best to buy the stamps too, and so you shall be sure," at which answer the bishop smiled, and so the matter ended.

In short space after, it fortuned that George Constantine was apprehended by Sir Thomas More, who was then chancellor of England, as suspected of certain heresies. Master More asked of him, saying, "Constantine! I would have thee be plain with me in one thing that I will ask; and I promise thee I will show thee favor in all other things whereof thou art accused. There is beyond the sea, Tyndale, Joye, and a great many of you: I know they cannot live without help. There are some that succor them with money; and thou, being one of them, hadst thy part thereof, and therefore knowest whence it came. I pray thee, tell me, who be they that help them thus?" "My lord," quoteth Constantine, "I will tell you truly: it is the bishop of London that hath helped us, for he hath bestowed among us a great deal of money upon New Testaments to burn them; and that hath been, and yet is, our only succor and comfort." "Now by my troth," quoteth More, "I think even the same; for so much I told the bishop before he went about it."

After that, Master Tyndale took in hand to translate the Old Testament, finishing the five books of Moses, with sundry most learned and godly prologues most worthy to be read and read again by all good Christians. These books being sent over into England, it cannot be spoken what a door of light they opened to the eyes of the whole English nation, which before were shut up in darkness.

At his first departing out of the realm he took his journey into Germany, where he had conference with Luther and other learned men; after he had continued there a certain season he came down into the Netherlands, and had his most abiding in the town of Antwerp.

The godly books of Tyndale, and especially the New Testament of his translation, after that they began to come into men's hands, and to spread abroad, wrought great and singular profit to the godly; but the ungodly (envying and disdaining that the people should be anything wiser than they and, fearing lest by the shining beams of truth, their works of darkness should be discerned) began to sir with no small ado.

At what time Tyndale had translated Deuteronomy, minding to print the same at Hamburg, he sailed thitherward; upon the coast of Holland he suffered shipwreck, by which he lost all his books, writings, and copies, his money and his time, and so was compelled to begin all again. He came in another ship to Hamburg, where, at his appointment, Master Coverdale tarried for him, and helped him in the translating of the whole five books of Moses, from Easter until December, in the house of a worshipful widow, Mistress Margaret Van Emmerson, A.D. 1529; a great sweating sickness being at the same time in the town. So, having dispatched his business at Hamburg, he returned to Antwerp.

When God's will was, that the New Testament in the common tongue should come abroad, Tyndale, the translator thereof, added to the latter end a certain epistle, wherein he desired them that were learned to amend, if ought were found amiss. Wherefore if there had been any such default deserving correction, it had been the part of courtesy and gentleness, for men of knowledge and judgment to have showed their learning therein, and to have redressed what was to be amended. But the clergy, not willing to have that book prosper, cried out upon it, that there were a thousand heresies in it, and that it was not to be corrected, but utterly to be suppressed. Some said it was not possible to translate the Scriptures into English; some that it was not lawful for the lay people to have it in their mother tongue; some, that it would make them all heretics. And to the intent to induce the temporal rulers unto their purpose, they said it would make the people to rebel against the king.

All this Tyndale himself, in his prologue before the first book of Moses, declareth; showing further what great pains were taken in examining that translation, and comparing it with their own imaginations, that with less labor, he supposeth, they might have translated a great part of the Bible; showing moreover that they scanned and examined every title and point in such sort, and so narrowly, that there was not one therein, but if it lacked a prick over his head, they did note it, and numbered it unto the ignorant people for a heresy.

So great were then the cunning devices of the English clergy (who should have been the guides of light unto the people), to drive the people from the knowledge of the Scripture, which neither they would translate themselves, nor yet abide it to be translated of others; to the intent (as Tyndale saith) that the world being kept still in darkness, they might sit in the consciences of the people through vain superstition and false doctrine, to satisfy their ambition, and insatiable covetousness, and to exalt their own honor above king and emperor.

The bishops and prelates never rested before they had brought the king to their consent; by reason whereof, a proclamation in all haste was devised and set forth under public authority, that the Testament of Tyndale's translation was inhibited-which was about A.D. 1537. And not content herewith, they proceeded further, how to entangle him in their nets, and to bereave him of his life; which how they brought to pass; now it remaineth to be declared.

In the registers of London it appeareth manifest how that the bishops and Sir Thomas More having before them such as had been at Antwerp, most studiously would search and examine all things belonging to Tyndale, where and with whom he hosted, whereabouts stood the house, what was his stature, in what apparel he went, what resort he had; all which things when they had diligently learned then began they to work their feats.

William Tyndale, being in the town of Antwerp, had been lodged about one whole year in the house of Thomas Pointz, an Englishman, who kept a house of English merchants. Came thither one out of England, whose name was Henry Philips, his father being customer of Poole, a comely fellow, like as he had been a gentleman having a servant with him: but wherefore he came, or for what purpose he was sent thither, no man could tell.

Master Tyndale divers times was desired forth to dinner and support amongst merchants; by means whereof this Henry Philips became acquainted with him, so that within short space Master Tyndale had a great confidence in him, and brought him to his lodging, to the house of Thomas Pointz; and had him also once or twice with him to dinner and supper, and further entered such friendship with him, that through his procurement he lay in the same house of the said Pointz; to whom he showed moreover his books, and other secrets of his study, so little did Tyndale then mistrust this traitor.

But Pointz, having no great confidence in the fellow, asked Master Tyndale how he came acquainted with this Philips. Master Tyndale answered, that he was an honest man, handsomely learned, and very conformable. Pointz, perceiving that he bare such favor to him, said no more, thinking that he was brought acquainted with him by some friend of his. The said Philips, being in the town three or four days, upon a time desired Pointz to walk with him forth of the town to show him the commodities thereof, and in walking together without the town, had communication of divers things, and some of the king's affairs; by which talk Pointz as yet suspected nothing. But after, when the time was past, Pointz perceived this to be the mind of Philips, to feel whether the said Pointz might, for lucre of money, help him to his purpose, for he perceived before that Philips was moneyed, and would that Pointz should think no less. For he had desired Pointz before to help him to divers things; and such things as he named, he required might be of the best, "for," said he, "I have money enough."

Philips went from Antwerp to the court of Brussels, which is from thence twenty-four English miles, whence he brought with him to Antwerp, the procurator-general, who is the emperor's attorney, with certain other officers.

Within three or four days, Pointz went forth to the town of Barois, being eighteen English miles from Antwerp, where he had business to do for the space of a month or six weeks; and in the time of his absence Henry Philips came again to Antwerp, to the house of Pointz, and coming in, spake with his wife, asking whether Master Tyndale were within. Then went he forth again and set the officers whom he had brought with him from Brussels, in the street, and about the door. About noon he came again, and went to Master Tyndale, and desired him to lend him forty shillings; "for," said he, "I lost my purse this morning, coming over at the passage between this and Mechlin." So Master Tyndale took him forty shillings, which was easy to be had of him, if he had it; for in the wily subtleties of this world he was simple and inexpert. Then said Philips, "Master Tyndale! You shall be my guest here this day." "No," said Master Tyndale, "I go forth this day to dinner, and you shall go with me, and be my guest, where you shall be welcome."

So when it was dinnertime, Master Tyndale went forth with Philips, and at the going forth of Pointz's house, was a long narrow entry, so that two could not go in front. Master Tyndale would have put Philips before him, but Philips would in no wise, but put Master Tyndale before, for that he pretended to show great humanity. So Master Tyndale, being a man of no great stature, went before, and Philips, a tall, comely person, followed behind him; who had set officers on either side of the door upon two seats, who might see who came in the entry. Philips pointed with his finger over Master Tyndale's head down to him, that the officers might see that it was he whom they should take. The officers afterwards told Pointz, when they had laid him in prison that they pitied to see his simplicity. They brought him to the emperor's attorney, where he dined. Then came the procurator-general to the house of Pointz, and sent away all that was there of Master Tyndale's, as well his books as other things; and from thence Tyndale was had to the castle of Vilvorde, eighteen English miles from Antwerp.

Master Tyndale, remaining in prison, was proffered an advocate and a procurator; the he refused, saying that he would make answer for himself. He had so preached to them who had him in charge, and such as was there conversant with him in the Castle that they reported of him, that if he were not a good Christian man, they knew not whom they might take to be one.

At last, after much reasoning, when no reason would serve, although he deserved no death, he was condemned by virtue of the emperor's decree, made in the assembly at Augsburg. Brought forth to the place of execution, he was tied to the stake, strangled by the hangman, and afterwards consumed with fire, at the town of Vilvorde, A.D. 1536; crying at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice, "Lord! Open the king of England's eyes."

Such was the power of his doctrine, and the sincerity of his life, that during the time of his imprisonment (which endured a year and a half), he converted, it is said, his keeper, the keeper's daughter, and others of his household.

As touching his translation of the New Testament, because his enemies did so much carp at it, pretending it to be full of heresies, he wrote to John Frith, as followeth, "I call God to record against the day we shall appear before our Lord Jesus, that I never altered one syllable of God's Word against my conscience, nor would do this day, if all that is in earth, whether it be honor, pleasure, or riches, might be given me."

 

(Please scroll down to read the messages on James Dunn/W.V.Grant/Maria Woodworth/William Branham/John Wycliff)

SMITH WIGGLESWORTH

Smith Wigglesworth was without doubt one of the most anointed men of God that has lived in recent times. He was known as the Apostle of Faith, and if anyone deserved to be described as "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost", it was he. He lived and walked continually in the presence of God. And the miracles that accompanied his ministry were of the sort that has seldom been seen since the days of the apostles. People born blind and deaf, cripples - twisted and deformed by disease, others on death's door with cancer or sickness of every kind, - all were healed by the mighty power of God. Even the dead were raised.

Born in 1859 into poverty, Smith Wigglesworth was converted by the Methodists at eight years of age. Even then, he was hungry for God and hungry for souls. He was in the choir of the local Episcopal Church. "When most of the boys in the choir were twelve years of age they had to be confirmed by the bishop. I was not twelve, but between nine and ten, when the bishop laid his hands on me. I can remember that as he imposed his hands I had a similar experience to the one I had forty years later when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. My whole body was filled with the consciousness of God's presence, a consciousness that remained with me for days. After the confirmation service all the other boys were swearing and quarreling, and I wondered what had made the difference between them and me." (Stanley Frodsham, 'Smith Wigglesworth, Apostle of Faith', pg 13. -Most of the following quotes are also taken from this excellent book).

Later, Wigglesworth was fully immersed in water by the Baptists. But please remember that all of his early years of ministry and seeking God came well before the 'Azusa Street' Revival and the early Pentecostal movement. Smith had a hunger after God, and he experienced many break-throughs into new levels of anointing even well before he experienced the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. He was already renowned for his healing ministry, and had seen God move in great power, even well before the new Pentecostal experience was being talked about. Unlike us today, who basically begin with Baptism in the Spirit as our first real anointing, for Smith this was the culmination of years of seeking and hungering after God, and so it was much closer to a real New Testament endowment of "power from on high".

Smith Wigglesworth: "I had the grounding in Bible teaching among the Plymouth Brethren. I marched under the blood and fire banner of the Salvation Army, learning to win souls in the open air. I received the second blessing of sanctification and a clean heart under the teaching of Reader Harris and the Pentecostal League. I claimed the gift of the Holy Spirit by faith as I waited ten days before the Lord. But in Sunder- land, in 1907, I knelt before God and had an Acts 2:4 experience..." (Pg 119). He described this experience as follows: "She [Mrs Boddy, a minister's wife] laid her hands on me and then had to go out of the room. The fire fell. It was a wonderful time as I was there with God alone. He bathed me in power. I was conscience of the cleansing of the precious blood, and I cried out: 'Clean! Clean! Clean!' I was filled with the joy of the consciousness of the cleansing. I was given a vision in which I saw the Lord Jesus Christ. I beheld the empty cross, and I saw Him exalted at the right hand of God the Father. I could speak no longer in English, but I began to praise Him in other tongues as the Spirit of God gave me utterance. I knew then, although I might have received anointing previously, that now, at last, I had received the real Baptism in the Holy Spirit as they received on the day of Pentecost." (Pg 44).

After this experience, there was no stopping Smith Wigglesworth. He was a flame for God, and the fire fell wherever he went. He said: "I believe God's ministers are to be flames of fire. Nothing less than flames. Nothing less than mighty instruments, with burning messages, with hearts full of love. They must have a DEPTH OF CONSECRATION that God has taken full charge of the body, and it exists only that it may manifest the Glory of God. A Baptism into death in which the person is purified and energized..." He was certainly possessor of an audacity, a daring, and a boldness the like of which has rarely been seen in Christendom in modern times. It was not uncommon for him to announce in his meetings: "Every sermon that Christ preached was prefaced by a model miracle. We are going to follow His example. The first person in this large audience that stands up, whatever his or her sickness, I'll pray for that one and God will deliver him or her." And the first person to stand, even if they were the most deformed cripples, would be healed!

On another typical occasion, a man came forward for prayer for stomach pain, and, commanding the pain to be gone, Wigglesworth punched the man in the stomach so hard that he was sent halfway across the room (completely healed)! This kind of thing happened more than once. Wigglesworth believed in COMMANDING the sick to be healed in Jesus' name. His was an aggressive, holy faith. He was a "violent" man, taking ground from the devil by force. Yet, he was also a man of great com- passion, as well as of great authority. The devil certainly felt it when Smith Wigglesworth hit town!

A number of people were also raised literally from the dead under Smith's ministry. Here is his own account of one occasion: "My friend said, 'She is dead.' He was scared. I have never seen a man so frightened in my life. 'What shall I do?' he asked. You may think that what I did was absurd, but I reached over into the bed and pulled her out. I carried her across the room, stood her against the wall and held her up, as she was dead. I looked into her face and said, 'In the name of Jesus I rebuke this death.' From the crown of her head to the soles of her feet, her whole body began to tremble. 'In the name of Jesus, I command you to walk,' I said. I repeated, 'In the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, walk!' and she walked." (Pg 59). Not only was this woman raised from the dead, but she was instantly healed from a terrible illness also. She began to testify to people of her death experience and restoration. It has been recorded that Smith Wigglesworth raised 23 people from the dead in total, over the years of his ministry.

One time when Smith was waiting at a bus stop, a woman was having trouble getting her small dog, which had followed her, to go home. First, she tried sweet-talking it, and asking it to please go home. But after awhile of trying this to no avail, the woman suddenly stamped her foot and said severely: 'Go home at once!' The dog immediately took off home, with its tail between its legs. 'That's how you have to treat the devil', said Wigglesworth, loudly enough for all those waiting at the bus stop to hear. And this was his attitude toward the devil, every moment of every waking day. He literally traveled the world in the 1920's and 1930's, and thousands were saved and healed everywhere he went. Often he would arrive in a place almost unknown and unheralded, but within days there would be thousands thronging to hear, the power of God demonstrated in his meetings was so great. God was truly glorified everywhere he went.

He was a man who walked and lived in the very presence of God. Yet, in many ways he was a very natural, down-to-earth man. And neither was he afraid of issuing the odd stern rebuke. His object was to be in constant, unbroken communion with the Father. He had spent hours and days fervently seeking God in his early years, but later, "Although his life was a combination of incessant prayer and praise, and every word and work was an act of worship, he was not given to protracted periods of fasting and prayer." (Pg 122). Instead, he had learned the secret of being in continuous, intimate communion with God (sometimes withdrawing quietly into himself for this purpose), even when he was in a crowd of people. He walked by faith, and he was "in the Spirit" at all times. This was one vital secret to his success. He said, "There are two sides to this Baptism: The first is, you possess the Spirit; the second is that the Spirit possesses you." (See 'The Life of Smith Wigglesworth' by Jack Hywel-Davies). He had counted the cost, and everything was God's. He was a man who truly understood GODLY AUTHORITY, and he WALKED in it by faith. He said, "'Be filled with the Spirit,' i.e., be CRAMMED with the Spirit, so filled that there will be no room left for anything else." That was the way he lived. Full of audacity, full of daring, "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost."

On one occasion, he recalled, "I was traveling to Cardiff in South Wales. I had been much in prayer on the journey. The carriage was full of people whom I knew to be unsaved, but as there was so much talking and joking I could not get in a word for my Master. As the train was nearing the station, I thought I would wash my hands... and as I return- ed to the carriage, a man jumped up and said, 'Sir, you convince me of sin,' and fell on his knees there and then. Soon the whole carriage of people was crying out the same way. They said, 'who are you? What are you? You convince us all of sin'..." (Stanley Frodsham, 'Smith Wigglesworth, Apostle of Faith', pg 80). This episode reminds me very much of another bold, forthright and anointed evangelist - Charles G. Finney, who had found after a mighty Baptism of the Holy Spirit some years before, that even passing comments that he made pierced people to the heart with conviction of sin. He had gone on to become one of the greatest Revivalists of all time. (He died in 1875).

Smith Wigglesworth placed great emphasis on purity and holiness, like all true Revivalists. He said, "You must every day make higher ground. You must deny yourself to make progress with God. You must refuse every- thing that is not pure and holy. God wants you pure in heart. He wants you to have an intense desire after holiness... Two things will get you to leap out of yourselves into the promises of God today. One is purity, and the other is FAITH, which is kindled more and more BY PURITY." (Pg 125). This one statement contains what is probably the key secret to Smith Wigglesworth's outstanding success in God. And it is obviously a key that is well worth remembering for us also. Another point to remember is that Smith was very aware of the dangers of money, and guarded himself carefully against the possibility of covetousness entering in. He was truly beyond reproach in this area also.

It is my belief that Smith Wigglesworth was a kind of direct "forerunner" of the kind of ministries that are about to arise in our day. I believe that the coming apostolic ministries, who will be bearers of true Revival in these last days, will combine the daring, miracle-working faith of a Smith Wigglesworth with the deeply convicting 'repentance' preaching of a Charles Finney. And they will move under a mighty anointing those combines the best of both of these types of ministries. What glorious days these will be! Smith Wigglesworth himself died in 1946 at the ripe old age of 87, a flame of God to the very end. May he be an example to us all?

JAMES DUNN

James Dunn was another mightily-anointed evangelist from earlier this century. It has been reported that he had an anointing of similar power to the famous William Branham, incredible though this may seem. Dunn had been desperately seeking more of God and his gifts for some time, when the Holy Spirit told him to pray to be FILLED WITH JESUS and he would also receive the gifts. Jesus spoke to him: 'Don't pray for the gifts. Pray to be more like Me.'

"I pastured the Pentecostal Holiness church there for two years before this ministry came to me. I had been fasting, and praying, and I had been reminding God. I believe God wants us to remind Him about the promises He has made to us, to call His attention to them. So I was reminding God that when I was employed in a responsible position for the government, we gave our men the best tools on earth possible to work with, so that they could do their job right. I told God that if we as mere human beings could give good tools to our laborers, how much better tools could He give us to work for the Kingdom of Christ. I continued praying in that way, and begging God for the gifts. Just imagine! I would cry: the tears rolling down my face. I would fast until the preachers in Princeton remarked that my clothes hung on me like a sack, because I had lost so much weight. They thought that the clothes had belonged to someone else. I don't know how many pounds I did lose. I was way down in weight.

"One day I was just in a big way of praying; tears streaming down my face as I was alone before God. I was asking Him again to give me the gifts of the Spirit. A voice spoke to me and said, 'Just a minute.' And I stopped, and a voice spoke again, and said, 'DON'T BEG FOR THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT, PRAY TO BE MORE LIKE ME.' I said, Why Jesus, I had never thought of it in that manner, what do you mean, pray to be more like you? And the voice said to me, 'THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT WILL OPERATE IN YOUR LIFE, IF YOU ARE FULL OF JESUS.' So I began to pray that I would be just exactly like Jesus.

"It wasn't long after that my wife saw a golden ball floating down the hall, and it floated into the door, and just as she woke me up, it disappeared. Shortly after that, one night I was in a state of prayer, my wife was asleep, it was about 11:00 o'clock. I said, 'God, I am ready to die if it takes that, to have a better ministry of Jesus Christ! I am not able to do the job properly!'" (W.V Grant Sr, 'Gifts of the Spirit in the Home', Pg. 24-25: 'Experience of Rev. James Dunn of Princeton, West Virginia').

"Then one night while I was lying in bed and my wife was asleep, something happened. I was meditating on the glories and graciousness of God, and upon the things I needed from Him, and all at once, the Great Presence of God began to flood into the room. He came in such a supernatural way that the room was filled with His Glory. A great feeling of ecstasy and glory swept over me, and saturated my very body, mind, and soul. I began to get afraid, because when you get that close to God, something happens to you. I began to draw back from this Wonderful Force, and when I did it left. Then I realized I had made a mistake in drawing back. The next few days, I began to pray as I had never prayed. In about 3 or 4 nights I was lying in the bed again and I was meditating and praising the Lord, and asking Him for help and power in my life. All at once, this great feeling began to come into the room again.

"The very room and atmosphere lighted up. There didn't seem to be any room for me there any longer, because God so completely filled the place. As I lay there, I lost all movement of my body other than my eyes. The Great Force of God moved down across my bed, and overshadowed me, and I felt the strangest, and most wonderful feeling. From my very fingertips, it began to move into my hands, and up my arms. I felt as if I were holding 220 volts in each hand, and it began to surge back and forth through my body. Then and there in that room, while this was taking place the old me was leaving, and the new me was coming in.

"From that night on my life was different. Many remarked how completely my ministry had changed. I had a positive message - a message, that had fire in it. God talked to me, and told me that if I would preach the message of deliverance, He would heal the sick. He would give me the Power to cast out devils. As I listened to this COMMISSION from the Lord, His power surged through me, and my arm happened to touch my wife's body, and it almost caused her to jump completely out of the bed. That night God began doing things. He revealed to me the people's conditions and diseases through the mighty Spirit of discernment. I found I was a different individual. God showed me things that I thought were impossible for a person to see or understand. He would show me the individual that was suffering, what they had, and He would direct me to them. After I had prayed for them, they would be healed of every disease.

"Now this particular period is the three different times that angels appeared unto me to do the Lord's bidding. When I was in a revival, after I had gone on the evangelistic field, after my call into this particular type of ministry... I was taken up by the Lord into a high place, and I looked out across a deep blue, beautiful sea of water. I saw two great eagles flying toward me in the distance, and as they approached closer, I marveled at their size. Finally they got close to me and they were flying so fast, I said, My, I didn't think anything could fly that fast. Why those aren't eagles, those are angels of God. They got close to me, and began to dive like two great airplanes, one after the other. They just folded their wings, and dived down, down, down toward that blue sea. Oh, it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. They dived into this sea to catch fish there. A voice spoke to me, and said these were the angels that would go with me into the world, into all portions of the world, to gather the fish (or to gather men), that he would make me a fisher of men, and angels would help me; they would protect me, and keep the evil one from me; they would help me win the souls of men for Jesus Christ's Kingdom. Many times in our meetings across the nation people have seen these angels beside me." ('James Dunn, Sign Gift Ministry' by W.V. Grant Sr).

James Dunn was one of those men of God (a little different from Smith Wigglesworth) who believed in the absolute necessity of regular FASTING for the continued effectiveness of his ministry: "Fasting keeps the spirit strong and tends to keep the spirit, and give it control over the body. When a person fasts, and brings their body into travail before God, their spirit becomes stronger, and in harmony with God. So I find that in fasting, it gives me greater power to pray with people, or for people's diseases. It gives me greater power with God to preach the word, and the revivals are a greater success. I feel that if a man should ever quit fasting, he is losing out in his ministry, and in his life for God. 'When you are weak then you are strong.' This is a separated life. God showed me at the very beginning of this ministry, that it was a separated life, that I must spend many hours fasting, praying, meditating, and staying before the Lord." ('James Dunn, Sign Gift Ministry' by W.V. Grant Sr).

W.V. GRANT, SR.

A number of great healing evangelists have been led by God to "fast and pray" for quite long periods in order to break through into greater realms of anointing and communion with God. W.V.Grant Sr, who was a mightily used and anointed man of God from earlier this century, was one such evangelist. Before coming into his full ministry anointing, he was one who spent all his spare time with Jesus in the secret place. This man constantly sought God, and fasted on the weekends. He read many books of God's servants in the past and studied his Bible day and night. He would pray for a couple of days until he got answers. He would not leave his prayer room until he got an answer from God. This and Christian work was virtually his lifestyle for fourteen years.

He had already received the baptism in the Holy Spirit fourteen years earlier, and he spoke in tongues. "Yet, I felt like I had a bow without an arrow, a car without a battery, or a boat without a paddle. I read how Peter did it, but I could not do it. I had the highway map. I was on the right road, but on the wrong side." (W.V. Grant, 'Searching for the Supernatural', pg 6). "I prayed around the altar. I fasted three days at a time. I testified about a supernatural God. I told people that I had the Holy Ghost. I spoke in tongues to prove it. All the time my heart was crying out, Where are all the miracles the Bible tells us about?" (Pg 2).

"I was a director over 13 churches... I saw people saved, filled with the Holy Ghost with other tongues. I saw a few people healed. I preached that we had the Pentecostal power. But where were the results we saw in the early church after Pentecost? I read about 200 books written by Godly men. I read every word in the Pentecostal Evangel for years... After I fasted three days, I still felt empty. That longing surely can be satisfied in some way? Who was putting that longing and searching in my soul?" (Pg 3).

"What was I waiting for? Nothing else mattered to me. I wanted to see His Glory. I wanted to see His Miracles. I wanted to see the dead raised. I wanted to see the devils cast out. I wanted to see the deaf, blind, and the mute made whole. Did not God say in the last days the lame man would leap as a hart, the tongue of the dumb would sing, and the eyes of the blind would be opened? (Isaiah 35:5)... John said in Luke 3:16, 'He shall Baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with FIRE'... It was fourteen years after I received the Holy Ghost and tongues before I received the Holy Ghost and power." (Pg 13).

"If God has called you into a full time ministry of healing the sick and casting out devils He usually gives you time to give yourselves to fasting and prayer... Then one night to my surprise the Lord appeared to me and told me to go on a seven day fast, which I was willing to do. After the fast was over the Lord appeared to me. I heard the angels singing a song I had never heard. I wrote it down. It was beautiful! It was like heaven. Then an angel just above my head spoke these words, 'In My name shall ye cast out devils, ye shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.' As I began to eat, I felt something like an electric cur- rent run out at the ends of my fingers and down to the bottom of my feet. The fire of God was all through my body!" (W.V. Grant Sr, 'Must I Fast for Forty Days', pg's 20, 36, 37): -

"But on the last day just about break of day, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me. Mark 16:17-18 - 'These signs shall follow them that believe. In My name shall you cast out devils, they shall take up serpents, if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them, they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover'... I got up, and walked, and my feet were burning as they were connected to a high voltage wire. The Holy Spirit, and Fire was running all through my whole body from my head to my toes. It seemed like all my strength had been drained out of me, and the strength of Christ had taken its place. For several years since, devils have been cast out, and people healed.

"I had the Holy Spirit for years, but it seemed that now, I was not only filled, but baptized with zeal, compassion, and with the divine nature of Jesus, with virtue, and with the fire... If you feel like the Lord has called you into a special ministry of casting out devils, then remember this: There are many more things, which are just as necessary as fasting. Fasting within itself will not be sufficient... But when I was called to fast, it was just as real as being called to preach. I was conscious of the fast, that it was the Lord's doing and not my own... It takes a longer fast for one man to be brought to the place where he is yielded to the Lord enough to receive certain gifts in his life than it does for other men. It took a certain amount of days for me to fast and to become so yielded to the Lord; it seemed that all my strength left my body, and the Lord's strength came into its place! Then I felt the virtue and divine nature, and the fire of the Holy Ghost dwelling in my body, which gave me power to meet devils and to cast them out.

"But I still have to be led by the Lord when and how to do it. It is not myself that doeth the works but the Father that dwelleth in me. God will not trust you with a ministry if you do not know the leading of the Spirit. I have talked personally to several evangelists whom God has called into a supernatural ministry. None of them went on forty-day fasts without any food. Since God has given other people ministries of deliverance without a long fast you can take courage and believe for a ministry without fasting forty days..."

MARIA WOODWORTH-ETTER

Born in 1844, Maria Woodworth-Etter lived in Lisbon, Ohio. God called her to preach at a time when people did not believe that women should preach. In fact, at this time women were not even allowed to vote. She saw the death of her little children one by one until she decided to obey Jesus Christ and go and preach the Gospel. It has been recorded that she had one of the most powerful ministries and anointing - with astounding healings, miracles and wonders - that has ever been documented in the history of the church.

Reports state that she would come into a town after sleeping in a tent, and within days there would be approximately 20,000 people in her meetings. At times, God would give people working in the fields in a fifty-mile radius around her meetings visions of heaven and hell, and they would fall to the ground under tremendous conviction. It was like a "blanket" anointing that would come down upon the whole area. It has been reported that for whole blocks around her meetings, people would be falling to the ground and repenting.

The following extracts are taken from the book, 'A Diary of Signs and Times' by Maria Woodworth-Etter:

"At one time I was praying for the salvation of sinners, and the Saviour appeared on the cross by me, and talked with me; I laid my hand on His mangled body, and looked up in His smiling face. Another time I was meditating upon the love of God in giving His only Son to die for sinners, and of the beautiful home He was preparing for those who love Him, and I seemed to float away, and was set down in the Beautiful City. Oh, the glorious sight that met my view can never be expressed by mortal tongue!" (Pg 25).

"In all my sickness and trouble the ministers and people came from the different churches in the town and had a prayer-meeting in my room. They prayed in the churches for my recovery. I was willing to die and leave my little girl and boy, feeling that God would care for them, but the work God was calling me to do loomed up before me. All these years God had been preparing me - for I was not willing. I felt like a worm in his sight. I promised God that if he would restore my health, and prepare me, and show me the work, I would try to do it; I began to get better immediately.

"I was very timid, and bound as with chains in a man-fearing spirit. When I arose to testify I trembled like a leaf, and began to make excuses - O God, send someone else! Then the Lord in a vision caused me to see the bottomless pit open in all its horror and woe. There was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. It was surrounded by a great multitude of people who seemed unconscious of their danger, and without a moments warning they would tumble into this awful place. I was above the people on a narrow plank-walk, which wound up toward heaven; and I was exhorting and pleading with the people to come upon the plank and escape that awful place. Several started. There was a beautiful bright light above me, and I was encouraging them to follow that light and they would go straight to heaven.

"In all these trials God was preparing me and opening the way for the great battle against the enemy of souls and now the great desire of my heart was to work for Jesus. I longed to win a star for the Savior's crown. Sometimes when the Spirit of God was striving and calling so plainly, I would yield and say, 'Yes, Lord; I will go.' The glory of God came upon me like a cloud, and I seemed to be carried away hundreds of miles and set down in a field of wheat, where the sheaves were falling all around me. I was filled with zeal and power, and felt as if I could stand before the whole world and plead with dying sinners. It seemed to me that I must leave all and go at once. Then Satan would come in like a flood and say, 'You would look nice preaching, being a gazing-stock for the people to make sport of. You know you could not do it.' Then I would think of my weakness and say, 'No; of course I cannot do it.' Then I would be in darkness and despair. I wanted to run away from God, or I wished I could die; but when I began to look at the matter in this way, that God knew all about me, and was able and willing to qualify me for the work, I asked Him to qualify me for the work. I ASKED HIM TO QUALIFY ME.

"I want the reader to understand, that at this time I had a good experience, a pure heart, was full of the love of God, but was not qualified for God's work. I knew that I was but a worm. God would have to take a worm to thresh a mountain. Then I asked God to give me the power he gave the Gallilean fishermen - to anoint me for service. I came like a child asking for bread. I looked for it... God did not disappoint me. The power of the Holy Ghost came down like a cloud. It was brighter than the sun. I was covered and, wrapped in it. I was baptized with the Holy Ghost, and Fire, and power, which has never left me. There was liquid fire, and the angels were all around me in fire and glory."

"I thought I would go through a course of study and prepare for the work, thinking the Lord would make my husband and people willing in some way to let me go out and work. But I could not get my mind fixed on my study. Everything seemed empty and vacant, and I was restless and uneasy... The dear Saviour stood by me one night in a vision and talked face to face with me, and asked what I was doing on earth. I felt condemned, and said, 'Lord, I am going to work in Thy vineyard.' The Lord said, 'When?' and I answered, 'When I get prepared for the work.' Then the Lord said to me, 'Don't you know that while you are getting ready, souls are perishing? Go now, and I will be with you.'

"I told Him that I could not talk to the people; I did not know what to say, and they would not listen to me. Jesus said, 'You can tell the people what the Lord has done for your soul; tell of the glory of God and the love of Jesus. Tell sinners to repent and prepare for death and the judgment, and I will be with you.' Still I made one excuse after another, and Jesus would answer, 'Go, and I will be with you'... Then Jesus said again, 'Go, and I will be with you.' I cried, 'Lord, I will go. Where shall I go?' And Jesus said, 'Go here, go there, wherever souls are perishing.' Praise the Lord for his wonderful goodness in revealing his word and will in such a wonderful way, to such a poor weak worm of the dust. I saw more in that vision than I could have learned in years of hard study. Praise His Holy Name. I saw that I must not depend on anything that I could do, but to look to Him for strength and wisdom." (Pg. 26-29).

 WILLIAM BRANHAM

William Branham was another evangelist this century who was mightily used of God for a number of years. In fact, there can be little doubt that he was endued with power to a degree that has rarely been seen since the days of the apostles. And there is still a great deal of controversy surrounding his life, death and teachings. To some of his most ardent followers (who are still around today), he seemed to assume almost semi- divine status,- a damaging and tragic fallacy that has frightened many sound Christians away from studying his life. On the other hand, even in his heyday some believers were skeptical and suspicious of the tremendous power and unusual signs and miracles that accompanied his ministry. There can be little doubt that Branham went astray in his ministry in the latter part of his life. (The fact that God took him home early, and that the cause of death was a car-crash in which his body became horribly tangled in the wreck, though he lingered on for a few more days - bears this out). However, it is my belief, and the belief of many who have studied his life, that in his early years he was one of the most anointed men of God that has ever lived in modern times.

As Gordon Lindsay wrote in his 1952 biography of Branham's early life and ministry: "The story of the life of William Branham is so out of this world and beyond the ordinary that were there not available a host of infallible proofs which document and attest its authenticity, one might well be excused for considering it far-fetched and incredible." (G. Lind- say, 'William Branham - A man sent from God', pg 9). Even his birth and childhood had unusual aspects to them. Born in 1909 in Kentucky, his family soon shifted to the state of Indiana, where they eventually settled not far from Jeffersonville. Branham's family was the "poorest of the poor". When he was seven years old, he experienced the first of many godly visitations: "It seemed to be a very still afternoon. I stepped back from the tree and noticed that in a certain place about the size of a barrel, the wind seemed to be blowing through the tree leaves. Then there came a voice saying: 'Never drink, smoke, or defile your body in any way, for I have a work for you to do when you get older.'" (Pg 30).

Branham obeyed these strictures, but he had still not been truly converted. When he was about twenty years of age, the death of his brother Edward caused him to again turn his thoughts toward God's call upon his life. However, he carried on the way he was going (essentially running away from God) for a couple of years. Finally, he ended up seriously ill - at death's door, in hospital. And suddenly God visited him again: "Closer the wind came, louder and louder... I heard that same voice that said, 'Never drink or smoke.' And the leaves I heard were the same that blew in that tree that day. But this time the voice said, 'I called you and you would not go.' The words were repeated the third time. Then I said, 'Lord, if that is you, let me go back again to earth and I will preach your gospel from the housetops and street corners. I'll tell everyone about it!'... When this vision had passed, I found that I felt better." (Pg 40-41).

However, Branham was not completely healed at this time. But he was now filled with a great hunger after God. "I started out to seek and find God. I went from church to church trying to find some place where there was an old-fashioned altar call. The sad part was I could find none... One night I became so hungry for God and a real experience that I went out to the old shed back of the house and tried to pray... All at once there came a light in the shed and it formed a cross, and the voice from the cross spoke to me in a language I could not understand... as I prayed it appeared again. Then it seemed to me that there had been a thousand pounds lifted from my soul...

"I knew then that if God wanted me to preach he would heal me, so I went to a church that believed in anointing with oil, and I was healed instantly. I saw then that the disciples had something that most of the ministers do not have today. The disciples were baptized with the Holy Ghost and so could heal the sick and do mighty miracles in His name. Therefore, I began to pray for the baptism of the Holy Ghost. One day about six months later God gave me the desire of my heart. He spoke to me in a great light telling me to preach and pray for the sick and He would heal them regardless of what disease they had. I then started preaching and doing what He told me to do." (Pg 41-42). Branham began tent meetings in his hometown of Jeffersonville, and for a 24-year-old who was just starting out, these were astonishingly successful, with up to 3000 people being attracted to the meetings at one time, and scores of conversions.

Afterwards when Branham was baptizing 130 converts in the Ohio River, a heavenly light, like a blazing star, appeared above him just as he was about to baptize the seventeenth person. This was witnessed by the vast 4000-strong congregation that stood on the banks of the river looking on. Some of them ran for fear, while others shouted or fainted. A report of this unusual event appeared in the local newspaper shortly afterwards. It has also been reported that a voice spoke from within the light, saying, "As John the Baptist was sent to forerun the first coming of the Lord, so you are sent to forerun His second coming..." What is certain is that a heavenly light was seen, and it seems likely that something along these lines was spoken over him.

It was in this same year of 1933 that a number of significant visions were given to William Branham. In June 1933 he was given a series of seven visions relating to world events that lay immediately ahead (and he told his congregation of these visions at the time). In the first of these he saw the Italian dictator Mussolini successfully invading Ethiopia, but eventually coming to a terrible demise - murdered and spat upon by his own people. In the second, he saw America being drawn into a world war against Germany, which would be headed up by an Austrian. The war would overthrow this leader, and he would come to a mysterious end. The third vision showed the three 'isms' in the world - Fascism, Nazism and Communism, and that the first two would come to nothing, but that Communism would flourish. He was told, "Watch Russia. She will become a great world power." In the fourth vision, he was shown some of the tremendous advances in Science that would come after the Second World War.

The fifth vision showed the rapid moral decay in the world, relating especially to women. He was shown this decline from the beginning of the feminist "liberation" movement of the late 19th century, and the gradual gaining of worldly power by women, to the eventual election of a 'boy president' (probably Kennedy - known to have been elected be- cause of the women's vote) and after this the progressive decline in the way women dressed - deliberately exposing their bodies more and more in an ever-increasing display of brazen sensuality. With true womanhood so little valued, a terrible decay of all flesh came upon the earth, and every form of perversion arose, just as is prophesied for the Last Days.

In the sixth vision there arose in the United States a beautiful woman, clothed in splendor and royal robes - a woman given great power, and beautiful - yet cruel, cunning and deceitful. She dominated the land with her authority. Branham felt that she represented either an actual person, or else a particular organization (perhaps the Catholic church?) However, surely there is also the possibility that she represents a great "Jezebelic" spirit that utterly dominates the landscape? In the seventh and final vision, he witnessed a great explosion that rent the entire land and left America a smoldering, chaotic ruin, with no humanity in sight. This final vision then faded away. (This last one reminds me of another Branham vision/prophecy, which he referred to often in later years, that showed that the day would come when the entire state of California west of the San Andreas Fault, would be wiped out and sent into the Pacific Ocean by a massive earthquake).

The amazing thing about this series of seven visions is that they were given at a time (June 1933) when Branham had no way at all of coming to these conclusions through mere guesswork. In 1933, Germany was by no means ready for war, Russia was by no means a dominant world power, and Communism was a relatively minor force in the world. Some of the details given in the visions were just too extraordinary to pass off as mere coincidence. (See 'The Acts of the Prophet' by Pearry Green, pg 48-51, for a fuller description). Also, the fact is that these visions were given to an uneducated, simple man in the back-blocks of Indiana, a man who had little understanding at all of political complexities. And the fact that at least five of these visions have now been precisely fulfilled means that we should surely take the others seriously also.

After the baptisms, a church was built for Branham to pastor in Jeffersonville. The next few years were a fruitful time in his life and ministry, during which he married a lovely Christian wife and they had two children. However, several years later Branham came to a crossroads and made a serious error of judgment that was to have serious repercussions for his family and ministry. After attending a Pentecostal convention for the first time (up until then he had been an independent Baptist), Branham was invited by these Pentecostals to become a traveling evangelist for them, and he felt that this was definitely a call from God. However, he allowed himself to be persuaded by friends that the Pentecostals were "trash" (they were known as 'holy rollers' at the time - the lowest of the low), and he drew back from joining with them.

"It was at this time that the anointing of God which had come upon me left me. It never really returned until five years later... Everything went wrong. With my church going down, I did not know what to do. Then began the dark period of my life when the Ohio River flood that took so many lives, came, and was responsible for the death of two of those that were the dearest to me in all the world." (G. Lindsay, 'William Branham - A man sent from God', pg 51). The great Ohio River flood of 1937 claimed the lives of Branham's wife and baby daughter, and Branham was left heartbroken, with only his infant son left. This was only eight months after he had drawn back from obeying God and joining with the Pentecostals, and he himself acknowledged the tragic connection.

For a number of years after this, Branham continued to preach and work at various jobs. He remarried, and when a new visitation of the angel of God came in 1946, he was working as an Indiana state game warden. This was to be the beginning of his international miracle ministry: "I must tell you of the angel and the coming of the Gift. I shall never forget the time, May 7, 1946, a very beautiful season of the year in Indiana, where I was still working as a game warden. I had come home for lunch... and while walking around the house under a maple tree, it seemed that the whole top of the tree let loose. It seemed that something came down through that tree like a great rushing wind... My wife came from the house frightened, and asked me what was wrong. Trying to get hold of myself, I sat down and told her that after all these twenty odd years of being conscious of this strange feeling, the time had come when I had to find out what it was all about. The crisis had come!

"That afternoon I went away to a secret place to pray and read the Bible. I became deep in prayer; it seemed that my whole soul would tear from me. I cried before God...I laid my face to the ground...I looked up to God and cried, 'If you will forgive me for the way that I have done, I'll try to do better... I'm sorry that I've been so neglectful all these years in doing the work you wanted me to do...Will you speak to me someway, God? If you do not help me, I cannot go on'... Then along in the night, about the eleventh hour, I had quit praying and was sitting up when I noticed a light flickering in the room... the light was spreading out on the floor, becoming wider... as I looked up, there hung that great star. However, it did not have five points like a star, but looked more like a ball of fire or light shining down upon the floor. Just then, I heard someone walking across the floor...

"Now, coming through the light, I saw the feet of a man coming toward me, as naturally as you would walk to me. He appeared to be a man who, in human weight, would weigh about two hundred pounds, clothed in a white robe. He had a smooth face, no beard, and dark hair down to his shoulders, of rather dark-complexion, with a very pleasant countenance, and coming closer, his eyes caught with mine. Seeing how fearful I was, he began to speak. 'Fear not. I am sent from the Presence of Almighty God to tell you that your peculiar life and your misunderstood ways have been to indicate that God has sent you to take a gift of divine healing to the peoples of the world. IF YOU WILL BE SINCERE, AND CAN GET THE PEOPLE TO BELIEVE YOU, NOTHING SHALL STAND BEFORE YOUR PRAYER, NOT EVEN CANCER.'" (Pg 76-77).

The angel told Branham that he would now have two special signs or gifts operating in his life, given to him by God. The first would enable him to detect or discern illnesses in people - a visible violent reaction in his left hand, which would make it red and swollen whenever it came into contact with sickness. The second sign would be a gift that would enable him to discern the thoughts and deeds in the past life of the individual - specific sins that needed to be repented of, etc. It was often found that as Branham challenged people over such specific sins, and they confessed them to God, they would regularly be healed of whatever ailed them even before he had a chance to lay hands on them.

This angelic visitation marked the beginning of Branham's incredible international miracle ministry, and also led directly to the great American Healing Revival of 1947 through 1955, in which many well-known ministries were raised up, and thousands upon thousands of people were saved and healed. As Branham himself said, "The great things which have taken place during these months are too innumerable to ever be recorded, but God has confirmed the angel's words time after time. Deaf, dumb, blind, all manners of diseases have been healed, and thousands of testimonies are on record to date. I do not have any power of my own to do this... God always has something or someone to work through, and I am only an instrument used by Him." (Pg 78).

Right to the end of his life, William Branham was renowned for his transparency, his simplicity and his genuine humility. No doubt, this was due in part to his early life of hardship, brokenness and poverty - a great advantage when it came to his eventual ministry. I have read several of his early sermons, and they often appeared to be little more than person- al testimonies accompanied by a simple (yet effective) gospel message. There was little sign of the somewhat strange, divisive and controversial teachings of his latter years. After all, the angel had told him that part of his commission was to help UNIFY Christians of differing backgrounds. Speaking of Branham's "outstandingly humble spirit", one observer wrote: "There is nothing boisterous or arrogant about him. He is a meek and humble man... He is a man loved by all. No one grudges him or any of his success or is envious of his great popularity." (David Harrell Jr, 'ALL Things are Possible', pg 39).

Over the following months and years, Branham traveled widely in the USA, and also to Europe and South Africa, etc. Thousands came from far, wide to hear him preach, and to witness the many outstanding healings, miracles and 'words of knowledge' that accompanied his ministry. Often, he would call out the name, city of origin and back- ground information of people in the audience whom he had never met, who had come to hear his preaching or to be healed. Of all the thousands of such 'words of knowledge' that he gave, none was ever known to be wrong or inaccurate. His gift was reportedly "exactly 100%". The deaf were healed, the blind received their sight, and even the dead were raised. There were also a number of meetings where Branham was photographed with bright 'haloes' or strange lights around him. It became standard for Branham to have the angel of God standing beside him as he ministered, and he would often wait for the angel to arrive before he began. It was also commonplace for Branham to see specific miracles enacted before his eyes in vision form several days before they actually occurred, so that when he found himself in the precise circumstance pictured in the vision, he would know exactly what to do. Astounding! And everywhere he went, God was glorified in the most profound way.

There can be no doubt that Branham was the initial pioneer and the key leader of the great Healing Revival of 1947 through 1955. During this Revival, literally, dozens of healing ministries were raised up all over America, some well known and others less prominent, but all of them inspired by the example of Branham and others. Thousands were saved and healed, not just in America, but in many other nations also. And the mighty 1954 Argentina Revival under Tommy Hicks (with meetings of up to 400,000 people) also had strong links with this Revival. Even amongst the better-known evangelists who came into prominence at that time (such as Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborne, A.A. Allen, Jack Coe, etc), William Branham was acknowledged as something special - something extraordinary. "The younger deliverance evangelists viewed him as a man set apart, like Moses. 'He was number one,' said Richard Hall, 'of the common run of evangelists that we have now, put twenty of them at one end and William Branham on the other; he would outweigh them all.'" (Winkie Pratney, 'Revival', pg 220-221).

Later in the 1950's, when a number of healing evangelists were drifting into showmanship, hype, 'prosperity' doctrines and begging for money, Branham would have none of it. He was unchanged in his attitude to- ward these kinds of excesses right to the very end. One observer wrote of him in 1959: "On my last visit I mentioned how 'car conscious' American preachers are, almost judging a man's success by the car he drives. At this particular conference, where Brother Branham was the principal speaker, they all came up in their nice cars, the picture of elegance, but Brother Branham drove up in a truck. He doesn't seem to worry about these things..." (D. Harrell Jr, 'ALL Things are Possible', pg 162).

John Wycliff

Everybody Should Have a Bible

How many Bibles do you have? I did a quick count in my office and came up with more than thirty-five. There may not be quite that many Bibles in your home, but I suppose the average Christian household has at least half a dozen. But just six hundred years ago, you might be fortunate if you ever once saw a single Bible in English, much less own one. Who got the ball rolling from no Bibles for the people to millions? One man instrumental in getting the Bible to the common folk was named John Wycliff.

Wycliff was born in 1329, in England. He was a man of rather humble origin, but of outstanding intellect. He attended Oxford University, and soon became a professor there. His brilliance was obvious to all, and evidenced in debate and discussion. He was beyond doubt the leading philosopher of Oxford University.

In the course of time, Wycliff was invited to serve as a chaplain in the kings royal court, and he soon offended the church by supporting the governments right to seize the property of clergymen who were patently corrupt. Wycliff thought that if God had given property to the church, He had given to them to be good stewards over it. And corrupt churchmen should be relieved of their stewardship! Obviously, the Pope didnt like this attitude at all.

But Wycliff was an outspoken opponent of the papacy; he called the Pope "the Anti-Christ, the proud, worldly priest of Rome, and the most cursed of robbers and pick-pockets." He didnt think there was anything magical about the Pope. He thought that if the Pope was a worldly, unspiritual man (and many of them were in those days), and that he ought to be considered a heretic and deposed. As you might guess, the Roman Pontiff could give just as good as he got. Pope Gregory said that Wycliff was "vomiting out of the filthy dungeon of his heart the most wicked and damnable heresies," and that he tried to overthrow the church. Of course, the Pope condemned his views in 1377, but influential political friends protected him from the terrors of the Inquisition.

Just what was it that Wycliff opposed in the Roman Catholic Church? He was against many of their central doctrines. He opposed the teaching of transubstantiation. That is the claim that Jesus is physically, bodily, present in the bread and wine of communion; that Christians literally eat the body and blood of Jesus at the Lords table. Wycliff believed that Jesus was spiritually present in the Lords Supper, not physically present.

Wycliff condemned the worship of saints, and said that every man has access to God, and doesnt need a priest to get to God. He thought that it was more important to worship God in spirit and truth rather than with impressive traditions.

He also held that the real Church consisted of Gods chosen people, who didnt need a priest to mediate with God for them. In addition, Wycliff believed that the church was far too interested in worldly authority, and had forfeited its spiritual authority by its greed for political power.

The traditions and customs of the church didnt matter much to John Wycliff. He was a greatly educated man, but didnt think that formal education was the most important thing for a minister. He once pointed out: "The Apostles had no college degrees!"

But as much as anything else, Wycliff believed that the Roman Catholic Church was wrong in the way that it treated the Bible. In those days, the teaching of the church was more important than the teachings of the Bible. Wycliff didnt agree with this at all. He earnestly taught that where the Bible and the church do not agree, it is the Bible that should be followed, not the church. That may seem obvious to you today, but it was revolutionary in the high days of the Papal throne. Wycliff thought the Bible was the ultimate authority, not any Pope or council. Thats why he thought it was so important to get the Bible into the hands of common folk.

So, one of the charges against Wycliff was that he had made the Bible common and more open to laymen and even women! In those days, people thought it was good for the clergy to be educated and well read in the Bible, but they thought that giving the Bible to the common folk was like casting pearls before swine. Church authorities were instrumental in having the reading of Wycliff Bibles forbidden under penalty of death. Can you imagine that? The death penalty for reading the Bible! Many martyrs perished in flames for refusing to give up the book.

More than anything, Wycliff was a man devoted to the scriptures. It had been hundreds of years since anybody was really concerned with getting the Bible into the hands of common people. He once said, "The Sacred Scriptures are the property of the people, and one which no one should be allowed to take from them . . . Christ and His apostles converted the world by making known the Scriptures to men in a way they could understand . . . and I pray with all my heart that through doing the things contained in this book we may all together come to everlasting life."

Most church leaders felt that they were wasting their time trying to teach the Bible to the common people. But Wycliff believed that people had a hard time understanding the Bible because incompetent and ignorant people were teaching it so poorly. For this reason, Wycliff put a lot of emphasis on preaching the word, and doing it well. While at Oxford, he attracted many enthusiastic supporters through his energetic preaching and teaching. While other preachers told stories about the saints and interesting fables, Wycliff taught the Word of God. His reputation for exegetical teaching - for letting the Bible speak for itself - spread across the land. His sermons were powerful. His vigorous pamphlets were widely distributed. He organized a group of priests to preach throughout the land. He thought that preaching was the most important duty of a minister, and called those pastors content to let others preach for them "murderers of Jesus."

Before long, his followers numbered in the hundreds, and became known as "Lollards" - which may mean "mutterer perhaps for the way the Word of God was always on their lips. By 1395, the Lollards had developed into an organized group, with their own ministers and popular support. They stressed a Bible-based religion; the availability of the Bible to the common man, and good preaching. Wycliff and the Lollards became a small reformation that began a hundred years before Martin Luther. And the Lollards passion for the Bible prepared the ground for Luthers Reformation when it came to England.

But the authorities of the church couldnt stand to let Wycliff keep preaching the doctrines that threatened the Popes power. Friends in high places gradually deserted him, and church authorities eventually forced him out of his influential teaching position at Oxford.

On a day in May of 1378, the teachings of John Wycliff were put on trial in the Blackfriars Monastery of London. As the judges took their seats, a sudden cry of terror erupted. The walls of the judgment-hall trembled; and earthquake shook the city of London. Some thought this was God speaking through nature, voicing His support of the accused reformer. But the trial went on.

And in the end, Wycliff was condemned and excommunicated. He was allowed to retire to a small town, where he worked on his translation of the Bible into English. Wycliff had expected to meet with a violent death from his persecutors, but God allowed him to finish his work before he died. He lived to be 64 years old.

In retrospect, John Wycliff has been called "the Morning Star of the Reformation" because of his insistence that the Bible was the only legitimate authority for faith and practice.

Thirty-one years after he died, a church council formally condemned Wycliff. Twelve years later his body was dug up and removed from the "holy ground" surrounding the church. His bones were burnt and cast into a river. But somehow it was all very fitting; because the river that bore his ashes eventually emptied into the ocean, and its waters circulated all around the world. So did the passion for the word of God that so marked the life of John Wycliff. So, the next time you pick up a Bible in a language you can read, thank God for men like John Wycliff.


  
  

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