Note: It can be said that the life of an Apologist can be viewed by some as very negative in appearance and in word. A. W. Tozer once said that the men and woman called to fix the problem (heresy) are often quite different from the usual cut of minister. He said “Such a man was likely to be drastic, radical, possibly at times violent, and the curious crowd that gathered to watch him work soon branded him as extreme, fanatical, negative. And in a sense they were right. He was single-minded, severe, fearless, and these were the qualities the circumstances demanded. He shocked some, frightened others and alienated not a few, but he knew who had called him and what he was sent to do. His ministry was geared to the emergency, and that fact marked him out as different, a man apart.” It is with this in mind that I would like to present this article to paint a complete picture of the life of an apologist and perhaps give hope to some of our young men and women who are defending the faith.
Let us set the time period of this from the winter of 1972 until spring 2004. It begins with our (my self and my wife) belief that as believers, even young believers, we were to preach the word to the world and expect signs and wonders to follow. God did some marvelous things, as we will catalog below. The so-called Faith movement people were outraged around us because they didn't have these wonders in their camp, and though people were permanently healed of many things, they just couldn’t believe because of our theology. The times were filled with many hardships and persecutions, and God got the glory for it all.
I would like to call attention to II Chronicles 7:13-14 as a base text throughout all of this so you might understand what you will be seeing. Only a fool would argue that the plague, drought, and disasters in our land don’t apply. In the last 30 years we have seen tornadoes that destroy yet miss us completely (talk about Grace); we’ve been in an earthquake and yet not harmed; prayer that opens up closed snowy roads for our passage, yet immediately are closed behind us; drought and flooding in an area that did not repent. On one occasion I prayed that the weather would do exactly as I said in order to be a witness for salvation and it happened. We were preaching repentance to some Christians on a pacific beach and were not received. Immediately after this time the beach was struck by an oil slick and could no longer be used. We were warned to leave the Mt. St. Helen’s area just before it blew. Praise be to God!! We were warned not to go to San Francisco, especially not fisherman’s wharf. Right after that there was an earthquake there and it struck at precisely the time we would have been there had we not heeded the warning. We have been struck by lightening and not injured. We saw a blood red sky at night in an area that was so far south that they had never seen northern lights before (if it was northern lights as some tried to claim). It was not like any northern lights I have ever seen. I took it to be a warning of a highly polluted atmosphere to come. Something even worse than all the fires they have had in the Western United States.
These are the things that have happened in areas all over the U.S. and most of them are in areas that would not listen to us. Repent is the word.!!!! Of course it is understood that I am talking to the Church to repent, not to the unsaved world, even though they do need to repent and be saved. Scripture says “if my people……” so I don’t believe it leaves any doubt. We have seen bubonic plague in squirrels all over the West and Midwest. Hantavirus seems to be almost everywhere. Chronic wasting disease and tularemia is on the rise everywhere. We have seen massive infestations of poisonous spiders, mosquitoes, locusts, and let’s not forget West Nile Virus. We have also seen wild fish coming down with diseases that make people sick when they eat them. We have seen churches closed all over the U.S. where we were not received. Along with all of this we have seen drought and flooding. Some of the drought areas are now six years old, with no relief in sight. Some areas seem to change for the good while we are there for several months, and then go back to drought as soon as we leave. We have seen earthquakes occur twice in areas that we prayed about concerning how evil the areas were.
All of the above has a tendency to be negative sounding, but at the same time there were also numerous miracles and wonders, Praise be to God. I found myself in the hospital with my leg blown off and yet God saw to it that I would walk again and keep my leg. While a patient in the hospital, I prayed for 3 people with cancer, a brain tumor and saw several people come to the Lord including a nursing instructor. The cancers and the brain tumor were all healed. By the way, the real problem with my leg was shrapnel in an area that Dr.’s couldn’t get to without damaging me. God removed the shrapnel and placed it in the hand of the surgeon, much to his amazement. I got out of the hospital in a very short time and the Dr.’s couldn’t believe it. The entire medical staff knew something different was going on, and many came and asked. What a glorious time to witness. Shortly after that, we left the hospital and stayed with some people in what they called an Agape House. God continued to do many wonderful things and yet the unbelief in the church got the best of them and they shut their doors, as did two other churches in the area affiliated with them.
Here are some more healing miracles. My daughter broke her hip, and God healed it before we could get to the Dr. I held a young boy after service and God healed him of a deformed back, and a mitral valve defect. Medical doctors confirmed this. After the boy was healed, he jumped out of my arms and ran to his mother. His mother cried and said, “He couldn’t do that before.” His mother was a nurse. I was talking to a pastor about how we had been blessed by God after we had given some things away. He said that God doesn’t do that kind of stuff anymore. While we were discussing the issue, one of the people in his church walked up and said, “Pastor, someone just gave us an entire orchard of ripe fruit.” I thought it was funny at the time. Just goes to show that God has a sense of humor. We witnessed God healing an old crippled woman who had to literally crawl up to her door to let us in. God healed dozens of things on her body. The next week when she came to prayer meeting, she was bouncing up and down with great joy and danced before the Lord. Some people have told us that God just doesn’t do this kind of stuff anymore. What was it we saw then and why did the healings stick over a time? We have had miracle provisions. We were given an entire field of pumpkins, half a ton of eggplant, half a ton of cabbage, bushels of tomatoes and chili peppers. Money given to us by strangers in parking lots and campgrounds just to mention a few. At a group home for mentally and physically challenged people, we saw God heal blind eyes, deaf ears, broken legs and hips and confused minds.
At one church we had been directed to by the Lord with a message of reproof and correction, we saw the grace of God in action even in the middle of the message about judgment. We met a woman who had been healed during the message of reproof. She was a visitor to that church and was healed of the effects of a stroke while the message was being given. She had not even heard the message; such was the grace of God who showed forth grace where he desires as it is written. Another time we were ministering and praying for people, when a young man came forward and wanted to know “what kind of witchy powder are you using?” (There was no powder being used). I found myself asking the young man if he had ever heard the story of Ananias and Sapphira? He said no who are they? I placed my hands over his ears, praying, not quite sure what God would do in the face of such a thing. The young man returned to his seat, quiet and thoughtful while I continued to minister. A short time later, he asked if he could say something. I turned the microphone over to him. He then began to testify how his ears had been healed of an infection that had been ongoing for several months. He had sat down, noticed that his ears did not hurt and that the drainage was gone, and he could hear clearly. He then wanted to accept Jesus as his savior as he now knew he was real. Again, God’s grace was present in the midst of a stern message. As a side note, having seen God’s grace in action, it’s a shame how many people choose to go on sinning, choose not to live their life for Christ, saying that it doesn’t matter we are all under grace now.
On another occasion, I had invited 2 young black men out for dinner. God had impressed upon me not to worry about the provision, and I told the young men to order whatever they wanted. I placed our order, and the young men decided not to have anything other than a coke. It was about that time we had noticed a drunk. I preached the gospel to him in a very stern way, which I never do in this circumstance. I also knew there was danger for him if he left the café too soon. He sobered up completely as I talked. It was my belief I had saved his life, because God pointed him out. When the meal was done, I went to the register to pay. The waitress said, “Don’t worry about it. This meal is on me. I saw what you did for that man.” The young men with me were dumbfounded because they could have eaten from the hand of God’s grace. We ended up going to the church these young men attended. While we were sitting in the back of the church, God did something very special. A minister on the pulpit pointed at us and said, “The Glory of God is all over those people sitting in the back.” This opened up the door for us to speak in the church, where there were more miracles of salvation and healing. May God continue to bless you Loretta, James and Joey.
I’ve decided to list a bunch of things together not to take away from God’s glory, but to shorten this up a little bit. Here is more of God’s grace. A woman with a migraine was healed of an aneurysm behind her right eye. A young girl had believed her way to a conference in Colorado all the way from Sweden. She started with very little money and at the conference, I saw money piled at her feet just as it happened to the apostles. I learned that obedience is better than sacrifice. I learned 3 things to watch out for as a minister. Gold, Girls & Glory. I saw God heal a man who had been injured 20 years earlier in a motorcycle wreck. He refused to believe that God would heal him. God sovereignly healed him anyway. God restored a marriage during a service we held and I didn’t even know He was doing it (He doesn’t have to tell me anything if He doesn’t want to). The parties involved told me after the service what had happened. They hadn’t even been sitting together. I prayed for a woman who had been abused as a child by her father. We prayed for 5 years. She finally trusted men again and was married and has been blessed with a wonderful male child. God used us to bring healing of bitterness to a minister who had been with Dr. Martin Luther King when he was killed. Although the bitterness caused the pastor and his associates to treat us very badly for a long time, God finally softened his heart and the last time I saw him, he gave me a hug. What a testimony to the power of God. In Salt Lake City we arrived on Pentecost. We were invited to a citywide service by several pastors and the purpose was to test the gifts God had given us (we found this out later). They lined up a whole row of people in chairs and we were to pray for all of them. This goes against our grain, as we don’t lay hands on people hastily. Instead God had us pray about each person. God revealed up to 12 different needs on at least 2 of the people and 2 to 3 things on the rest. This was immediately after driving 800 miles with no rest. They claimed they had never seen such a thing. God seemed to be very convincing to them. My wife prayed for a pastor’s wife in El Paso in an all Spanish speaking church. This was in open service and God revealed she had openly opposed her husband and his efforts for 20 years. She repented, was healed, there was great rejoicing in the church and the people went out into the neighborhood and brought in a multitude of sick people to be prayed for. We prayed for 3 hours. It was a wonderful time. When we were ministering to a church in Texas, they would not repent. When God kicked out their skylight (the one over the sanctuary) during services, many did repent including the old minister. My son and I were healed of broken necks from 2 different accidents. We were stranded in Orlando and received help in a very unusual way. Many times we have run into people who have asked us to stay with them. These were people we did not know. We have received miracle furniture, freezers, and autos. These are considered major divine appointments: Pensacola, University of Utah, Tyler, Tulsa, Bethlehem Baptist in Pueblo, Greeley, El Paso, Cheyenne, Ft Worth, Anaheim and Riverside. Herds of wild animals and flocks of wild birds, not to mention the fish.
What does this all mean?? God walks with men today. Judgment is real. And the beauty of Grace is a thing to behold. I have mentioned some of this before, and have been told I am full of it. Our walk with God does not depend upon the validation of anyone. REPENT and be blessed.
|THE SUM OF ALL THINGS|