The Grace of Diving Healing, by John G. Lake
Convention of Pentecostal Assemblies, Chicago, Illinois, July 26, 1920.
I want to use a familiar text: “The Grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). There never was a bigger word than the word “Grace.” If we undertake to define and analyze its operations, that beautiful term brings the many-sided Gospel of Jesus Christ to the heart with a wonderful clearness. Sometimes we see a beautiful manifestation in the lives of men, a paroxysm of gratuitous giving forth of divine loveliness. But the Grace of Jesus Christ is not His demeanor, neither His beautiful, gratuitous-giving. The Grace of Jesus is the Divine Outflow of the Nature of God, heavenly, healing loveliness and holy balm, and it comes to the needy world, not only as a sin-saving action of God, but as a healing virtue, stealing into the natures of men, soothing away their pains, changing the very chemicalization of their being, making them whole, and blessing them through salvation, healing and abiding rest in God. Divine Healing is no mystery. It is the definite action of the Spirit of God in the souls and bodies of men.
There is a Grace of God that rests upon a community, a Grace of God that rests upon a church, a Grace of God that rests upon an individual. In South Africa there used to be an old lady who visited our home once in a while. She was one of the sweetest, most blessed creatures I ever met; when she came into my office and sat down for five minutes she brought the consciousness of God, a restfulness and peace of mind. From her whole person there seemed to radiate the blessedness that can only be described as the Grace of God, and the very atmosphere would become pregnant with it. Sometimes when we had failed to pray down healing for a sick one the radiation of His holy healing sweetness through that dear old saint of God would make the sick one well. After I learned to appreciate the wonder of her presence, and what she brought in her soul, I used to make excuses to take her out into the dining room and show her something, real or imaginary. Then I would take her to the bedroom of my sons to show her the paper on the wall, then to the room where my daughters slept, and finally to the kitchen. I wanted her to leave that beautiful emanation of God all over the place, because, when she was gone, it seemed as if the house settled down—the noisy children ceased to disturb, and even the invisible unrest disappeared, soothed into the holy quiet by a presence that perhaps few ever took time to understand or realize. It was the Grace of God.
I was interested in our brother’s little story of the young man with suicidal intention who was saved and healed. Strangely, at Portland, we had an experience with a young woman who was on the way to the river with suicidal intention. Somehow she felt impelled to come up to our healing rooms. She sat for a little while, and we talked to her and soothed her heart and tried to get her to God. I said to Mrs. G.: “I wish there was someone who could take her and love her for a little while.” She suggested Mrs. Cole, one of our Holy Ghost-filled souls, but I was reminded that she had no telephone. I said, “We will have to look to heaven, and God will send her here.” Thirty minutes later Miss Cole came in and said: “Mr. Lake, you wanted me.” So I took her and introduced her. I said: “Just take this woman home with you. Take her to bed with you, and put your arms around her, and let her feel your love. Let her know what the Grace of God is, not by preaching, but by contact.”
So she took her home, and four days later the young woman came back, after having given her heart to God. In the meantime, God got to work on the other end of the line, and her brother came from a distant city and said: “Mother is just dying for you to come home.” And she went to her home to be a blessing to her brother, sister and dear old parents and the kingdom of God. This is the same Grace of healing that flowed from the loving hands and heavenly spirit of Jesus—the very same Grace of God that healed the dumb boy last night as Sister Etter prayed, or that baptized the man as Brother Gillespie prayed.
The Grace of God, in Jesus Christ, enriches man’s heart and gives him loveliness that is unspeakable. When I was leaving South Africa, a gentleman, Lord North, came to me and said: “I want to give you a letter to my old mother, eighty-nine years old, who lives in London. When you get there, tell her this is from her son. I want you to know my mother and, if possible, pray with her.” I arrived at the old lady’s home and made her acquaintance—a most beautiful, wonderful woman—the very finest type of English aristocracy. There was a radiance from her mind that would bless and keep on blessing you. In the night time, to this hour, when I lie still in meditation I think of that old mother, of the radiant loveliness of her life, and can still feel that blessed aura of Christ that enriched my heart. I did not pray for her of lay my hands upon her. I only said: “Let the light and glory of Christ from your soul have power in your body.” She was healed right then.
I wonder when the Lord Jesus Christ passed down the highway from Bethany to Jerusalem, if the atmosphere was not alive—pregnant with the beautiful light, beautiful life, divine presence and blessing. I haven’t a bit of doubt that when someone walked down that way after Jesus passed, and breathed the air that Jesus breathed, they felt the life of God that was shed from His person, and were healed by the virtue with which the very atmosphere had become pregnant, because Christ was there. That same healing Grace permeated the atmosphere around dear old Peter, so that the sick were healed as far from him as his eventide shadow reached.
That is my ideal of a Christian heart, a Christian life, a Christian church or a Christian ministry. My soul desires, by the Grace of God, that out through these old brick walls there will flow that beautiful emanation of the Christ throughout dirty Chicago that will discover disease in every part of the city and heal both soul and body. Let our faith vitalize the Spirit and it is done. “The Grace of God that bringeth salvation,” stealing into men’s hearts, bringing them into that holy unity of life God meant the world to enjoy; that Jesus Christ came to reveal, and in order to obtain it, gave His precious blood as its tremendous price. “The Grace of God that bringeth salvation,” the Grace of God hath appeared, bringing to man a heart made free from sin’s power and control; a soul set free, a life joined to God, a consciousness of holy oneness with our Father God, through Jesus Christ. Atonement makes at-one-ment in body, soul and spirit with Christ, both in salvation through Him and in ministry for Him.
How blessed it is when once in a while we walk suddenly into the presence of one rich with the light and life of God. As we emerge from the storms of life, as we come out of the turmoil, passing into the presence of the sunlit soul, the God-lit life, instantly there comes to the heart that balm and sweetness and presence and power, indicating the presence of God, leaving upon our life a divine influence that gives us restfulness of mind, and restfulness of heart, and quiet in God, our pulse becomes normal under its power, and God is recognized, and so when we preach the Gospel of Christ we do not wait till the end of the meeting to minister this healing, but out of our hearts we give forth the heavenly love and power to whosoever will receive.
(At the close of the service a lady, also two gentlemen, announced that as these words were uttered they were instantly healed.)
We lift our hearts to heaven that this blessed Grace of God from on High may so rest over our soul that, as we fulfill the duties of this day, God’s power and blessing may rest upon every heart, and like a divine benediction that Grace of God, ministered by Jesus Christ, shall so impregnate our lives that we shall go forth as sons of God to bless the hungry world, for which our Lord has died.
There is the Grace of God that goes underneath the soul of a man, that—by the blessed gift of the Spirit—lifts from the life forever the shadows and darkness that sin has brought, and takes away the corrosion that has come upon the soul of man, and, by the Grace of God, lets the heart of man understand the blessed touch of the Son of God that imparts eternal life. Blessed be His name.
“Down in the human heart,
Crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried
That Grace can restore.
Touched by a loving heart,
Wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken
Will vibrate once more.”
Oh, yes, beloved, there is a Grace of God that goes underneath the life and lifts the nature of man into beautiful holiness and heavenly contact, into the consciousness of purity, the realization of power. Blessed be His name forever!
“The healing of Christ’s seamless dress is by all beds of pain. We touch Him in life’s throng and press, And we are whole again.”
One morning in Spokane a distress call came from a woman on behalf of her husband. Brother Andrews, Dr. McInturff and I responded. We found the man in delirium tremens, begging his wife for just a little more whiskey, and making the usual promises that an insane man would make. We knelt by his bed, laid our hands upon him, lifted our heart in love and faith to God. “The Grace that bringeth salvation” appeared, stole into that man’s soul, and in five minutes his pains were gone, the curse had departed, and he never wanted whiskey again. Later he called on me in Portland, Oregon, took my hands and poured out his tears and love for God, told of his success in life, and all the rest of the beautiful story. The Lord was not in the cyclone or the fire or the earthquake. He is now, as then, in the still small voice and healing touch of divine gentleness.
Brother, what will you trade for the Grace of God? What else in life is worth while to him who knows the blessed secret of its heavenly action in the lives of men, by which they are delivered from sin and sickness and brought into fellowship and harmony with the living Son of God Most High? Bless His name forever and forever!
Every soul has had its own contact with God. Every soul has its own touch with God. If that touch with God has not been real to your heart yet, I want to tell you, my brother, my sister, it may become just as real in your soul as it is real in mine. It may become just as real in your heart as it has in the heart of any man in the whole world. Bless God! Mrs. Graham, our secretary, was dying of pneumonia. As I entered her home I was met by Rev. Fogwill coming out. He said: “Brother Lake, you are too late. She is gone.” The flames of God came over my heart, and though she had not breathed for three minutes, the breath and power of Christ came upon her and she is continuing her ministry for God and man.
Beloved, the Christian life is a glorious doorway into God, through Jesus Christ, into the divinest secrets that the soul of man ever desired to attain. And, bless His name, you and I tonight are privileged to enter that doorway, and to know Him “Whom to know aright is eternal.”
Some days past, Dr. McInturff and I were called to the bedside of a soul that was dying. She had gone out of her mind. Had become unconscious, and was then in a coma of death. Her nurse told us she had not been able to speak, hear or see for a number of days. We knelt and prayed and left, still with the feeling that God was there. That subtle action of the Spirit was not even manifested in the woman’s body so far as we could tell. We could only feel the action in our heart, but we went away with the consciousness that our prayer was heard, and the work was done.
Weeks passed, and there was no sound from the woman, no voice that came to report her condition, until finally one day her mother-in-law came into the office and told how wonderfully God had delivered and healed that woman. Later the lady walked in herself, and for half an hour told of the wonderful inner action of the Spirit that went on in her life, even while we prayed. She said: “Brother, as you knelt by my bedside, I became conscious there was someone there. All I knew was that the sound of the voices was different from others. Then you proceeded to put your hands on my head, and I could feel your fingers in my hair. Something began to steal down through my brain, the awful torture gradually subsided. After a while my person became still and quiet, and I was quiet in my soul. Then I discerned that that something was an intelligence. It began to move. It talked to me about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It bade me have faith in God, and said that I should come out of this condition, and be a blessing to my home and husband. And, brother, as it talked to me day by day, I knew it was the voice of the Holy Spirit. I have tried to be obedient to that voice, brother, and I am here because that Voice told me to come down and tell you your prayer was heard. The Grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto me, and I am now a child of God.”
We had not spoken of the Grace of God “that bringeth salvation,” but that living presence of the Holy Spirit that came into her heart, gave her the very words of the blessed Holy Scriptures, indicating the power in the Grace of God that not only brought salvation to the world because Christ died, but that brings salvation and healing to the hearts of men today, because Jesus Christ lives. Bless God! For “if we are saved through His death, much more are we saved through His Life.”
The world is in need of a knowledge of Christ’s way of salvation and healing. The whole subject of the real truth of its actuality has become greatly dimmed in the hearts of man. There is a great need of a wondrous clarifying of the spiritual atmosphere, in order that His power may be made effective to those who turn their hearts thitherward.
This, then, is part of the mission of Pentecost. Not only to declare our Christ as a Savior and Healer, and His benefits available, but to manifest them by God’s grace in daily life, through God-anointed lives and hands, and God-anointed hearts, and to carry that blessed Grace of God, and transmit it to whomsoever will. Lay your hands on the sick believer, Jesus Christ commanded it, “and they shall recover.”
So I am praying that upon your souls there will come that presence of God, through Christ, that will make you realize yourself as a minister of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with a mission from God, and that in His name you, too, my brother, you too, my sister, will go forth to carry this light and life and power to whomsoever will.
In the back of the house is a brother who always wants to apologize because he is a German, and does not speak our language properly. In his community a young man is dying of consumption. One day Mr. P. called on him; told him of his Christ, his Savior and His power to heal. That man with his broken English was God’s messenger to his neighbor.
The result was that the young man came to our healing rooms, and, like a manly fellow, said: “I am no Christian. I have not been interested in religion. I have heard that people are healed here. I am dying and have no hope. Tell me what you have to say in the shortest words you can.”
I said: “Young man, God is able to deliver you. He is able to heal you. He is ready to do it right now.” He replied: “I haven’t a bit of faith.” I said: “But I am a child of God, I am a son of God, and I have faith.” And without more ado I proceeded to pray.
The man was healed. His sister was converted and healed, and other members of the family were converted. I received word telling of a movement of God in the community, whereby a dozen people are seeking God unto salvation. All because one man testified to his neighbor of the truth of Christ today. Verily, the old-time Gospel of salvation and healing brings old-time results for God.
“For the Grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared.” Not only in Christ, as I said before, as a Savior, when He gave His life for the world, but it “hath appeared” in your heart, young man—in your life, young woman—that your soul might be made free from sin’s power, your body made free from the control of disease, and in very truth you should feel and know yourself to be a child of God in deed and in truth.
(The old hymn, A Sinner Once Came to Jesus By Night was sung, led by Brother Lake. The power of God fell upon the audience.)
When the heart call of God comes to your soul, when the blessed Spirit of God speaks to you as it does tonight, and points to you, saying: “Son, daughter, give Me thine heart,” beloved, that is the time to begin your entrance into God. That is the time to call on God that by His Grace, His wondrous love and power may be revealed in your heart, and in His blessed name you, too, may be numbered among those who know Jesus Christ, Savior and Healer, forever.
I pray that upon the souls of this precious people the blessed Spirit of God may come afresh. Many a heart has been longing for the day when they would find the presence of God, sufficient to open the doors of their nature, and break down the barriers in their life, when God might have entrance and power in their soul, and by His Grace they might truly know Him. That day has come.
John G. Lake was one of the most influential Pentecostal pioneers early in the twentieth century. His teachings have continued to bless many for generations, and he continues to be one of the most read minister’s in Pentecostal circles today.