John G. Lake (1870-1935) was an early leader in the Pentecostal movement, and brushed elbows with some of the most influential founders. Throughout his writings and sermons, he speaks of Charles Parham, William Seymour, Maria Woodworth-Etter, J. A. Dowie, and many others.
Of all ministers throughout the movement’s history, it is possible that Lake has the most diverse resumé. He worked directly with Dowie in Zion City (before Dowie’s fall), spent five years in Africa as a missionary, and held a pastorate in Spokane, Washington for many years, all while running “Healing Rooms,” where he and his followers ministered to the sick so effectively that Spokane was called the healthiest city in America at the time.
Many have distanced themselves from Lake and others from the early movement, but there is certainly much to be gained from the sermons that have survived since his death in 1935. A simple internet search will reveal a great divide concerning Lake. Many today still accept his claims, though many others have written him off as a charlatan. Others have fallen somewhere in the middle, seeing great truth in much of what he said, yet shying away from some of his more extreme teachings (among them calling modern medicine sinful).
You are encouraged to prayerfully read his sermons and decide for yourself.
Selected Sermons of John G. Lake
Jawbone Digital has released both an eBook collection of Lake’s sermons, as well a series of print books.
Books recommended by Lake
Note: This list is a work in progress, but should be a great asset to you in short order. These books are our priority, and several of them are already in progress.
So far as we know, there is no definitive list of recommended reading, such as we have from Leonard Ravenhill. However, this list has been carefully compiled from his sermons and writings. To see the full excerpts from which we have made these recommendations, click here.
Sadhu Sundar Singh
Sadhu Sundar Singh: Called of God, by (Mrs. Arthur) Rebecca Jane Parker
John Alexander Dowie
Note that Lake acknowledges that “later life he [Dowie] became broken in mind and committed many foolish things.” Most recognize this fact, but that doesn’t invalidate the good that he did, and we could certainly learn a valuable lesson from Dowie’s arrogance and subsequent fall. That being said, American First-Fruits is a collection of sermons from Dowie’s revivals along the coast of California. These occurred early in his ministry, before Dowie and Lake met, and before Dowie founded Zion City. These and sermons like them are a large part of why Dowie is concerned a front-runner to the Pentecostal movement.
We have intentions of adding some of Mother Etter’s works into our library.
The Greatest Thing in the World, by Henry Drummond
Practicing the Presence of Christ, by Brother Lawrence
David Wesley Myland
Mrs. C. L. Goodenough
We would venture to call the following books Lake’s recommendations as well, but with an asterisk. To paraphrase his words, these seemed to replace Scriptural holiness with a form of Christian ethics. This produces right behavior, but still a wrong heart at the core. John and Charles Wesley sought holiness in this way, due largely in part to these books, and encouraged others to do the same during the early part of their ministry. Later in life, it became clear to the Wesleys that the sin nature must be crucified to keep it at bay, thus giving way to his notable teaching of entire sanctification.
The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas à Kempis
Holy Living and Dying, by Jeremy Taylor
Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, by William Law
Practical Treatise Upon Christian Perfection, by William Law