“The gift of healing is a fact. It is a production. It is a faith. It is an unwavering trust. It is a confidence.. It is a reliability.” - Smith Wigglesworth
-“Bless the Lord. O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases… - King David -
“We have witnessed miraculous healings of paralysis, blindness, deafness, cancer, deformities, AIDS, hernias, tuberculosis, asthma, diabetes, bulimia, anorexia, mental disorders, cirrhosis, different blood diseases, ulcers, rheumatism, arthritis, myasthenia, heart and lung diseases, bone disease, eye problems, trauma in the optical nerve, homosexuality, and a variety of addictions…drugs, gambling, alcohol and smoking…as well as creative miracles such as the replacement of missing bones…all in the name of and for the glory of Jesus.”
- Guillermo Prein- (owner of a Christian FM radio station in Buenos Aries)“(
King) Asa became diseased…and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians. So Asa rested (died) with his fathers…” - 2 Chronicles 16:12,13 -
“I want you to see that you can be healed if you will hear the Word…God never intended His people to be ordinary and commonplace. His intentions were that they should be on fire for Him, conscious of His divine power…God has privileged us in Christ Jesus to live above the ordinary plane of human life. Those who want to be ordinary and live on a lower plane, can do so. But as for me, I will not!” - Smith Wigglesworth -
“I am willing; Be cleansed! (healed) (Matthew 8:3) Jesus the Christ -
John G. Lake was known as "A Man of Healing". He often said that the secret in heaven's power was not in the doing but in the being. Born in 1870, Lake was originally from Ontario, Canada and being one of sixteen children he moved with his family to Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. He first heard the Gospel preached when he was sixteen at a Salvation Army meeting and surrendered his life to the Lord. He would later become a very successful businessman who was influenced by the healing ministry of John Alexander Dowie. In 1907, he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the Azusa Street Revival and later became known for his ministry as a missionary and "faith healer." Lake was a man of "purpose, vision, strength, and character" and he believed that Spirit-filled Christians should "enjoy the same type of ministry Jesus did" while living on the earth.
Roberts Liardon tells us:
"As a youth, Lake was very interested in the art of science and physics. He enjoyed chemistry and loved to experiment with scientific instruments and equipment. He even took a course in medicine, but later dropped his medical pursuit...he tirelessly investigated the Bible with an eye to not only understand it, but also to prove its accuracy in everyday life. As a result, Lake walked, talked, and breathed in the flow of God's resurrection life."
Knowing the reality of the power of God in each of us, Lake would take delight in challenging the "hoity-toity" scientists and doctors of that day:
"I said to them (scientists), ‘Gentlemen, I want you to see one more thing. Go down in your hospital and bring back a man who has inflammation in the bone. Take your instrument and attach it to his leg. Leave enough space to get my hand on his leg. You can attach it to both sides.' When the instrument was ready, I put my hand on the man's shin and prayed...no strange prayer, but the cry of my heart to God. I said, ‘God, kill the devilish disease by Your power. Let the Spirit move in him; let it live in him.' Then I asked, ‘Gentlemen, what is taking place?' They replied, ‘Every cell is responding!' In just a few minutes the man jumped off the table completely healed."
Most of John Lake's early life he would have loved to forget. It was full of pain and sorrow. Lake's parents were strong, vigorous people who had wonderful health. But that wasn't so with their children. A spirit of infirmity and death invaded the family. Out of the sixteen children, eight, four brothers and four sisters died from illness. In his personal account, "Adventures in God", Lake wrote:
"For 32 years some member of our family was an invalid. During this period our home was never without the shadow of sickness, doctors, nurses, hospitals, hearses, funerals, graveyards and tombstones; a sorrowing household; a broken-hearted mother and a grief-stricken father, struggling to forget the sorrows of the past in order to assist the living members of the family who needed their love and care."
His present life wasn't in a fair manner either. Those brothers and sisters who were still alive were not doing well at all. One brother was an invalid due to internal bleeding for twenty-two years. His thirty-four year old sister had breast cancer. Another sister was dying from blood disease. His wife, Jennie, after five years of marriage was now close to death and the rheumatism that afflicted him since he was a child had increased with leg distorting pain. All this brought him to a breaking point. It was a time of soul searching...a time of humbling one's self...a time of God. You see, God was about to change everything in the life of John Lake and is it any wonder, that in 1898, John Lake was facing the crises of his life.
Back in 1891, John was admitted to the Methodist school of ministry. Later that year he was appointed to pastor a church in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. He declined the pastorate and left the ministry for a career in business. Lake proved to be a very industrious businessman. In just seven years he founded two newspapers and also began a very successful career in real estate. He met Jennie Stevens, who had a strong faith in God, and they were married in 1893. They would be blessed with seven children. But just two years into the marriage Jennie was diagnosed with tuberculosis and heart disease. She was given strong doses of stimulants and nitroglycerine tablets...all this made her a virtual invalid. That brings us back to 1898 when the doctors told John that Jennie was dying and there was nothing more they could do.
Lake had heard of the healing ministry of John Alexander Dowie so he decided to travel to Zion City, Illinois fifty miles from Chicago. Dowie founded the city as a place of healing for those who believed. While there, an older man laid hands on Lake and the power of God came upon him. The legs that were so distorted from his rheumatism instantly straightened out. Lake would eventually bring all his sick and dying brothers and sisters to Zion City and they would all be healed and lead normal lives. Lake rushed home to bring his wife but Jennie's final hours seemed to be upon her. When Lake reached home a doctor and a fellow minister encouraged him to accept her approaching death. Lake knew that premature death was the work of the devil and with a boldness that only comes from the Holy Spirit and a faith in the Word of God he marched into the bedroom and declared to all principalities and powers and to the heavenlies that his wife would be healed by the power of the name of Jesus at exactly 9:30 a.m.! When 9:30 arrived Lake walked into the bedroom laid hands on Jennie and immediately her paralysis left, her heartbeat became normal, her cough ceased, her breathing regulated, and her temperature returned to normal. The joyous praise and worshipping God that followed could be heard out in the streets.
Everyone in the neighborhood was staggered at the news. Soon the story of Jennie's healing became national news. Newspapers across the nation carried the story and Lake was instantly into the ministry. People arrived at his house from all over the nation to be prayed for. Many others sent prayer requests.
In 1901 Lake moved to Zion, Illinois to study divine healing under John Alexander Dowie. Lake would preach at night, study when he could and work full time during the day. During this time he would write:
"It became easy for me to detach myself from the course of life, so that while my hands and mind were engaged in the common affairs of every day, my spirit maintained its attitude of communion with God."
By turn of the century standards, John Lake was making a fortune. He was also a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and a top business consultant to top executives and formed a trust of the nation's top three insurance companies. In the midst of all this the calling of God continued to grow in him. He was learning more and more to walk in the Spirit. His success also helped him gain new friends and these he had the opportunity to witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had relationships with many of the leading figures of his day including railroad tycoon, James J. Hill, Cecil Rhodes, Mahatma Gandi, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, and W.T. Stead. Stead was an editor of the largest newspaper in London. He wrote daily editorials from the Welsh Revival that was awe-inspiring to his readers. He was good friends with William Booth founder of the Salvation Army and had a close relationship with Lake. Stead invited Lake on a once in a life-time excursion that would make history. Lake turned down the offer. W.T. Stead never returned from that voyage and it did make history. The voyage was the maiden trip of the H.M.S. Titanic.
In 1906, Lake began to hear about a great move of God in Los Angeles that had the makings of Pentecost and the speaking of tongues. Lake began to pray for a baptism of the Holy Spirit and traveled to the revival. There he met William Seymore and soon surrendered himself to the perfect will of God. Lake would later write:
"When the phenomena had passed, the glory of it remained in my soul. I found that my life began to manifest a varied range of the gifts of the Spirit. And I spoke in tongues by the power of God, and God flowed through me with a new force. Healings were more of a powerful order."
Again he would write:
"Tongues have been to me the making of my ministry. It is that peculiar communication with God...(that) reveals to my soul the truth I utter to you day by day in the ministry."
John Lake could not put it off any longer. He now had an overwhelming desire to enter the ministry full time, "I am through forever with everything in life but the proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." The year before he came to that decision Lake was able to accumulate over $130,000 in the bank, above expenses, and bought real estate worth $ 90,000. His annual salary when he quit for the ministry was $50,000 per year ( over 1.5 million in 2008 dollars).
In 1907, John and Jennie disposed of their estate, their wealth, and their possessions. They were determined to be entirely dependent upon God. At the same time on the same day, even though they were in different parts of the city, the Spirit of God told John and Jennie that they were to go to Africa.
Shortly after the Lakes arrived in Africa, John was asked to take the pulpit of a pastor who was on a leave of absence. That first Sunday over 500 Zulus were present at the service. A great revival broke out that day and within weeks multitudes from Johannesburg and the surrounding area were "saved, healed, and baptized in the Holy Spirit." Lake later wrote:
"From the very start it was as though a spiritual cyclone had struck."
News spread far and wide, and hundreds packed into the meetings to be prayed for. The revival was changing the area. The meetings would sometimes last all night and at dawn groups of people could be seen discussing the power of God and the healings they witnessed. All day long, throughout the town, people could be seen with Bibles in their hands going from house to house. When the people slept was anybody's guess. During the meetings both John and Jennie would preach. Lake believed his wife "possessed the spirit of discernment in a more marked degree" then he did. She would have knowledge concerning those who were unable to receive their healing because of sin in their life. Great manifestations of healing filled the meetings. Hurting, sick, diseased and weak would line up on one side of the platform and would leave shouting that God had healed them!
Lake established the Apostolic Tabernacle in Johannesburg and the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa. Lake and this organization started over 700 churches (125 "white" and 600 "native"). The healings that flowed through Lake became almost commonplace.
In 1908, while Lake was ministering in the Kalahari Desert across the Jungle, his wife Jennie died. By the time he could return he missed her funeral by 12 hours. Even though Lake was devastated he remained in Africa for four more years with seven children to raise and now an organization of over 250,000 relying on him for leadership.
In January 1910, a devastating plague was sweeping across the continent. In one month one quarter of the population had died. The government could not find anybody to nurse the sick because the plague was so contagious. A reward of $1000 went out to anybody who would care for the sick. Still there were no takers. Meanwhile Lake and his assistants were the only help to be had, free of charge. They would go into the houses bring out the dead and bury them. But no symptom of the plague ever touched them. Lake would tell the doctors:
"...It is the law of the Spirit of Life in Jesus Christ. I believe that just as long as I keep my soul in contact with the living God so that His Spirit is flowing into my soul and body, that no germ will ever attach itself to me, for the Spirit of God will kill it."
He would delight in having the doctors experiment with him. He would tell the doctors to take the foam from the lungs of a dead plague victim and put it under a microscope. The doctors would then find masses of living germs. Lake would then tell them to spread the deadly foam on his hands. When the doctors did so they found that the germs died instantly. They would all stand in amazement while Lake would continue to give God the glory. That same anointing flowed through Lake's hands that hundreds of thousands of healings were reported every year. Even the Queen of Holland heard of Lake's walk with God and asked him to pray for her. She had suffered six miscarriages back to back. Lake prayed with her and she gave birth to her first full-term child, Queen Juliana of Holland.
1910 to 1912 was a fruitful ministering time for Lake in Africa. In one service thousands were healed as he prayed for the sick. Gordon Lindsey, in his biography of Lake, THE APOSTLE IN AFRICA, tells us that by the time Lake returned to America, his ministry efforts produced "1,250 preachers, 625 congregations, and 100,000 converts. The exact number of miracles...could never be counted on earth."
Lake returned to America in 1912. In 1913 he met and married Florence Switzer. Florence was an excellent stenographer and recorded and preserved many of Lake's sermons. This union produced five children.
Lake travelled to Spokane, Washington where he would set up "healing rooms" in an old office building. The city was taken by storm and it is estimated, according to Lindsey that, over 100,000 healings occurred in those rooms. The Spirit of God rested on Lake during those years. Many times, as he would shake the hands of those entering the services, they would often fall to the ground under the power of God. Often, people would fall prostrate when they came within six feet of him. The Spokane newspapers consistently published the healing testimonies of the people. During an interview it was asked about his healing virtue. Lake instantly set the interviewer straight. It was not him, he would reply, but the power and faith in the name of Jesus of Nazareth that brought the healing. He was just a humble vessel by which the Holy Spirit could abide. Lake likened himself to a "lightning rod" that would attract the fire of God:
"You talk about the voltage from heaven and the power of God! Why there is lightning in the soul of Jesus! The lightnings of Jesus heal men by their flash! Sin dissolves and disease flees when the power of God approaches."
Within five years the U.S. Government declared Spokane the healthiest city in the world. A designation it kept for five years. The results were so unbelievable that the Better Business Bureau decided to verify the authenticity of the healings. The investigators received the names of those who were healed throughout the city so they could question them and inspect their medical histories. The BBB sent Lake a letter stating the investigations were all to the positive and praised him for the work he was doing in their city. Two committee members went as far as to meet with Lake and tell him, "You didn't tell the half of it."
By 1924, Lake was known throughout America as a leading healing evangelist. As he traveled throughout the country he founded over forty churches and his healings were so commonplace that his congregations nick-named him "Dr. Lake."
When Lake was sixty-one he was almost blind. This embarrassed him greatly for the sake of Jesus. He went to God and reminded Him, "how shameful it would be if he were to go totally blind after thousands upon thousands were healed in his ministry just in America alone."
His vision was completely restored and his sight was perfect for the rest of his life.
At the age of sixty-five, on September 16, 1935, John G. Lake the humble "Man of Healing" stood before the "Great Physician" for eternity. An excerpt from his eulogy went as follows:
"Dr. Lake came to Spokane. He found us in sin. He found us in sickness. He found us in poverty of spirit. He found us in despair, but he revealed to us such a Christ as we had never dreamed of knowing this side of heaven. We thought the victory was over there, but Dr. Lake revealed to us that victory was here."
James 5:14,15...."Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up..."
Next Week: Pandita Ramabai
JJ (Dark) Di Pietro
Cane Creek Church