Friday, October 04, 2013

John G. Lake: The Power of God Displayed

The evangelistic and healing ministry of John G. Lake was like a bright meteor that burned across the sky of the early 20th century, leaving a lasting impression and impact in the lives of people of the day. But just as importantly, Lake’s pioneering healing ministry left in its wake rediscovered foundation stones of the Gospel, on some of which now rest healing ministries and revival in our day.  The red threads that pass through Lake’s and other healing ministries of the modern era lead back to Jesus, of course, and it is fascinating to see them passing now through the ministry of Bethel and other revivals rising around the earth.

John G. Lake: His Life, His Sermons, His
Boldness of Faith
Reading this book (John G. Lake: His Life, His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith, 548 pp) has had a much more profound impact on me than I expected as I began to read. It was initially a difficult read, as it is largely the product of transcribed sermons. Sermons delivered over the podium do not always translate effectively into an easy-to-use text form. And, the century-old cadence, style and language of the book take some getting used to.  But it is most definitely worth the read.

I think I was most profoundly affected by Lake’s authority and power. I often wondered in the reading of the book what must one do to wield that level of authority and power for God’s glory. I believe he possessed an unusual level of healing gifts (1 Corinthians 12:9), but even so, the text implies that throughout his ministry he directed the ministry of others whom the Lord used powerfully as well. And that suggests that I am a candidate for more authority and power than I now use. And that confronts me with the question of what separates me from it, and how I break through to the next level. 

In that connection, I am most confronted by Lake’s sermon “Sin in the Flesh” (pp 384-398). I am confronted as I compare myself and my spiritual maturity with Lake and those around him. Fortunately, He loves me just as I am, even while gently encouraging me to seek more of His Kingdom and of love. 

Two seeming lacks in this powerful ministry were longevity and Kingdom extension in America.  While the ministry continues revitalized today, with others following Lake’s example even now, the fire kindled by God through Lake and his ministry in America seems never to have spread broadly here. The situation in Africa seems to be different, with tens of thousands of new Jesus followers of the early 20th century contributing over this century past to the vast shift of the center of mass of Christianity to the global south (i.e. Africa, India, China, Latin America, etc

Finally, I will say that the way God used Lake speak powerfully to me across the ten decades since he lived. If I and a legion of others of our day will pursue his Godly path, using gifts of the Spirit, like healings and miracles, to display God’s real power and glory to an ever-more-cynical world, hundreds of millions can be swept into the joy of the Kingdom and eternity with the King. And if we can use our gifts to steward this and other revivals that are now growing around the world, the greatest harvest and transformation of the souls of men in the history of the earth may well be upon us!

An earlier version of this was originally written as a book report as part of the requirements for the 2nd year Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.  

Read more in this blog about Bethel and our experience within this community.

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