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The Persecuted Church


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Reviving the Revival of John Lake

Discrepancies are not few but abundant when it comes to what Lake did, when he did it and the amount of people that were healed. While in Spokane, one-hundred thousand healings were reported during a period of five years.

We also read “Dr. Lake indicated that at least one hundred thousand people were ministered to each year either by car, telephone, telegraph, letter, or cable” (The Healer: Dr. John Graham Lake).

That is 100,000 people a year he saw to individually. That is incredible- this is approx. 333 a day (with 1 day a week off). This would be 15 people every hour for twenty hours each day. And the number would be far greater if he had a regular day of 10 hours; if you want to believe this you can, but it certainly stretches anyone's credulity.

Yet a different number is given in his biography: “Open each weekday from 10 to 4. Personal interviews and ministry”

“In a general letter published Saturday, February 8, 1919, in the Spokesman Review, Dr. Lake indicated that they ministered to an average of two hundred people per day in the Healing rooms (John G. Lake Biography http://www.enterhisrest.org/charismata/lake_biography.pdf)

This makes it only 6 hours a day. with 200 per day, it comes to nearly one person every two minutes.

When Lake was in South Africa, the crowds were reportedly so great that he was unable to pray for everyone that needed prayer. According to one report. Roberts Liardon who tells the stories of the healers says in his report: “Can you see this rock that I’m standing next to? Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to lay my hands on this particular rock. I’m going to ask God to anoint this place and any of you that are sick just come up here and touch this rock…and…the power that I leave in it will go into you and make you whole.” (http://www.cultlink.com/sentinel/gods-generals.htm)

When Lake left Spokane to go to Portland, Oregon in May of 1920, the Healing Rooms there ceased.  He returned to Spokane in 1931 and found that the work he had started there no longer existed. One can only wonder why he closed down the rooms after only 5 years he closed down the rooms to move to another city if it was so successful.

Kenneth Copeland on John G Lake: 
”Throughout this book, but especially chapters 29 Science of Healing and 30 Results of Believing Prayer are sprinkled testimonies presented to the Spokane Better Business Bureau.
Lake shares in chapter 31 The Power of Divine Healing that his co-worker in S Africa prayed for days under a thorn tree for the end to a fever epidemic that had killed a quarter of the population in 1 month  in an area of 350 miles.  That man prayed until he at last needed prayer support.  They witnessed a flock of demons, which his prayer partner cursed back to where they had come from.  Immediately the epidemic stopped.  
In chapter 31 Lake also shares a testimony of a creative miracle of a tubercular limb that was so decayed that the physician could put his finger through the joint.  The healing was so unusual that John Alexander Dowie of Chicago interviewed the woman. Lake also shares that God healed him (self) from both crippling rheumatism and blindness. (

“He proved to local physicians that the germs would not live on his body due to the Holy Spirit alive in Him. He actually verified this under a microscope showing that the germs died upon contact with his body. Those who witnessed the experiment stood in amazement as Lake gave glory to God explaining that: “It is the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. 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.

Does this mean that those who get sick do not have the Holy Spirit in their body to keep them healthy? Why do we find saints getting sick in the Bible? Lake was teaching divine health not divine healing.

On numerous Healing Rooms websites we find them saying “because of his resurrection revelation, had a deadly plague germ die in his hand”

This was no germ dying “To demonstrate, he had them take live bubonic plague germs still foaming from the lungs of a newly dead person and put them in his hands and then examine the germs under a microscope. They were dead.”

Paul was given a thorn in the flesh because of his revelations, but according to Lake's revelation no germs could live in him in Africa, but in the US it was a different story. research done by Greg DesVoignes cites the “Spokesman Review,” April 24, 1929 “Frequently he had to pause to cough or sneeze, as he was suffering from a cold. Once he had to go out into the hall to stop a spasm of coughing."

Lake claimed that sin was the cause of sickness and adopted Dowies view that anyone who went to a doctor was as a heathen. He had this belief as the basis for his divine health "It is not honoring to Jesus Christ that sickness should possess us.  We do not want disease. We want to be gods" (John G. Lake: His Life His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith, Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1995, p13).

One cannot find this teaching among the apostles. Epaphroditus who ministered to Paul had become sick (Phil.2:25) Paul said: “Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick” (2 Tim. 4:20).

The teaching in Scripture for the early church was “Is anyone 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” (James 5:14). People did get sick and that is why we have these instructions from James. In conclusion Lakes divine health (which Copeland also believes he is living in) is not Biblical and completely untrue, even in Lakes own life.

Lake had dubbed this belief "This new science is known as pneumatology: the science of spirit..." but it is more like a "mind science," and has nothing to do with the a study of the Holy Spirit.

Lake also had outrageous claims about his ability to diagnose sickness: "My nature became so sensitized that I could lay my hands on any man or woman and tell what organ was diseased and to what extent” "Lake tested this new wonder by going to hospitals and touching patients to determine what their ailments were. And even to make it more challenging, most of them were cases that even the physicians could not diagnose" (John G. Lake: His Life His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith, Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1995, p. xxi).

This is something we do not see any apostle do and is in that category of greater works. But there are stories of Lakes healing failures of  carried by the local papers that cannot be ignored.

Pentecostal Dominionism

Lake: “I can see as my spirit discerns the future and reaches out to touch the heart of mankind and the desire of God, that there is coming from heaven a new manifestation of the Holy Spirit in power, and that new manifestation will be in sweetness, in love, in tenderness, and in the power of the Spirit, beyond anything your heart or mind ever saw. The very lightning of God will flash through men’s souls. The sons of God will meet the sons of darkness and prevail. (http://www.godsgenerals.com/person_j_lake.htm

Clearly this is church dominionism regarding which the Bible has nothing to say about. Lake had believed in another Pentecost that would be utterly transforming and his descriptions have been used and abused by many.

Chicago Tribune, June 14, 1895, p. 7- “Beloved, God is calling men and women to a holier consecration, to a higher place in God, and I am one of God’s candidates for that holy place in God. I want to get to the throne of God… And that is the experience that is going to make the sons of God in the world. That is the reason they will take the world for Jesus Christ, and the Kingdom will be established, and they will put the crown on the Son of God, and declare him, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords…" (Underline mine)

A dominionist viewpoint is found through Lakes writings. When we understand the Latter Rain heresy that began in the early 1900’s we see exactly what Lake means by these statements.

The Bible teaches that we are sons of God when we believe (Jn.1:12) the teaching of the Latter Rain makes “manifest sons” an experience. This bears repeating- The power of God, the Holy Ghost, is the Spirit of Dominion.  It makes one a god. It makes one not subject to the forces of the world, or the flesh, or the devil. These are under the Christians feet." (John G. Lake: His Life His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith, Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1995, p. 13)

Lake explains “Five years ago when my heart was broken, in the agony of my heart I disappeared into the woods of Oregon for 21 days with God, and he Showed me a church in Spokane that would be as pure as Jesus Christ. When it will come, I don’t know, but it will never come from a lot of slop and evangelistic mess, but when we live our lives on God’s alter" (The Spokesman Review, April 22, 1929).

It is good to desire holiness to do good works but can a church ever be as perfect as Jesus without the final transformation of the resurrection? To say that it will be in Spokane seems to come from his own hearts because of the situation he was dealing with. Some of this is reminiscent of Joseph Smith who also found himself in the woods visited by Jesus and an angel and found the church corrupt, needing restoration.

I did find a contradiction between Lakes desire and what he himself did. He had “ Public services on Sunday at The Masonic Temple at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. (John G. Lake Biography http://www.enterhisrest.org/charismata/lake_biography.pdf

This is a problem, considering what the Masons are about. Why would they let him use their facility, better yet, why would you want to hold you church meetings there?

Electric power

“Such was the power of his anointing that he wrote about it as being like the lightning of Jesus: “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!” Lake would also compare the anointing of God’s Spirit to the power of electricity. Just as men had learned the laws of electricity, Lake had discovered the laws of the Spirit. And, as God’s “lightning rod,” he would rise within God’s calling to electrify the powers of darkness and solidify the body of Chris.” (God’s Generals http://www.godsgenerals.com/person_j_lake.htm)

Once again we have an interesting correlation to the manifestations of the false revivals in our midst today. Rodney Browne, Toronto, Pensacola all describe God’s power and anointing like that of electricity.

We are also told that Lake “had been influenced by the ministry of Sister Marie Woodworth-Etter, and himself influenced countless ministers. http://peterwade.com/archive/pw114.shtml) Positive Words Newsletter- online#114 -- 3rd April 2006)

Maria Woodsworth-Etter (1844-1924) was a preacher in the holiness movement of the 1880’s. She gained a reputation by falsely prophesying that San Francisco would be destroyed by an earthquake in 1890. She promoted in her meetings a religious experience she called the “power.” She would often go into a trance during the services, standing still (frozen) with her hands raised in the air for more than an hour. People were slain in the spirit and other strange phenomena occurred. Certainly not a good influence, not any more than Dowie.

Lake also exhibited nearly identical descriptions of what we have seen in today’s revival meetings of Rodney Browne and Toronto early on in his ministry “In 1908 I preached in Pretoria South Africa, when one night God came over my life in such power, in such streams of liquid glory and power, that it flowed consciously off my hands like streams of electricity.  I would point my finger at a man and that stream would strike him.  When a man interrupted the meeting. I would point my finger at him and say, "Sit down!". He fell as if struck, and lay there for three hours…" (ed. Note: Just like the stories of Rodney Browne).

“I ministered to sixty-five sick who were present, and the streams that were pouring through my hands were so powerful the people would fall as they were hit… And the Spirit said, "You do not need to put your hands on them. Keep your hands a distance away’.  And when I held my hands a foot from their heads they would crumple and fall in a heap on the floor” (Copeland, Kenneth. John G. Lake: His Life His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith, Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1995, p.488)

Copeland writes-"At other times the anointing on him became so strong that people would fall under its power simply by coming within six feet of him." (ibid. p. xxi)

While spirits are often passed on by the laying on of hands and various other means, this is not how the Holy Spirit was or is passed on to believers. There is no Biblical basis for a transmission of a mantle or transferring an anointing from one person to another. There is no evidence that a transfer took place when the apostles laid hands on people (1 Timothy 4:14 and 2 Timothy 1:6). The Holy Spirit was not coming from them onto others. By the laying on of hands they publically recognized them as a confirmation of what the Holy Spirit has either already done or wants to do (Acts 6:6; 8:17; 13:3; Hebrews 6:2). Acts 19 tells us that when Paul laid hands on some believers from Ephesus the Spirit came (Gr. Epi), upon them, from above, not (Gr. dia), through him. The Spirit did not come by or through Paul’s hands, but it came upon the disciples from above, just as He did on Pentecost. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit not man.

“John G. Lake moved in a profound anointing of the Spirit of God. Healing, deliverance and miracles were a steady occurrence in his ministry. Anyone reading of the great things that God did through Lake would desire to walk in such an anointing. We, individually and as a movement, desire to appropriate and walk in this type of mantle. There is a truth to the fact that anointings can be "handed on" through the laying on of hands. (See Num. 34:9) This "handing on" of anointings, of course, must be orchestrated by the Spirit of God. www.wordatwork.org

At least if you’re going to try and prove this unbiblical teaching you should get the Scripture citation right. Actually, there is no biblical basis for this. It is a tradition of Pentecostalism, especially found in the Latter Rain. There is only one anointing. The only one who is recorded asking for the anointing was Simon the sorcerer (Acts 13:6, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus). It was not a good thing.

There are only a few mentions of the laying on of hands and the Spirit in the Old Testament. If one does not read it carefully they can come to the wrong conclusion. For example Deut. 34:9: “Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him.” This would seem as if he received the spirit by Moses' laying hands on him. However if we read the other account we find he already had God’s Spirit in him and that is why Moses laid his hand on him, to confirm his leadership position. Numbers 27:18: “And the LORD said to Moses: "Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him.” Vv.19-20 tells us it was, to” inaugurate him in their sight” and give him some of Moses' authority.

Another account is in Numbers 11:17: "Then I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone.” It would seem that the same spirit that was put on Moses would be distributed to others, but not from him.

Num. 11:25 “Then the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again” This was a one time event to endorse their leadership role to be a help to Moses.

Joe McIntyre (on behalf of the board of IFM) International Fellowship of Ministries – advancing the vision of John Lake tells us “Wilford Reidt, John G. Lake's son-in-law, (who headed this organization for many years) laid hands on many of our members for a transfer of anointing”. (underline mine) He then assures us that no one can make exclusive claims to have Lake's anointing or to be the designated heir of his mantle.

Among those stories when they came to the Hawaiian Islands -Pastors Steve and Fay Johnson: Pastor Steve left before we arrived. God touched Sister Fay with a double portion enough to share with Brother Steve.”

That’s an interesting concept; that the Holy Spirit is in a limited supply .I would think many would have a problem with descriptions that are never hinted at in the Scriptures of the New Testament.

John writes “the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you” (1 John 2:27). He continually indwells the believer; He is with us and we received Him from Jesus. So there is no need for us to transfer Him to another believer (even if we could). You cannot impart the Holy Spirit who is God. It was Jesus who sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and He is the one who anoints us today - we are not little Jesus’ able to do this or everything He can.

Jackie Alnor mentions an article that cites Liardon's video on the Pentecostal preachers “And John G. Lake’s spirit would leave his body and minister to people in the spirit realm.” Not surprising that Kenneth Copeland has a similar story – he says “My spirit was coming out of my body” as he carried on a conversation with his god – god responded “ you were just about to come out of your body and I was going to allow you to minister that congregation with out your BODY,” but he blew the opportunity.

So where is this teaching in the Bible? It's not, but it is found in Occult circles, it's called astral travel. While Lake was in Africa, we are told his soul traveled to an asylum in Wales where a violent insane woman was confined.

"Suddenly, I seemed out of the body...it seemed as if I were passing through the atmosphere observing everything but moving with great lightning-like rapidity," Lake wrote.

"I was inside the institution without waiting for the doors to open and present at the side of a cot on which lay a woman."

“Lake laid his hands upon her head and commanded in the name of Jesus that the demon spirit possessing her be cast out and that she be healed by the power of God.”

"In a moment or two, I observed a change coming over her countenance," Lake narrated. "It softened and a look of intelligence appeared. Then her eyes opened, and she smiled up in my face. I knew she was healed." Doctors who later confirmed her recovery had no explanation to offer.” (Adventures in God by John G. Lake)

It is these kind of mystical/Occult experiences that have my questioning the validity of any of his stories and miracles.

p.3 The Healing Rooms today- Their origin and practices of today


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