And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle (I Samuel 3:11).
Goodbye to Lesotho
It was Monday morning and time to say our “goodbyes” to the wonderful people of Lesotho and move onto Bloemfontein. Once the luggage was packed and loaded on the truck, we were on our way. The bus ride took about four or five hours. We spent much time getting across the border into Bloemfontein. Each tour member exited the bus, walked across the border, parted Maseru and entered Bloemfontein.
Grappled with discouragement
Much had taken place in Lesotho. The battles of the mind had been ferocious. I had grappled with discouragement since leaving Chicago. The South African trips are not to be taken lightly. We were “going fishing for souls.” I emailed home and asked the members of the church to pray and fast their favorite meal for me for three days. God is always mindful of our battles.
There was a couple, now living in Ohio, who had also been bus captains. The Lord used them to encourage me in a great, great way. We talked about the joys and challenges of serving as bus captains, and holding onto souls. The wife shared how she, too, had been fighting, fighting against the devices of the enemy. It seemed as if I received life from her words. She described my battles in perfect detail. Thank you Lord. God is always mindful of us when we are in His perfect will. Even though the battles were horrible, I knew to hold onto God. Just hold on.
One other time, I had an opportunity to sit with a member of the trio, as we left the crusade grounds to return to the hotel. She talked about those times “when you don’t know what’s going on.” You just hold on to God. Those words did so much for me.
The Southern Sun Hotel
We finally arrived at The Southern Sun Hotel, which almost looked like a palace. I was amazed at the sight. It was beyond words. Lesotho and Bloemfontein were like night and day...in appearance. Lesotho was very, very poor and Bloemfontein was simply beautiful.
Was it a dream?
I want to share an experience with you that I had on the first night of our arrival in Bloemfontein. I don’t know if it was a dream or not. As I was sleeping, I felt [again, I don’t know if I was dreaming or if these incidents actually took place] some force was holding me down. I couldn’t get up . . . I couldn’t get away from the force! It was very real to me.
Ephesians 6:10-17 says, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Lot lifted up his eyes
Well, let me get back to how I felt when the tour group entered Bloemfontein. Like Lot, I was captivated by its exquisite appearance.
And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other (Genesis 13:10-11). Lot chose Sodom and Gomorrah because of what he saw. It was beautiful to look upon.
When the woman saw
Just like Eve, And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons (Genesis 3:6-7).
Eve liked what she saw but she didn’t consider its contents, purpose or possible threat. Eve lost her spiritual life because of what she saw.
The complete opposite
Lot and his family had to be rescued from the sin-filled cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. I had been tricked by the appearance of Bloemfontein. It was the complete opposite of Lesotho. We had worked so hard, been so careful. It appeared to be flourishing with life and prosperity. I let down my guard.
The same effort of praying over my room and covering me with prayer wasn’t used here. In Lesotho, I did not rest until everything was in place. I thoroughly cleaned all, but not in this place. I cleaned, I prayed but not with the same intensity; I didn’t move with the reality that the devil was in this place but I would pay for that light spirit later.
When we first moved
Later, I thought of what my life had been as a child in the city of Chicago. When I was growing up, when we first moved to the home now occupied by my parents, the floor was covered with torn, burned-like, green carpet. We were poor. We ate cereal, Spam, rice, grits, syrup-sandwiches and the like, day-in and day-out, week after week. Some of the meals repeated themselves throughout the day and week.
New clothes were defined as those given from momma’s co-workers, washed and patched up. Both of my parents, with five children, often worked two jobs to provide for all of us.
My dad is magnificent. He can do anything and I hope that the Lord will have an opportunity to use some of those skills for His great work. He is very talented. My mom sometimes worked at a bank downtown in addition to her full time job. I can vividly remember one winter wearing those clear plastic sandal-like shoes well up until the cold weather arrived.
We had so much, we had nothing
We had so much because we had nothing. We were taught to stick together because there was no one else to depend on. We were taught to respect one another and others. We were also taught the importance of prayer and honoring God. By this, we had so much. By appearance, we had nothing but by God’s standards, we had it all. Yes, we had it all because of our great dependence upon God for our every need and there were many of them. Appearances can be very deceiving.
And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him (Acts 8:26-31).
My focus was off
It appeared that the eunuch understood what he was reading; it looked as if he was doing well, for he was “an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians,” yet he needed help.
This is what I had to learn about Bloemfontein. God had sent us there to work for Him, despite how things looked. He revealed it to his servant. I had allowed myself to be fooled; I opened up the door because of what I saw. I had been careless, anxious and hasty in not preparing my room as I did in Lesotho. My focus was off. I forgot about the dangers of Sodom and Gomorrah. After hastily unpacking, I raced to the mall with another tour member, got a salad and returned to my hotel room.
The devil had free reign
Again, while sleeping, something got a hold of me. I was careless and underestimated the power of the enemy in this place. Remember, the devil had free reign in this place. This was, up until God sent us there, his turf. After struggling in my sleep, I was able to finally wake up; I got up in a panic and started pleading the blood. I searched my bag and found a special prayer cloth that I received just prior to getting on the plane in Ohio. God knew I would need it. It was a cloth that had been anointed fresh just the service before the great African crusade. With all my might, I used the blood and then fell back to sleep. The enemy returned again but I kept using the blood and finally the Lord was able to deliver me.
I will NEVER do that again. Learn from my terrible experience and don’t be foolish. The devil comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Don’t ever underestimate the power of the devil. Remember to stand and always keep the whole armour on. Anyone can be deceived in this last and final hour. You must stay watchful and remain on guard.
The people of Bloemfontein
It was our first day among the people of Bloemfontein and we passed out flyers and worked among the people. I noticed that the people were more receptive than I thought they would be. Not many refused a flyer, magazine, or cassette. We went out twice daily, covering a lot of ground.
The next day would be the Minister’s Meeting. It was held at the city’s local hall building. The meeting was packed and the message was strong. The man of God indicated, “The kind of mind you have depends on what kind of church you have. A good mind equals a sinless mind.” The preacher continued, “Most preachers preach that you can not live without sin. Adam and Eve lost heaven because of one sin. Preachers, who say you can’t live free from sin, are in sin and death is working in them. The soul that sinneth it shall die. A free life is a life free of sin. Water baptism does not free one of sin. We must have the new birth that Jesus told Nicodemus about. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Any willful sin, you belong to the devil.”
A lukewarm condition
The man of God continued, “If you don’t have the Holy Ghost baptism, you are in a lukewarm condition.” He spoke about modernism and fanaticism. It was a wonderful Worker’s Meeting. The man of God talked about the healing ministry. He spoke about the great price that he paid to have the gifts of God working in his life, all the hours required in the presence of God, staying away from people so much of the time. The ministers were taught that their churches would not grow if what they preached was not confirmed with signs, wonders and miracles. The people were told that any religion that doesn’t preach the virgin birth is no good.
“You can’t have a strong church without the Holy Ghost. There would be no signs and wonders without the Holy Ghost. Bible believers will have the Holy Ghost,” spoke the man of God. “The preaching of the gospel must be confirmed with signs, miracles and wonders following,” stated the preacher. All the ministers and their assistants were given great books and God moved in a marvelous way for them and their churches.
The power of darkness is stronger
I woke the next morning, ready to hit the streets. We left the hotel around 7:30 a.m. It was good to be on the streets that early. We were very busy with souls. I had awakened and prayed to God about the day. It’s amazing. I am honored to travel to these great countries to help win souls but it’s amazing to witness the greatness of God in such a marvelous way.
The power of darkness is stronger but the power of God is also greater on foreign soil. Foreign soil is a wonderful place to receive an unusual miracle. I have received some great miracles while on the crusades. The way God moved for those inflicted with AIDS and the AIDS virus was beyond my comprehension; what love and compassion were demonstrated to the people of Lesotho and Bloemfontein.
Witchcraft and the gospel
Some ministers had allowed witchcraft in their churches. They had attempted to mix it with the gospel. It would never work. God was there setting the captives free. People were making their final decisions in Bloemfontein. Some were going to accept all that was being poured out while others would seal their doom.
What love God had given the man of God to reach these people. The preacher had been gifted with preaching before he ever went to theological school. Just six weeks after receiving salvation, the servant of God was full of the Holy Ghost and preaching.
The promises of God
“Test your faith with the word of God, not your feelings. That’s all the faith you will need. All the promises of God are yours but you must meet the condition. Each promise is conditional,” the preacher continued.
During one crusade night, the preacher stated that he was going to preach on a certain subject but the Lord moved on him to talk and tell the people about his life. “Six weeks after my miracle, I went on a long fast, my first 40-day fast. I went on that fast which changed my life forever. The just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17b). That fast changed my life,” Reverend said.
The man of God then spoke about one of his first revivals where there was a deformed baby. It was great. I love hearing this great testimony over and over again. “The baby was passed around. It was ‘a miracle in a basket,’” he stated.
He introduced the lady from Bloemfontein who invited him to come to their country. She had been a member of the National Parliament.
The man of God spoke about how important it was to give Jesus all that He wants. He said, “If Jesus wants something, if it’s in my power, I give it to Him. In 1954 the Lord spent so many days and nights with me, teaching me about the spirit of man, spirit of the devil and the Spirit of God. The Lord told me that I would have to be able to separate the spirits. It took place through prayers, fastings and living in the word of God.”
When God first gave the minister the gift of discerning, he stated that he almost died as the Lord allowed him to look into a demon-infested soul. The Lord taught him demonology, how to cast out devils. I’ve read about this many times through the magazines and books but here in Bloemfontein it was very special.
You could feel the love of God being poured forth as the preacher told us his life’s story. You could sense the pulse of the crowd as they responded to the story. The preacher’s story allowed the people to connect with him; it allowed them to touch him in a marvelous way. It opened faith doors.
Addicts and alcoholics
It was Thursday night and time for the deliverance for the drug addicts and alcoholics. You talkin’ about power. It was blood power in demonstration! The devils had to come out. “The devils are out. Now we must get Jesus in or the devils will come back,” shouted the man of God. “Get those hands up and let’s get Jesus in,” Reverend continued.
Friday’s message was, “Love went to Calvary. Jesus is not in the stable any more. He lives in our hearts, no longer in the manger. Jesus is our passport to Heaven,” the man of God preached. “He brought divine blood for soul, mind and body. Everybody needs Jesus.” Reverend continued, “He is your forgiveness. It took all of Heaven’s love to make Calvary. God didn’t use all of His love to make Moses, man or woman. He didn’t use all of His love to make Abraham but when the Lord made Calvary, it took all of the love of God; it took the whole heart of God.
“When Adam and Eve went away from God, the curse came and divine blood was taken from man,” said the preacher. “Adam and Eve had Eden on earth. We have the second Adam in our hearts today. Sin can look good but you will die,” said the minister.
Saturday night’s subject was “Demonology.” The air was holy and the fire of the Holy Ghost was illuminated throughout the sky. All demonic forces were cleaned out. “All can be delivered who want to be delivered,” shouted the preacher. “Those addicted to alcohol and drugs, those are devils possessing the soul. That’s not a disease,” he continued. The man of God told of how devils possessed one young man’s soul. Once, as he was getting drunk, he passed out. As he was passing out, devils came in and took him over, explained the minister.
And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him (Mark 5:1-4).
And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country (verses 5-10).
Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forth with Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand) and were choked in the sea (verses 11-13).
Legion was completely mad. Family and friends couldn’t be around him. He was almost totally destroyed. The demons knew Jesus. There were around 2000 demons possessing one soul. Your soul can hold all of heaven or all of hell; there’s no limit to the capacity of the soul. The devil is real. We must stay away from all the influences of evil.
I hope my travels to Lesotho and Bloemfontein have blessed you. I could go on and on. There’s nothing like the mission fields. We should all seek to be soul winners. If you want to be like Jesus, then you will want to be a soul winner.
God bless you!
The people of Bloemfontein were in such darkness but then Jesus came. Some had suffered for so many years but then deliverance came. God did the impossible but yet it wasn’t impossible. Nothing is impossible with God. What about you? Have you been suffering? Jesus is here for you, dear friend. Won’t you reach out and get what the Lord has for you? The table is spread. What a loving God we serve. He is full of mercy and compassion.
Why not repeat this simple prayer, asking Jesus to cleanse your heart with His precious blood.
If you meant that prayer, He has come.
Praise Him, He is Yours!
Yours with a Passion for Souls,