Monday, September 2, 2013

Smith Wigglesworth

      Have you read stories of Smith Wigglesworth's ministry?  He was a healing evangelist in the early 1900's who read God's word, believed it, and began praying for people with signs and wonders following.  I believe this is to be normal Christianity.  We are missing the whole gospel when we only preach about being saved.  Read Luke 4:18-19, Matthew 28:18-20,  Mark 16:15-18, II Cor 5:18-20.  
       Jesus said,  'These signs will follow those who believe--they will cast out demons, heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead."  Doesn't that excite you?  Think of all the people who will be helped, who have no other hope, when churches begin to preach the whole gospel and not just the gospel of salvation.
      Many churches and ministries are taking Jesus at His word that signs & wonders will follow the preaching of the Word.  Are you acquainted with Bethel Church and Bill Johnson's ministry?  They have hired a full time historian to document the miracles happening there.  Randy Clark takes ordinary Christians with him as his prayer team to many countries of the world.  These people come back changed and full of hope and expectation because of the miracles they see while on these mission trips.  (Country Guy & I had this awesome experience several years ago, and I still long to go again.)  Wouldn't it be wonderful if the news media would begin to focus on these stories of the wonderful God we serve?
      The first part of the following excerpt on Smith Wigglesworth's ministry was published in a New Zealand newspaper in June, 1922.  The second excerpt happened in 1927, also in New Zealand.  There are so many exciting stories of Wigglesworth's ministry which you can find on the internet.  Many people--were even raised from the dead.

    "Some newspaper reports were not very friendly. We have before us, however, a special write-up which appeared in one newspaper under the heading, "Do You Believe in Faith Healing?" The article begins: "Of course you don't. That is to say, you don't believe in what you have never seen. But perhaps you have seen and been puzzled as I have been. Then again, perhaps you have seen and not been puzzled, but, instead, have been converted. A good many have been converted in Wellington recently. Some went with open minds; some did not, but went to scoff and remained to pray.
      "Whether you believe or you don't believe, the subject of faith healing is one of intense interest. Witness the thousands who assembled to hear and see Mr. Smith Wigglesworth at the Town Hall. The interest thus evidenced encouraged me to follow the matter up a little...
      "I have before me a number of affidavits. They are those of Wellington citizens who presented themselves for healing before Mr. Smith Wigglesworth on his recent visit here. The affidavits are genuine; they were sworn before Mr. C. A. Baker, J.P., and they speak for themselves, I have omitted the names, but the originals were left for inspection at The Dominion office as a guarantee of their genuineness."
      Then there follow five affidavits. The first is that of a dairyman who had suffered from chronic gastritis and paralysis of both legs from the hips downwards, and could only drag along with crutches. When the evangelist, after anointing him with oil, asked for his crutches, he gave them to him and walked home. He states that for fourteen years he had a cyst on the back of his neck and had often spoken to doctors about removing it. It was the size of an ordinary hen's egg. The morning after his healing, when he awoke he found that the cyst had completely disappeared.
      One of these testimonies is from a girl twenty years of age, who since infancy had suffered from double curvature of the spine. She could not walk till she was four years of age and could never rise off the floor without pulling herself up with both hands. One leg was three inches shorter than the other and was almost useless, being three inches less in circumference than the other. She persuaded her parents to take her to the Town Hall. There the evangelist placed his hands on her head and on her spine, and she was instantly healed. "My spine was straightened, and in a few days my leg lengthened.
      My hip which was diseased is well also. The Sunday following my healing I was so eager to attend the Mission that, as there was no train, I walked all the way from Ngalo to the Hall and back and felt no ill effect whatever."
      After giving the five testimonies the reporter says: "There are several other affidavits of a similar nature, but space will not permit of their publication. Now what do you think of it? Do you believe in faith healing? Or are you still in the ranks of the skeptics?"

       " In 1927 our Greatheart was back in Australia and New Zealand. This time his daughter Alice, Mrs. James Salter accompanied him. He held fruitful campaigns in a great many cities. The Word was confirmed with signs following.    The two following remarkable stories speak for themselves. They both appeared in the Australian Evangel of April 1, 1927.
      Nurse Tells of Healing       Miss H. Todd of Naremburn, N.S.W., testified: "While engaged in my occupation as nurse in Sydney I met with a serious accident, fracturing the knee cap and displacing the internal cartilage, which resulted in synovitis and arthritis (chronic). I had the best medical skill both in Sydney and Orange without any permanent relief. I was just up for a while and then back to bed again, and so on for eighteen months; and long, weary months they were, especially when, after about fourteen months, I had the misfortune to rupture the fibers of the muscles of the other leg, which resulted in having a layup for six weeks. The pain at times was most severe. I was a real invalid with no prospect of ever being able to follow my profession again. Being otherwise perfectly healthy, it was hard to look into the future with both legs crippled, to be dependent upon others to look after and keep me.
       "How blind I was, for since being invalided to Orange I had lived among folk who believed and tried to get me to listen to the Scriptural teaching of divine healing, but I thought differently. Truly the Bible did tell of wonderful things in bygone days, but to me those days were gone and things were different now. There was great talk of Evangelist Smith Wigglesworth, but I was not interested. After the evangelist had begun his mission, which would only last five days, my brother, together with others, spoke most convincingly to me about the reality of the teaching of the Scriptures on divine healing, and though I had been adverse to it right up till then, I went to my Bible again and, being like the prodigal son, at the end of myself, I too was led to say, 'I will arise and go to my Father.' And, praise the dear Lord, what blessings He had waiting to bestow upon me. I had been a Christian many years, but I had to be awakened before I could hear His voice and have Him anoint my eyes. While reading the Scripture I was arrested by the words, 'One thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.' John 9:25..This kept running through my mind all day Friday and Saturday; also the word's of God, 'I am the Lord, change not.' So persistenlty did these scriptures keep coming to me that I made up my mind to go that night to the mission for prayer.
        "On one leg I had a steel and leather apparatus to keep the knee joint from locking and pinching, which caused intense pain, and the other was in tight bandages. With the aid of a pair of crutches I got out to the car to be taken to the meeting, and though suffering intensely, I believed I would be healed. After the address I joined with those who were to be ministered to, and as the evangelist laid his hands on me and prayed I had a strange yet beautiful experience as though cold water with great force was being sprayed in jets upon both of my afflicted members where they were injured. So strong seemed to be the force that it even hurt me, and I knew it was the Lord, but on turning to go away I didn't feel any better, and expressed disappointment to two or three.
       "All the way home I wept copiously, and poured out my heart to God, and continued to say, 'Lord, I believe, help Thou my unbelief.' Arriving home, I was helped out of the car, and after walking a few steps, said that I thought I could walk alone. Just as I reached the threshold of the door, a wall of bright shining light confronted me, so exceedingly bright that it almost staggered me, and instantly I cried out, 'Glory to God, I'm healed,' and truly I was. I went through the house praising the Lord, and up and down the back verandah, glorifying God and walking as I did before meeting with the accident. Seeing the crutches, I said, 'Take those back to the kind friend that loaned them to me. I shall not want them any more.' So the crutches were returned just before midnight. Hallelujah! On rising next morning I discarded the steel and leather support and the bandages, and have never touched them since, for I was made every bit whole.
        "Two days later I was sweetly baptized in the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:4. My Bible means more to me now than ever before. I now see my Lord as my Savior from sin, the Great Physician, the One who baptizes with the Holy Ghost, and the One who is coming for His bride very soon."


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