LAWTON CHURCH OF GOD, LAWTON OKLAHOMA

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Chapter 29

 

 

DIVINE HEALING

 

 

With the coming of the doctrine of entire sanctification came also the doctrine of divine healing. A veritable tidal wave of bodily healing swept through the land, and many persons were miraculously healed of all sorts of diseases; many cases were reported healed at different campmeetings throughout the country; often cases that had baffled the skill of the best physicians. There would be healing services at almost every campmeeting, where the sick would come to the altar for prayer and anointing, and many of them were instantly healed of divers sicknesses.

One very noted case was that of Mrs. Prudence Robinson, which occurred at the Greenville, Texas, campmeeting, in the summer of 1897. She was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and had attended a holiness meeting at White Rock, a small village about ten miles north of Greenville. This meeting was conducted by Rev. E. C. DeJernett and Rev. C. B. Jernigan. She here for the first time heard that God could sanctify the soul and heal the body. Just after the close of this meeting one of her sons attended the great Greenville campmeeting, and was gloriously sanctified. He went home that night and told his mother that he had the blessing, and that he had seen some people at the camp ground that had been healed. He urged his mother to go and see and hear for herself. The next day she was lifted into a buggy and taken to the meetings. She had not walked one step without the aid of her crutches for seven years. She came to Texas from Arkansas for her health at the advice of her family physician, but gradually grew worse all the while. She had given up all hope of ever getting well again. Doctors had failed. Change of climate had failed. She was consigned to the fate of a hopeless invalid. In the hour of her despair she heard of Jesus, the Healer. She asked that she be anointed and prayed for by the saints at the camp ground. At 6 o’clock p. m., on the fifteenth day of August, 1897, a circle was formed around her and she was anointed with oil according to James 5:14. As she sat in her chair with her crutches across her lap, while the saints were pleading with God for her healing, instantly the healing power struck her and she sprang to her feet, shouting the praises of God. She ran across the camp ground shouting, “I am healed and sanctified, glory be to God.” There was the voice of triumph in that shout that fairly set the whole camp afire with glory. The news of her healing spread like wildfire through the town of Greenville, a town of about eight thousand people. They came out that night en masse to see the woman who was healed. When a chance was given for testimony Mrs. Robinson sprang to her feet and began to tell what great things God had done for her. Some one in the congregation cried out, “Let us see you walk?” At this she sprang upon the altar bench thirty feet long and ran back and forth for some time, shouting praises to God. Strong men wept aloud, while all the saints shouted and sang praises to God. Mrs. Robinson now lives at Fort Towson, Okla., and has never touched her crutches to this day. The writer was in her home June 8, 1914, and she was well and hearty then; still healed and sanctified by power divine.

While there were many notable cases of instant divine healing in those days at many of the camps, there also sprang up a strong fanaticism on this line which crippled the faith of some in this great doctrine. Some preachers preached more on healing than on holiness. Some even placed healing along with salvation in the atonement, and preached that one would backslide if he took medicine. Others declared that doctors, drugs, and devils were all classed together. Doctors were severely scored by some of these would-be healers, and the use of any kind of remedies was discarded by many. Some would testify that they would die before they would take a dose of medicine. One man took a severe case of cramp colic while on the camp ground, and his friends called a doctor, who had been his family physician; but the doctor was informed that he was not needed, and that he was not backslidden yet, if he was sick, and that no one but backsliders needed doctors. The doctor went to his camp, but a runner came for him to come back to see the sick man before he died. He went back and relieved him in a short time.

At one of these Texas camps a lot of third blessing “fire” folks were in attendance, led by their champion, B. H. Irwin, who especially emphasized bodily healing. There they met a young woman who was crippled in her ankles from birth. She was anointed and prayed for, and declared healed, “For I have the witness,” shouted their leader. “Get up and walk.” One of their number wrested her crutches from her and ran across the grounds, waving the crutches, as he proclaimed, “Another miraculous case of healing.” But the poor girl could not walk, but had to be borne along on the arms of two. This hurt the cause of holiness much.

On another occasion two brothers who had recently been sanctified in a holiness meeting, claimed the gift of healing. One of their neighbors died. They had a vision that they must go to the house of mourning, and turn it into a house of joy by raising the dead. So they proceeded to the home of the corpse, and ordered all of the family out of the room, as Jesus did in the home where the maid was raised from the dead; but the friends refused to go. On the contrary, they demanded that the healers leave at once, else they would be arrested.

Many remarkable cases of healing were reported in the Jeffries-Hartline meetings, some of which we gave under that chapter, others worth recording we give here. At a meeting at Plainview, Texas, there was a beautiful young lady came to the altar who had had typhoid fever, and the fever had settled in her right lower limb, and it was drawn until it was two inches shorter than the other. While Rev. Mr. Jeffries prayed, laying his hands on her, the power of God came and she was instantly healed, and the limb was soon as long as the other, and she is well today. She was the niece of a banker by the name of Posey.

In those days of power and glory people carried their burdens to the Lord in prayer, and there were thousands of remarkable answers that I can not here record. Droughts were broken, the sick healed, financial difficulties relieved, opposition was swept away, and great and mighty revivals swept through the land. All this came in direct answer to prayer and fasting. If the load was too heavy, the leader of the meeting would call for a day of fasting and prayer, and all the workers would fast and pray, sometimes for days at a time, then some marvelous things would happen.

When Israel was in bitter bondage and distress they groaned to God. When Esther learned that the decree had been signed to destroy all the Jews in the realm, she asked all the Jews to fast and pray with her three days. The record says, “On that night could not the king sleep.” Sleepless nights of awful conviction were often on people those days in answer to fasting and prayer.

“Is there any sick among you? Let him call the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick” (James 5:14). “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever” (Hebrews 12:8).

Oh, for a return to the old paths.