Acting on the Word of God for Healing

Ptomaine Poisoning


Early in my ministry, in fact during my first revival
campaign, which was conducted in a tent in a small city of
Southern California, I was stricken down with what turned out to
be an almost fatal case of ptomaine poisoning. We were never
quite certain what brought about the attack, but it undoubtedlyresulted from something that I had eaten. My friends had gone somewhere for the day. It was about noon when severe pains began to seize me, and I lay down thinking that presently I would be better

This I shouldn’t have done. For, had I taken dominion over
the thing at once in the Name of the Lord, no doubt I would have
secured relief. Instead, in a very short time, agonizing cramps
began to strike me at brief intervals, which left me without
breath or strength to pray. I believe right there I made a mistake
that many Christians make. Instead of rebuking the enemy when
he appears with the first symptom, people yield to the thing, and
before they realize it Satan has secured a foothold.

When my brethren returned, they saw that I was in a bad
way. They prayed for me and others prayed, but at that time I
received no visible deliverance, and rather, the cramps
apparently increased. I have no desire to exaggerate, but the
suffering seemed as intense as it is possible for a human being to
experience. Everyone knows how painful a brief cramp can be,
but these attacks were not for a moment, or an hour, or a day,
but were to continue at intervals of a few moments, over a
period of two weeks.

Naturally my brethren became somewhat disturbed over the
fact that my condition did not improve. Certain kind neighbors
who attended our meetings, volunteered to take me into their
home. But in spite of the best possible care, I showed no
improvement and steadily grew worse. Of course I could eat
nothing; the very thought of food increased my nausea. After a
few days when they saw no sign of improvement, these good
folk became alarmed and insisted that a physician be called. I
thank the Lord for physician friends, but I must testify that as
God has revealed Himself as my Great Physician, I have always
felt that I must lean upon Him alone. Besides, had we not been
preaching to the people that Christ could heal, and now if I could
not show these folk that I trusted the Lord for myself, would not
that part of our preaching have been in vain?

The family with whom I stayed, was in a dilemma. They
knew little of Divine healing except what we had preached. All
evidence seemed to show that I was getting worse rapidly, and
that unless something was done, I would die on their hands. In
such event, they reasoned, perhaps correctly, that they would be
in trouble with the health authorities. To them, there seemed no
alternative. Either a physician must be called, or they dare not
keep me in their home.

Fortunately, Dr. John G. Lake, who at that time was in San
Diego, sent word for me to be brought to his home. I shall ever
be grateful for his kindness and hospitality. The ride to San
Diego, of sixteen miles, was agonizing although the driver was
as careful as possible. Dr. Lake, who had prayed for tens of
thousands, and had seen multitudes delivered, prayed for me
each evening. Nevertheless, it seemed that nothing could stay
the progress of the affliction, which now had reduced me to a
condition of extreme helplessness. In my mind, though I hated to
think of it, came the recurring thought that death was

Gradually weakening in body and wracked with constant
pain, I resigned myself to death. Yet I pondered the reason for
all that had happened to me. Why should I be cut off at the very
beginning of my ministry? Why, in a few hours of time, must a
telegram be sent to my mother with the words, “Your son passed
away at such and such an hour”? I thought of the grief that
would come to her. I had wanted to preach the Gospel of Good
Tidings more than anything else in the world. Now it appeared
that my ministry would end with abruptness. Was this the Will
of God?

But God was to show Himself. First, through His Word.
Sister Lake had been kind enough to give me some typed
sermons by her husband on the subject of healing. As I read
those messages, my attention was taken from my suffering to the
power of the Risen Christ. Even as I read, I began to feel the
moving of faith in my soul. Certain Scriptures came to me with
force and vividness. The words quoted by Peter in Acts 10:38,
concerning Jesus, “who went about doing good, and healing
all that were oppressed of the devil.” left a deep impression
upon me. Again in Luke 13, Jesus, in healing the woman bowed
over, showed that the infirmity was caused directly by the
binding power of Satan. It dawned upon me that it was not the
Will of God that I should die, but rather the will of the devil. It
was he who would be pleased if he could end my ministry before
my time.

Another Scripture came especially to my attention. It was
Mark 11:22-24, and is yet today my favorite passage. The words,
“What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye
receive them, and ye shall have them,” fascinated me. A light
was dawning, and I began to understand the difference between
passive and active faith. Here was a direct warrant for my
immediate healing if I would dare to accept it.

I could wait no longer. An emergency bell was beside my
bed and I gave it a ring. A nurse in the household came, and
inquired of me what I wanted. I replied rather unceremoniously
that I wanted my clothes, so that I could get up. I do not
remember her answer, except that she hesitated, perhaps not
knowing whether I was in my right mind. But faith had fired my
soul and I was insistent. “Come,” I said, “You have been praying
for my healing. Believe your own prayers and bring my clothes.”
Not knowing what further to answer, the lady decided to humor
me and my clothes were brought. How I got into them I do not
know, for I was very weak, and though the cramps had lessened,
they had not ceased. But my thoughts now were not my pains,
but upon the living reality of the promise of God. I knew I was

I had lost twenty-five pounds, and my clothes hung upon me
grotesquely, but I gave no heed to this. As my feet touched the
floor, I began to praise the Lord for healing. At that instant my
cramps vanished. And for the first time in many days I felt the
sensation of hunger. I sat down to a hearty meal to the
astonishment of everybody except the Lake family, who were
used to seeing miracles take place.

I was healed indeed! But there was one thing that God showed me in my healing that I have never forgotten. If God
could heal me after I had been so close to death, how much more
could He deliver me and protect me from sickness. It was plain
to me that God desired to fulfill His promise by keeping me free
from sickness. And so during the past many years, I and my
family have proven that the Lord is not only healer of our
diseases, but that He can keep the plague from our dwelling. He
has not failed us, and we can fully recommend Christ as the
Healer to every home.

Summing up, I had learned two great lessons:

  1. Faith is an act. After prayer is made for healing, there is
    a time to act upon the Word of God. Deliverance came
    to me at the moment that I acted upon the Word of God.
  2. Though it is wonderful to be healed, it is better to be
    delivered from sickness before it overtakes us. The
    Word of God clearly teaches that Divine health rather
    than Divine healing is God’s plan for the believer.
    (Exodus 15:26)