G. C. Bevington, Remarkable Incidents And Modern Miracles Through Prayer And Faith
As this book is to treat of the results of sanctification, the blessed second work, I shall aim to stick close to the incidents that have occurred as a result of the sanctification which I received at St. Louis, thirty-two years ago, up on the fourth floor of a six-story brick, after tarrying nine days in real soul agony, wrestling and dying out. Every sanctified man or woman enters a school, not simply a holiness school but a holy school. Thirty-two years ago, I entered the holy school. The first training that I had in this school was in Cincinnati, for several years. I was kept in training for what has developed since, though I had no conception of what it all meant.
I want to relate one incident that occurred while in this school in Cincinnati. I had been having cottage prayer meetings which resulted in much good. I would entreat those who were the most dependable to meet at the Mission and have prayer before starting to the cottage meeting. One evening I felt strangely led to be somewhat more aggressive. I said; “Brethren, how many will clasp hands making a circle and enter into a covenant for at least one soul as we have seen no one saved or sanctified for several meetings?” I thought it time to take more aggressive steps. We went and had a fine time at the house of a sister who was a widow about my age; and I was also single.
Well as the meeting progressed one brother whispered to me, “Where is that soul?” as not a sinner was in the room. I said, “They will be here soon.” So on went the meeting under a heavy fire. There was plenty of shouting, and we had a blessed time. Again the brother whispered, “Where is that sinner?” I replied, “He will be here.” Finally the leader closed the meeting at 10:00 p. m. and those who had formed the circle began getting their wraps and prepared to leave. But I had remained sitting with head bowed, praying for that sinner.
Soon one who was not at that circle came up and said, “Aren’t you going home?” It seemed that I was silenced, as several spoke to me and knew that the woman of the house was a single
woman and I a single man. Glances were exchanged, and they finally all left, leaving me sitting there with that woman and she living entirely free from company. I felt the embarrassment but it seemed that I could not open my mouth, could make no explanation as to why I was sitting there after all had gone — all but this widow and her seven-year-old daughter. I dared not raise my head, and all that I could do was to pray and hold on. I said, “Lord, Thou didst impress me to make that vow and here I am.” While I wanted to tell the woman why I was waiting there, I could not get my mouth to do it. There we both sat, she disgusted and I perfectly dumb. The clock struck eleven. I said, “Lord, only one more hour left to our covenant for one soul.” The half hour struck. I said, “Lord, just thirty minutes for that soul.” The house stood out on the edge of the pavement and I had hardly gotten the last statement out of my mouth until –rattlety-bang, and open flew the door. The woman jumped, screamed and ran into the kitchen, and in fell a drunken man, sprawling on the floor. As soon as I saw him tumble in, a voice said “There is your man.” So I jumped up, and tried to haul him in; but he was so drunk that he was about lifeless. The woman, seeing what had happened and being somewhat anxious about her carpet, came in and said, “Put that man out!” “Sister, this is in answer to prayer,” I said. “Well, I will not have him in here on this carpet, with his filth.” I said, “Sister, get on your knees and get hold of God! We have only twenty-five minutes to get this man saved.” She said, “God can’t do anything with a drunkard.” I said, “Sister, pray!”
I dropped on my face with my feet against the door, and soon said, “O God, only eighteen minutes.” She said, “What do you mean by eighteen minutes and twenty-five minutes?” I said, “Get hold of God for this man, and I will tell you later.” Soon he raised his hand, and said, “Where am I? What am I doing here?” “You are reaching God here. God is going to make a sober man out of you.” “Well, I believe that He has now,” and he rose up, and said, “I have got religion.” I said, “No; you have not.” “Yes; I have,” he answered as he rubbed himself. I said, “Get down now, and repent and cry mightily to God for salvation, as you only have that demon drink cast out of you.” We had some trouble to get him to see as we saw, but we prayed earnestly to God to show him, which He did; and soon the man was down praying for mercy. As I looked up, I said, “Lord, only eleven minutes. God, bring him to terms. Take this case through.” As I lay on my face pleading, the glory struck us. The woman felt it and she shouted, and the man jumped up and grabbed me and carried me all over the room. All of this was finished just three minutes before midnight. Amen! So it pays to trust God. That man was a sober man for three years, and then God took him home to Heaven. This was the first venture on that definite line; but as God answered, several such feats have been done, all in His name, as He will do as He has promised.
I will give another incident in the work in Cincinnati. There I received clothing for the poor, and distributed it. I was out at Mt. Lookout, a suburb of Cincinnati, and a sister there gave me some clothing. In a few weeks I noticed that one of our strong members was not out for a week or so, so I went out to see what was the matter. I found her washing, and reminded her that several services had passed without her presence, which was rather an unusual occurrence. She was a poor woman, with three children, and had to pay her rent, but never allowed us to help her, as we were accustomed to help many others in similar circumstances. As she seemed loathe to give a reason for being absent, I noticed that she had on quite poor shoes, and finally I said, “Sister, are those the best shoes you have?” Blushing, she turned her back on me, making me feel that those were her best; but she finally said, “Now, Brother Bevington, I will have to admit that they are. I am expecting to get a pair next week, as I am to keep the children clothed and fed regardless of my need.”
So I returned to my room; and that being Thursday evening, I began to plead a new pair of shoes for her, as I had none that I felt were good enough for her, and therefore I prayed the more. I just held on. Finally, I looked at my watch, and it was two minutes of 4:00 a. m. I had been there ten or eleven hours. Then I dropped on my face again, and inside of thirty minutes I saw a pair of ladies’ shoes, and new ones, too. That was Friday, nearly 7:00 a. m. I went to my breakfast satisfied that all would be all right for a pair of shoes for the Friday night meeting; that was our regular evangelistic night service. When I came back, I was detained some, and did not get to the mission until about 10:00 a. m, and went into the prayer room. One of the kindergarten teachers came out, and said, “There is a lady wanting to see you.” She came out into the main hall, and said, “Brother Bevington, I bought a pair of shoes this morning, but one is at least two sizes larger than the other. They look like mates, but they cannot be. The ones I tried on at the store fit me nicely. Then, as I was near here, I thought that I would run in and see the kindergarten children work; and while waiting to see you, I thought I would put on my new shoes and wear them home, but found one to be entirely too large.” I said, “Praise the Lord. I prayed all night last night for a pair of shoes, and I guess these are the ones.” “Yes, but, Brother Bevington it seems too bad to give such a pair of shoes as that to anyone, and I don’t want to take them back.” (She was most too proud to do that so she concluded to see if I could work them off to a good advantage.) I said, “She is a poor woman, and needs the shoes, and she can easily put cotton batting in the larger one, and the smaller one, I think, will fit her all right.” “Here they are; you take them up.”
But I wanted her to see this woman, as I felt that she might be able to help her in various ways. So I insisted on her taking them, as she would have to walk near that home to get her street car. Finally she took up the shoes and started for the woman’s home, and found her busy with her ironing. She introduced herself, and said, “Brother Bevington sent me here, on a rather embarrassing errand.” She set the shoes out, not telling the woman that one was larger than the other. All the time she was talking about the shoes and other things, the sister kept thinking, “What will I do, as I can’t wear those shoes, as my right foot is nearly two sizes smaller than my left, and I hate to tell her.” But she concluded to take the shoes, and probably could exchange them. The woman started home, but she was impressed that she must tell the sister, so she returned and she told about the shoes. The sister just laughed heartily, and said, “Which is the larger?” “The left one.” Then she laughed more than ever, and said, “Well, well, well! God surely understands all things, as my left foot is nearly two sizes larger than my right. Here it is just as I want it. Oh, praise the Lord.” Now, I knew nothing about the difference in the size of her feet, but God did, and see how He worked in order to answer my all-night prayer. Isn’t that enough to convince us that God fully understands His business? I say, “Yes.” What do you say? Well, Hallelujah!
The main thought in this volume is to set forth God as Healer, yet several other instances may find their way into these pages as an incentive to trust God as Healer, as well as provider in other matters; for if we are going to get healed or get anyone else healed, we must believe the Bible, we must believe God, as healing is set forth in the Atonement. I feel impressed to give some Scripture on healing, and the conditions before and after:
First, God’s covenant with His people: Ex. 15:26; 23: 20-25; Deut. 7:17; Num. 21:8, 9. Second, Obedience vs. Disobedience: Deut. 28:1-30; Num. 2:4-10; Ps. 107:17-21; Heb. 10:28, 29. Third, God’s will is to heal His children: Matt. 8:1-17; Mark 1:41; Luke 5:13; Heb. 10: 7; John
4:34. Fourth, Healing in the Atonement: Ps. 103:3; Matt. 8:17; Isa. 53:4, 5. Fifth, Proof of Christ’s Divinity needed now as much as at any time: Mark 2:10; Matt. 9:28, 29; John 4:46-54; 5:10-19. Sixth, The children’s bread and their right; Matt. 15:22-28; Mark 7:29, 30. Seventh, Christ’s testimony of Himself: Luke 4:16-21; 7:19-23; John 6:62, 63; 19:12-24. Eighth, Peter’s testimony of Christ; Acts 10:38, 39. Ninth, Christ’s commission to His Church; Matt. 9:35; 10:19; Matt. 28: 18-20; Mark 16: 14-20. Tenth, Direction to His church; James 5:13-16. Eleventh, Faith in God; 1 John 5:11-16; Mk. 11:12-27; Ps. 4:56. Twelfth, Believing prayer: 1 John 3:18-24; Mk. 11:24; Matt. 21:22; 28:19, 20; Mk. 9:17, 30; James 1:6, 8; John 11:22 Thirteenth, Faith, not sight; Matt. 8:8-14; Rom. 4:17-25; Heb. 11. Fourteenth, His earnest of His resurrected life; Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 3:16, 17. Fifteenth, Rejoice and act your faith; 2 Chron. 20:21. Sixteenth, Your faith will be tried; James 1:2, 4; 1 Peter 1:7. Seventeenth, Those who have failed to retain healing; Mk. 4:17-26; Luke 8:13. Eighteenth, A safe shelter; Ps. 91.
The tendency in this age, in many quarters, is to rule the supernatural out entirely, and to ascribe events to a natural cause. This rationalism goes under the head of scholarship, attributing largely to the human and barring out the Holy Ghost. So I hope that you will study the above Scriptures thoroughly, and see if you have a right to ascribe miracles to the Apostolic days alone. If the reader will not believe these Scriptures and the witnesses of these days, then I will say as Abraham said to the rich man, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” That there are false teachers against Divine healing is no argument against Divine healing, for there are false prophets today as there have been in all ages. There have been various professions of religion in all ages; but, thank God, there are a few who can see even beyond their vision, and catch the truths of the Gospel, and actually get healed in spite of opposition. I remember being called t o a home to pray for a sister who had been on her bed for nine years. She was blessedly saved, but her husband was a radical unbeliever. He came in from the field, and ordered me out. I went out, but slipped up into the haymow; and in spite of him, I remained there about seventy-two hours. God raised the sister up so that within twelve hours after He touched her, she got dinner and called husband in, and went to the spring to get a bucket of water, so as to meet him. When she met him, he was actually all broken up, and came to the haymow and hunted me out. Then he prayed through and got salvation.
Healing is not only for the benefit of the subject but its influence is far reaching. The doctrine of Divine healing stands in spite of objectionable professors. When our Savior was on earth, He said that false Christs and false prophets would arise to seduce, if it were possible, the very elect. (Mk. 13:22.) Dr. J. A. Dowie, of Chicago, seems to be a fulfillment of this prophecy, as our Savior more than intimates that false prophets may heal the sick, cast out devils, and do many wonderful works. We must remember that much good done, devils cast out, and bodies healed, by no means prove that a person is a true prophet, as false prophets may bear all the marks and will have the audacity to flaunt them in the face of Christ, possibly at the day of Judgment. (Matt. 7:22.)
Another example of Bible prophecy fulfilled is the so-called Christian Science (false prophet). But in spite of all false doctrines and teachers, some people are actually getting healed through Jesus, and He is getting the glory. Christian Science takes the stand that there can be no such thing as sin; all is mind, therefore there is no pain, no suffering, no sorrow, no sickness. What seems so, is in the mind. That is the message of the so-called Christian Science. To the sick, to the suffering, to the sorrowing, we are to think all the evil out of existence. “How is your grandfather this morning, Bridget?” said a Christian Science practitioner to an Irish child. “He still has the rheumatism mighty bad, Mum,” was the reply. “You think he has the rheumatism. There is no such thing as rheumatism.” “Yes, Mum,” responded the child. A few days later, they met again. “Does your grandfather still persist in his delusion that he has the rheumatism?” “No, Mum, the poor man thinks that he is dead. We buried him yesterday.” So you have it. Divine healing and Christian Science are not related in the least. Divine healing is not imaginary. It is not simply the exercise of will power. It is not mind cure. It is not spiritualism. It is not immunity from death, or from sickness, as those who believe in Divine healing get sick; and when their work is done, they die. It is not mere presumption, nor a disregard of God’s will. It is the direct power of God upon the body.
A man said to the writer some time ago, “Well, Brother Bevington, I suppose, from your teaching, that you are never going to die, as you say that God heals and that He answers prayer. So all that you have to do is to pray, and He heals you, and you are never going to die.” I reminded him of an incident that occurred while I was working at the carpenter trade near Michigan City, Indiana. As we were coming home one Saturday evening, in the buggy, we noticed a man and his wife walking around an old log house. They seemed to be scrutinizing the old frame closely; and as we came near, the man shouted, “Hey, Jerry, come in here.” So when Jerry got out of the buggy, the man said, “Wife and I have been examining our old house where we have lived and raised our family of eleven. They are all gone now, married off. You know you have been fixing this old house up most every year for several years; and just look at the sills, and those posts, and the roof, and that gable end. They are all in pretty bad shape, and we w ere just saying that we believe the old thing is not worth repairing any more. So we want you to build us a new house.” We built one, and saw them vacate the old building and move into the new. They left about all the old furniture in the old house. I said, “Sir, that is the way it will be with me, as Christ has promised to keep this building that I am living in, in repairs; but the time is coming when the old thing won’t be worth repairing, and I expect soon to see Him come down, take a walk around the old frame, and say, “Well, Bevington, the old thing is not worth repairing any more, so now vacate it and move up here into the new mansion that we have just finished for you. Just leave all the old furniture down there, as we have your new mansion all newly furnished in gold and diamonds.”
I observe that Satan hates Divine healing, and is doing all he can to prevent it; and if one does get healed, he tries to keep him from telling it, and often succeeds in doing so. It is then that one gets in darkness over it, as Satan keeps the track well covered up. One more thought, and I will try to proceed to my mission. Divine healing is the fulfillment of those promises that cannot possibly be explained by those who take the ground that miracles ceased when the Apostles went to their reward. There is a long list of promises ignored in most of our public teaching. It seems that revelations have by common consent been set aside, and when the thoughtful Christian in his daily reading of the Scripture meets with many of these wonderful promises made to believers, he often pauses to ask himself, “What can these words mean? If I am sick, can I ask God to heal me? Is prayer really a power with God?” It is not merely power, but it is a transcendent power, accomplishing what no other power can, overruling all other agencies, and rendering them subservient to its own wonderful efficiency.
I feel impressed to jot down some of these promises for the reader’s consideration, for study, for meditation, as we must be governed by the Word; we must draw our conclusions only from the Word — not people’s opinion, nor the failures of others; but see what the Word says about it. Start in with the Acts — Acts 2:39. Read it. We can readily make a plural out of that promise. It would be justified by many other passages. So these promises are for us. Now, Matt. 7:7-11; 18:19; 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13, 14; John 3:21, 22.
Now we do not claim that all the foregoing promises apply literally to the physical realm, but we do claim that some of them do directly, and the others indirectly to the healing. Some of these promises are not confined to the spiritual realm alone but reach out into the physical as well. See James 5:14, 15. The Apostle illustrates what he means by prevailing prayer, by the example of Elias, a man subject to like passions as we are, as he prayed for rain and it came. We must forever settle the Bible authority on healing. We must see it in the Bible as in Isa. 53:4, 5. But read verses 2-8, and so settle on that, if God’s Word means anything, it means there that there is healing in the Atonement. If so, why not have it? Yes, why not? I, for one, am going to hold onto that chapter. In connection with verse 4, read Matt. 8:17, 18; Heb. 9:28; 1 Peter 2:24, and Heb. 13:8. Paul says that Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Now, we think that we have given warning and invitation and Scripture enough t o justify in accepting the following as being possible from a Bible standpoint.
I feel that Luke 13:16 ought to be inserted right here: “Ought not this woman whom Satan hath bound … be loosed?” Read the whole verse. We know of no stronger statement of the Lord’s willingness; nay, more of the Lord’s will to heal His trusting children, than this verse. The word “ought” expresses much more than willingness. It expresses obligation, right, something which would be wrong not to do. Oh, it places Divine healing on a high and solid plane; as not only a possible and actual intervention of God for the help of His suffering children, but as His normal provision for believers. It is something included in our redemption rights, something that is part of His Gospel grace, something that is already recognized as within His will, and that does not require a special revelation to justify us in claiming it. If God expects us to do what we ought to do, surely we may expect as much from Him. There is something startling in the positiveness and force of the expression “ought not.” And surely no child o f God should ever doubt again His perfect readiness to help and heal.
There is another important fact to notice in this verse. We have said that we firmly believe all sickness comes from Satan, either directly or indirectly; and we note here that Luke identifies it with the direct route from Satan. He says, “Whom Satan hath bound.” So you may rest assured that when you undertake to see healing done, you have to walk right in on Satan’s own ground, and demand of him his own property, as he is the author of all sickness. So you have a task on hand, as he claims a right to his own property, the same as you and I claim a right to that which rightfully belongs to us. He has met me several times at the threshold and positively forbidden me to enter his domain. He has called me a usurper many times; but I have credentials from God, and never cease to push my claim to the limit.