Apostle of Faith, chapter 9.
In the year 1920 our Greatheart labored for six months in different parts of Europe. He ministered for a short while in France and then went on to Switzerland. The following account of his labors is part of an address given by Madam Debat of Paris, who acted as his interpreter in France and in French Switzerland.
At Chatres in the French Alps we had a convention. Four ministers came to spy out the land in order to speak against this work of God. But all four are now convinced that this Pentecostal work is truly of God. One cried out, “I am under an open heaven.”
A wagon drawn by oxen drew up at the meeting house, containing a man on a stretcher who had come some distance with faith to be healed. He was suffering with cancer of the stomach and could not eat. In the wagon was a basket of provisions. He was asked what they were for, as he could not eat anything. He replied, “No, I cannot eat, but I am going to he healed and I shall consume these provisions on the return journey.” He had simple faith, and of course God met him.
I asked one woman going out of the meeting, “Are you healed?” She replied, “Of course I am healed.” There were several cases of deafness healed. In one case the bone had been scraped and the drum disappeared, but she heard perfectly.
At Lausanne was a man born blind. His wife was tubercular and in a terrible condition. She heard of the meetings and she asked her husband if he could exercise faith for healing. He answered her sarcastically and with obvious unbelief. But they came to the meeting and both were saved, healed and baptized. Their very countenances changed for the woman had previously had a terribly hard face. The man’s case is a case of slow recovery, but his eyesight is coming little by little. There was another man suffering from deafness and rupture. He thought he could not ask for deliverance from two things so he asked for the deafness to go. He was healed of both his troubles. There was a child who had a new eye given to him; also a woman nearly blind was healed; also there were numbers of cases of lame people who left their sticks behind.
At Godivil, three were healed of consumption, one a girl of 19 who was in a dying condition and having severe hemorrhages. God has greatly blessed her. She has received the baptism and gives such a sweet testimony.
At Vevey there was a brother named Zand. He was always hungry and thirsty after God and going wherever he thought he could learn more of Him. He was among the Open Brethren. He said, “I am not satisfied that I have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit at conversion—I lack something.” When he made this statement his brethren thought he was a heretic and told him to clear out. He said, “That is what I am going to do.” He came and was baptized in the Spirit. Here there is a band of fine young men and they have good open-air meetings. Four of them went up the mountain and began to pray. Some passers-by began to stone them. They went deeper into the wood and prayed until morning, all four receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
At Morges we had a convention. A man was brought in a wheelchair who had not walked for several years. His healing was just like that of the man at the Beautiful Gate. He leaped and jumped, and he walked home followed by a boy wheeling the chair, and a crowd of boys who all knew that he had been healed. Another was healed of a nervous breakdown. He went to a doctor who told him to go and return thanks because he was cured. At Geneva 300 came out for salvation. God blessed in a similar way in the part of Switzerland where German is spoken.
At Neufchatel, God marvelously moved. One who had a wonderful baptism repeated all the Sermon on the Mount. Another, under the inspiration of the Spirit, spoke Italian and German, whereas French is the language spoken in Neufchatel.
Speaking of his visit to Switzerland, our Greatheart says that it was wonderful to see the Spirit of God brooding over the people as he spoke through an interpreter. A woman with a cancer on her nose and the upper part of her face, came forward to be prayed with. He had her stand right in front of the people and said to them, “Look at her. She will be here tomorrow night and you will see what God has done for her.” He prayed for her and she left the meeting. The next night she came back, and it was seen that the cancer had gone and there was a new skin on her face.
There was another case of a woman whose face was in a terrible condition through some disease she had contracted. She was prayed for and the next day she appeared with an entirely new skin, and she had a radiant complexion.
A young man came to the meeting to ridicule, but he was stricken down and could not speak. Wigglesworth commanded the evil spirit to come out of him and he was loosed. At another meeting three insane people were sent and put in the front row with a view to creating a disturbance. Wigglesworth, in the name of Jesus, commanded the demons to keep quiet and there was no further trouble.
One day when he was in Switzerland two policemen were sent to arrest him on a warrant that he was healing the people without a license. They went to the house of the minister of a Pentecostal Assembly at Godivil. He said to them: “Mr. Wigglesworth is away just now, but before you arrest him I would like to show you one result of his ministry in this place.” He took the two policemen down to the lowest quarter in the town to the house of a woman whom they had arrested time and time again for drunken brawls, a woman who spent most of her time behind prison walls. This minister said: “This woman came to one of our meetings in a state of drunkenness. While she was there in this condition Mr. Wigglesworth laid his hands on her and asked God to deliver her. Her body was broken out in two places with terrible sores, but God has healed her and delivered her from drunkenness.” The woman spoke for herself and said to the policemen, “God saved my soul at that time, and from that moment I have not had the slightest desire for liquor.” The police officers said, “We refuse to stop this kind of work. Somebody else will have to arrest this man.” And nothing further came of it.
One day, in the city of Neufchatel, a dentist, Dr. Emil Lanz, came to the meeting. He thought in his heart, “I believe this man is a fake. He is preaching divine healing, and yet he probably has a set of artificial teeth. After the meeting I will go up to him and ask him to open his mouth. If his teeth are artificial I will expose him as a deceiver.” So at the end of the meeting, this dentist asked Wigglesworth to open his mouth for him to look at his teeth. He was amazed, as he later testified, to see the most perfect set of teeth that he had ever seen in anyone’s mouth. Smith Wigglesworth had faith in God that he would keep every one of his teeth, and the Lord preserved them so that he had all his own teeth at 87 years of age.
Dr. Lanz was convicted and began to trust the Lord himself. Some years later, speaking in London, he said, “We have seen great things in Switzerland in the past three years, and many new gatherings have been raised up in both French and German Switzerland through the ministry of Mr. Smith Wigglesworth. Many, many of our people have received the great Pentecostal blessing of the baptism of the blessed Holy Ghost with signs following, and we are deeply grateful for this. Two years ago in Berne, we had only 15 to 20 coming to the meetings. Today we have a great gathering and a beautiful hall. The young folk meet in the open air and preach the glad tidings of deliverance from sin and the baptism in the Holy Ghost. Every Sunday night there is a great open-air meeting in the center of the town; many have been saved, and healed, and baptized in the Holy Ghost.”
Mr. Wigglesworth told us, “In Switzerland I was put into prison twice. But praise God, I was brought out all right. One officer said to me, ‘I find no fault with you. You have been a great blessing to us here in Switzerland.’ In the middle of one night they said to me, ‘You can go.’ I said, ‘No, I’ll only go on one condition, that every officer in this place gets down on his knees and I’ll pray for you.’”
A woman in Neufchatel had suffered with tumors in the kidneys for many years. She had had many doctors but they gave her no permanent relief. She went to a hospital in Berne to be operated upon but the doctors found seven tumors and said it was impossible to operate. She heard of the meetings and came to be ministered to. She fully recovered and was baptized in the Holy Spirit. She had the joy of giving her son (who was saved in the meetings and called of God) to go to the mission field in Congo Belge in Africa.
A Danish lady, Madame Lewini, who had formerly graced the stage in Denmark, but later became a missionary, writes of being with him in three months of campaigns in Sweden and Denmark. This is her record:
It was a time of visitation from on high. I dare to say that hundreds of people received the Lord Jesus as their Savior, thousands were healed of all kinds of diseases, also thousands of people awoke to a new life and many received the baptism of the Holy Spirit as on the day of Pentecost. For all this we give glory to the Lord Jesus. Here are a few examples of miracles my eyes have seen.
I will begin with the first meeting I attended. It was in Orebro, Sweden. I came to seek help for myself, being worn out by long unbroken service in the Lord’s work. On the second day there was a meeting for healing. After the preaching service hundreds of men and women came for a touch of God, and glory to God, we were not disappointed. As hands were laid upon me the power of God went through me in a wonderful way. I was immediately healed.
It was wonderful to notice, as the ministry continued, the effect upon the people as the power of the Lord came over them. Some lifted their hands crying, “I am healed! I am healed!’ Some fell on the platform overpowered by the power of the Spirit and had to be helped down. A young blind girl, as she was ministered to, cried out, “Oh, how many windows there are in this hall!” During the three weeks the meetings continued the great chapel was crowded daily, multitudes being healed and many saved. The testimony meetings were wonderful. One said, “I was deaf; they prayed, and the Lord healed me.” Another, “I had consumption, and I am free.” And so on.
At Skovde a smaller hall was set apart for those seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Did the Holy Spirit fall upon them? Of course he did. Here also many were healed. There was a young man whose body was spoiled because of sin, but the Lord is merciful with sinners. He was anointed, and when hands were laid upon him the power of God went marvelously over him. He cried, “I am healed.” He broke down and cried like a little child as he confessed his sin. At the same moment God saved him. He went into the large hall and testified that the Lord had saved him and healed him.
At Stockholm at nearly every meeting the crowds were unable to enter the building, but they waited often hour on hour for a chance, if any left the building, to step into the place. Here a man with two crutches, his whole body shaking with palsy, was lifted on to the platform. He was anointed and hands were laid upon him in the name of Jesus Christ. He continued to shake. Then he dropped one crutch. and after a short while the other one. His body still shook but he took the first step out in faith. He lifted one foot and then the other and walked around the platform. Then he walked around the auditorium.
During this meeting a woman began to shout and shout. The preacher told her to be quiet, but instead she jumped on a chair, flourishing her arms about, and cried, “I am healed! I had cancer in my mouth, and I was unsaved. But during this meeting as I listened to the word of God, the Lord has saved me and healed me of cancer of the mouth.” She shouted again, “I am saved! I am healed of cancer!” She was quite beside herself. The people laughed and cried together.
Here was another woman unable to walk, sitting on a chair as she was ministered to. Her experience was the same as hundreds of the others. She rose up, looking around. wondering if after all it was a dream. Suddenly she laughed and said, “My leg is healed!” Afterwards she said, “I am not saved,” and streams of tears ran down her face. They prayed for her and later she left the meeting healed and saved and full of joy.
In Christiania [now Oslo] a man and his son came in a taxi to a meeting. Both had crutches. The father had been in bed two years and was unable to put his leg to the ground. He was ministered to. He dropped both crutches, walked and praised God. When the son saw this he cried out, “Help me too,” and after a little while father and son, without crutches and without taxi, walked away from the hall together.
At Copenhagen thousands daily attended the meetings. Each morning two or three hundred were ministered to for healing. Each evening the platform was surrounded. Again and again, as each throng retired, another company came forward seeking salvation. Here many were baptized in the Holy Spirit. The testimony meetings were wonderful.
Our Greatheart wrote a letter from Christiania of the great crowds that flocked to the meetings. Thousands could not get in the large buildings that were taken for the campaign. He said:
I ministered for over 3 hours to the sick, after preaching an hour and a half. Many coming were helpless. Hundreds were healed. A great pile of crutches and sticks and other helps have been left on the large platform. I ministered openly and the crowds looked on and shouted. The excitement was wonderful as the blind saw and the lame leaped. We are now in a place holding 5,000 and the people say it will be too small. One man was in the hospital and asked permission to go to the meetings, and was refused. Then he decided to go and the doctors said, “If you go, you will not come back.” The man said, “No, I shall not come back.” After prayer, he was instantly healed and threw his crutches away. I tell you the thing is great, and greater things are ahead for us—only believe.
Speaking afterwards of his work in Sweden Mr. Wigglesworth said,
When I was in Sweden the power of God was mightily upon me. It was there that I was apprehended for preaching and for praying for the sick. The Lutheran churches and the doctors rose up like an army against me, and had special audience with the king to try to get me out of the country. It was in Sweden that I was escorted out by two detectives and two policemen, because of the mighty power of God moving among the people. But beloved, it was lovely!
One of the nurses in the king’s household came and was healed of a leg trouble—I forget whether a broken thigh or a dislocated joint. She went to the king and said, “I have been so wonderfully healed by this man. You know I am walking all right now.” “Yes” said the king, “I know everything about him. Tell him to go. I do not want him turned out. If he goes out, he can come back; but if he is turned out he cannot come back.” I thank God I was not turned out, I was merely escorted out.
The Pentecostal people went to see the police to see if I could have a big meeting in the park on the Monday following Whitsunday [Pentecost Sunday]. The police officers said: “There is only one reason why we could refuse him and it is on this line. If that man puts his hand upon the sick in the great park, it would take 30 more policemen to guard the situation. But if he will promise us that he will not lay his hands upon the people, then we will allow you to have the park.”
They came and asked me and I said, “Promise them that I will fulfill their wishes.” I knew that God was not limited to my laying hands on the people. When the presence of the Lord is there to heal it does not require the laying on of hands. Faith is the great operating factor. When we believe God, all things are easy.
They built a platform where I could speak to thousands of people. I prayed and said, “Lord, You know the situation. You have never yet been in a fix where you could not handle the situation. Show me what can be done for this poor and needy people without having hands laid upon them. Show me.”
To the people I said, “All of you that would like the power of God to go through you today healing everything, put your hands up.” Thousands of hands went up. I sent up a cry, “Oh Lord, show me,” and he told me as clearly as anything to pick a person out that stood upon a rock. That park was a very rocky place. I told them to put their hands down except this person. To her I said, “Tell all the people what are your troubles.” She began to relate her troubles. From her head to her feet she was so in pain that she felt if she did not sit down or lie down she would not be able to go on.
I said to her, “Lift your hands high.” I then said, “In the name of Jesus I rebuke the evil one from your head to your feet, and I believe God has loosed you.” Oh, how she danced and how she jumped and how she shouted!
That was the first time that God had revealed to me that it was a very simple matter for Him to heal without the laying on of my hands. I said to the sick people, “Now each one lay hands on yourself, and when I pray God will heal you.” We had hundreds healed that day without my touching them and hundreds were saved. Our God is a God of mighty power. Oh, how wonderful, how glorious, and how fascinating it is that we can come into this royal palace of faith and of power. We have a great God. We have a wonderful Jesus. I believe in the Holy Ghost.
Labels: Apostle of Faith