Rev Dr Edgar Mayer – Living Grace Church, Toowoomba – Date: 17 September 2017

For more sermons and other writings, please check the following homepage: www.livinggracetoowoomba.org

 

Dancing to the Promises

 

This morning, I read to you one of the most upbeat Bible verses that you can find – 2 Corinthians 1:20: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ…” Do you like the affirmation and encouragement? God will keep his promises to you – no matter how many he has made – all of them. You can trust him. “Yes” – in Christ (because of what he has done and demonstrated to us, and Paul always brings everything back to Jesus Christ) you can have what he promised.

 

Ephesians 1:3-8: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ… In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ… In him [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us…

 

The Bible verse is true – it is a great Bible verse – but needs some explanation because most of us – at least hearing it for the first time – (probably) make the wrong assumptions. When we hear about countless promises (no matter how many God has made and we know that the Bible is full of them) and God keeping them all, we expect the good life of victorious Christians – blessed and fruitful – and (there is) nothing wrong with that except that in our culture (in the Western World) the good life is defined by comfort and affluence. But is this what God is promising?

The Bible verse itself is correcting a complaint from Christians in Corinth who whinged to the apostle Paul that he was not visiting them as promised. They even accused him of deliberately deceiving them – promising to come but knowing that he would not. This is what he wrote in his defense:

 

2 Corinthians 1:12-20 [NLT]: Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God’s grace. For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and acknowledge and I hope you will fully acknowledge – just as you did partially acknowledge us, that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you.

Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of grace. I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on my way to Judea. You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say “Yes” when they really mean “No”? You know I am not like that!

As God is true, my yes means yes. I am not the kind of person who says one thing and means another. Timothy and Silvanus and I have preached to you about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In Him there is no yes and no. In Him is yes. Jesus says yes to all of God’s many promises. It is through Jesus that we say, “Let it be so,” when we give thanks to God.

 

In other words (and this is my version): “Don’t whinge. You are not hard done by. You have no reason to be disappointed because my travelling plans have changed. I am not saying ‘Yes’ when I mean ‘No’. It’s just that things can change as we follow God and obey him from day to day, but you can be certain that you are not going to miss out. He is saying ‘Yes’ to all of his promises and this is true despite missing out on a visit from me.”

 

The Bible records one clear instance where God adjusted Paul’s travel plans – Acts 16:6-10: Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

 

Adding to the Corinthian’s disappointment was that Apollos had previously also delayed his visit – 1 Corinthians 16:12: Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.

 

Are God’s promises – all of them – stillYesto you (and can you rely on them) despite missing out on things now (even when your favourite preacher cannot come for a visit)? For instance, what about this promise – Isaiah 54:17: “‘No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,’ declares the Lord.

The apostle Paul experienced the amazing truth of this promise. God kept him safe again and again. One time, people stoned him until they thought that he was dead, but when they were gone, he got up alive and walked away.

 

Acts 14:19-20: Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.

 

2 Corinthians 11:25: …Three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea.

 

Amazingbut, on other occasions, weapons forged against Paul did manage to hurt him and inflict pain. [He survived the stoning but it probably hurt.] He was beaten up – repeatedly – and, in the end, he also died for his faith. Yet, what prevailed – the weapons forged against him or God and his purposes for Paul’s life?

 

1 Corinthians 11:24-25: Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods…

 

Take another promise. God promised to look after us. For this reason, Jesus taught us to pray for ourdaily breadand not to worry but then Paul – a faithful Christian and leader of the church – writes about knowing hunger and thirst and, at times, not having enough clothes to keep him warm:

 

Matthew 6:31-33: So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

2 Corinthians 11:27: …I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.

 

In one and the same letter, Paul (and he was an intelligent and sane man) wrote about knowing hunger and thirst and often going without food and having been cold and naked and, at the same time (in the same piece of writing), he triumphantly acknowledged that God always kept his promises and would always keep them (all of them) – 2 Corinthians 1:20: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ…”

Reflecting on times of scarcity and poverty, he wrote:

 

Philippians 4:11-13: I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

 

Hmm. Are you confused? Looking at the Bible verses with our Western eyes, it is easy to be confused because Paul’s life and what he proposes (he usually encourages people to imitate him) does not look comfortable and affluent – our version of what should be. This is not yet – not quite – the expected good life. (You cannot quite picture Paul relaxing in a spa sipping a drink.) Only, the apostle Paul was not confused (and he wrote the verse about God always honouring his promises despite beatings). On the contrary, he even boasted about his hardships which in his eyes did not diminish God’s promises one little bit but accentuated them, because God proved himself powerful and all-conquering (absolutely disallowing the enemy to prevail) despite Paul’s own hardships and weakness.

 

2 Corinthians 11:23-30: I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

 

2 Corinthians 12:7-10: … because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

[And we remind ourselves that Jesus also promised persecution – John 15:20: Remember what I told you: “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.]

 

This is a different man from a different time with a different mindset. Who today would do this kind of boasting? However, in Paul’s understanding (and this is where he gets his faith right), what was really important – the preaching of Jesus Christ to a lost world, the salvation of many sinners and the expansion of Jesus’ reign – was happening. Paul was effective as a missionary and, in his work, Paul experienced God to his highest satisfaction. He did not feel at all that God had ever let him down. He was bathed in his love.

 

[2 Corinthians 12:1-7:  I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh…]

 

A few lines before he wrote about God always keeping his promises, he was honest about experiencing great despair but then also delighted in experiencing God asthe Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3).

 

2 Corinthians 1:3-11:  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

 

Paul was satisfied in his relationship with God – abounding in the experience of comfort and more.

 

2 Corinthians 7:4: …I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds. For even when we arrived in Macedonia our bodies had no rest, but we were oppressed at every turn—conflicts and disputes without, fears and dread within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus…

 

2 Corinthians 8:1-5: And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.

 

2 Corinthians 6:3-10: We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

 

Did you pick up on the last line? “Having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” This is as exuberant as Paul’s earlier outburse of praise – 2 Corinthians 1:20: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ…” From what place was he writing these words? According to his testimony, in all of his troubles, his joy knew no bounds. He was possessing everything. He had that kind of feeling and attitude.

I give you another quote from the apostle Paul which will shed more light on his mindset which you can share and make your own today. We can have what he had. 2 Corinthians 1:20: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ…”

 

2 Corinthians 4:7-18: But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

 

Life was extremely tough for Paul. He was hard pressed and persecuted (and Jesus prepared us for persecutions), even wasting away outwardly, but he also experiencedall-surpassing powerin his ministry – which included signs and wonders, healings and miracles, and the power of salvation rescuing people from unbelief and separation from God – and personally he experiencedbeing renewed inwardly day by day” – which included supernatural comfort and joy and peace (beyond any human understanding).

 

Philippians 4:6-7:  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

His experiences of God – operating in “all-surpassing power” entrusted to hard pressed “jars of clay” and experiencing inward renewal daily – made Paul feel ten feet tall. And then he knew that the distractions of persecution would pass away while the experiences of God would only increase. What he knew about theall-surpassing powerof God now in his ministry was only a foretaste for what was to come in the future.

Living for the future – the life to come – was at the heart of his faith and, this morning, is the key for us to understand him and his writings in the Bible, and to learn from him. There was more coming. What he had now was only a foretaste and nothing could compare with what God had prepared for him and us in the future – the life to come – where an eternal glory (surpassing and outweighing all that had been before) would make us experience and enjoy the ultimate fulfillment of all of God’s promises because of Jesus and his gift of salvation (won on the cross).

 

2 Corinthians 4:17-18: For our light and momentary troubles [what dismissive words for the pain and deprivations he experienced] are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

 

2 Corinthians 5:1-5 [ESV]: For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

I come back to the opening verse of promise and show you how Paul continued immediately after making his upbeat affirmation:

 

2 Corinthians 1:20-22: For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ [which means that he makes us withstand persecution and suffering]. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and  put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

 

Paul was absolutely certain about God keeping his promises. They were all “Yesin Christ, and then – not even demonstrating the faithfulness of God with his own life experiences and having the need to argue the case – Paul simply followed the affirmation by pointing to the Holy Spirit who is the means by which we all know that it is true: God keeps his all of his promises. The Holy Spirit, whom God puts in our hearts, gives us an experience of his presence – a wonderful foretaste and guarantee what is to come.

You cannot make sense of anything that Paul writes unless you understand the Holy Spirit in his life and the life of all Christians. He wrote to the Christian in Corinth about what was their shared experience: “God anointed us [poured out his Spirit on us], set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.Those that receive the Holy Spirit (whom God anoints with the Holy Spirit), they know by experience that God has made them his own and the foretaste of Holy Spirit love, peace and joy guarantees to them what is to come – the greater glory that we are going to enjoy in the life to come. And no present pain can touch that.

How does this look today? Let me tell you about Harold Baker, the grandfather of Rolland Baker (who will be one of our speakers at next month’s conference). He had a life not unlike Paul’s. I first tell you what a difference the anointing with the Holy Spirit made for him:

 

Above all and most important of all every missionary should have the baptism of the Holy Spirit and gifts of the Spirit, so that no matter where his or her body may be on this desolate earth the soul and thoughts and life may be much in heaven.

Like Paul, I would that “ye all spake with tongues,” for “he that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself” (I Cor. 14:4, 5). What a blessing, what a gift from heaven to the lone missionary! No wonder lonesome Paul could say, “I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all”, for he could “pray with the spirit” (tongues) and “sing with the spirit” (tongues) and thus “edify himself.” Cor. 14:15.

I covet for every lone missionary this Paul-like experience of God through this “gift of the Holy Spirit”, for I know from experience what Paul was writing about. I myself have been edified and strengthened in those years when I was a lone missionary in regions beyond, by daily praying and singing in other tongues, as you will see in later chapters of my story. [1]

 

When on that trip for the new missionaries [he was already doing mission work in Tibet], I was given a very small tract on salvation by faith. That was a revelation to me, for I had supposed that we were to depend on obedience. On the sixty-day down-trip I had read the New Testament through carefully. In doing so I saw that I lacked much in perfect obedience and the holiness the Bible taught, nor did I see natural hope of perfection. That tract led me into a satisfactory experience of the Lord, such as I had not known before.

On that trip, I also made my first contact with people who had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and had spoken with other tongues. My association with these people convinced me that they had much of what I had a smaller amount. On the return trip by reading a book given me at that time showing that speaking with other tongues was scriptural and for today and showing that speaking with other tongues had accompanied all big religious revivals since the days of the apostles, I was convinced of the reality of this experience. [2]

 

Now to return again to earlier things. We had no sooner arrived home from Tibet than I found myself on the bottom, as already stated. From then on it was to be my lot the rest of my life at intervals to return to the bottom and start all over. These repeated experiences that were to be mine are described in colloquial as “the end of the rope,” “hitting the bottom,” “come to the end of things,” “up against a stone wall,” “at wit’s end,” “the jumping off place.” My life experience has been somewhat like a piece of iron raised to white heat, then pounded and plunged into cold water, the process to be repeated over and over.

By the time I returned from Tibet I had learned something about the Lord’s return, divine healing, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, salvation by faith, and other Bible truths. However, I did not at that time have a very clear understanding. In my personal contacts, I had come to see that the nominal Christians whom I had met appeared to know about Christ through reading or hearing, a head knowledge, without having personally met him. They did not seem to have felt the touch of the hand that in my youthful days had touched me while sitting in that buggy in the barn. I saw that I and all whom I had met needed more of that power and life that could come from God alone. I longed for a closer walk with Him and a better knowledge of the Bible. [3]

 

While in the spiritual wilderness I read the best books I could get on the Holy Spirit, books by F. B. Myers, Andrew Muray, McConkey, Lawson, Torry, and others. Every passage of scripture about the Holy Spirit I studied over and over. I had definitely decided that speaking with other tongues was for today.

Since I had talked with no one about this experience who could explain it to me, I knew little about it. I did not want to go to the “tongues people” to ask about it. I would just pray by myself. The real question was whether or not everyone who received the fullness of the Spirit would speak with other tongues or only some people would thus speak. The authors of the books I read, not having spoken with other tongues themselves, actually were not authority. After reading all of those books I was as confused as at the start. I decided that I probably was one of the “some” who did not speak in tongues but could just take the baptism “by faith.” Just believe that you have it and you have it, whether or not you feel or experience anything, was the theory. [4]

 

Just at this critical time I got a short one-page letter from a Chinese missionary friend. For some years he had sent me an occasional short letter without saying anything about the Holy Spirit. He thought I was poor soil, I suppose. However, at the foot of the page of the letter this time was a P. S. which read: “Now that you are free and endeavoring to follow the Bible, why do you not seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit as on the day of Pentecost. You will never regret it. I never did.” That after-thought P. S. was of the Lord; it changed the whole course of my life — by a very close margin.

When I picked up my Bible and read once more about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, a new thought flashed through my mind. It was this: water baptism is by complete bodily immersion in water. Spirit baptism therefore must be complete immersion in the Spirit; then the tongue and mind will be immersed in the Holy Spirit. I knew I had never been submerged in the Holy Spirit. Hence, I did not have the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

When out for a walk Josephine and I had seen a Pentecostal meeting advertised. I now suggested to Josephine that we go there and ask the saints to pray for us, and we would seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit regardless of consequences.

A thought came to me this way for the first time: these Pentecostal people are “specialists” on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They are specialists in speaking with other tongues. They are authorities on this particular question. They have the experience. They are the ones who know. If I have a toothache, I would expect to go to a dentist. If I broke a leg, I should go to a surgeon. If I did not know how to get my tongue under the Holy Spirit, I should go to the “tongues people” — specialists, yes, indeed, God’s specialists, as I came to know.

We started to seek the “specialists” by going to the meeting where we had seen the sign, “Trinity Pentecostal meetings.” In the after-meeting in the basement we told the little group that we were missionaries from China and candidates for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We asked them to pray for us.

Two nights later the elders in that place were praying for the sick, while I was sitting on the front seat “dead as a stick,” unable to pray at all and thinking what a dead, useless thing I was, when I began to feel a tingling in my fingers that seemed just like the tingle from the current of an electric battery. That gradually went up my arms. It then got inside of me and tingled all over. There was a stir in my heart that started me into quietly praising the Lord Jesus. He was becoming a reality. That power on my body quietly and gently prostrated me to the floor. Jesus was very real. The love of God flooded my whole being, while entirely independent of my own volition I was caused to yell almost at the top of my voice, “Jesus is God, Jesus is God.” This was continued for considerable time. The floods of liquid love flowed on and on, causing me to weep for joy.

Later I became quiet, enwrapped in the love of God. Was Jesus there? Or was it an angel, or was it a company of angels? There were heavenly visitors. That is certain. I seemed to be surrounded by a love-cloud ten feet in diameter. I never had supposed that any human being this side of heaven could experience such an inflow of superhuman love. It was heaven come down, heaven all around and in me. This condition must have lasted two hours.

After all others had left, a group of the Spirit-filled saints gathered around me, sitting in a circle. They prayed and then sang a hymn. When they sang I seemed to see a fine golden thread reach from each heart of a singer directly into my heart as a center. Furthermore, I could clearly distinguish the spiritual love impulse from each separate heart. Thus was revealed to me the mystery of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling in the heart of every true believer. Of course those singers were not aware of what I saw and experienced; yet they surely had me surrounded and tied and in their midst by cords of love.

The next morning, wanting to seek a quiet place outside of the city, I got on a street car and rode to the end of the line. As I walked on further I met a funeral procession. I coveted that dead man’s experience, if he were a Christian. How fortunate he was. The Holy Spirit had made heaven so real that I could think of nothing so desirable as to die. I would have liked to have changed places with the dead man.

As I walked along, the Holy Spirit came upon me so mightily that I could hardly go on. Seeing some trees in the distance to one side, I went over there and lay down under one of the trees. I was there so immersed in the Holy Spirit that I was almost lost to my surroundings, though I could still hear the birds singing in the trees. I lay there on my back with my hands folded across my chest like a dead person all day until late evening. I seemed to spend the whole day at the foot of the cross. Although I had no vision, it appeared like Jesus was just before me hanging on the cross.

All day long I was kept there thinking of myself as a sort of corpse lying there on my back in that position as one dead, trying to consider myself dead to everything but Jesus, who hung there before me. Tears kept streaming down either cheek the whole day long, while my thoughts seldom wandered away from Jesus there before me on the cross. To him, as best I could, I over and over dedicated my all; my body, my spirit, my work, my financial affairs, my everything I could think of.

I then and there gave my body over into Jesus’ keeping. Since then He has saved me from imminent danger and death more than once. I have never since then gone to a doctor for medicine or help. As I write this in my eighty-third year I have more abundant health than I had at the period when I made that full dedication.

At the end of that day with Jesus on the cross, when I arose to return home, I wondered how many people had such an experience with Jesus. I thought what a wonderful gospel I now had to preach were I to be allowed again to preach and be enabled to do so. I had a story to tell. I have never been able to tell it as I then knew it.

Of course, the China Inland Mission could not understand my thus receiving from the Lord the very thing they themselves needed most. I told them about my experience and gave them a brief summary of the Scriptures dealing with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I said that since I understood that they did not accept this teaching and that I would not be free to teach it in China, my continuing with them would not be satisfactory to either party. Accordingly, I tendered my resignation from the mission. I was told that I would not be asked to resign; but I would not be sent to the mission field. Accordingly, I would save them embarrassment, I said, by simply resigning.

We returned to our home at Warren, O, bag and baggage almost penniless; but we had with us our son James and his red blankets for “keeps” until he was twenty-one. We were once more free forever from man’s domineering church organizations, free to start all over again with Jesus alone as manager.

This was the time I have already told about when we were at the bottom of the barrel and Josephine started her candy business with twenty-five cents as capital. That, as I have related, was followed by the successful washing machine and vacuum cleaner business.

At the time of that wonderful experience of the Holy Spirit in Toronto I did not speak with other tongues. Nevertheless, since at that time we had decided to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit speaking with tongues, as you might expect, I was determined to persevere until I did speak thus.

All of those controversial questions about speaking with other tongues — who could or would, did or didn’t, all or some, when and why, then or now, for and against — I disposed of with one clean sweep. I personally would speak with other tongues or I would never return to China.

Why could I not speak with other tongues? Why should I not speak with other tongues? All of the apostles did. The writers of the New Testament did. Paul did; he found it so beneficial that he wished everyone else might speak with other tongues. He personally thanked God that he spoke with other tongues more than they all. He sang with tongues, for one who “speaks with tongues edifies himself.” Of course I could speak with tongues, for aside from all other considerations, there is a straight out “gift of various kinds of tongues” (I Cor. 12:10) to be had for the asking if we “earnestly desire.” I “desired” that gift. I must get it and go. Until I got it I could not go. I had to wait almost three years to get it. It was then that God was ready to give it.

That three years delay put me in a hard place so far as Christian work was concerned. I could not ever think of pasturing a denominational church, for such lacked the power of the Holy Spirit and would not understand its teaching. I did not feel altogether at home among the little group of Pentecostal people I knew, for they spoke with other tongues, which I did not. That being true, they had the Holy Spirit, while I did not, they ignorantly supposed and dogmatically declared. The deadest, most dried-up, most unspiritual man in the group was the most cock-sure that I did not have a bit of the Holy Spirit, while he gloried in having the fullness (??).

I observed that since that anointing of the Holy Spirit in Toronto whenever the Spirit was in our midst in a special power that I was as sensitive to his movements as were they who had spoken with other tongues. That I knew, whether others did or not.

Nevertheless, I was a sort of object of pity, a nice lamb not in the fold or out of it. Some of the people thought they knew just why I had such a hard time getting “the sign;” it was because I was too proud; I needed to humble myself; or I was not hungry enough. I should be hungry — starve myself, I suppose. Or it might be that I did not praise the Lord enough or, perchance, shout loud enough or open my mouth wide enough. Maybe I had all of those hindrances and many more.

Therefore, since I was taking a new course in training I certainly should obey my experienced teachers. Accordingly, when they told me to praise the Lord I got my dry lips to say, “praise the Lord.” If I was told to hold up my hands, I held them high in the air. If told to open my mouth and the Lord would fill it, opened it as widely as I dare without too much embarrassment (did not get it filled with anything but air, however).

There were several other recipes. I tried them all plus some of my own get-up. After going around and around the same circle till I had worn a beaten path, I came up against the hard, high wall and stopped. I was indeed at wits’ end. I knew how to sell vacuum cleaners, and I knew how to sell washing machines, but I assuredly did not know how to get that experience of speaking with other tongues. Neither did anyone else know how to help me get it. Evidently there is a lot some people do not know about the Holy Spirit.

After so long a time, having come to my end in seeking the Lord and a deeper work of the Holy Spirit, in my mind, if not in words, I made a sort of business proposition to the Lord something like this: “Lord, I have been for almost three years seeking you but could not find you as I hoped. I’ve stopped hunting. Now you hunt me. I will be found ‘diligent in business’ and faithfully working away at my Sunday School and little church and other Christian activities. You know, Lord, that I am a candidate for the fullness of the baptism of the Holy Spirit just like Peter and James and John had, for I have put in my application these hundreds of times. Now, Lord, you hunt me. You know where I will be at any particular day or hour. I will be glad to have you bring that gift anytime, anywhere, day or night.” With this clear understanding, I went about my business and God went about His, apparently very satisfactory, for considerable time. However, I never entirely forgot what I had coming, nor did the Lord forget what He was to give at His own convenience.

This situation continued for some time. In the meantime, I was becoming less and less interested in business while more and more interested in the work of the Lord. I got my business going well with a good salesman and office-girl mostly in charge. I was tired of talking money. I could now let others do that, I thought, and make what money they and we would need. We did not want a bigger or a better house to live in. Our sixty-five-dollar Model-T Ford would take us or a washing machine anywhere. We had no desire to buy a new car. I could not think of any Christian or Christian enterprise that I wanted to make money to support.

So it was that at this juncture Josephine and I decided to rent a little house out near the school house where we had been having Sunday School and church, as already related, so that we could conveniently work there better for the Lord. At the same time, we could sell or not sell washing machines just as we liked or might need to. All was now set up once more in right order to go ahead indefinitely just as had been the case in that first church in Buffalo and had been the case in Batang, Tibet. We now had our own income, our own undenominational church work. We were free to sail on, sail on.

However, it turned out that the time I had planned all this was the very time the Lord had planned to bring me that “gift” we had agreed upon. Just as I had said, the Lord knew where I was and soon found me, and as I had said He would find me — busy.

I was hurrying along a quiet, suburban street in Warren, O, on my way to conduct a Bible class in a hotel. Josephine had gone ahead. As I was walking rapidly to overtake her my lips suddenly began to quiver, much as they had in boyhood days when I was cold. “What’s that? I’m not cold; anyway, that is only a childish performance.” Ten more steps and my lips were violently blowing as though struck by a gale. I hurried on. Now my tongue went out of control and began to clatter. What was all this? Oh, I know now. The Lord has brought that promised “gift” along. He was going to find me receptive, for I had decided that when he brought it I would not know how to handle it. Accordingly, I was going to allow Him to give it any way he pleased — put it on my head or in my hands or in my feet or in my mouth or in my pocket. Anyway, anywhere, regardless of appearances I wanted it and I wanted it all and I wanted no one to fuss and muss things up by laying hands upon me and meddling with God’s affairs. The Lord knew that I wanted it and approved of it. That was why He waited to bring the gift to me in the evening out there in the quiet where there was no one around to meddle with things.

When all of that quivering and clattering and rattling began around my mouth I caught the idea. The Lord was going to use my mouth to speak words it had never spoken before and was now getting it ready. Since this was to be a whole-body performance, for our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, I would gladly yield by whole body to the Holy Spirit to move and shake and mold and make as He saw best.

Thus it was that my legs were affected. I was making no forward progress. I never would overtake Josephine at the rate I was going nor would I get to that Bible class on time. I couldn’t walk straight. I had a terrible wobble. There came a couple of women. I would control that “wobble” until they got by, I thought. However, a suspicious wobble was evidently apparent, for after the women had gone by they returned and very kindly asked what was wrong and where I wished to go. “We will help you,” they kindly said. They thought I was drunk. I was drunk. I was drunk with Jesus’ new wine the same as made spectators suppose the one hundred and twenty were drunk.

I manage to assume a sober appearance and say, “you will not be able to understand this; but I have been seeking the Holy Spirit for a long time, until as I was walking along right back there the Holy Spirit suddenly came upon me. That is what this is.” “Oh,” the women said, and went on, and so did I. In a very similar way I was again thought to be drunk and offered assistance. Aside from these instances I was alone with God in that quiet street, now dark.

The Holy Spirit gently pressed me down to bow and worship Jesus. I was gently prostrated on the street. I went through a spell of deep lonesomeness as though I were to be a lone pilgrim. I have since that time traveled much on that lonesome road.

After an hour or more I managed with difficulty to reach the little Pentecostal church, where a meeting was in progress. With an effort, by taking hold of the steps-railing, I managed to get myself inside the church hall and down into the basement. Since I could scarcely stand, I looked for a place to lie down. That long table might do, but I might roll off. There was an easy bamboo chair pulled up before the little gas fire. I sat down in that; it seemed just right. No, that was not it. The spirit gently pushed me out of that chair right down on the cold concrete floor. I was dressed in my black Sunday-to-go-meeting suit!

I was there on the concrete floor till two o’clock in the morning. There was a conflict going on. Whereas in past experiences I had to praise the Lord and keep my mind on Him in order to keep under the anointing, it was not so this time. I did not have to do anything. Was it not the understanding that I had quit “doing” and was just to be on the receiving side? I was just a sort of spectator watching how the Lord would get the “gift” delivered. I did not need to ask for it any more, or pray for it, or praise — just wait while the Lord and the devil fought back and forth over my prostrate body. I knew without a doubt that that was the night. I did not feel I had any part in the fight. Other people praising and praying or singing did not seem to do a particle of good. Whether people came or went was a matter of indifference. I would stay right there on my back on that concrete floor until the Lord got that gift across that He had right there in his hand. The Lord had started with me alone. If need be I would stay with Him alone, for this was the time.

Those two powers had a long fight. The devil was getting weary. No use staying longer. If I would not go and the Lord would not go, the devil would go, he decided at long last. That was what we hoped for.

A sister near me on the floor suddenly burst out in Holy Spirit inspired laughter, that wonderful laughter that only the Spirit-filled know. That laughter spread all over me like a beautiful warm blanket. I laughed, too, from away down inside, from down there whence Jesus said living waters would flow. Along with that happy victorious heavenly laughter there came that flow of peaceful waters upon which were floating words of some beautiful language I had never heard. Then from some happy park of paradise, from the beautiful isle of somewhere, a beautiful melody entered my heart and floated out over my lips in peaceful strains in words these feeble lips had never lisped.

From within, the living waters flowed on and on. At last without breaking the flow I went home for the night. That “gift” was a lasting one. That gift or heavenly language and other languages, I suppose, and those Holy Spirit inspired songs in other tongues have never ceased from that day to this — forty years of it. The last years have been the most blessed and wonderful of all. Jesus hath “ascended on high and given gifts unto men.” Seek and ye shall find.

The second day after I spoke with other tongues Josephine also had that experience. She had hoped to receive in such a way that she would be sure that man had no part in it. The Lord gave her the desire of her heart by baptizing her with the Holy Spirit when she was alone in our home. The Lord saw to it that she was rolled around on the floor and put through sufficient manifestations to satisfy her that what she did was not from her own volition nor did any man have anything to do with it. It was God. That was one thing certain. Josephine had wondered why the Holy Spirit should not come like a wind as it did on the day of Pentecost. Now when she received, she felt the Holy Spirit come blowing upon her like a warm quiet breeze.

Since the Holy Spirit came upon me when I was alone on the street and came to Josephine when alone in our house, it was self-evident that the Lord did not baptize us into any sect or clan. What was to result from thus receiving the Holy Spirit?

… Thus, it was that two months after receiving the fullness of the baptism of the Holy Spirit we were again on our way to China. [5]

 

When the baptism of the Holy Spirit came on him and when he later received the gift of speaking in tongues, Harold Baker was completely satisfied in God. What was head knowledge before became an experience of God – being surrounded by a love cloud of liquid love, weeping joy – and for him (like for Paul) Jesus became everything. God’s promises areYesin Christ. For a whole day, (so it seemed to him) Harold Baker was laid out like a dead man at the foot of the cross.

 

Romans 8:32: God who did not spare his own Son [Jesus Christ], but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

 

There, he was grateful and dedicated his all to Jesus and, having received such a glorious foretaste of experiencing God, he became absolutely future focused, even envying the dead man in a funeral procession.

But, like it was for Paul, Harold Baker – as he continued following Jesus – did not enter into the fulfillment of all of God’s promises without being hard pressed on every side. He knew by experience how loving and powerful God was but even when it came to receiving the gift of tongues, there was a struggle (where God prevailed) and more struggles were to come.

 

No one but a person subject to melancholy, as I was, can understand what I am here writing. All who are subject to times of depression will understand me in some measure. What others experience only occasionally seems to have been, in my case, an inborn part of my make-up.

From early childhood onward, almost constant depression and melancholy seemed to be my lot. Under this dreadful influence I was robbed of the natural enjoyments in life, was lacking in ambition, and much of the time had no desire to live. Since, as I say, this depressive strain continued right through my college life, the reader will understand as I proceed through my narrative that while at times and in many ways I was a most honored student, perhaps the most honored student at the time, at the same time I was without a doubt the most lonesome and melancholy person in that whole student body, or the whole village, for that matter. [6]

 

Although after college days I had much relief from such deep spells of melancholy, my chief release was after receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I am never so free and happy as at times I am under special anointing of the Spirit enjoying a foretaste of heaven. [7]

 

Bobbie was our second son then eighteen months old. He never was vigorous, perhaps due to the altitude. I had read that the children of the Moravian Mission on the Indian border of Tibet would die at an altitude of 10,000 feet or more. The altitude of Batang, where we were, was said to be 10,000 feet. Regardless of the reason, as months went slowly by, little Bobbie got worse and worse. He could not digest food. He was gradually starving to death. All that six months I was gone I kept praying the Lord to let Bobbie live till I got back.

After being gone so long and being sixty days on the way home and staying overnight in such filthy places, getting back home must have been much like reaching heaven. When one of our Tibetan helpers came out to meet me, bringing our son James riding on a little pony he had hired, my joy knew no bounds. When I saw Josephine standing outside our gate, her face lit up by that radiant joy-light that shines from gloryland, I could discern how it would be to have the angels standing by the gate of heaven to welcome you to your home in heaven. When I entered our home with everything clean and in order with our nice home-made furniture and our new colorful rugs on the floor, I thought it could not be more glorious to enter the palace of a king. It really was the King’s Heaven for a moment.

Then Josephine brought little Bobbie out and handed him to me. As I took him in my arms he tried to smile. He was almost a skeleton. He was starved to death. The Lord had done what I had asked — let me again see my dear little Bobbie. We buried him in a little grave beside his little sister and put up a little stone slab to mark the place. The last night he was with us, when he was in distress and I would sing, he would become quiet and go off to sleep again. The next day while he was sleeping an angel came and took him away to the infants’ paradise. There in an angelical temple amidst floral magnificence he was to be nurtured and developed by the angels. Bobbie has by now progressed from temple to temple and from glory to glory. One of these days before very long I will see him again and will know him, now a grown up beautiful child of Jesus, who will then take me into his enfolding embrace. Certain. But we miss those who have gone ahead, you know. We were indeed in a far away land of very high mountain tops and very deep valleys. Children seemed more precious there so far from home. [8]

 

When will we see you again?” our friends asked as we took the train to leave. “When will you come back on furlough?” “We do not know,” we replied. “As is our going so must be our coming — directed by God, not man. We do not take furloughs.” Josephine remained in China seventeen years before returning at wartime on the last passenger steamer to cross the ocean, while I remained twenty-seven years, until driven out of China by the Communists. [9]

 

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit over Ka Do Land after a year or two were followed by other terrific onslaughts from the forces of the devil. I shall now give some account of this as recorded in my book, God in Ka Do Land. This reads as follows:

Living in the capital, Kunming, and at the same time looking after the Ka Do work, so far as time required for travel is concerned, was like living in Chicago and pastoring churches in Honolulu. Therefore, we should move to Ka Do Land to prevent further hindrances to the work from outside sources and at the same time establish the young Christians who were in places of leadership.

The devil had no intention of evacuating his old camping ground to allow us to occupy territory where he had had full control so many centuries. Seeing that we certainly were coming and that there was going to be a fight, he made a full-front attack before we could marshal our forces.

While we were training workers at our home at Adullam two hundred miles away, the devil concentrated his fire on the leaders who were still in Ka Do Land. For the first year or more the new recruits had been much used by the Lord; they had been faithful witnesses whose ministry had everywhere been approved “with signs following.” Very few of the leaders had backslidden or fallen deep into sin.

However, after we had decided to move to Ka Do Land and were working day and night preparing to go there, the devil’s forces began picking off our leaders one after another. In the past, the enemy’s sharp shooters had here and there picked off a few of our workers, but this present attack was along the whole front. Men fell spiritually dead or wounded in such numbers that we wondered when the smoke of battle had cleared whether any warriors would be left standing on the spiritual battle front.

Every report from the front brought bad news. Some of the leaders I had most loved and in whom we had great confidence had fallen into deep sin. Some had gone to Sodom, others had frozen. All these defeats took place so rapidly that it looked like it would turn into a complete capitulation. We could only look at one another in dumbfounded amazement and exclaim, “Who next?” I never before saw anything like it.

The shepherds were backslidden; the sheep scattered, and some of them were spiritually dead.
The devils danced for joy and their dupes made merry as Ka Do preachers joined the devils’ rollicking forces rushing down the broad road to hell. Here the devil also got in some bad strokes at me. He got me in a corner, where he kept me in the ashes for some time. He saw to it that every discouraging thing that happened was shouted to me as through a megaphone. Every mail brought letters from the different parts of Ka Do Land containing bad news. These letters brought to me so much grief of spirit that I sometimes left them on my desk unopened for a week or two.

Rest? How could a soldier quietly rest at home while his comrades were being annihilated at the front? I could not properly eat or sleep. I did my work in a dazed sort of way as though in a bad dream. My mind and heart were in Ka Do Land, but I could not leave for the battlefront. Thus, the devil seemed to get me down, as he does sometimes. But the Lord as usual picked me up and put it in my heart to fight more fiercely than ever.

This time there was “blood in my eye.” I would go all over Ka Do Land from village to village and from settlement to settlement and by the help of the Lord fight this battle to a finish.[10]

 

On Saturday the men had returned to their homes from a time of Bible study at our place. That evening as I sat under a tree back of our house, where I had gone to pray, I felt like my cup was running over with joy. The Lord had been with us in an unusual way during the ten days of Bible study that had just closed. Jesus in vision was seen walking in our midst during one of the services.

Josephine also felt much encouraged. Of late she had enjoyed unusually good health. She was getting enough of the Ka Do language to be teaching some of the Ka Do women. There was no persecution anywhere. Everywhere the work was encouraging. There were more opportunities than we could meet. At home, we were very comfortable. We had food and clothing, and had plenty of bedding to keep us warm. Our simple home was surrounded by nice flowers and shrubs. As I sat there under that tree meditating by way of such thoughts running through my mind it seemed too good to be true that we could be so happy and that everything could be so completely satisfactory. True enough, we had been over some rough roads. Not all had been roses; yet all thought of past hardships seemed to be forgotten that evening as I contemplated present victories and future promising prospects.

My meditations now took another turn. I thought of all Jesus had suffered for us. I thought of the thousands suffering persecutions under the communists now, and I thought of the saints who have suffered for Jesus’ sake in all the days of the past. Thinking of all this made it appear to me that we had not yet endured hardships worthy of the name “Christian.” Was not our present happy state too easy? Too comfortable? Our cross too light? If our work is to go deeper must we not cross a deeper valley, carry a heavier cross? If we are to reign with Christ must we not suffer more with Him? But if there is to be a crucifixion, what will it be? Will someone die? Who will it be? What is ahead? As I thus thought and prayed I sensed a deep valley ahead. It was there; I was descending into it right then.

That very night Josephine was terribly sick all-night long. Since she felt better the next morning, I left her alone at home while I went to hold the Sunday service in the distant church. Upon my return, when I entered our home I was completely dumbfounded. There lay Josephine on her bed, her eyes wide open, entirely unconscious. I spoke to her. No answer. I hurried to her side. Yes, she was breathing, but she did not know me. Later she aroused from her stupor to some extent to a conscious condition of incessant misery attended by constant restless motion, while crying out, “What is it? What can I do?” She was not conscious of my presence.

This attack so sudden, so terrific almost paralyzed me. The evening before the sky had seemed so very clear. Now all was black, overhung with inky clouds. Was our home to be so suddenly wiped away? Was death to eclipse all present plans and hopes in the twinkling of an eve? It looked like it. The submerging billows were rolling in. It looked as though Josephine might not see the light of another day. My sense of utter helplessness was startling, confounding, confusing. It had never occurred to me that such a condition could come about.

Now what could I do? Not a thing. I was entirely dependent upon God. Our only helpers were our two half-grown Adullam boys naturally too small to give much human help of any kind. The customs and whole life of the native Ka Dos was so remote from ours and their lack of understanding our ways was such that in a crisis such as we now had they were entirely helpless. What could anyone do? When death was so loudly knocking at the door what else could be done save trust God?

This death-flood had swept down so suddenly that I had no time to pray nor could I now pray at any length. The delirious, half-conscious, restless tossing, rising and reclining of my wife demanded my incessant attention. I could not leave her alone for one minute. Meal-time came, but no time or even desire for food. Slowly the hours of the whole awful day wore away into the night. Night passed on toward darkest midnight through hours every one of which seemed as long as a day.

At last dawn and morning came. Some Ka Do women then came saying they would fast and pray. They could do no more than that, willing as they were to help. Only I alone could take care of Josephine.

All through another endless day Josephine’s fever and unrelenting distress continued without a letup, nor was there any respite in my watching by her side. At long last we passed into the second dreadful night. That second night was blacker than black, darker than dark, it seemed. The awful silence! Aside from the sufferer’s restless tossing, was a silence that seemed to penetrate.

How loud was the ticking of that little alarm-clock on the windowsill? What did that loud ticking in that awful silence say? Time going to run out? Why was it that it now took what had been an hour for that clock hand to move on a minute? I never had supposed that a clock hand could move so slowly and still be moving at all. How could it ever pass another midnight and then move on to another morning?

At the same time, along with that night’s seeming endlessness was Josephine’s incessant restlessness. Would she lie down? Yes, but when her head touched the pillow she must arise. Perhaps she could recline against some pillows. A few minutes only. No, she must try to lie down again, or try some new position, or lean her head upon some pillows, or bend forward resting her head upon a cushion. Seldom so long as one minute in one position, changing and trying every position it seemed to me a hundred times. Thus, we two alone wearied on and on into the darkness of that night. At last, at last, a gleam of dawn and then a full dawn into another day.

It was now two days and two nights we had gone without a wink of sleep or a morsel of food. Those two days and nights I did not get hungry or sleepy or feel the need of rest. I was living in a strength not my own.

During the night, my mind had wandered on and on. Was my wife really going to die, as seemed likely? Could she go so suddenly without a chance to say a word, no time to talk things over, no chance to put her house in order? Can people go so quickly? Yes, I recalled how one well Ka Do had gone within a few hours. I also remembered how one well Ka Do woman became sick and died within an hour. Yes, anything could happen in devil-controlled and demon-infested Ka Do Land.

Before we had moved to Ka Do Land we had considered all this. To save the Ka Dos we might not be able to change our manner of living or endure the hardships which they suffer. We might be called to die with some of their dread diseases. Why not? Jesus died to save us. Can the disciple be above his Lord?

Now as I sat there holding my wife in her restless stupor, face to face with that we had long seen — that we might die as the Ka Dos die — what was there for me to say? “Not my will but Thy will be done.”

When all but we two were asleep in the watches of that terrible night there surely were unseen demons, devils, powers of hell and darkness all about us. No wonder the heavens seemed blacker than the night. No wonder I seemed vainly trying to pray against heavens of brass.

Would it be possible for the devil to rush in like a flood, catch us unawares, and carry my wife away before we could pray and get in communication with God? No. Back of sickness is the devil; but back of the devil is God. We do not depend on prayer; we depend on promise, a promise from God that “When the enemy shall come in like a flood the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” The Lord might permit the one who has the power of death to lead us into the dark valley, but the Lord would never lose control over His own as long as it was for His glory that they continue on earth. Death to the child of God would be the big victory over death and him who has the power of death. Thus, meditating through the watches of the night I did not doubt but what the will of the Lord would be done.

But what was His will? Life on earth? A better life in heaven? What. So far as my wife was concerned should I ask the Lord to leave her here to continue in this troublesome world when the other world was so much better? Surely not. Should I pray for the Lord to leave her here for my personal, selfish companionship and happiness when she had opportunity to move over into such realms of glory? Surely not. Since heaven is so much better, so much more glorious than the present life, since its joys are real, why not covet for others an early and abundant entrance into these celestial glories? If my wife was going to a better home to join loved ones and embrace her own two children in the Paradise of God where His life and presence gives joy unspeakable and full of glory, were I to unselfishly put her enjoyments first I must wish her God-speed and covet her privilege. There was no question about the benefits that Josephine would receive if she could get out of this encumbering body of clay and fly away with the angels.

Then my wandering thought would return and pity poor me. If my wife were to leave for that better land I wanted to go along with her. Had we not walked together many years and helped each other over many a stony road, along many a narrow ledge, across many a perilous ditch, up many a mountain, and through many a dark valley? Now if Josephine were to go and I were to stay, how about me? How would I fare? How could I make the rest of the journey alone? To whom could I talk? Who would help me? Could I pray, “Lord leave her here for my sake, Lord I cannot walk or work alone.” Certainly not. That would be selfishness.

And so my mind wandered on through the night — left alone how could I endure it? I could not then come to a home for refreshing after my long, tiresome itineraries in the mountains. Every flower would remind me of the ones we had looked at together. The shrubs and trees we had together planned and planted would only bring memories. They would seem to mock me, I would be too lonesome. I could not spend all of my time in those lonesome native homes, nor could I stand it to return to a still more lonesome house, no longer a home. Yet my presence in Ka Do Land seemed necessary. To leave would be impossible; to remain would be impossible. What could I do? Nothing, only wait and see what the Lord would do about it. I had come to another dead end.

I still had some things to say to the Lord about the situation: heaven is glorious, and a million years there will be a start. Since we are down here passing this way but once, and expected to save men, should not this useful short span of earthly life be extended as long as possible? Thus, I reasoned on with the Lord: did you not send us here to seek and to save the Ka Dos and those of other peoples and tribes and tongues? Is not this life the only chance we shall have to walk among men as Jesus walked to lead them to heaven? Now, if Josephine’s remaining longer will make it possible to get more men and women saved, I shall expect you to see to it that all the demons and devils from hell and the devil himself be not allowed to take my wife out of her present position of service a day or an hour before her work is complete. It was up to the Lord. I had no more to say or pray.

Jospehine sank lower and lower. She went deeper and deeper into the valley of death. The crossing of the river seemed just ahead. I was alone with her. No struggle now. All was motionless and silent. When our two Chinese Adullam boys arose I went down to tell them that Josephine was dying. They might come up to see her. They wept as they, too, saw her so evidently come to the end of her journey.

The boys at once put the house in order, while I prepared my wife for burial. I myself must make the burial preparations. As I did this I remembered having read how a missionary in Africa had all alone cared for his wife during her last illness and then prepared her for burial and he himself buried her. When I read about that I said to myself, “I could never do what that man did. It would be impossible for me.” As I was now reminded of this I saw that the impossible is possible with God. I completed dressing Josephine for burial.

I do not know why I felt as sure my wife was leaving as though she had already died. Just as she seemed to be breathing her last she began to breath better and to revive. We could see that life was returning moment by moment. When she later became half-conscious she said over and over that the Lord had called her home. Did the Lord change His decision as in the case of Hezekiah?

I thought Josephine would recover rapidly. As life and strength returned hour by hour, for a day or two the clouds rolled away. Then with another onslaught by the powers of darkness Josephine once more descended to the valley and river of death. Long seasons of delirium and incessant sleepless activity followed by times of unconscious stupor turned this sudden attack into a long siege for life. Days began to turn into weeks.

At times, all the forces of the devil seemed to rage about me. It was clear to me that the devil had a definite plan to take Josephine’s life and to make it impossible for me to continue in Ka Do Land by breaking me down by these long-continued attacks demanding more than human strength on my part.
Josephine’s nights and days of high fever and delirium were often sleepless days and nights for me. With no chance for rest, no chance for relaxation, no chance for any prolonged sleep, no chance for strength-imparting prayer, together with the burden of care that such a situation brought, it became not only a question of how long Josephine could hold out under such a terrible physical, nervous and mental strain as she was suffering, it was also now a question of how long I could endure the prolonged strain.
I supposed that Josephine had typhus fever. I remembered how a missionary had helped a friend of mine care for his wife who had typhus.

The incessant demands of care were such that at the end of two weeks the missionary and friend were both worn out. This was in spite of the fact that they were in the city with plenty of facilities and the help of capable servants. Here I was alone with a case of typhus such as had worn out two persons in two weeks but which kept me on this high tension for several weeks.

I put a folding cot beside my wife’s bed, yet I never undressed to sleep. I dared not sleep for more than an hour at a time, day or night, for how many days or weeks I do not know. I write this in such detail to make it clear that in this emergency I was sustained by supernatural strength that was never followed by a bad reaction.

This battle between life and death raged for many weeks. Times of slight improvement were followed by returns to the door of death. At the time of one of these apparent death-times when Josephine became half-conscious she said that the boat had come to take her over to the glory shore. She wanted to know why I had kept her back and did not allow her to cross over. The only reason she could think of was that I must want her to help me some more. I assured her that I had no such thought.

One night when I awoke from one of those short naps, Josephine was again partly conscious but not enough to carry on a conversation or realize what was going on. She asked, “Did you see that large angel standing just outside of the door?” I did not see it, but I believe she did. We surely had the help of angels.

During that first week especially, the room seemed at times to be filled with invisible devils. All one night and the following day, although so weary she could scarcely stand alone, my wife in her delirium had insisted on arising to attend to some imagined duty. I could prevent her only by holding her or by placing obstructions in her way. Thus, I had worked with her without my sleep or rest for two days and a night. In this condition, we went into the second night of watchful care for me and ceaseless activity for my wife. That seemed to be the devil’s night. At midnight the moon went down, leaving the world in a darkness that seemed fitted for the powers of darkness. Out of the darkness came voices from downstairs. Strange voices could be heard talking in subdued tones.

A call to me came from one of our orphan boys; “Pastor Baker, there are some men here who say for you to come down.”

“I can’t. I can’t leave Mrs. Baker. Send them up here.”

I knew that the minute I left my wife she would be on her feet again.

Even though she could scarcely stand, she would in her delirium try to do something. But I must go to the door anyway. When I opened our back door three men and our Adullam boys were approaching. One glance and I understood — robbers.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“We have come to sit with you for awhile,” one of the robbers said as he tried to pass by me through the half-open door where I stood. I quickly stepped outside, pulling the door shut behind me as I said: “I cannot very well invite you inside as my wife is very sick, almost dead. We can talk here.”

“We have come for some travel money,” one of the men said. All three had pistols in their hands.

Our Adullam boy was “shaking like a leaf.” As in the past when meeting robbers an unusual peace and fearlessness came over me. After I had talked with the men in a friendly way a few minutes they said: “Well, since we have extended our hand we cannot take it back empty. Just give us any amount you like.”

I went into the house and brought out a small amount. They seemed to get confidential. “Two days from now in broad daylight we are going to go to that house over there on the mountain and ask for money,” they said.

They did go a day later.

We parted in a friendly atmosphere. My angel must have been present.

When I stepped inside the house Josephine was wandering around in delirium, although she could walk only by sliding one foot slowly forward at a time. I managed to get her back into her room and into bed again. As the endless watching continued I wondered what outrage from men or devils might come next.

A month later, after preceding sleepless nights, for the first time in weeks I went to my own room to sleep. Mrs. Jensen from the Danish mission some days’ journey south of us had just come to help care for Mrs. Baker and was with her that night. I had just fallen into a sound and peaceful sleep. At midnight, I was awakened suddenly by loud voices on all sides of the house. Someone struck the downstairs door with a club.

Before I could get thoroughly awake a man was banging on my upstairs door with a club, yelling in a loud voice “Open the door; open it quick.” A man stood outside with a club. “Will you get money for me or not?”

“Yes, I will get you a little,” I said.

In stalked the head man carrying a rifle and leading four other men.

I had seen robbers on various occasions, but this man rushing in was not like a robber. I thought that if the devil himself could dress in men’s clothes and come stalking in from the midnight darkness, this must be he.

A strip of cloth several yards long was loosely tangled about his face and over his shoulders to hide his identity. He nervously pranced about like a voiceless imp from the underworld. Now and then he issued orders in a low grunt that sounded like the growl of a wild animal. While the other men were holding me up for money, the masked ruffian went into my wife’s room where she lay in a half-conscious stupor, partly aroused by the voices and the light flashed in her face. The villain demanded Mrs.
Jensen’s wedding ring. He then rolled my wife over, grabbed her hand and having violently pulled off her wedding ring slammed her hand away saying, “Now die.”

Who were these robbers? They were men from our own community who belonged to the devil-crowd. They got bolder and bolder until the two leaders were caught and killed. The local Chinese official, who got part of the plunder from our place, was forced to return Josephine’s ring, return some of the stolen things and pay for the other things.

The devil kept at his attacks. He stirred up others of his local tools to come to make me trouble over nothing of importance or sense.

Josephine’s recovery after weeks of lingering near death often seemed hopeless. In her half-consciousness, she would say that she was surely going to heaven. She wanted to know whether I had decided where to bury her. As time wore on during those times of testing when I was all alone, I seemed to feel more and more how far I was separated from the Ka Dos about me whose habits of life and ways of thought were so different from ours, yet we had the best thing in common — our heavenly citizenship.

One Sunday in the second month of my wife’s sickness I felt certain that she was dying. This word having been passed on to the people gathered for church, as the service ended the Ka Do women from the church a mile away came rushing up the mountain to our home, arriving there breathless and sweating. I allowed them freely to go in to see Josephine. Was I far from the Ka Dos? Not now, not in the Lord, and not in things that mattered most.

How timidly, how reverently, how quietly these women went in to have a last look at my wife, their dying friend. She used to take these poor womens’ hands in hers, and they had felt her arm around them. Now they all wanted to get up close to her as she lay silently before them, pale as death. They spoke to her. Each wanted to know whether Josephine knew her. “Do you know me?” No reply, no recognition from the eyes that were wide open but could not see. The poor Ka Dos took Josephine by the hand. They gently put their brown calloused-work-hands on her pale face. The tears rolled down their cheeks. They sobbed; they wept; they prayed. I stood back and let them do as they pleased. How those poor Ka Do made me cry!

When they came out into another room some of them were not satisfied. They went back to kneel or stand by my wife’s bed to pray again. Some of them laid their hands on her and prayed. Why not? Had not my wife many times laid her hands on them and prayed?

When they had again come out of the room one young girl remained standing near me. When all but a few were gone she said, “I want to go in and pray again.” She got down on the floor near my wife’s bed, bowed her face to the floor, and prayed right out of her broken heart.

Did I now wish for a doctor? Did I regret that I was so far away from those of my own race, far away from home friends, far away from someone with the gift of healing? No. Many friends at home, who knew how to pray, were constantly praying for us, even though they did not know we were passing through deep waters. When those poor but godly Ka Do women, who loved the Lord with all their heart, left that day I felt that if God did not answer prayer for those simple, repentant, blood-washed brown Ka Do women He would not answer prayer for anyone.

Once more I was at peace. Josephine again passed out of the valley of death.

Mrs. Jensen was with us two weeks after Mrs. Baker began to recover. I at once regained full strength without any weakened reaction from the strain under which I had been constantly kept for so long. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death… thou art with me.” [11]

 

I expected after Josephine’s recovery that we would go on together as we had in the past. No doubt the Lord had raised my wife from a death-bed because He had further work for her to do on earth. Yet I never suspected that the Lord not having taken her to heaven, leaving me here by myself, would take her away to America, causing me to become a lone pilgrim.

After her protracted sickness, which left her emaciated, Josephine did not fully regain her strength. In the past, our almost exclusively rice diet had been hard for her. Now in her frail condition our poor rice diet with no nourishing food to supplement it left her more like a skeleton than like a healthy person.

I again made itineraries in the mountains. I was needed everywhere by the churches. Opportunities were calling from Macedonia. These things necessitated my being away from home for a month or two or longer at a time. To leave Josephine alone for so long a time in her weak condition did not seem to be the right thing to do. Then, too, I had learned how quickly and unexpectedly she could be stricken down by one of the dread diseases in that devil-possessed land. What if I had not been at home when she had been stricken? I might have been several days journey distant.

And so the time came that Josephine must return to America, and I must continue in Ka Do Land in the work that could not get along without me. As I continued to pray for unmistakable guidance it became very clear to me that aside from health considerations there were other reasons also not then apparent, why Josephine should return to America. The Lord had work for her to do there.

At the same time it was clear that, so far as I could see, I was to continue alone in Ka Do Land the rest of my life. I could not expect Josephine to come back again to those hardships in Ka Do Land. Our separation, so far as we knew, would be final, for present life. Not having separated, it was impossible to anticipate the hardship our separation would bring to both of us. Had we known, I wonder whether we would have undertaken such a hard road. However, in any case the Lord doubtless would have overruled to lead as He did.

After her recovery when I told Josephine that had she gone to heaven I would have gone to America, for I could not stand it alone, she replied, “You would not have gone to America. You would have gritted your teeth and stayed on.” She evidently was right about it, for when I came face to face with the same problem of separation I did “grit my teeth and stay on.” Here is where that bull-dog-take-hold-and-never-let-go-disposition was a real help. But all this needed to have the help and the courage given by the Lord to make it a success.

I thought that Josephine would find it much more satisfactory at home, where she could have abundance of nourishing food, the companionship of relatives, and the fellowship of Christian friends. It would be some relief, I thought, in contrast to that lonesome life in Ka Do Land when I was so often gone on long itineraries. It was not so. I believe Josephine found the separation worse than I did, hard as that was. We were separated for eight years, supposing all the time that our separation was final.

Later I shall relate some of the spiritual things that took place in Ka Do Land. Many of these things would not have occurred had I not been free to make long itineraries and spend much time away from home, as would not have been the case had Josephine not returned to the States.

While these wonderful things of God were taking place in Ka Do Land, Josephine had a ministry among the churches at home, definitely anointed by the Lord to encourage the saints at home to pray for me and the Lord’s work among the responsive people in Ka Do Land. I shall quote Josephine’s letter written at that time for our paper, “The Adullam News.”

 

After being in China without a furlough for seventeen years I returned to America in July 1941. Like other American women and children, I had been advised to leave China. Nevertheless, I had not felt led to go. Brother Baker and I had discussed the situation brought about by Japan’s invasion of China and concluded that we were not yet in imminent danger. I supposed it was definitely settled that we would remain in China regardless of consequences.

Early one morning to my amazement I heard these unbelievable words: “You are to go to America.” Instantly I knew what was before me. In the following three weeks while Bro. Baker was on an itinerary I made my renunciation. Upon his return we immediately began preparations for my journey to the Capital from where I would go by plane to Hong Kong and thence by steamer to America.

From the day we made known our intentions to our local church people until I was out of their sight I was attending my own funeral. Once I asked one of our coworkers, “What do the women say to you about my departure?” “Say?” He replied. “They say nothing; they just cry.”

One of our Christian girls came to me with this offer: “For a few days I will work as fast as possible to carry all of our wood down from the mountains; then I am coming to spend the last week with you.” I could not tell her that it would be impossible to arrange our affairs, pack away our things, make necessary clothes, and that her presence would be more of a hindrance than help.

Never shall I forget the day one of our old Christian men came to persuade Mr. Baker not to allow me to leave. He was one of our first converts, who for sixty years had been bound by wine, tobacco and opium habits, but now set free by Jesus. I knew the two men were in the room together, but hearing no sound I went in. My husband was quietly sitting by his desk and the old Ka Do man, with tears in his eyes, sat on a nearby bench. With keen understanding this old man had pictured to his pastor what it would mean for him to return from a long itinerary, weary, and possibly sick, to a homeless house. “You will have no one to talk to,” urged this friend. “When you are sick who will take care of you? You can never remain here by yourself. You will have to leave us,” continued this sympathetic brother.

The next day a younger man came. He and his Christian wife have been outstanding in their devotion to the Lord. Although poverty poor, this man refrained from doing work on Sunday and from playing the heathen music at weddings and funerals, the pay from which might help supply his children with food and garments. He, likewise, came to urge us to change our plans.

Could we tell him that the condition under which we had lived was preventing my recovery from my long and almost fatal illness three years previous? Could we explain what I did not fully understand myself? Could we make him understand that I, scarcely able to walk could not flee before an invading enemy? Neither could my husband have made him understand the weight of the strain he always felt when away on his long itineraries for weeks at a time while I was at home alone. No. With a breaking heart I bowed to the inevitable condition and proceeded with preparations for my homeward-bound journey.

The dreaded last night in my home arrived. Fearing exaggerated rumors that enemies might spread, saying that we both were leaving and thus encouraging freedom for persecution, we allowed only the people of our nearby churches to know that I was leaving.

On this last night thirty or more people came to spend the night with us. Not one person came without a parting gift. Unrefined sugar, rice cakes, and eggs were gifts, a total of one hundred eggs; but the gift that touched my heart most deeply was a half-size chicken given by a poor widow who never ate a satisfying meal. The chicken that was to have been exchanged for a little salt was handed over to me. What touching scenes were those last days. Our next-door grandma repeatedly walked through our rooms murmuring, “What shall I do when you are gone?”

Early in the morning our neighbors and our local people gathered to see us start on our ten days’ journey to the capital of the province. In awed silence that group of a hundred or more bowed their heads and with roughened hands covered their tear-stained faces as my husband in a few choking words committed them and ourselves into the hands of our Heavenly Father.

“I will meet you in heaven,” were the only farewell words I could speak at that time. Taking my place in my traveling chair, I was soon being carried by four native men away from all that meant home to me. We were off, but we did not start alone as I expected. Every man, woman and child followed us. Three times I got out of my chair, urging our friends to return and repeating my “good-bye, I will meet you in heaven.”

Finally, all but a few of our inner circle turned back. These, in spite of our remonstrations, followed us more than three miles.

At last, I got out of my chair and again said Good-bye to my last beloved Ka Dos. In my last airmail from my husband was this sentence, “I can still hear the loud weeping of those women as they still stood there on the road watching you go down the mountain side and around the bend that took you out of their sight.”

Josephine never again saw her Ka Do women. I will now quote at considerable length from my personal letters to my wife after our separation in Ka Do Land. Although these private letters were not written for publication, my wife saw fit to publish these in our paper, The Adullam News, for which she at that time was responsible.

Although very personal, these excerpts from some of my letters will give an insight into my lines of thought at that time. I kept no diary.

I am sorry I cannot give excerpts from Josephine’s letters of those years or some details of her work in America, due to the fact that all those letters and records were lost in Ka Do Land when we were unexpectedly cut off by the communists. In the next chapter will appear some excerpts from letters written to my wife after her return to America, together with various personal experiences when I was alone eight years in Ka Do Land. [12]

 

At times a sad feeling of loneliness and separation comes over me as though you had died. I suppose you have, in a way, and several times. [13]

 

The time had come for me to return to Ka Do Land. Eight days’ travel brought me there. The day I was to arrive there, in order to be alone I walked ahead of the load-carriers. I kept praying much of the time, because I had something big I wanted the Lord to do. I wanted Him to make it possible for me to come back to that empty house. The nearer I got home the more I dreaded the coming impact.

At last I arrived at the top of the last mountain range from which I had a panoramic view of the whole section of country that for six years had been our home and the center of our work in Ka Do Land. As I now looked at this far-reaching area of mountain country there came a flood of thoughts and emotions impossible to describe.

All was quiet here: no roaring airplanes, no exploding bombs, no confusion of the war-riven world, no babble of excited voices, no mad rush in crazy traffic was beyond that high range from which I now gazed.

I was viewing a world different from that world from which I had just come. As now my eyes wandered over this great outstretch of Ka Do Land an inner voice seemed to say, “This is my home-land. These mountain people living so far away from the world’s rushing stream of life are my people. Now I must dedicate myself wholly to them.”

That mountain range on which I stood was the dividing line between two worlds — the past, the future. In that past world I had sent my only son to America, committing him to the Lord with no assurance that I would ever see him again. In that same past I had now after thirty years of married life sent my wife to America, committing her to the Lord with no assurance that I would see her again. I had tried now to be cut free from past responsibilities by turning all money and my other affairs over to my wife. The past. In a way, as I stood on that dividing range I seemed to have turned my back on all that past. I was leaving my past world. My past world, my past life was to become a sort of half-forgotten dream.

The Future. There it lay spread out before me. I must now live a life fully dedicated to these people who were to become my sons, my daughters, my family. I must become one of them. I must henceforth participate in their joys and in their sorrows. I must now become a different man, a tribal man.

I there and then on that dividing line as I looked over my promised land dedicated myself to live the rest of my life and die among these people in their mountain fastness for the sake of the kingdom of God. I desired no will but the will of Jesus. I desired no life but such as He gave for the salvation of men. I was no longer my own. I belonged wholly to my people and my God.

I never before had felt more certain of my ambassadorship. I knew that I was sent here by the King, sent by the greatest king, the King of kings. What an exaltation! What a supreme honor! I would not have exchanged it for the highest appointment by any earthly king to any exaltation to earthly honors. I thanked God that by His appointment I was now His authorized ambassador to Ka Do Land.

Far away, beyond the intervening mountain valley up near an opposite mountain peak in the far distance, I could see what for six years had been our happy home. For the first time in all these years in returning from itineraries my heart did not leap for joy when I had got to the mountain range from which I could see our simple cottage. In the past, upon reaching that high range I had always looked at once to see whether our home was still there or whether our house had been swept away by fire. This time as I looked across the valley I knew that “home” as such, was gone. The building was there, but home was not. God’s fire had swept it away. “Home” must henceforth be all over Ka Do Land.

In the panoramic view before me, as far as eye could see were mountain ranges and mountain peaks. Between were dark valleys too deep for eyesight to penetrate. Those high mountain peaks and valleys were a prophetic view. The life before me was to be through dark, deep valleys and over high mountain peaks.

My first stage of the future must be through a valley. I must now descend from the range from which I had my view of the promised land.

The further I descended the darker the valley appeared. Mountain peaks disappeared out of sight. With slackened pace and a heavy heart I arrived at last at what had been our home. I now quote from “The Adullam News.”

Oct. 7, 1941. Belated flowers were still in bloom. The verdant trees, the flowering shrubs, the clinging vines all bespoke a peaceful language that seemed to say, “God is in this place.” Peace. There was something about the restful quietness that seemed different from any place I had been since leaving it.

Although this helped lift the sadness, after a short time I could no longer wander over the garden and talk to the men in order to occupy my mind. Going into the house, I peeped into your room and saw the barren interior. A great flood of sorrow and unspeakable sadness that seemed unbearable took possession of me. This continued until time to go to bed.

As rapidly as my confused mind would permit, I slipped into my sleeping bag and broken-heartedly began to pray. The comforter had come; the Holy Spirit now prayed for me and through me, helping my infirmities. As nearly as I can describe it, it was like a child weeping and broken-heartedly running to Jesus, climbing up on His knees, resting my troubled head on His bosom, and then falling into peaceful and happy sleep as He brushed my cares and worries away.

Compared with the boards I had been sleeping on for more than a week my bed felt like a bed of roses. The prayers of those who had prayed for me so long seemed to fill my room with sweet incense. I awoke just before the break of day with angels invisibly hovering over my bed. The presence of Jesus was real. The Holy Spirit helped me to pray through tears of peace as I seemed to be wafted into the presence of the Great King and made to know that all was well and that He would care for His needy child. I had a work to do that must go through Gethsemane and Calvary.[14]

 

On my last itinerary a revival spirit was in every place. Often when I am tired or “dead as a stick” I get an anointing that results in some of our best meetings. This lonesomeness has great value, for when I am at ease the meetings are less spiritual. I miss you, and nothing takes your place, but the Lord enables me to get along. I know He will be my sufficiency. I am going to trust the Lord to lead you through such tribulation or such mountain peaks as He sees best. I am not going to worry, for that would interfere with my business.[15]

 

From the Bible I see that as Jesus suffered in the flesh, becoming obedient unto death, and was exalted to glory, such is the road His followers are expected to travel. Again, the Bible says that if we suffer with Jesus we shall reign with Him. In accord with this principle that the kingdom of God is advanced through human hardships and suffering, it was essential that I suffer some hardships if the work of the Lord was to prosper in Ka Do Land as it did. Compared with what Jesus and His followers have suffered, I have not suffered at all. I have never been beaten by many or few stripes; I have never been in prison; I have never been floating a day and a night in the deep; I have never died daily for Jesus’ sake. Nevertheless, I have had what seemed to me like some hardships, without which looked at from the natural viewpoint, the Lord’s work in Ka Do Land might never have been. Like Paul, I feel as though I should apologize for even mentioning these things that were overruled by the Lord for His glory, yet I feel constrained to write.[16]

 

Later on when Josephine had gone home after the war between Japan and the United States broke out, I really became poverty poor. Communications then were cut off and money could not come through. When it did finally come the loss by poor exchange made United States money so valueless that I was unwilling to use it.

Thus it was that I intended to live native-like as far as money was concerned. I sold everything of any money value, leaving me an almost empty house. Before long my money became so scarce that ten cents became almost as valuable to me as to my poor Ka Do people. At the time of the war, my Adullam boy having married, I had with me only a boy of the La La tribe. Since money was scarce, instead of buying rice we bought corn at half-price. I bought no meat or any other food. For a year the boy lived on corn and a vegetable. The corn was ground or cracked in our two-stone grinder, then cooked and steamed. The vegetables consisted of cabbage leaves or some vegetable boiled in salt water.

For two months when at home in the rainy season I lived on that diet. Between showers the boy and I did heavy work digging down a bank, actually digging tons of dirt. On this corn and one vegetable diet we ate to our full satisfaction and had full strength. The boy lived on this kind of food for a whole year without meat or lard. He felt well and full strength.[17]

 

At times of Bible study with the young people, I had frequent attacks of sickness. I believe these usually were direct hindrances from the devil, for as soon as the Bible study period ended I was well at once. These attacks were often so hard that I lay on my bed between classes or times I was to lead preaching services. Yet, no matter how sick or weak I was, I always managed to teach my class of men or conduct preaching services as planned.

As usual through life, when I undertook the seemingly impossible for Jesus’ sake, I would get special anointing of the Holy Spirit while teaching or preaching. While the Lord thus let me endure some hardship for Jesus’ sake in helping me through these attacks of sickness, at the same time, I believe that He supernaturally protected me from really dangerous diseases.

Deadly diseases and plagues were not unusual in Ka Do Land. People were constantly dying from sudden attacks of some mysterious disease or plague. I knew of people well in the morning but dead by night. I knew of one who died within an hour after being attacked. Some years a sort of plague would break out, causing many deaths here and there.

I remember one year especially, when many people died with some kind of disease that I suppose was yellow fever. Anyway, those afflicted had fever, would turn yellow, suffered pain over the entire body and sometimes would die in two days. During those many years in Ka Do Land I never stopped itineraries or any of my work on account of personal sickness or danger from contagious or infectious diseases. I ate and slept in the homes of those stricken with dread diseases, and ignored danger from deadly disease or plague. “A thousand shall fall at thy side… but it shall not come nigh thee… neither shall any plague come night thy dwelling.” Ps. 91.[18]

 

What I have written concerning hardships has no purpose to meet man’s approval or disapproval. Such things are a matter of indifference to me. I have felt led to write as I have, giving as accurate an account as I could of my personal experiences and the Lord’s leadings. The way He has overruled my weakness and clothed my natural with His supernatural should be for His glory.

As I have been reviewing my past and looking over the road I have come, my conclusion is that had I suffered less hardship there would have been less result. Had I suffered more, there doubtless would have been better results. Nevertheless, I experience no great regrets. As I think it all over, so far as I can see now, were I to live my past all over again, I do not feel that I could do otherwise than I did under the circumstances, with my spiritual limitations. My whole life has been one of conscious weakness and natural uselessness, as I have said, attended with depression and often real melancholy. And so I do not see how I or the Lord could have done much better when hindered by such handicaps.

I frequently receive letters from friends, saying that my reward in heaven will be high. Although I appreciate such remarks intended to encourage me, my reaction is this: Did my friends know me as I know myself with all my weaknesses and shortcomings, they would feel, as I do, that I shall be fortunate to get into heaven without any other reward whatever. The Lord has the situation analyzed correctly when he says to me, “You also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, “We are unworthy servants: we have done only what was our duty.” (Lk. 17:10).[19]

 

All of his life, Harold Baker was prone to depression and melancholy. He and his wife buried two children in China, and they (at least Bobbie) died because of the primitive and extreme conditions in China (at the time). There was spiritual warfare and discouragement in the ministry with waves of leaders backsliding and falling into sin. And there was sickness and there was the heartache of sending his wife back home to America, never expecting to see her again.

Yet, like Paul, Harold Baker experienced how God can lift up a standard against the enemy when he comes in like a flood. He could trust and depend on God – always. God would always accomplish his will, and he would never miss out on his promises, as he set his eyes on the glory in heaven – 2 Corinthians 4:17-18: “For our light and momentary troubles [and Paul would include all of Harold and his wife’s suffering here] are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

In the midst of a tough life, Harold Baker would also experience, like Paul, the “all-surpassing power” of God and how God’s power is made perfect in weakness. Unlike Paul, he was not boasting about his weaknesses and sufferings. But when he was weak – unfailingly – God was strong and wonderful and the fulfillment of his promises kept coming.

 

The next night it was the same way. When the Ka Dos gathered for the meeting I felt so weak and nearly finished that to stand and talk to the people appeared a physical impossibility. Yet I thought I should greet them and explain that I did not have strength to talk and conduct the meeting. Again I got to the door, leaned against the doorpost, got the anointing of the Holy Spirit, talked as I did the night before, and the Holy Spirit came upon the Ka Dos. Every night it was the same way. Every evening after lying all day almost too weak to move I felt sure I could not conduct the service, and every night was an exact repetition of the night before. As the Lord took charge and made the impossible possible, the supernatural enveloped the natural. (In all my eighteen years in Ka Do Land, although many times attacked with sickness, I did not fail to lead the meeting where I was.) [20]

 

I am much encouraged over the spiritual progress made in all the churches except one. I was refreshed by the showers of blessing poured out upon us by the Holy Spirit in the last convention. Three young men had visions of Christ in heaven. Another one saw Him on the cross. For several evenings one girl had visions of Jesus and the angels in heaven. Her laughter in heavenly joy encouraged all of us. [21]

 

Others young and old from the Ka Do and other tribes continued coming until we had a total of seventy. I went to bed quite dubious. Things were not as I had expected. But why be concerned? Was not this the Lord’s work, and did He not know what He was doing? I then went off into a peaceful sleep. It was nearer day-light than usual before I wakened to pray.

I arrived at the tabernacle shortly after daylight. Although I did not intend to preach to the group, I did not get even a chance to tell my intention, for all the people were already gathered in the tabernacle praying in unison. I joined them, and we were off to the land of glory. The longer we prayed the nearer we got to Glory-land. Prayer continued on and on. We were now approaching Glory-land. As we got in there some of the seekers climbed right on top of the glory-peaks and looking into heaven saw the King of Glory. Others were gazing in raptured admiration over into the Paradise of God. Some were on another mount, weeping as they gazed at the one upon the cross hanging on the nails that opened the door that alone led into this land of glory.

I do not now recall who was the first to prophesy. I think it was the one whom in my mind I called “my little prophetess.”

Several years earlier when she was only half-grown, one day when caring for the cows on the mountain, as she prayed there she received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. During the following years at the times we prayed for the Holy Spirit she never failed to get an anointing. From the time she was small, when we could visit her village once or twice a year, she would follow us out of the village talking about Jesus and then cry when we parted. I never saw a person more devoted to Jesus, more careful to obey Him, or who seemed to have easier access into His presence.

She fell in love with one of the boys in her village. He had not been baptized nor received the Holy Spirit. She tried to get him to be baptized. Since he did not receive the Holy Spirit and show real love for the Lord this girl, who really loved him, put off the marriage. She often talked to me about it. That went on for at least two or three years up to the time I left. Much as she was in love, friends and relatives could neither coax nor force the girl to marry the one she loved unless he too would truly repent and get to know Jesus intimately like she knew Him.

She was the means of her mother and other women in her village receiving the Holy Spirit. I always liked to see her come to a convention, for her presence was always a help. She helped us all into the presence of Jesus. In later years, she usually in vision when in a trance saw Jesus when she prophesied.

So it was that first morning when the time for prophecy came my little girl prophetess stood before us trembling under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, as in vision she saw Jesus and talked with Him. With face turned heavenward she stood there before us, speaking in the Chinese language. She was talking face to face with her beloved Jesus. We all silently listened in. The Holy Spirit speaking through the lips of this godly Ka Do virgin gave all of the conversation in which she was engaged, her private heart talk with Jesus. She was face to face thanking Him for all He had done for her. Her joy in the land of pure delight often overflowed in exuberant laughter. Jesus called her His “little girl.” He reminded His
“little girl” that the joy she now felt was because He had died for her.

There she stood before us with her hands by her sides, trembling as in a sweet low voice she talked to Jesus thus: “Oh, Jesus, I was only a useless little girl, a sinner. Oh, Jesus they beat your body with lashes, didn’t they? Your blood was shed. That was what washed my sins away. I was not worthy to have you suffer so much for me, just a useless little girl. Why, Jesus what are those marks in your hands? Dear Jesus that is where they nailed you to the cross for me.” She could talk no longer. Her voice broke. She began to weep. Seeing how Jesus had suffered, broken-heartedly she knelt at Jesus’ feet before us all and wept outright as only the broken-hearted weep. We all were moved to weep with her there where she had brought us to the foot of the cross.

The Lord had thus taken us over into Glory-land and then brought us back to the mount on the border to let us see that the entrance to the realms of glory is by way of the cross and over the blood.

Weeping turned to praying, and praying turned into a volume of praise. Having been held for a season at the foot of the cross we were again led over to the land of joys and up to the peaks of glory. Having wept and prayed and rejoiced, one after another got up to pray and sat down quietly — all except some of our prophets.

Now someone else in a trance, caught away in the things of the Lord became his mouthpiece and was talking to us in prophecy. Thus, two or three prophesied in biblical order, while all others listened carefully and responsively. In this way Jesus talked to us while we listened to every word. We were again brought to His cross and caused to gaze upon Him there until again we were brought to our knees in contrite prayer. These alternative seasons of prophecy and prayer were repeated several times.

Finally the meeting was dismissed for breakfast. But who wanted to eat ordinary food after partaking so bountifully of heavenly manna and of the fruit of the tree of life in the paradise of God? Probably no one ate any breakfast. After resting an hour or more the people began to gather for another meeting. The first person who entered the tabernacle began to pray, and so did the second, and the third, and all who followed. Without cessation the experiences of the morning were repeated until four o’clock.
It was then the Lord’s order to have some rest.

After supper we had another series of prophecies, visions, prayers, and praise. It was now ten o’clock. The meeting had begun before six in the morning. After almost all of the time for a full day at the foot of the cross or over in Glory-land we retired for the night.

The second day was a repetition of the first day. Once more when I arrived at the tabernacle before sunrise many of the people were there praying and well on their way to Gloryland. The third day was much the same except that we reached higher and higher peaks and better appreciation of the grace that saved us on Calvary.

To describe all that took place those three days is impossible. Many were in vision caught up to paradise, where they saw resplendent jeweled mansions, floral displays, and gardens of fruit impossible to describe. Some of the heavenly visitors thought they were bringing some of the fruit from paradise back with them to earth.

Whether through prophecy or through tongues and interpretation Jesus talked to us, it was always in an unhurried, clear Chinese language with words so perfectly chosen and in a spirit so gripping that I wished I might talk to my people always in that way. I found out that the Lord was not replacing my teaching ministry; rather, He was exalting it and supplementing it by gifts of the Holy Spirit.

In the three days of this gathering of “the band of prophets,” at one time or another, I saw all but four of the seventy supernaturally anointed by the Holy Spirit. Seventy was a Bible number, I am just now reminded.

Moses had seventy elders. Jesus at one time sent out a special group of seventy. Not all of our seventy prophesied or had visions or trances; but every one enjoyed spiritual blessing like being caught up to mountain glory-tops, like looking over into paradise, like enjoying the fragrance that blows from the flowers of Eden, or like tasting of its life-giving fruits. [22]

 

Beginning with that meeting when “the Spirit of God breathed on me,” and I lived on a high plain all the three months I was in Shanghai, I was free from habitual depression. I had a supernatural love for those among whom I worked; I never for so long a period seemed to live in heavenly realms. Almost every time I held a service in any church there were those who received supernatural anointings of the Holy Spirit. A spirit of revival attended my efforts. I did twice as much work as I naturally could have done. I worked so incessantly every day with book problems, sometimes not stopping to eat, that by night I often was quite tired and needed rest. My naturally needed rest became a supernatural rest. I was in meetings every night. As soon as I was in a meeting, especially a group meeting, my tiredness disappeared. With my fellow Christians, I drank of Jesus’ stimulating New Wine, with reactions as definite as follow the drinking of earthly wine. I was so stimulated, inspired, and refreshed in my fellowship-contacts that it appeared to me when I talked to them I was simply giving back what I had received from them. Of course, it was all from the Lord Who had “breathed” upon us. The every-night meetings never began before nine o’clock. Being sometimes in distant parts of the city, it would be midnight by the time I got to bed and frequently one o’clock or later. My recollection is that for the last several weeks of my stay I had meetings all but three nights, got only four or five hours sleep at night, and seldom any sleep in the day. I arose at five o’clock every morning to pray or try to pray for an hour…[23]

 

I wish now as best I can to tell about the day and night when the Holy Spirit in full baptizing power first came upon us there. In the morning meeting when we all stood to pray, as is our custom when praying for the Holy Spirit, there came a truly heavenly downpour from the Lord. Almost at once, involuntarily all hands were held high as praises ascended to Jesus. Very shortly everyone was half-jumping, apparently trying to grasp something just above but beyond reach. Tears were flowing as the jumping and reaching continued for quite a while. The saints said that they could see a glory-light just above them that for some reason they felt like grasping but could not quite reach. All had the same experience that morning; it made them happy all day.

In the evening after I had spoken as usual, we all again stood to praise and pray and expect the presence of the Holy Spirit. As we united in one voice in praise the glory the saints had seen in the morning service now came all the way down, enveloping the whole group in its heavenly splendor. They need not jump to reach it; they were in it.

The whole group began to jump and dance and rejoice mightily in loud voices. In their rejoicing, some of the women in trance joined hands and danced around in a circle laughing in hilarious, Holy-Spirit-inspired glee. They were surely happy, praising Jesus. Some of the women were joyfully hugging each other. Others were standing still worshipping and praising the Lord. This was a mighty jubilee in the presence of the King.

These did not “praise Him with loud clashing cymbals,” only because they did not have the cymbals. They did not “praise Him with the timbrel and dance,” only because they did not have the “timbrel.” But they did have the dance, and they praised the King like in Ps. 150. Even that dancing was itself “noisy.” What would it have been like if that night these devoted saints had had the “trumpet sound” and “the flute and harp” and “the strings and pipe and timbrels and cymbals?” Ps. 150.

Now as can be seen, things that night were exceedingly “noisy, disorderly, indecent, unreasonable” with all of those women with bound feet jumping and dancing on their heels. It was even unsightly. What about all the confusion and noise? Were things not going “just a little too far?” Was there not a lot of “flesh” in all this? Look how some of those women were sweating. It is “flesh” that sweats, not spirit.

Would not most of those good people you know decide under such circumstances that it was then, if ever, time to get out that good out verse of scripture which says, “All things should be done decently and in order,” and clamp down on what is going on beyond our knowledge? “God is not a God of confusion.” What passages of scripture does the devil use more effectively than the one about “decency and order” to cause men to misapply it in hindering the manifestations of the Holy Spirit?

I had long ago asked God for wisdom in this matter, and I got it many a time. I surely needed it this night, and I got it again. Now what was I to do? All that noise would surely bring unbelievers in from the street. What would be the result? Would they not think that we were all crazy? Should I clamp down the “decently and in order” verse? No. I knew better. God had started this. God must decide the “order.” I had learned to be “decent” and keep my hands off God’s “order.” I had learned that where Jesus had laid His hands on I was to keep my hands off. I was to be a spectator, not an actor. By thus standing back and looking on I have seen some wonderful things. So it was now.

Just as I expected, men and women from the outside came in. They stood on benches and chairs on order to see over the heads of those in the doorway. These, like myself, were spectators watching to see what would next take place.

After considerable time, the dancing and jumping gradually died down. All became quiet. All commotion and all motion ceased, except that on the part of one young man. He stood in the middle of the room. Not a sound, not a word. He then with closed eyes began by pantomime to act out the passion of Jesus. His silent motion showed himself being bound and led away. He bore his own cross. While we all watched in dead silence the crucifixion was portrayed. Then in silence the boy, still with closed eyes, stretched himself full length on the floor, where he lay motionless for quite awhile in almost breathless silence. Jesus was in the tomb.

After this period of continued silence the boy, still in a state of trance, rose to his feet and stood. A very prayerful, spiritual and Holy-Spirit-endued young married woman, also with closed eyes, was by the Spirit caused to step out from the others to the side of the young man still in trance, who then broke the silence by speaking a few sentences in other tongues. The woman in trance, standing near him, turning her face toward him seeming to listen very carefully to what he spoke in other tongues.

Then with eyes still closed, turning toward those in the doorway she said, “This is what he said,” interpreting the few sentences the young man had spoken. He then spoke a few more sentences in other tongues, and the woman still in trance, again turning toward him appeared to be carefully listening to every word. She then, as before, turned around toward the people at the door saying, “What he has said was this;” and then gave the few tongues sentences, a literal word by word, sentence for sentence interpretation, I am certain. This message by tongues and interpretation continued sentence by sentence for some time as everyone carefully and silently listened without a stir or sound.

I did not write down this message from the Lord interpreted into Chinese as I might easily have done. In substance it was something like this: “Please listen carefully now for this is God speaking to you. I made heaven and earth and all things and all men. I made all things good, but you have missed God’s intended good. What a pity, what a mistake! Now men are missing the best in life because they do not want to come back to God and get His help. So now it is that I send these to you who can tell you the way back to God and to a life of everlasting happiness after death. If men would now believe in Jesus, He would forgive all their sins and give them true life now and forever.”

This is only a hint of the kind of language used in telling those former ignorant persecutors how much God loved them and was yearning to save them now and for eternity. It is doubtful if a reader of these lines has ever anywhere heard such a loving appeal made to sinning men as was made by the message direct from Jesus — this sermon that Jesus preached.

When the appeal was ended the Spirit lifted from the young man and young woman, who at the same instant opened their eyes and without another word quietly took their seats. They did not know what they had spoken. We had heard from God through supernatural tongues and supernatural interpretation. Everyone must have known it. So far as I recall it, not a word was spoken as these at the door silently went away one by one. They had been talked to from heaven.

I inquired later whether anyone had heard any criticism from these one-time-persecutors. No. No one had heard a word of criticism. “Tongues are for a sign for unbelievers.” I Cor. 14:22. God does all things “decently and in order,” but He does not follow man’s ignorant order. The next day after this meeting which was so evidently God-conducted, some women came to the meeting who had not been there.

After my first visit, in the village where the daily meetings continued to me held, persecution stopped. The little group of saints at that place met daily for prayer, depending for encouragement and inspiration upon the young man and woman who spoke with other tongues and interpretation.

The last time I visited there I heard this story of the Lord’s leading: A company of communist-backed bandits were gradually making their way from village to village toward this village where the Christians were. Knowing the havoc these bandits wrought wherever they came, the people in this village gathered up such things as they could carry and fled into the hills or went to distant places.

Not knowing what to do, the saints prayed to the Lord for guidance. They got it, as might be expected. The Lord as usual speaking through that young man with other tongues and that young woman interpreting told the Christians not to run. He would protect them, he said.

Seeing that all of the other families in the village were leaving, the head man came to inquire how it was that the Christians were not leaving also. “Did your God tell you not to go?” he asked. He was told that it was so. When all the other families continued to flee, the head man came twice more, asking if the Christians’ God had assured them to remain. Again, he was assured that it was so. I presume that he believed, or if he did not believe it then he surely would have to believe it later, for when the brigands came they lived up to their bad reputation. They pillaged and plundered every house except the homes of the Christians. They did not molest a house of the saints or take any of their things.

One night one of the brigand’s worst desperados with a few others of like mind came to the street just above where the Christians as usual were meeting to pray. This evil man had brought his lawless gang there for the express purpose of setting fire to that house where the saints were praying. When they got to the place where the steps led down from the street to the house of praying saints, one of the chief men suddenly objected. He said that these Christians were good people who had remained there, and they were to be left strictly alone. He had enough power that no one dared oppose him. He went to where the Christians were praying and told them what had taken place and that they had nothing to fear, but to go right on as usual with the meetings. Had Jesus not spoken to those simple saints through tongues and interpretation telling them that he would protect them?

Although these devoted believers did not have a church building, they were a real church, an assembly of believers whom the Father called together and no one was able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. John 4:28, 29.

On my last visit to these Christians I did not know that I was to go home. However, I had told them that I did not think I would return to them, for I lived too far away, and my other work occupied all of my time and strength. The people insisted that I certainly must return.

The morning that I left they escorted me out of the village and lined up in a row to say goodbye. The Chinese “Good Bye” is, “We’ll meet again.” On this occasion, these saints insisted that this goodbye was no formality. They meant it literally, “We’ll meet again.” I must surely return to them. I did not get back, but we shall “meet again.” I’ll never forget that “good bye” scene. I still can see my beloved people standing there insisting that I must return to them and meet again.[24]

 

Having heard that where I worked there were some who danced in the Spirit, before the Spirit had fallen on this group, one of the most zealous saints wondered how they would get along. “We women have bound feet. We cannot dance,” she said. I told her that I never asked anyone to dance. The Lord saw to that. Well, when the Holy Spirit fell upon us, this good woman was the first to dance. She had never seen anything of the kind. Dancing was impossible, she supposed. If that dancing was not from God, how account for it.[25]

 

This third and last day of the convention was Sunday. We would have the Lord’s Supper in the morning service. Very early I had prayed the best I could with poor success and little spiritual anointing. I seemed to be completely tired out, finished. As I went to the tabernacle for that service and the Lord’s Supper I felt very sad. That service and that whole Sunday should be the day of spiritual mountain peak in glory land.

As I approached the tabernacle it seemed to me that so far as my leading was concerned the day was doomed to be an anti-climax. Thus feeling so dead, so unspiritual, so helpless, I stepped into the tabernacle where the people were already assembled and had been quietly praying. When I stepped into the place I seemed to have stepped into another world — heaven. Jesus was there. His out-flowing love flooded the place. It flooded my soul. Angels must have been present everywhere. My spiritual deadness, my despondency, was gone.

We would first partake of the Lord’s Supper. Taking an emblem in my hand, holding it up I began to speak. As I did so a Ka Do brother began to weep outloud. I had him quieted and was again preparing to speak when others began to weep. This outloud crying soon spread all through the congregation. To speak and be heard above the weeping was impossible. Thinking of Jesus’ death caused these saints to weep broken-heartedly like they cry when burying their own dead. These simple people on such occasions unrestrainedly give expression to their grief by crying right out like children. And so there was loud crying now because the One they loved above all others had died. He had died in their stead for them. The Holy Spirit now made this death for them a clear reality. Although my voice could not be heard above such contrite weeping, I did not want to speak. I, too, was there where Jesus died.

All at last having become quiet, when I again began to speak about the cross the whole congregation again broke out in loud, heart-felt weeping. This was repeated three times before these children of the mountains could restrain themselves while I talked to them about the death of Jesus — not a new story; the same story they had heard many times that grew sweeter with each hearing. Partaking of the Lord’s Supper that day was no formality. It was much as though each one partook of a small portion of Jesus’ flesh and trifle of his blood.

As I then at the foot of the cross partook of the Lord’s Supper with my people among whom I had suffered and rejoiced so many years, I did not suspect that I would never again break bread with them until I did so in the kingdom of God beyond death and the grave. Having tarried at the foot of the cross, we all rose to our feet to praise and worship Jesus and receive of His life through the gift of the Holy Spirit. As we unitedly praised the resurrected Christ, He filled the tabernacle with His life and glory, attended by many manifestations of His power.

I had a baptismal service immediately after noon that included almost every person present who had not been baptized. Then we wanted one more uninterrupted Holy-Spirit-meeting, the one purpose of which would be to receive the Holy Spirit. And so while I was baptizing in the stream below the tabernacle I had the men carry the benches out of the tabernacle and arrange them in the court outside the open side of the tabernacle. In the meantime, the women having gathered fresh green pine needles from the nearby mountain side, spread these needles all over the tabernacle floor, making a beautiful green and fragrant carpet.

When we assembled for the meeting I requested all who had received the Holy Spirit with supernatural physical manifestations, especially dancing in the Spirit, to assemble inside the tabernacle and sit on the carpet of fresh pine needles. The others were to sit on the benches in the court or to stand nearby. This was not to be a preaching service; it was to be a receiving service.

I knew that the Spirit would move in our midst as soon as all was ready and the opportunity given. Now that all were assembled and silently waiting, we were ready to receive. I then asked all to stand, look to Jesus, and to receive His Spirit. As the people did so the Holy Spirit enveloped the whole assembly. Everyone inside the tabernacle was soon dancing before the Lord of glory. The whole tabernacle was filled with orderly dancing saints yet not one interfering with another. The sea of upraised hands seemed to be offering waves of praise in worshiping and adoring the King.

This had not continued very long until one after another began to be prostrated on the pine needles. There was no violent falling. As all were dancing with closed eyes, how was it that each one could be so easily layed down on the pine needles? I thought the angels, who undoubtedly were there, must have gently layed each one in the right place. It was not long until the whole tabernacle floor was almost completely covered with the slain of the Lord. As I recall it, not one person remained dancing or standing. This had to be the working of the Lord through His angels, it seemed to me; else how could such a large number of people with closed eyes while dancing close together be so gently and systematically laid out on the pine needles without stumbling over or bumping one another? When the first of these were prostrated here and there, large numbers not yet so prostrated, with closed eyes were dancing all around them without treading upon anyone. This had to be supernatural. There was no other way to account for it.

The slain of the Lord were so many that I wondered whether there might be as many as were filled with the Holy Spirit when the Spirit first fell on the day of Pentecost. I counted. I counted one hundred and thirty laying before me, informally distributed in trance and lost in the things of God. What a scene! I never shall forget it. In addition to the one hundred and thirty in the tabernacle there were many outside who received the Holy Spirit at the same time attended by miraculous manifestations. When the power of the Lord had lifted from some of those in the tabernacle, groups gathered about those still in heavenly realms, and sitting about them eagerly listened to prophecy and revelations being given by the ones still in trance.

This time of blessing and revelation and meeting in the presence of God continued until time for the evening service in which some received the Holy Spirit for the first time. It was with much reluctance that this last meeting of the convention finally broke up and the people retired for the night. Very early the next morning my people of various tribes and languages were loath to separate and go in different directions to their homes. Their love for one another and for the Lord and for the season of heavenly refreshment they had been enjoying all combined to make this parting and homegoing attended with a sense of sadness. When would I meet again with this big family of God’s people? Never again till we meet in the Father’s house. “God be with you till we meet again.[26]

 

Every morning and evening after I had given my talk, when we all stood to seek the power from on high which would make us effective witnesses, the Lord gave abundantly of His Holy Spirit. There were manifestations of power everywhere. Young men and women were dancing all over the tabernacle. As they entered deeper and deeper into the things of God they were prostrated until every evening the slain of Lord were not less than thirty or forty.

When at last all had become quiet, the time came for Jesus to talk to us. Someone, usually one of the young women still lying silently in a trance, would then become the Lord’s mouthpiece. Had not the Lord long ago said: “In the last days… I will pour out m Spirit… and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy?” And so, the Lord poured out His spirit upon us and sons and daughters prophesied.

Sometimes the Spirit used two at the same time to prophesy, each alternately prophesying a few sentences in the unbroken prophecy. Thus, we heard directly from heaven each evening as Jesus spoke to us through His maidservants and manservants. I have already related how in such meetings the Lord spoke through tongues and interpretation sentence by sentence when both the speaker and the interpreter were in a trance.

Later on, one after another when coming out of the trance would arise and be quietly seated or retire for the night. Every night there were some, however, who continued deep in a trance. When these could not be aroused and it became too late, their friends would take them up and carry them off to bed. From their heavenly halo they would come back to earth-consciousness sometime between midnight and morning.[27]

 

Why was it that every night during those ten days of Bible study those menservants and maidservants danced? Why was it that from the time the Holy Spirit was first poured out in Ka Do Land there were those had danced whenever the Spirit had fallen in power? I suppose believers danced for the same reason that King David took off his outer garments and danced mightily before the ark that was being returned from the devil’s heathen world to the ark’s rightful place of glory in the kingdom of God. I suppose our people danced for the same season that Israel having been delivered from the bondage of Egypt — saved — Miriam took her timbrel and led all of the women in a holy dance before the Lord.

The reason believers of several tribes danced in all parts of Ka Do Land is the same reason why I and my coworkers also danced with these simple saints in almost all parts of Ka Do Land. Was not that humiliating? If so it was an attainment, a glorious up-lift, an exaltation to be allowed with many so much better than I to enter the palace of the King and unite with them to dance in His presence.

So far as the Bible record goes, David was the only king who ever got low enough to be exalted high enough to dance in the presence of God. Since David’s wife did not like it, she criticized him. Accordingly, she became barren till the day of her death because of her opposition to God-directed dancing.

A big church organization in a section of Ka Do Land with plenty of money and men had those who fought and bitterly opposed our dancing in the Spirit. Like in the case of David’s wife, the result was that this mission became so “barren” that, so far as our workers could discern, they did not give birth to one truly born-again child.

Believe it or not, understand it or not, dancing in the rhythm and praise led by the Holy Spirit is a glorious dance. No wonder that David at the conclusion of all his glorious Psalms exhorts the people to praise God “with the timbrel and dance.” Ps. 150:3.

Thus, it was that the final few days of all our many years in Ka Do land ended in a glorious climax accompanied by triumphant victory-dancing in the Spirit. In all of the forty churches, then in ideal order, was victory-dancing and then prostrations, while saints were caught up to heaven in vision. As already related, the three days of general convention were immediately followed by those ten days of Bible study and seeking God on the part young men and young women, the future leaders in the Lord. As we have seen, every night nearly all of those were anointed with the glory-life, while many danced the victory-dance before being slain by the power of the Lord to lie in His presence, fulfilling the scripture which says that, “In the last days your sons and daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see visions.” Acts 2:17.

Who knows how long it will be till we all meet again over on other happy shore again to dance together before the King for evermore? I still sometimes dance on my way to that land of endless day.[28]

 

Having arrived in Hong Kong, we went direct to the home of our son James. He with his wife, Marjorie, and two children had left China a year before we did. He had started a Bible School in China and had just completed a building before the communists had come. Now he was teaching in a Bible school in Hong Kong.

The president of this school now asked me to take the twenty-minute chapel service each morning. He said I was to feel free to follow the leadings of the Lord, as he himself could not be present. I had the help of a student who interpreted my mandarin language into the language of Hong Kong.

The Holy Spirit began at once to work among the students. They were as surprised as encouraged when a university young man from a Baptist church received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet been baptized in water but had just come in to listen. How was it that he could get the Holy Spirit? The answer was simple: the receiving of the Holy Spirit in baptizing power is not dependent on man’s knowledge or goodness but depends on man’s receptiveness and need. The Holy Spirit comes to make known to man the things of Jesus and His salvation and comes to give the power he needs to make him good.

Day by day the chapel services had been increasingly free in spirit but much hindered by lack of time. Since the students would be free from study Saturday evening, it was decided to have a special meeting then. They assembled with high expectation. The president also came and most of the teachers were there. After my short talk, when we all began to pray, the Holy Spirit began to work. In a short time some of the students were trembling and shaking, some were dancing, and some were loudly praying and praising the Lord. As this continued freedom in the Spirit increased. Then just as in our work in China in the Adullam Orphanage and later in the mountain tribal work in Ka Do Land, when the work of the Spirit became deep, prostrations began to take place.

I had noticed that the school president apparently did not like the way things were going. Now he came over to where I stood praising the Lord and said, “Things are going too far. Do you see that girl prostrated over there?” “Yes, I see her,” I said. “You need not fear. Such prostrations took place everywhere in our work in China. To stop these manifestations will hinder the freedom and the working of the Holy Spirit. However the school is yours and you are now in control.” With that I could not do otherwise than to become inactive.

In a very short time all physical manifestation ended and the power of the Holy Spirit lifted. We were back on the human level again, all except the Baptist outsider university man who stood alone in the center of the room with uplifted hands and face turned heavenward, praising the Lord with other tongues. The meeting had seemed just right for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit such as would end in prophecy, visions, tongues and revelations with the angels moving freely in our midst, had that president not hindered God’s order and working.

The next day one of the students received the baptism of the Holy Spirit when sitting quietly at his desk. “That’s the way I like it,” said the school president. “That’s how it should be.” Such talk is man’s wisdom which the Bible says is “foolishness with God.” I was told that since that school was started there never had been a real outpouring of the Holy Spirit. From the time that wise (?) president hindered physical manifestations there never again was such an outpouring as he cut short that Saturday night.

I have had meetings where every one present was deeply moved by the Holy Spirit without any striking physical manifestation. There may be circumstances where a “holy quietness” is best. Does Jesus not know what He is doing? Let man keep hands off of God’s anointings. If there need be “regulations” by man, let it be Spirit-led in God’s wisdom but not be molested by man’s foolishness.

I have related this Hong Kong experience in some detail in order to impress the fact that to hinder physical manifestations at times of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, unless such manifestations are demonical, will usually hinder the deepest working of the Holy Spirit. Any of the oldtime Pentecostal people from the days of the Azusa Street on will tell you that when the Holy Spirit has been poured out in greatest power it usually has been accompanied with more or less such manifestations as loud praising, weeping, shouting, laughter, dancing, clapping hands, prostrations, trances, visions, and revelations.

I thank the Lord that I have been able to keep hands off and allow Him to take charge of the problems connected with outpourings of the Holy Spirit. Had I hindered really Spirit-directed manifestations such as just described, so far as I can judge, there would have been no “Visions Beyond the Veil” to write, no such story to move thousands. Furthermore, had I not freely allowed physical manifestations, so far as I can see, there never would have been that work in Ka Do Land where thousands were baptized and in every place the gospel was believed the Holy Spirit was poured out in mighty power. Had I sidetracked such manifestations as we have been considering, I believe I would have been laid on the shelf as useless thirty or forty years ago.

In the present world-wide movement of the Holy Spirit great care should be taken to avoid that so-called “Holy quietness” that may turn into a “lifeless quietness” devoid of the life and power that can move a man or a mountain.

It did not hurt me a bit to be prostrated on a dirty street and rolled over a dirty floor with my best clothes on when the Holy Spirit came upon me with power. I am sure it was good for me to be prostrated there on the street, dressed in my best “Sunday-go-to-meeting” clothes. I know many very nice people who would doubtless be a lot “nicer” were they to be rolled in the dirt awhile. We all need to be made over. Give the Lord a fair chance. There is a reason for “Holy rollers.” [29]

 

Jumping and dancing, rejoicing with loud voices, trances, being caught up in heaven, falling down prostrate by the power of the Spirit, prophetic words, interpretation of tongues, pantomime preaching, loud weeping over Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and much more. Throughout their hard years in China, people experienced God deeply in the ministry of Harold and Josephine Baker.

And I like especially how – from the beginning – they danced (even with bound feet). When you dance like that, you know that it is true – 2 Corinthians 1:20: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ…” Therefore, trust him and dance. Amen.



[1] Ibid.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid.