“And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” (Col. 1:20)
While we were in Weatherford Texas, I would occasionally go with a local Pastor as he went to make hospital visits or minister in the jail.
On one particular evening, I had gone with the Pastor to visit someone in the hospital, when on our way back home we saw a young man in the parking lot of a large grocery store with the hood up on his car. He was trying to start his car, but it acted as if the battery was dead.
“Do you need a boost?” we asked as we pulled up.
He said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with it. I’ve got a new battery and a new starter and I can’t get it to do anything.”
“Well, maybe you’ve got a bad battery.” The Pastor said, “Let’s put some booster cables on it and we’ll see if we can give you a boost.”
We attached the cables between our two cars, let it charge for a while, but still there was nothing. We checked the connections and if the battery had power. The connections were good and the battery had plenty of power, but the engine still would not turn over.
“I just don’t understand it.” The young man said, “You guys don’t understand. That’s a racing car battery. It will start an 18 wheeler.”
That’s when I remembered the time my truck wouldn’t start in order for me to lead a suicidal man to Christ. “Have you witnessed to him about Jesus?” I whispered to the Pastor. “I thought you did.” he replied.
We both grabbed a tract out of our pockets and approached the young man who was sitting in his car still trying to get it to start.
The Pastor spoke to him first. “Do you mind if I ask you something? We are both ministers and I believe that God has brought us together tonight for a reason. Do you know that Jesus loves you? Have you ever accepted Him as your Savior and been saved?”
He hung his head as he replied, “My Dad’s a preacher. He Pastors a Holiness Church on the other side of town. We don’t see eye to eye about things and I left home, but I know that he’s still praying for me.”
We shared with him about how God still loved him, wanted to forgive him of his sins, save him and restore his relationship with his Dad. His eyes filled with tears as he prayed, repented of his sins, and asked Christ into his heart.
After praying, I said, “Do you realize how much Jesus loves you? He did a miracle for you tonight by causing your car not to start just so you could be saved.”
He said, “Do you really think God did that?” By now, he was standing in the doorway of his car. I said, “Reach in there and turn the key.”
The car started immediately with the dual tailpipes rumbling. He began to rejoice and said that he needed to leave right away and go tell his father what had happened.
The Pastor and I headed back to the Church, rejoicing ourselves as we went.
It was the summer of 1980, and a record-breaking heat wave had settled in over Texas. I was to find out later that the high-pressure system that was producing this deadly heat wave was centered over Weatherford.
As a matter of fact, the exact center where the hottest temperatures were recorded was where we were located a few miles south of town.
It was so hot, that the only way we could stand the heat in the afternoon was to sit outside under the shade with the water sprinkler running over us.
Sometimes in the midst of great hardship, God will give great blessings. (Psalms 138:7- “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me”) It was during this time that I would receive such a visitation from the Lord that it would lay the foundation for my teaching and preaching for years to come.
My wife Glenda and I had gone with a local Pastor and his wife to Azle, Texas to hear an evangelist that was to preach at a church there.
This evangelist had a tremendous testimony about how the Lord used him in a miraculous way to reach the Black Panthers with the Gospel during the race riots of the ’60s in California.
This particular night, he was preaching out of the Old Testament about the Law of Moses, and it was going totally over my head.
I knew that we had been delivered from the law through Jesus Christ, and so I couldn’t understand why he would be preaching about the law; and yet, I knew that this was an anointed man of God.
As I sat there trying to understand, I began to have a vision.
In my vision, I saw a bright and shining cross as if it was suspended in the air. To the upper left of the cross stood Jesus and to the upper right of the cross were blessings, long life, and prosperity: all of the blessings that the Bible says in the Book of Deuteronomy will come upon the person that fulfills the Law of Moses.
To the bottom left of the cross was man and to the bottom right of the cross were all of the curses that the Bible says would come upon the man that does not keep the Law of Moses: poverty, death, and separation from God.
Jesus said that He came “that the law through Him might be fulfilled”.
Jesus fulfilled the law in all points, so as the son of man, he should have received all of the promised blessings.
All of mankind, on the other hand, has broken the law. The Bible says, “There is none righteous, no not one”, and rightfully all of mankind should receive the curses.
However, the vision showed me that through the cross of Calvary, Jesus descends to receive the curses (short life, death, and separation from God) and we ascend to receive the blessings (long life, prosperity, communion with God).
The Bible says in Romans 5:11, that through Jesus Christ “we have now received the atonement”. The word “atonement” actually means “the exchange”.
Through the cross, Jesus exchanged his perfect life for our sinful life; and through the cross we exchange our sinful life with all of its punishments and curses for His perfect life with all of its blessings and rewards.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:21-”For He hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”
Our righteousness and blessings are not contingent upon what we do (whether we tithe, work, pray, etc.), but only upon our faith in what God did through Jesus Christ.
God’s Word cannot be broken, so when Jesus fulfilled the law, it was required that He receive the blessings of Deuteronomy. But instead of receiving them, He willingly exchanged them for our curses and gave us the blessings which He earned by fulfilling the law.
In one brief moment of time, during the vision, The Lord gave me an understanding of this truth that I was unable to comprehend with my mind just by hearing the preaching. I needed a revelation.
I was amazed at the wisdom of God and how He would impart it to man, but I was to find out that this was only the beginning.