“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” (2Tim. 4:3)
Bro. Sonny had become a tremendous soul-winner for Christ in the time since we had first met him during the street crusade. While we were in Weatherford, I would occasionally go with him 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.” Bro. Sonny 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 Sonny. “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.
Bro. Sonny 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.
Bro. Sonny 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.
Glenda and I had gone with Bro. Sonny 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.
When I awoke the next morning, I was still thinking about what the Lord had shown me in the vision the night before. As I opened my Bible and began to read, the presence of the Lord came upon me and His voice said, “Take your Bible, go outside, and sit under the tree. I will teach you there.”
I took my Bible, a notepad, my Concordance, and I did as the voice of the Lord had instructed me.
Over the next several weeks, the Lord would tell me which chapters and verses to read in the Old Testament and then would direct me to corresponding chapters and verses in the New Testament, explaining to me their relationship and fulfillment.
The Bible says that the things that happened in the Old Testament were a “type” or a “shadow of things to come” (Col. 2:17). It has been said, “The New Testament is concealed in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New.”
The Lord was teaching me, that by better understanding these types and shadows, we would have faith to understand Christ’s fulfillment and what it means to His body, the Church.
(“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17)
He carried me deeper into the Law and the Prophets and their fulfillment in Jesus Christ, and what that means to the Christian.
He explained to me the true meaning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. He took me through Daniel, Ezekiel, and the other Prophets, the prophecies of the end times and the Book of Revelation and how they all go hand-in-hand so that we can know what is to come.
The message of Jesus Christ contained in the Tabernacle, the deeper meaning of the story of the prodigal son, the truth contained in the name of Jesus; all of these and many others did the Lord instruct me out of the Scriptures over a period of approximately two months.
When the Lord had finished instructing me during this time of visitation, He told me to compile these teachings together and call them “The Sound Doctrine of Jesus Christ”.
The Lord spoke and said that He would open doors for me to teach these messages and that He would manifest the word of wisdom when I did. I would later sit under the ministry of other Christian teachers to whom God had given some of the same revelations that He had given me.
Since that time, He has opened doors for me to teach the Sound Doctrine in seminars, Bible studies, The Institute of Biblical Studies, and many Churches.
Not long after this visitation, the Lord directed us to return to Dallas, Texas. He said that we had completed the work that He had called us to do in this southwest area.
We returned to Dallas, and began working in our home Church: teaching Sunday school, helping in the praise and worship, holding services in nursing homes; waiting for the Lord to give us the new direction for the ministry that He had for us.
It was during this time that the Lord began to move upon my wife and use her in the gifts of prophecy and the word of knowledge. I witnessed one of many examples of this on a Saturday when Bro. Tony had transferred the prayer line to our home.
The prayer line’s number was 94-CARES. Our motto was “Jesus cares and so do we. Call 94-CARES”; thus many people would see this on a bumper sticker or television spot and would remember it.
That morning, the phone rang and there was a panicked voice of a young man on the other end.
“I’m riding my motorcycle from Dallas to Ft. Worth on Interstate 30 and I just realized my wallet is missing.”
He said, “It must have fallen out somewhere between home and here, and I have no idea where it could be. I remembered this number, and I’m calling to see if there is anyone there that God uses in the gift of the word of knowledge that might be able to tell me where it is.”
I told him to hold on, that sometimes God used my wife in such a way and perhaps He would tell her. Glenda got on the phone, listened to his story, and then prayed and asked the Lord if He might use her to help this young man.
After a few seconds, she spoke to him and said, “God told me to tell you that you didn’t lose your wallet, but that it is on the top of your dresser at home. He also said that if you would call home and ask Linda, she would tell you that it is there. By the way, if you don’t mind me asking, who is Linda? Is she your wife?”
The young man was silent for a while, and then said, “No, she’s not my wife. She is someone who had no place to stay and so I am letting her stay with me for a while.”
He hung up, and then called back a few moments later. “I called Linda,” he said, “and she said that the wallet was on the dresser just like you said. Thank you.”
Now I don’t believe that God uses His spiritual gifts just to help people find things. I believe that God wanted to reveal to this young man that nothing is hid from Him, not even the name of the woman living in his home.
God was developing spiritual gifts and putting together a ministry team for the next chapter of “The Servants of the Lord”.
(TO BE CONTINUED)