SOUND DOCTRINE (Part 1: The Deceit of Pride)

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)

Before we can begin to receive the instruction of the Holy Spirit and enter into the deeper things of God, we must first have the correct attitude.

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”  (James 4:6)

Many different sermons with many different interpretations have been preached based upon the Scripture, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

But let’s look at the entire context of the Scripture.

Here we read in Philippians chapter two verses five through eight,

“Let this mind (attitude) be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”  (Philip. 2:5-8)

Now, the Gospel of John chapter one verse one tells us,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  (John 1:1)

These verses in the Bible tell us that Jesus Christ was in the form of God, was God, and was equal with God.

But yet Christ had such a humble nature that He yielded Himself to the will of His Father, took upon Himself the form of flesh, and in obedience suffered the shame and torment of the death on the cross.

And we are to follow after the example of Christ’s obedience.

Throughout this teaching we are going to be building upon two underlying principles. They are humbleness of self and pride or reverence for God our Father.

It is written in First Corinthians,

That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”  (1Co 1:29-31)

As God was revealing this to me, He gave an illustration of how some Christians today treat God in their daily lives.

He brought to my remembrance how several times I had been out in a public place such as a mall or a county fair, and there I would sometimes see parents with their child on a harness and leash.

I’m sure to the parents it was a matter of convenience and safety, but to me it just didn’t seem right.

The parents would often be walking along and the child would be trailing behind, when suddenly the child would stop and see something of interest and the leash would tighten as the parents continued to walk.

The parent would stop and tug on the leash telling the child to “come on, come on” and the parents then would continue on partially dragging the child behind them.

Many Christians have come to a place of spiritual pride in their lives where it is as if they are dragging God behind them believing Him to go their direction and fulfill their desires when it is really not the direction or desires of God.

We need to be humble of self and submit our will to God, always recognizing and giving respect to our Heavenly Father and having pride in Him.

The Lord gave me another illustration to show the true attitude we should have toward Him. It is opposite to the illustration of the child on the leash.

Did you ever see a little boy walking hand-in-hand with his daddy? It doesn’t matter to him how dark an alley they walk down. It doesn’t make any difference to him how rough a section of town he is in because he is with his dad.

He doesn’t even think about himself and the situation.

It doesn’t enter into his mind what he would have to do should trouble arise because he knows that his daddy has everything under control.

He has complete trust in his father. He is not afraid.

This is the way we are to walk with God.

Our Heavenly Father is able.

We are to walk as ambassadors of Christ fully recognizing the power we have as His ambassadors but never forgetting it is all His power.

This attitude of spiritual pride has really infiltrated the church more than any of us realize. There are those who have even come to the point of thinking that they can command God as to what he has to do.

This is spiritual pride in the extreme.

We are going to be dealing more and more with this error of spiritual pride as we continue further along into this teaching.

NEXT: True Joy


All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

Advertisements

A CHRISTIAN TALE: The “Servants of the Lord” (Conclusion: “Unprofitable Servants”)

“So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)

There is nothing special about me. I was just a newspaperman, a plumber, a husband, and a dad: just someone who one day made a decision to say, “Lord, it doesn’t matter what it takes, or what I have to give up, or what it costs me…I will do whatever you ask me to do, and never go back.”

Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

I am persuaded that I am just one of thousands who quietly go about their daily lives, desiring to do the will of God: going where He says to go, doing what He says to do: praying, sharing, and witnessing: seeing the miracle power of God on a daily basis.

You may never see them on television or read about them in a magazine or newspaper. They are not out for recognition or personal gain. They desire the presence of the Lord more than the praise of men because the Bible says, “that no flesh should glory in His presence.”

I believe that God took me off the shelf to write this book: that His anointing will flow through it and encourage someone to say, “Here am I, send me. Lord, I will do whatever you show me to do.”

Luke 17:10 says, “So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.”

Jesus said, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”

We are all called to salvation, but I believe that those who are willing, they are chosen. And these are the ones that shall be called “the servants of the Lord.”


All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

A CHRISTIAN TALE: The “Servants of the Lord” (Part 10: “The Building Fitly Framed Together…”)

“In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:” (Eph. 2:21)

There was a prayer mountain in east Texas where we would sometimes go to fast and pray.

The ministry that owned the land had built the prayer chapel as their first project after purchasing the property.

Ministers and others who needed a place to fast and pray were welcome to reserve the prayer chapel in advance. I would often go there and seek the Lord when I needed direction or a particular answer from God.

We all know that we don’t have to go to a particular place to meet with God, but there is just something special about setting aside and sanctifying a certain time to seek Him alone.

For me, this was the prayer chapel in east Texas.

I had felt for a while that the Lord was beginning to change the direction of our ministry. Bro. Allen had felt led to leave the Servants of the Lord, and one of the radio stations had gone out of business.

I saw the Lord beginning to close doors and I had gone to the prayer mountain to seek Him about what He would have me to do.

I had been there for about a day, when the Lord directed me to leave the chapel and go out into the woods. I began walking down a path, when I found myself standing at the top of a deep valley.

As I was wondering what to do next, the Lord spoke to me.

“See that rock down to your left, go there.” I made it down to the rock, and the Lord spoke again, “See the little tree down to your right, go there.” Then the Lord said, “See the bush down to your left, now go there.”

This continued on until I found myself at the bottom of the valley. The Lord then spoke and said, “Now look back to the top and see where you have come from.”

I turned and looked back up to the top. It was only then that I realized He had directed me in a zigzag direction down the side of the mountain.

There was no path down that I could see from the top, and looking from the bottom, I could see no path back to the top: only the landmarks that He had directed me to go to.

“What did I do?” the Lord said. “You brought me down the mountain” I replied. “And I will take you up again.” He said, “You may not see the path that I will take you down, but I will lead you every step of the way”.

Suddenly, I was in the Spirit and began to have a vision from God. In the vision, I saw a white haired craftsman in a workshop and he was building what appeared to be a very detailed and intricate miniature house.

He would take the particular tool that he needed down from the shelf and very carefully use it to form part of the house, and then he would return it to the shelf and pick up another tool and use it.

Occasionally, he would pick up a tool he had previously used and use it again on another part of the house.

The Lord then spoke to me and said, “You are a tool in my hand. I will use you in building my house, and then I will place you back on the shelf.”

Then the vision was over and I followed the directions of the Lord back up the mountain. I then realized that God was not going to put me in one ministry and leave me there, but rather He had called me to be a vessel that He would use throughout the body of Christ to perform His will.

Not long after this vision that God had given me on Prayer Mountain, He called me to begin and Pastor a church to be called “Faith Tabernacle”.

We started as a house church and later moved to a building. While pastoring this small church, I came to know and empathize with other pastors in the same situation.

Many pastors of small congregations are not only the preacher, but also the janitor, the Sunday school teacher, the worship leader, the marriage and family counselor, the bus driver, and any other position that others in the church cannot or will not fill.

Sometimes he may even work a full time job. He’s tired and worn out, unable to study as he should, and both he and his congregation need reviving.

However, for whatever reason, he feels that he cannot have an evangelist come to hold a revival. He feels that either the church can’t afford it or the offerings will be too small to support the evangelist.

God began to give me a great burden for these faithful pastors.

God had also given me a great gift. Not long after I had first started preaching in nursing homes, I realized that something was not quite right.

God had given me an anointing to lead people to Christ on a one-to-one basis. It was nothing of me; it was a gift from God.

I would see others go up to someone and talk to them about salvation, share with them the way to be saved, explain to them there need and even show them in Scripture; only to have them nod in agreement and say that they would think about it.

I could go up to that same person, and after a few moments and a few words, they would be praying with me to accept Christ into their heart.

Again, it was not any special “talent” that I had or method; it was the anointing of God for salvation. I couldn’t explain it, it just seemed that the Holy Spirit would give me the words to not only bring someone to the point of salvation, but also help them cross over into it.

But preaching in front of a group of people was different. The Bible says in Romans chapter 12, that God gives different gifts according to the grace that is given.

When I first started in the nursing homes, I would preach from the Bible the message that I knew God had given me, yet there would be no visible response to that message.

There was a powerful evangelist in the same home church that we attended, and he had a mighty anointing upon his life. He would preach as a “flaming fire” (Psalms 104:4), and afterwards people would line up for prayer, for salvation, or to be filled with the Holy Ghost.

He and I had a chance to talk one day, and I shared with him the lack of response that I would have when I would preach. He said that he was going to be preaching at a nearby Church and invited me to come to the service.

At the end of the service, I entered the line of people that had come down for prayer, and when he laid his hands on me, I felt a mighty power come into my body.

At the next nursing home service, when I opened my mouth to preach, it was as if I became another person.

I couldn’t stand in one spot; I couldn’t keep my arms still; and the words flowed from me like an unstoppable river. When I did stop preaching, hands went up all over the room wanting to accept Christ.

I could hardly believe the difference.

I shared with the evangelist what had happened, and he told me that he knew when he laid his hands upon me that God was giving me the gift of preaching. From that point on, we began to see the great revival atmosphere in the nursing homes.

And now, years later, I was sensing that God wanted to use me as a tool in His hand to bring that same anointing and revival to the smaller churches that He had given me a burden for.

I let the President of our Ministry Fellowship know that I believed God was calling me to hold revivals in other churches.

Not long after, I was working to help build a Christian School building on the Fellowship property when a pastor from Red River County near Oklahoma, who had come to see the Fellowship President, came in where I was working to see me.

We talked for a few moments, and I sensed from God that this was not a chance meeting. I told him that I would love to come and preach a revival at his church.

He said that he would love to have me come, but that his church was a very poor church near the Red River; that some of his people did not even have shoes to wear to church. He said that they didn’t have the money to pay an evangelist, and that whatever offerings they received, would probably not be enough to supply our needs.

I told him that money would not even be mentioned, and that I had learned if I would just do the will of God, then God would supply all of our needs. He said, “Well, I know that you’ll be fed well. The ladies in our church sure know how to cook.”

He agreed to have me come for a weeklong revival. In the meantime, the Pastor of a small church in Mt. Vernon, Texas had heard me preach at a Fellowship meeting, and had asked me to come and hold a weeklong revival there also.

We scheduled for us to come to his church first, and then straight to Oklahoma. God was beginning to open doors.

We started the revival meetings in Mt. Vernon, and God gave us a tremendous outpouring of His Holy Spirit. I found out that this pastor had been praying for some time for a spiritual breakthrough.

There were some individuals in the church that had undergone abuse in their lives and needed the Lord to heal their hearts and minds.

The Lord did a great work that week and the altars were filled each night. People heard of the work God was doing and came even from other towns. Many were healed, saved, and filled with the Holy Ghost.

There was also a man in the church who had been praying that God would send someone to show them how to win souls to Christ. While I was there, he and I were able to go to the local jail and minister to the prisoners. He went on to have a great ministry winning souls to Jesus in the Texas prisons.

I would hold more revivals for this pastor in the future and would eventually return to start and principal a Christian School.

We finished that week of services by preaching the Sunday morning service, and left that afternoon to begin the revival in Red River County with their Sunday evening service.

My wife was exhausted, but I assured her that we would arrive early enough to freshen up at the church. As we pulled into the parking lot, my wife pointed over to a little building.

“Is that what I think it is?” she said. She was right: it was an outhouse. There was no running water in the church.

The Pastor arrived and suggested that I take off my coat and tie because I might feel uncomfortable being the only one there with one on. No one that attended his congregation could afford a coat and tie. Many of them lived in the woods along the Red River.

The people began to arrive, and by the time the service started, there was standing room only.

This church made me think of the Church in Smyrna written about in the Book of Revelation chapter 2. The Lord said that he knew their works, and tribulation, and poverty, but they were rich.

What this church by the Red River lacked in finances, they more than made up for in Spirit and in love. I don’t believe that I have ever been in a church that loved the Lord more than the people of this church.

When the preaching was over, and the people lined up for prayer, the line stretched out the back door. Again, the Lord poured out His Spirit, and we saw many accept Christ and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

People began to come from all over, and the Pastor asked if we could extend the revival for another week. We returned home to get fresh clothes and then came back.

By the way, the Pastor was right: those ladies could cook. They fed us and treated us like kings. It was there that I first tasted fried rabbit (tastes like chicken).

We would return there also and hold future revivals. After their building burned down from an electrical fire, we held a revival under a brush arbor in a field by the Red River. What the devil meant for evil, God turned around for good.

These precious saints of God would not give up, and they rebuilt their Church building. This time it was a beautiful building made of brick with some fine indoor restrooms.

We went on to hold revival services in churches throughout east Texas and southeast Oklahoma. We would also return and help pastors to start three Christian schools and ourselves to pastor two churches.

God fulfilled the vision that He had given me: He used me as a tool in building His house in many different areas, and then returned me to the shelf.

NEXT: “Unprofitable Servants…”

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

A CHRISTIAN TALE: The “Servants of the Lord” (Part 9: “The Fragments that Remain…”)

“When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” (John 6:12)

It was at the end of a service in our home Church, when the Pastor said that if anyone needed prayer to raise his or her hand. A woman who was crying softly had raised her hand a few rows in front of us.

“Sister Candy, would you come and pray for this young lady?” the Pastor asked. 

My wife went forward, put her arms around the young lady, and began to pray. When she returned to my side, she whispered, “I know her. Her name is Loretta. She used to work with me years ago when I worked at K-Mart.”

After the service, we found out that Loretta had a son about the same age as our daughter, and we developed an instant bond with her.

A few weeks later, we were together during Church, when a mighty presence of the Lord fell upon the congregation. There was a gentleman to my left that had his hands uplifted to God and was saying, “I love you Lord, I love you.”

He had a yearning in his voice that seemed to say, “I want to love you more.”

Then once again, I was in the Spirit and began to have a vision of the Lord.

In this vision, as the gentleman was reaching up toward Heaven saying, “I want to love you more”, the Lord was reaching down from Heaven toward his hand, when suddenly the Lord’s hand changed, and it became the hand of a beggar, then changed to the hand of a child dressed in rags, then to the hand of an elderly person.

The Lord then spoke and said, “Whatsoever ye do unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” and then the vision ended.

At the end of the service, I shared with the congregation what the Lord had shown me: that we can love Jesus more by loving those in need; that we can touch Jesus by touching those in need. I invited anyone who was willing, to come and go with us to our next nursing home service.

There were a few who accepted my invitation, including Loretta.

I believe that it takes a person with a special gift of faith to minister to those in great need on a regular basis; not to look at the need and say, “why?”, but to look at the need and say, “Look what God can do.”

Loretta was such a person. We discovered that she was a gifted singer and she began going and singing with us regularly in the nursing homes.

Soon after Loretta joined our ministry team, the Pastor of our Church came to me and said, “Bro. Candy, we have a minister that has just begun attending our services and I want to introduce you to him. His name is Bro. Allen, he’s a former Pastor from Austin, Texas, and I believe that he might be interested in helping your ministry.”

I met Bro. Allen and we instantly became friends. He also had a great burden and compassion for the elderly and infirmed that were confined to nursing homes. He began going and preaching with us as well, and our ministry team was complete.

Not long after, I was having my morning time of Bible reading and I was reading the account in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John where Jesus fed the multitude with five loaves and two fishes.

The twelfth verse reads, “When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” Those words leaped off the page to me.

The people we were seeing in the nursing homes: the lonely, the sick, the elderly; these were the broken fragments that remain. The Lord wanted us to gather them up quickly, that nothing be lost.

We needed to reach more, sooner, before it was too late. And what about the fragments that weren’t in a nursing home?

The homebound, the bedridden, the disabled and chronically ill; these too needed the anointing, deliverance, and message of salvation that we were bringing to the homes.

That evening I shared with all those in our ministry team what the Lord had shown me, and God began to give us a plan for the Servants of the Lord. We determined to hold our “revival” style services in all the nursing homes in the Dallas- Ft. Worth area.

The Lord began to open doors for us: Dallas, Garland, Richardson, Mesquite, Arlington, Grand Prairie, and Ft. Worth; there were hundreds of homes in the Metroplex area and we began scheduling services months in advance.

And then there was the radio.

The Lord provided us with the equipment and we began to record our live services in the nursing homes and broadcast them over the radio. The Lord opened doors to a radio station in Dallas and one in McKinney for the “Servants of the Lord” radio broadcast.

The singing, the preaching, and the altar call: we would record it all and then divide the service up into segments so that in one weeks’ time the entire service could be heard over the radio.

We scheduled our services for the weekend, and then on weekdays Bro. Allen and I would go back to the nursing homes and visit room-to-room, sharing Jesus and praying, and turning their radio dials to the station that carried our program if they so desired.

Letters and phone calls began to come in by the hundreds from people whose lives had been touched or changed through the radio broadcast. We were beginning to see the fragments gathered in.

Although every precious soul that we met could be a story in and of itself, one dear lady stands out in my mind.

I had met her in her room because she could not go to the service. She was legally blind, and so crippled with arthritis that she was confined to bed.

Her sight was so, that she could only see like a small peep-hole through one eye, and yet even though it was a struggle, the attendants would prop her Bible up in front of her so that she could read one word at a time.

She told me that she would imagine the whole page, and what it must look like with all of the words on it.

When not trying to read, she spent all of her waking hours, lying there and praying for all those she knew and all the others in the nursing home. What a prayer warrior. When you walked into the room, you could feel the anointing of God.

She reminded me of the little lady in the Bible that anointed the feet of Jesus: “She hath done what she could.” (Mark 14) Jesus said that her deed should be mentioned wherever the Gospel was preached. I felt the same way about this saint of God.

At her request, I turned her radio dial to the station that our broadcast came on. She later told me what a blessing our broadcast was to her; that it made her feel like she was in the service and that it encouraged her to pray for all the people in all the other nursing homes as well.

I wished that I could tell you every nursing home we went to was clean and well-staffed with caring individuals, but I can’t.

I was beginning to see why the Lord called these precious souls “the fragments”.

If Jesus had not given the commandment that day to “gather up the fragments that remain”, they would have been thrown away.

In the smaller, independently run homes in the country or suburban towns, we had become accustomed to seeing the elderly treated for the most part with respect.

Most of the nursing homes we went into were run by loving, compassionate people, but in the big cities, especially in the large, modern homes run by the corporations, we would sometimes see man’s inhumanity to man.

Oh, they were clean and nice when it was visitation time or on the weekends when churches would hold services, but when Bro. Allen and I began going back to the homes during the weekdays to visit room to room, we were sometimes appalled at what we saw.

Once, after conducting a worship service in a very ultra-modern facility in North Dallas, we returned on Monday to find a large group of residents in geriatric chairs gathered into an open area, both men and women, unclothed with only a towel for cover.

Several of their towels had fallen to the floor, and they were calling for help, for someone to please cover them up. Bro. Allen and I began to cover them as some were apologizing and saying they were so ashamed.

We assured them that they had nothing to be ashamed of; it wasn’t their fault, as we looked for the ones who were responsible for this shameful treatment. We finally found a worker who nonchalantly answered, “Oh, they’re just waiting for their showers.”

We began to understand that winning souls to Christ was not the only reason the Lord had sent us to the nursing homes. When the homes began to realize that we might drop in anytime to do room to room visitation, we began to see a change.

We never saw this particular situation happen again.

The Bible says that we all shall give an account before Him one day for the deeds done in our body.

In Matthew chapter 25, the Lord tells of the time when He shall come in His glory, and all the nations shall be gathered before Him, and He shall separate them into two groups, as a shepherd would separate the sheep from the goats.

To the righteous on His right hand, He will commend them for the good deeds they have done. To the unrighteous on His left hand, He will say, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not…Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”

God requires that we care and not turn away, that we reach out and affect a change where we see the need. If we do this as unto the Lord, then His kingdom will come nigh, “…and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Rev. 7:17)

NEXT: “The Building Fitly Framed Together…”

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

A CHRISTIAN TALE: The “Servants of the Lord” (Part 8: Sound Doctrine)

“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”.

NEXT: “The Fragments that Remain…”

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

A CHRISTIAN TALE: The “Servants of the Lord” (Part 7: “Unto the Least of These…”)

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Mat. 25:40)

We weren’t able to paint the entire bus, but the Lord had given us a name for our ministry and we had painted “THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD” in huge letters on both sides.

The Lord had revealed where He wanted us to go first, so I had called Bro. Sonny in Weatherford and told him what God had called us to do. He was thrilled and wanted to be a part of our ministry.

He asked me to come preach and said that we could park our bus at the Church while we were there.

I called the nursing homes that were in Weatherford and set up service times when we could come and minister. We now had our first stop on our missionary journey.

Our relatives were apprehensive, to say the least, about what we were going to do (actually, I believe they thought that we had gone a little crazy), but they came around and wanted to do what they could to help send us off.

They filled our bus with food and supplies, gave us cash donations to get us started, and we were set to leave on the following Monday. There was just one other thing that I wanted to do before we left.

I had often read in the Bible that before a battle was to be fought or a deed was to be done, the saints of old would seek the blessing of the man of God. There was something special about that blessing, and I wanted to have it before we left.

That Sunday morning, after the morning service, I approached our Pastor at the back of the Church as he was shaking hands with the members who were leaving.

“Pastor”, I said, “May I tell you something if you have time?”

“Of course. What is it Bro. Candy?” he replied.

I said, “The Lord has called me and my family to go and hold revival services in nursing homes throughout the Southwest.”

With a surprised look on his face, he said “Well, that’s wonderful, but the Church is not able to support another missionary at this time.”

“Oh no, Pastor!” I said, “You don’t understand. I’m not asking for any support. The Lord has already provided us with a bus and we’re leaving tomorrow. I’m just asking for your blessing before we go.”

As a big smile spread across his face, he said, “Well, you have that.”

He asked those who were still standing in the foyer to join in prayer as he laid his hands on me and gave his blessing, asking God to bless and prosper our journey. I don’t think that this white haired man of God ever had someone just ask for his blessing before.

A few months later, I received a letter in the mail from him, along with a check, stating that the Church had appointed us as their home missionaries and would be supporting us on a monthly basis.

The Bible says that God knows what we have need of before we even ask.

The Lord had shown me that when we went into a nursing home, we were not to skimp on our service in any way, but we were to sing and preach as if we were conducting a revival service in a football stadium.

Our little curly haired daughter was a doll, and even at four years old had become a very good singer. The people in the nursing homes just adored her.

God had made a way for us to get an electric guitar, an amplifier, microphones, and stands; and we would set everything up. We would dress, sing, and preach as if we were in the largest church in America.

It didn’t matter whether they put us in the cafeteria or the TV room, whether there were 4 residents that came to the meeting or 40 residents that came. We wanted to always give our best.

We arrived at the Community Church south of Weatherford, and Bro. Sonny welcomed us with open arms.

The nursing homes seemed eager for someone to come in from out of town and hold a special service, so we agreed to hold additional services as long as we were in the area.

At the first service we held in Weatherford, I noticed an elderly man in a wheelchair that came to the cafeteria and sat in the back. He had a fly swatter with him and a scowl on his face.

He stayed for the singing and the preaching, but left in a huff when I began to give the altar call.

I always wove the need of being born again into whatever message the Lord would give me to deliver, and was always excited to see the hands go up to receive Christ no matter what the age of the individual.

A well-known Evangelistic organization had come out with some statistics, which stated that after the age of 50, the chances that a person would accept Christ were virtually insignificant. They concluded that by the age of 50, the majority of people had already decided what they were going to believe.

Consequently, we found out that although the nursing homes had multiple religious services for their residents, most of them were comforting sermonettes without a call to salvation.

No matter how many church services that I would see listed on the bulletin board, I never assumed that the people there had already heard the message of salvation and did not need to hear it again.

That’s why, during our time of holding revival services in the nursing homes, we saw over 600 people accept Christ and be born again.

The Lord began to open other doors for us to minister in all of the surrounding towns. Some of the towns had one nursing home, while other towns had several, but we were able to have multiple services in each one.

When we arrived the second time to hold a service in the Weatherford nursing home, I noticed the little man with the fly swatter had returned, but this time he was a little closer to the front and stayed for the entire service.

The third time we returned, he was on the front row.

After the singing and the preaching, I said that if there was anyone that would like to pray and receive Christ into their heart and be born again, to please raise their hand and I would pray with them.

After a few moments, he slowly began to raise his hand. We prayed together and he asked Christ to come into his heart and save his soul.

Not long after, the nurses told us of the wonderful change they had seen in his life.

He had been so cantankerous, that if there were no room for him to play checkers, he would knock the board and pieces off of the table so no one else could play. He would often hit the nurses and attendants with his fly swatter out of spite.

However; since He had accepted Christ, he was a totally different person. He was becoming friends with everyone, going up and down the halls telling people about Jesus.

Instead of a fly swatter, he now carried our Gospel tracts and would hand them out. If he knew that we were coming, he would go to all the rooms and tell the residents that they needed to come to the service.

We came to call him “Pops” and he was a dear friend to us all the time we were there.

We also visited the rooms after the services to pray with the people who could not attend. We witnessed the Lord touch many that were sick and infirmed.

We saw dazed and confused eyes come to clarity at the name of Jesus, and dementia patients could speak with us rationally as we shared the love of Christ.

We were privileged to be a witness as those in their 80’s, 90’s, even 100 prayed for the first time in their life and ask Christ to come into their heart and were wonderfully saved. But the adversary, the enemy of God: the devil was not happy about what God was doing.

I had allowed myself to become lackadaisical in our approach to finances and our needs. As I watched our provisions and offerings dwindle, my attitude was “God knows what we need. If He wants us to do this work, then He will provide.”

It all sounded very spiritual, but I had forgotten my part. The Bible declares that we “…fight the good fight of faith.” I was being presumptuous, not faithful.

We had gone to bed the night before we were scheduled to hold a service in Mineral Wells, Texas. We went to bed with no money for gasoline to go, and nothing to eat when we woke up.

I awoke with a start at 5:00 AM for no apparent reason, and thought “I’ll go back to sleep for about an hour.”

Immediately, I was in a deep sleep, and began to have a vivid dream.

In my dream, I was in a dark room, and I could make out shadows and shapes of large forms crowding me. These forms were cursing and blaspheming God.

I thought to myself, “I can’t stand this any longer”, and I began feeling along the wall for a door to escape. I finally felt a door handle, and I flung open the door and ran outside into the fresh air and sunshine.

As I stood there gasping for air, the Lord spoke to me. “Why are you running? Haven’t I told you to resist the devil and he will flee?”

I thought to myself, “That’s right. Why am I leaving? They are the ones that have to go!”

I walked back to the door and knocked. The door opened, and a large dark form filled the doorway.

“What do you want?” he growled. “I rebuke you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and I cast you out!” I said.

My eyes opened wide as I awoke, and I knew this was a dream sent from God.

I shook Glenda and said, “Wake up honey. The Lord showed me that we have to pray and rebuke the devil.” I quickly told her my dream, as we began to hold hands and pray. I said, “Let’s get up and get dressed. The blessing is on its way.”

We had no sooner gotten dressed, than there was a knock at the door. I opened the door and it was one of the ladies from the Church.

I welcomed her in and she said, “I hope you don’t mind me coming by so early. I had put together some groceries for you and was going to drop them by after work, but I felt like the Lord wanted me to bring them over right away. So I’m on my way to work but I had to come by here first.”

My wife and I were grinning from ear to ear as we helped her bring in the sacks of groceries from her car. We had told no one about our need for food. We had only told God.

After she had left, Glenda was putting up the groceries when I said, “That’s not all. We still need money for gas to go to Mineral Wells.”

As I finished speaking, there was another knock at the door: this time it was the Pastor of the Church, Bro. Sonny.

He said, “I was on my way to Ft. Worth to make some hospital visits, but the Lord told me to come over here first and give you half of what I have in my billfold. I have $14, so here’s $7.”

I thanked him, and asked the Lord to bless his visitation. We now had our gas money to go to Mineral Wells, but there would not be enough to return.

By this time, our faith was so high, that we believed if God had to, He would multiply the gas the same way that He had multiplied the loaves and the fishes!

We arrived in Mineral Wells and had a wonderful service and souls were saved.

After the service, something happened that had never happened before, nor has ever happened since.

A little elderly gentleman on his walker came up to me, reached into his sock, and pulled out three crumpled $1 bills and said, “God wants me to give this to you.”

I started to say, “Oh no brother, you need to keep that.” when suddenly, God spoke so loudly in my heart that it seemed almost audible.

“How dare you shame my servant? He wants to give an offering unto me and that is all he has.”

I felt so humbled and ashamed as I accepted the offering and thanked him. Another little lady opened up her coin purse and handed me $2.

No one other than my wife and God knew that we did not have enough gasoline to drive back to Weatherford. The Lord had provided us with the gas money we needed and had taught me some humbling lessons in the process.

NEXT: “Sound Doctrine”

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

A CHRISTIAN TALE: The “Servants of the Lord” (Part 6: “To Other Cities Also…”)

“And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.” (Luke 4:43)

The Lord began to open other doors of ministry also.

I had followed the advice that we always gave to others, and my family and I had begun attending a Spirit-filled Baptist Church. I knew that God had called me to preach in addition to the one-on-one witnessing.

I began to go with a gentleman from the Church and assist in some nursing home ministry and I had prayed asking the Lord to help me learn to play the guitar.

We had gone to the State Fair of Texas, handing out thousands of tracts and had seen hundreds come to know Christ as their savior.

Bro. Tony had put together some Gospel Singings in the park, where the groups would sing and we would go out to the people and witness one-on-one. He had even arranged for us to have a soul-winning crusade in the football stadium in Lewisville, TX.

However, my life, family, and ministry were about to experience a dramatic change.

Bro. Tony had been invited to bring a soul-winning team to Weatherford, TX and teach soul winning to a group of hungry Christians. I did not realize that this was the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.

My wife Glenda had begun to go out with me and witness on the streets and in the parks whenever she was able, but taking care of our precious three year old daughter was a full time job.

My guitar playing had improved to the point that I would take my guitar to the nursing home and sing for the residents before I would bring the message from the Word of God. Even my daughter had begun to learn and sing some of the songs with me.

However, they would not be able to go to Weatherford. We were going to be there for a week, holding soul-winning classes in the early evening and then taking people out on the streets to witness at night.

When we arrived in Weatherford, we stayed in a two-story building near the downtown square that was being used to store spare beds and other nursing home equipment. After settling in, we went across the street to arrive early at the meeting hall for the first soul-winning meeting.

Having lived in Dallas for most of my life, I was accustomed to getting someplace early to beat the traffic and get a good seat, but as the time approached for the meeting to begin, not a single person had showed up.

I found out small towns are much different than big cities.

Wondering what kind of response we were going to have, I was pleasantly surprised when five minutes before the start of the meeting, the doors opened and the meeting room filled up with people from most of the different churches in the area, all hungry to hear how they could reach the young people of Weatherford.

It seemed that Weatherford had the same problem that a lot of small towns have.

With little recreation, theatres, entertainment, or activity, the teens and young adults had begun to spend their evenings driving up and down the main thoroughfare, stopping and gathering in the parking lots of closed businesses.

There they indulged in drinking, smoking, playing loud music, and generally causing a loud ruckus.

The difference between this situation and something similar you might find in the city, was that on Sunday morning you could find most of this “wild bunch” sitting in church pews, but their evening activities decried their professed Christianity.

Although everyone that came to the meeting displayed a great desire to find out how to reach these young people, one Pastor seemed to stand out from the rest.

Bro. Sonny pastored a community church outside of town, and had already begun to reach the youth by having a regular Youth Night with singing, games, and preaching. He would even drive into town to pick up any young person that wanted to come.

At this first meeting, Bro. Tony presented a stirring message from the Scriptures about winning souls, and we shared about the wonderful outpouring of God’s Spirit and the harvest we were witnessing in Dallas.

Then Bro. Tony told the congregation that if they would come back the next night, he would tell them how to reach the young people of Weatherford.

The next night, even more people showed up at the meeting, and after going over the Scriptures contained in our Gospel tract, and how to use them to lead someone to Christ, he said “Here’s how we do it. We just go.”

“We put one foot in front of the other and just go. Most Christians will never lead someone to Christ because they never go. This is your opportunity to go. Come and follow me.”

And with that, we divided up into groups of two or three, headed out the door, and down the street.

The Lord had already spoken and showed me a particular way to witness to these young people in Weatherford.

When I would approach them about Christ, and they would say “Oh yes, I already belong to such-and-such church”, then I was to say, “Let me ask you one question.”

“If you were to die right now while I’m standing here talking to you and If your heart was to stop beating just like this (and the Lord showed me to snap my fingers), and you found yourself standing in front of God Almighty, would He say ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into the presence of the Lord.’? Would he find your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, or are you not sure?”

More times than not, they would reply, “I’m not sure.”

Then I would say, “The Bible says ‘I write these things that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life.’ Would you like to pray this prayer with me and be born again, and know that you have eternal life with God and have a home in Heaven?”

Many bowed their heads in prayer, and we saw hundreds of young people that week come to know Christ as their Savior. After prayer, I would always ask “How about now? Do you now know for a fact that you are saved and that Jesus came inside your heart?”

Without a doubt, the answer would always be “Yes!”

Truly we were seeing the fulfillment of the Scripture in Romans 10:9- “That if thou shalt confess WITH THY MOUTH the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

When we returned to Dallas, I went to visit my Mom and share with her all the things that we had witnessed God do in Weatherford.

As I was telling her about the way that I would witness to the young people there, she began to gently sob. “Are you alright, Mom?” I asked.

She said, “I don’t know for sure that I would go to heaven if I died.”

Now my Mom was one of the most righteous people that I knew. She was what we call in the south a “straight laced, die hard, dyed in the wool Baptist.”

With her there was no drinking, no swearing, no smoking, and no gambling. I can’t remember how many times I heard her say, “They gambled for Jesus clothes.”

And now this good, righteous lady was telling me that she was unsure of her salvation. The Bible says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

Without faith, there is no salvation.

God has provided for us to know that we are saved. When His Spirit comes and lives inside of us, it becomes a point in time to which we can look back to and know that we were born again.

“Well Mom”, I said, “we can pray and you can know for certain that you will go to heaven when you die. Would you like to pray?”

She said “Yes”, and she prayed out loud, asking Christ to come into her heart, and she was gloriously saved.

I had the honor of standing by her bedside years later when she walked into the arms of our Lord Jesus Christ.

A short time after our return from Weatherford, I was sitting on a wooden swing in the back yard of my mother-in-law’s house, when I received a visit from God.

I had read about this experience in the Old Testament, when the prophet would say, “And the Word of the Lord came unto me saying…”

I was reading my Bible, meditating on the Scriptures, gazing up at the warm summer sky, when the presence of the Lord came over me and He began speaking.  

“I am going to give you a bus, and you and your family are going to travel across the southwest holding revival services in nursing homes. I have much people there. I have called others to go and do this but they would not go. And the blessings I would have given them, I have stored up and will give unto you if you will go.”

I said, “Yes Lord, I will go,” and the presence of the Lord left me. Trembling, I was excited that God would call me to such a task.

I had previously quit my job before we had gone to Weatherford and I had begun working in the ministry full time.

I believed that the same God that fed the children of Israel for 40 years in the wilderness could feed and take care of me and my family if I would only do His will and do the work that He called me to do.

I couldn’t wait to tell my wife what the Lord had said, and we began praying for the Lord to make a way for us to receive this bus.

Knowing the Lord could do anything, I was expecting someone to pull up any day with a brand new Winnebago motor home and say, “The Lord told me to give this to you.”

But God usually doesn’t work the way we expect Him to. His ways are higher than our ways.

I continued to do ministry work through the Christian Outreach Center, going out on the streets during the day and to the clubs and bars at night, witnessing to the patrons in the parking lots and on the streets.

My wife and daughter had also begun to go with me and hold services in nursing homes.

On one particular day, I had taken a brother-in-Christ home from doing some street witnessing, when I passed a field with old junk cars and a white, partially rusted school bus sitting in it.

The bus had a “For Sale” sign in the window and high weeds had grown up all around it, as if it had been there for a very long time. I didn’t think much about it and continued to drive, when the still, small voice of the Lord said, “Go back. That’s the one.”

I thought to myself, “I must be mistaken, that can’t be God’s voice. God’s going to give me a new Winnebago.”

I kept driving, but the further I drove, the knot and the sickness I began feeling in my stomach got worse. Finally, I couldn’t stand it any longer, and I made a U-turn and went back.

The field was behind a rundown mechanic’s shop. I pulled up, got out, and asked the mechanic “Hey, is that old bus out there really for sale?”

“Yeah, it sure is. You want to take a look inside?”

I said “I guess so.” thinking, “What is the Lord getting me into?” and we headed out through the weeds to the bus. When he opened the door, and we walked inside, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

The bus had been completely redone on the inside.

It had a full size bathroom with a shower, a full kitchen, two couches that turned down into full size beds, closet space, two potable water holding tanks, two sewage holding tanks, and a power generator for electricity.

It also had two large butane tanks for heat and two large air conditioning units.

Everything was brand new and had never been used. The rusty places on the outside were from where the welding had been done.

The mechanic told me that it was once owned by a man who worked for Executive Motor Homes, and that he had converted it to take people on ski trips to Colorado when he retired.

He had completed everything, had put new tires on it, and was about to paint it, when he had a heart attack. He had survived the heart attack, but instead of finishing the bus, he used it as a trade in on some real estate.

The real estate agent had placed the bus at the mechanic’s shop hoping to sell it, and it had been sitting in that field ever since.

I was astonished at what the Lord had led me to, and I repented for ever doubting.

I got the information about the real estate agent and hurried home to tell my wife. The real estate agent wanted $3,500 for the bus, so I called my banker and asked what should I do next?

He gave me the name of an appraiser and said that after I had the bus appraised, to come in and we would talk financing.

I called and found out that the appraisal would cost $50. That was all we had in the bank.

My wife Glenda said that if I really believed it was of the Lord, then we should have the appraisal done. We prayed that the Lord’s will would be done, and I met the appraiser at the bus.

He appraised the bus at $2,800. I called the real estate agent and informed her of what the bus appraised for, and she said that she would take $3,000 and no less. This was still $200 more than what the bus appraised for, and we had just spent the last of our money for the appraisal.

Still, we believed that if it was God’s will for us to have it, then God would work a miracle.

I left to go to the bank with the appraisal in my hand, and as I went, the Lord told me to just be truthful.

I sat across from the banker and explained my situation to him. I told him that I had no money to pay tax and title, that I had spent my last $50 for the appraisal, and that I would need to borrow enough money to cover the total cost.

He sat and looked at me for a moment, and then he said something that I will never forget.

He said, “ Raymond, you’re telling me that you are a full time minister, you are going to take this bus and go to nursing homes where you can receive no offerings, that you have no support behind you, and that you don’t even know where your first stop is going to be.”

“You need to borrow more than the bus appraised for in order to purchase it, and add to that enough for the tax and title with no down payment; and yet (he paused), I know that I am supposed to do this for you. I’ll draw up the paperwork.”

We got the bus the next day, and drove it home.

Praise be to God who rules and reigns in the lives of men, and who watches over His Word to perform it.

NEXT: “Unto the Least of These”

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices