(Originally posted on May 11, 2007)
In 1974, God sent me to Israel and called me into the ministry at the Garden Tomb. God had worked a series of miracles to get me there to fulfill his purpose at that time in my life. I had no idea that there was a reason for me going to Israel. I was not expecting what happened at the Garden Tomb. I was sitting there on a Sunday morning listening to a minister named Van der Hooven and God began revealing to my spirit by the Holy Spirit these words in Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." For one hour the Spirit of God burned these words in my heart, and since that day I have known that God called me into the ministry. The word power in verse 8 is "dunamis", or the ability of God.
If you study the life of Jesus in the book of Luke, you will notice that after he was baptized in the Holy Spirit coming out of the river Jordan, he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness being forty days tempted of the devil. It states in Luke 4:14-32, "And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. v.14
And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. v.15
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. v.16
And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, v.17
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, v.18
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. v.19
And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. v.20
And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. v.21
And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? v.22
And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. v.23
And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. v.24
But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; v.25
But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. v.26
And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. v.27
And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, v.28
And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. v.29
But he passing through the midst of them went his way, v.30
And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. v.31
And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power." v.32
After I returned home from Israel in June 1974, I was amazed at how my life changed. I knew that I had been called into the ministry, but I was not prepared to deal with all the people that I was to offend with my words. God gave me three messages to teach in my home on Sunday afternoon and at the end of the third Sunday message there was no one left to attend my bible study.
At that time, I was invited by a Southern Baptist preacher to attend a meeting at his church with an elder and a deacon. Each Wednesday morning we would gather for a couple of hours and talk about various topics. One day during one of our discussions an elder, who was a son of a Southern Baptist preacher, said that he believed Jesus sinned and the only time he didn't sin was during the forty days when he was in the wilderness while fasting. I personally could not believe that anyone could believe that Jesus ever committed a sin.
Each Wednesday morning when I gathered with them they became more and more offended at my words, and they were attacking me more and more trying to find something to accuse me of. One day they told me that I had hidden sin in my life and I said, "Well what would that hidden sin be," and they said that they didn't know. I said, "Well if it is hidden sin and you don't know what it is, then how do you know that I have it?" They then began to question me more direct. They said, "Are you committing adultery?" I said, "No." "Are you sure?" they said. I said, "Well I think I would know if I were committing adultery." They asked, "Are you lying to your clients?" I answered, "No." "Are you stealing from you clients?" they asked. No was my answer. Then a most remarkable thing happened, this elder began to confess his sins. He was accusing me of what was in his heart.
Finally the day came when they said "Would you turn to I Timothy chapter 5?" I said, "Well of course." They said, "Would you read verses 17 and 18? And would you explain verse 17 to us?" I said, "Well of course an elder that rules well and labors in the word should receive money." They said, "Really, do you believe that an elder that rules well is entitled to receive tithes and offerings?" I said, "Absolutely." Then their wicked hearts were exposed and they said, "Are you taking money from people that attend this church?" I said, "No I have not taken any money from any one that attends your church, nor have I taken money from any other person." The love of money, being the root of all evil, was exposed in their hearts.
About that time they began to accuse me and tell me what a rebel I was and that I needed to be under pastoral care. They informed me that I was in rebellion against God and since they had a local assembly that I needed to join. After much prayer and consideration, I decided to join, so I informed them that I would join their church on a Sunday evening. Suddenly their wickedness was exposed to me because they became so friendly and so nice. I said to myself, "How can I be so wicked yesterday and such a rebel and now that I am going to join them I am such a decent person?" After the service that Sunday evening, I was asked along with my family to come and stand in front of the church so all the members could come and welcome us as members of their congregation. An associate pastor came up to me and said, "Give me your hands." I extended them and he took my hands and said, "Young man, you are under a great cloud of darkness." Out of my heart by the Spirit of God, I said, "I know who you are Satan, and I bind you in Jesus name." I did that in front of the entire group. The pastor said, "Oh what a mess you have made out of this situation now." I had joined as far as they were concerned, and they had me on their roll. That is really all that they wanted just to bring me into bondage. I never went back to that assembly after that, but I know for a fact that they kept me on their roll.
By 1974, I could clearly see in scripture and understood from the commission that I should bring forth fruit. (Matthew 28:18-20) In verse 19 it says, teach all nations. In the margin of my bible it says make disciples or Christians of all nations. I had begun looking for people that I could teach the truth, and God brought Ralph and Debbie Edge into my life. (Ralph is my nephew.) In 1976, I received a phone call from a lady that I knew in Plano to come and attend to one of her horses that was supposedly lame. When I examined the horse I said, "Linda, there's no lameness in this horse, this horse is not lame at all." As we were walking back to my car I asked her, "Where is Jack?" Her family had been former clients of mine for years. She said, "He is at CFNI (Christ for the Nations Institute). The next day Jack and Cynthia Turquette were at my house and I started teaching them. By 1977, I was back in McKinney reestablishing my veterinary practice and I met Bruce Geer, Dale and Sharon Littrell, and then Terry Mai, who was the choir director at First United Methodist Church in McKinney. God continued to add people to my ministry.
In 1980, God sent me to Plano to speak to the people of Plano. We have been in this building since January 4, 1981. I went on radio; five-day broadcast in October 1981 and one-hour television broadcast live Saturday nights at 8 p.m. in April 1984. We have been debt free since 1985. We went national and international on radio and television in 1992.
In 1994, we began conducting meetings in Joplin, Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma, South Bend, Indiana, Houston, Texas, Anaheim, California, and various other places in the United States. From those meetings, Water of Life Churches were established in Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Plantersville, Texas.
During the past thirty-five years, I have seen many devils cast out and many sicknesses healed. In 1987, God told me that there was coming a great deliverance and that is still to come. In Romans 15 the Apostle Paul writing to the Romans states in verse 29, "And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ." I am personally convinced that I have not yet attained the fulness of the blessing of the gospel, but I expect to attain to that fulness based on my calling in 1974 when God spoke Acts 1:8 to my spirit. I could see what followed in the book of Acts. It has been 33 years since that calling and I have not departed from my God. He has led me in paths of righteousness to restore my soul.
One of the most significant paths of righteousness God led me through with others of Water of Life was to fly by private charter and pray in all 48 states of the mainland from July 2003 to June 2004. During this period, I overcame many principalities and powers of the United States and with every overcoming there was a restoration of my soul.
God's word tells us in Joel 2:25-27, "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. v.25
And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. v.26
And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed." v.27
Verse 28 tells us God was able to pour out his spirit through about one hundred twenty new wine skins. Verses 26 and 27 have been a great comfort to my life for many years. Both verses say my people shall never be ashamed.
Philippians 3:13-14 says, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, v.13
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." v.14
I know the high calling of God in Christ Jesus for my life was revealed to me in Acts 1:8 in June 1974 in Jerusalem.
Servant and apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ