The Lightnings of God: Thinking like John G. Lake
“The lightnings of God went through me…”
This is how John G. Lake almost always described the power of God that lived in him, moved through him, and utterly possessed him.
“God Almighty can look out of your eyes, and every devil that was ever in hell could not look in the eyes of Jesus without crawling. The lightnings of God were there.”
He seemed to be on a different plane than most that lived in his day, not to mention our day or anyone else’s for that matter. He was on earth, surrounded by heaven. Lightning is power in the sky connecting with power on the earth. What an awesome picture of the power of God that is available towards us who believe:
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:18-21 NASB
And raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (vv 2:6)
The Tangible Word
Lake was able to make such a statement because verses like these were not distant and far off. They were real, available, and tangible. They were written for him to walk in and not just read. They were not fairy tales, they were realities. One of my personal goals is to see a church that actually lives out the life described in the Bible making heavenly mysteries become earthly realities. To live out the call in the Bible and not theologize it away for a by-gone era. It’s real, it’s powerful, it’s for today! Salvation alone is an incomplete gospel. It is part of the kingdom, and all the fullness thereof that results in a life transformed into the image of Christ. His desire is for us to be fully saved, fully healed, fully filled with Holy Spirit fire and power.
Lake described it this way:
It is always God’s will to heal… God is willing, just as willing to heal as He is to save. Healing is part of salvation. It is not separate from salvation. Healing was purchased by the blood of Jesus. This Book always connects salvation and healing.
…we are instructed on the Word of God concerning the salvation of the soul, but our education concerning sickness and His desire and willingness to heal has been neglected. We have gone to the eighth grade or tenth grade or the University on the subject of salvation, but on the subject of healing we are in the ABC class.
Ahead of His Time
These statements were written on January 12, 1922! This was a man ahead of his time. I am part of a culture that envisions heaven coming to earth in accordance with Matthew 6:9-10; where Jesus instructs us not to recite something but to capture the spirit of the prayer, that, whenever we pray, it is with the understanding of God’s will for the kingdom of heaven to come to the earth. For many in the Church this prayer has been prayed for decades yet the true intention of it has been missed. The cry for heaven to come to earth seems almost revolutionary for those whose goal in life is waiting for the “sweet bye and bye.” Heaven is available here now, and Lake was tapping into this revelation years before the recent re-discovery, if you will, of Jesus’ revelation of the spirit of prayer on the mountain.
The goal of this article is for us to capture and learn from a man who was so possessed with heaven that wherever he went heaven touched the lives of those around him. I am going to share a few quotes with you to give insight into the way he thought about, reacted to, and processed the kingdom of God in the earth. All the quotes are taken from John G. Lake; The Complete Collection of His Life’s Teachings, by Roberts Liardon. This is part of God’s Generals. (See end of article for references)
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost
A Christian is a man indwelt by God – the house of God, the tabernacle of the Most High! Man, indwelt by God, becomes the hands and the heart and the feet and the mind of Jesus Christ. God descends into man: man ascends into God! That is the purpose and the power of the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
What theology! Have you ever heard it described in such a way? Most often it is lessened in its intensity, therefore the infilling of the Spirit in the individual seems lessened in its intensity as well. Even if you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit, immersed in the very flaming life of God Himself, there is still a greater baptism to undergo, from glory to glory. If we captured the thought and understanding behind the way Lake viewed it, we may therefore long for and enter into a greater baptism.
Listen as you read how Lake describes his personal baptism in the Spirit:
And one day, the glory of God in a new manifestation and a new incoming came to my life. And when the phenomena had passed, and the glory of it remained in my soul, I found that my life began to manifest in the varied range of the gifts of the Spirit, and I spoke in tongues by the power of God, and God flowed through me with a new force. Healings were of a more powerful order. Oh, God live in me, God manifested in me, God spike through me. My spirit was deified, and I had a new comprehension of God’s will, new discernment of spirit, new revelation of God in me.
What strength, what substance, and what a description! Here was a man that God poured His Spirit out on. I pray that we all step into a greater depth and a deeper part of the river of the Spirit of God Eternal.
He tells another experience in the Spirit, where He seemed to go deeper and experience more of God:
In 1908, I preached at Pretoria, South Africa, when one night God came over my life in such power, in such streams of the liquid glory and power, that it flowed consciously off my hands like streams of electricity.
His description of someone who is filled with the Spirit:
Will a man speak in tongues when he is baptized in the Holy Ghost? Yes, he will, and he will heal the sick when he is baptized, and he will glorify God out of the spirit of him with praises more delightful and heavenly than you ever heard. He will have a majestic bearing. He will look like the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be like Him.
The Power of the Christian
The same divine authority that was vested in Jesus is vested by Jesus in every Christian soul. Jesus made provision for the Church of Jesus Christ to go on forever and do the very same things He did and to keep doing them forever. That is what is the matter with the church. The church lost faith in that truth. The result was, they went on believing the He could save them from sin, but the other great range of the Christian life was left to the doctors and the devil or anything else. And the church will never be a real Church, in the real power of the living God again, until she comes back again to the original standard – where Jesus was.
Dominion over devils
I confess I would like to swear sometimes, and I would like to say, “To h– with preachers who are all the time preaching fear.” They preach fear of the devil and fear of demons and fear of this influence and fear of that influence and fear of some other power. If the Holy Ghost has come from heaven into your soul, common sense teaches us that He has made you the master thereby of every other power in the world.
Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. -1 John 4:4
And if we had faith to believe that the “greater then he” is in us, bless God, we would be stepping out with boldness and majesty. The conscious supremacy of the Son of God would be manifest in our lives and instead of being subservient and bowed down and broken beneath the weight of sin and the powers of darkness around us, they would flee from us and keep out of our way. I believe God there is not a devil that comes within a hundred feet of a real God-anointed Christian. That is the vision God put in my soul.
Here is a man who was not afraid of the enemy and walked in boldness. Many in the church don’t even mention the reality of demons and the powers of this age. The truth is that they do play a part in the kingdom, and that part is total defeat and devastation to them and their kingdoms, which are passing away (Dan 2). Lake sought to empower the Christian concerning these matters by revealing that God has given us all the power and authority over these dominions.
All these little insignificant devils that come along side in this sickness or that sickness or that temptation of sin have no power over you. Dear friends, from heaven there comes to your heart and mine that dominion of Jesus by which the God-anointed soul walks through them, through myriads of demons, and they cannot touch you.
The Fire of God
I want to leave you with a story he tells of how the fire spread in South Africa through a man named Don Van Vuuren. He was a man who was sick with tuberculosis. His friends sent him a letter telling Him of how God was moving among them (in Lake’s ministry). This moved him deeply and he cried out to God to be made whole. Within a few minutes he could breathe deeply, completely healed, and baptized in the Spirit. His wife, who wanted nothing to do with God, saw the change in her husband and that he was healed and gave her life to Jesus right there. In a week their whole house of 13 people were all saved and filled with the Spirit. The fire spread to his family and soon, 19 families were baptized in the Holy Ghost.
VanVuuren heard from God not long after, that He wanted him to go to parliament. Premier Botha tells of his encounter with VanVuuren:
…that man came into my office and stood ten feet from my desk. I looke up, and before he commenced to speak, I began to shake and rattle in my chair. I knelt down. I had to put my head under the desk and cry to God, why he looked like God, he talked like God. [Lake adds] he had the majesty of God.
For 18 days he went to different leaders of the government ”until every high official knew there was a God and a Christ and a Savior and a Baptism of the Holy Spirit.”
For several years before I left Africa, he (VanVuuren) went up and down the land like a burning fire. Everywhere he went sinners were saved and were healed. Men and women were baptized in the Holy Ghost, until he set the districts on fire with the power of God; and he is still going.
May the life of John G. Lake inspire you to be heaven living, breathing here on the earth. I believe if our minds can be transformed like his and even more in our generation, we will see the power of God in the earth like never before.
Quotes listed below from aforementioned source in order that they appear in the article.
Roberts Liardon, John G. Lake; The Complete Collection of His Life Teachings, Tulsa, Albury Publishing 1999., p. 447; p. 407; p. 367; p. 372; p. 376-377; p. 378; p. 411-412; p. 442; p. 448; contextual paraphrasing story of VanVuuren from p. 456-451; p. 457; p. 459.