…But the people who know their God shall prove themselves strong and shall stand firm and do exploits [for God]. (Daniel 11:32 AMP Version)
(1) Knowing God.
One of the most common cliches used by us Christians is: “We need to know God.”
But what are we really saying when we use this phrase? Are we saying that we need to learn more about God? More facts. More sermons. More teachings. More seminars. More schooling. More church. More books. More of this. More of that.
Now, there are certainly some valuable lessons in learning more about God by whatever methods possible, but I believe this type of knowledge falls far short of us really knowing God.
Larry Burkett, on his radio program, once talked about the most amazing Christian that he had ever met. He had attended a church service where a Chinese man had given his testimony.
This particular Chinese man testified how he was a lieutenant of Mao Zedong when Mao took over China in 1949. The man’s assignment was the rural areas of China where he was ordered to execute every government official, every Christian leader and every Chinese national who had ever visited America or attended a U.S. school. This was one of many bloodbath purges during Mao’s reign where he hoped to rid the nation of Western influence.
In the man’s zeal, he determined that he needed to return to Peking (now called Beijing) and tell Mao the good news about Jesus. Needless to say, Mao was not impressed with the gospel and ordered the Chinese man to recant of his new love for Christ. The man refused.
Then, Mao brought the man’s wife and children to the man with soldiers standing next to each person with guns to their heads. Mao said, “Recant or I will kill your family.”
The man wept and pleaded, but said, “I cannot deny Jesus. He is so real to me.”
Mao executed his family.
Next, Mao brought the man’s parents, brothers, sisters and every living relative and stood them before the man with soldiers standing next to them, holding guns to their heads. “Recant or I will kill all of your relatives and eliminate your legacy for all of eternity.”
Again, the man wept and pleaded, but he would not deny Jesus.
Mao executed all of his relatives.
Next, all of the man’s friends and their families were brought and executed before him. Yet the man would not deny Christ.
Mao decided the man was less than a dog and not worth a bullet. So the man was stripped of his clothing, thrown into prison and routinely beaten for the next twenty years.
But even in these hardships, the man led 90% of his guards to Christ and the guards ended up smuggling a Bible into him. Yet, the man never had fellowship with a church or a pastor or read any other books during his stay in prison. He just prayed and read the Bible when he could.
After Mao’s death, the man was eventually released from prison. As the man walked on the road, heading away from the prison, peasants working in fields next to the road were overcome by the Spirit of God. The peasants fell to their knees and gave their lives to Christ. All of this happened without the man doing or saying a word.
As the man finished up his testimony at the church, tears filled his eyes and he said, “I have visited all of the great churches in America. And sadly, you Americans do not know the Jesus that I know.”
So, how could knowing God, in such an intimate manner like this man did, have made a difference to William Branham and his healing ministry? Or for us today, in our healing ministries?
(Continued in Part 7)