Hw 105 2


Published on

Magazine for spiritual growth

Published in: Spiritual
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Hw 105 2

  1. 1. Vol. 105-2 Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. — Jude 3 © minimil | iStockphoto.com
  2. 2. VIEWPOINT SINCE THE TIME of the apostles, Christians have had to stand against chal- lenges to their faith. Some have experienced challenges in the form of outright Darrel D. Lee persecution. Others have simply been made to feel uncomfortable for theirSuperintendent beliefs. Some have stood against public challenges such as laws that go against General Biblical principles or limit religious freedoms. Others have stood privately, as in times of affliction or temptation. Florence Crawford’s sermon The Trial of Our Faith (page 11) reminds us that her faith was tried at the founding of this work and throughout her life. While many hungry souls embraced the Pentecostal message that she taught, it was not well received by everyone. Attempts were made to discredit her Biblical stand. Church services conducted by her were interrupted by troublemakers, local newspapers published articles mocking the ser- vices, absurd accusations were made and false rumors circulated. Persecution notwithstand- ing, she stood firm. She said in her sermon that “after God saved me, I had a battle royal. But God had planted the truth in my heart; I knew that I was a child of God. Neither men nor devils could tell me that the change wasn’t real.” That truth in her heart helped Sister Crawford to stand. She received her deeper spiritual experiences near the onset of the 1906 Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles. After describing her spiritual walk and hunger to the leader, William Seymour, he declared, “Sister, you have a wonderful case of salvation, but you need to be sanctified.” She prayed through to sanctifica- tion the following Friday night at the mission, and was baptized with the Holy Ghost just one week later. Those three Biblical experiences were emphasized in the Pentecostal revival that soon spread from that simple meeting place around the world. Sister Crawford preached what she heard and experienced at Azusa Street for the remainder of her life, establishing the Apostolic Faith Church of Portland, Oregon, which still emphasizes the same teachings and continues to expand worldwide. With God’s help and the grounding of her three experiences, Sister Crawford stood—to the benefit of so many of us who came to the light of the Gospel much later. Now it is our turn. We must stand and carry this Gospel forward. Table of ContentsRunning the Good Race ............................ 3 Day to Day ............ 9Captivated by the Cross ........................... 6 Evidence .............. 14The Trial of Our Faith .............................. 11 Today’s Youth ...... 17The Restlessness is Gone! ........................ 16 Highlighting ourThe Ultimate Destination .......................... 19 Heritage ............... 21 Higher Way (ISSN #1084-9807) is published quarterly by the Apostolic Faith Church, 6615 SE 52nd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97206, U.S.A. and is mailed out subscription free. Periodicals postage is paid at Portland, Oregon. Postmaster: Please send address changes to Higher Way, Apostolic Faith Church, 6615 SE 52nd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97206, U.S.A. April—June 20122 Higher Way
  3. 3. Running the Good Race A “Runner’s Guide” for effective participation in the race of a lifetime. From a sermon by Darrel Lee P aul the Apostle knew that succeeding in the Gospel would require disci- pline and self-sacrifice, and he frequently communicated this truth to the Early Church in his epistles. In the Book of 1 Corinthians, he did so by referring to a scene familiar to his readers—the ancient Grecian footraces, where athletes trained and competed against one another. We, too, are familiar with footraces. There are no shortages of such events in the Portland area. On the first day of 2012, the Twenty 12 Resolution Run was held. Runners were invited to participate in the Spring Marathon Training Run on Saturday, January 14. A week later, in Salem, there was the MLK Celebration Stride Toward Freedom Run. There are 3K, 5K, and 8K runs. There are runs to fund cancer research, scholarships, clean water in Africa, and all sorts of other causes. However, races like the ones held in Portland are not the kinds of races that the Apostle was talking about. Paul was using a physical race to illustrate the concept of the spiritual race. Higher Way 3
  4. 4. Chicago Marathon there weight category, and would have an were more than 30,000 advantage over someone at the lower competitors, but 250 were end of that category. The wrestlers disqualified for cheating. In tried to maintain a weight just below many competitions there that critical point so they could qualify A definite are electronic devices which for the lower bracket. That required measure the runner’s prog- discipline. experience ress throughout the race in Paul referenced the need for dis- of salvation order to prove that he or she cipline in our spiritual lives. He said, did indeed run the whole “Every man that striveth for the is the course. There have been mastery is temperate in all things” starting instances where individuals tried to get in toward the (1 Corinthians 9:25). He made this point to stress that Christians should point for end of a long race, and per- be moderate in all things—not only haps were even temporar- refraining from the spiritually harm- running the ily awarded the prize, only ful, but even from that which is not Christian to be required to forfeit it “expedient” although it is lawful. If when it was discovered that an athlete can be disciplined in order race. they did not really run the to receive a “corruptible crown,” we whole race. They did not can be disciplined as we strive for that start at the right point, so “incorruptible” or eternal reward. The they were stripped of their prize we will gain will be more than awards. the wreath the Greek runners received, Those who participate which soon faded. It will be more than in the Christian race must a blue ribbon or seeing our names in Some physical races are just one have the right start. We do not casually the paper. Our names will be writtenhundred yards or one hundred meters adopt the name “Christian.” We must in the Lamb’s Book of Life!in length, and those who are fast can repent—feel true godly sorrow forrun them in a matter of seconds. Other sin. It takes the Spirit of the Lord to Stay focused on the goalraces take minutes or even hours. draw us to that point, but God’s Spirit The fourth thing we can do to ensureHowever, the race Paul was referring is faithful. Godly sorrow for sin leads success is to keep focused on the goal.to demands our attention for more to salvation. And a definite experience Runners look ahead to that pointthan just a brief span of time, whether of salvation is the starting point for where they will cross the finish line. Ina few seconds or a few hours. The spir- running the Christian race. Without a track meet, the first one whose chestitual race lasts a lifetime. that start, all of our efforts to live a hits the tape marking the end of the Some races limit the number of good life or behave as a Christian will race is the winner. The beautiful thingcompetitors. That is certainly not true be ineffective in terms of gaining the about the spiritual race is that we canof the Christian race. There is no limit spiritual prize. all be winners, every one of us. It wouldto how many can participate; God be disheartening to be in competitionencourages everyone to sign up. Be disciplined against those around us, knowing that The end result is different as well. The second aspect of success in if we won, our brother or sister wouldThose who compete in physical races the Christian race is to be disciplined lose. That is not the case in this spiri-are striving for a temporal prize or during the time between the start and tual race. Everyone can be a winner;earthly recognition. However, as the finish. The Greek athletes of Paul’s we only compete against the enemy ofChristians we are striving for an eter- day underwent a period of intense our souls.nal reward. Paul points out, “Know ye training that lasted many months. It Still, we must keep that goal beforenot that they which run in a race run was important to maintain fitness. us, particularly when the demandsall, but one receiveth the prize? So run, The rigors of training pay off, and are high. The challenges we face maythat ye may obtain” (1 Corinthians those who compete in any type of at times cause us to nearly faint, but9:24). There is a prize awaiting those athletic event understand that. For a if we “faint not,” we will be rewarded.who finish this race victoriously, and period of time in high school I was We may come to some bumps in thewe want to obtain it. a wrestler. During the time I par- road, but we know that God’s grace is Let us look at six aspects of running ticipated, I realized that those who stronger than any trial in our path. Toa successful Christian race. competed took very seriously what triumph in spite of it all we must con- weight bracket they were in. Even a sider the reward. One of these days the Get the right start few pounds could make a significant Trumpet of the Lord will sound and Not everyone starts off right in a difference. They knew that at a cer- then every effort we have made will bephysical race. I read that in a recent tain weight, they would be in a lower worthwhile.4 Higher Way
  5. 5. Maintain our confidence hungry for guidance, and The fifth thing we must do to be doing our best to sub-successful in our race is to maintain ject ourselves to God, andour confidence. Paul said he did not being willing and obedient. We Every one of us can qualifyrun uncertainly, or “as one that bea-teth the air.” He was confident, and so in that aspect. appreciateare we. The Christian race is not with- Finish the race those whoout hardship, but we do not have to befearful about what we face. The final aspect of a suc- started in The prophet Jeremiah was one whoexperienced times of hardship, and cessful Christian race is to still be running at the this Christianhe expressed his hope to be relieved finish. It is not those who race before start that are rewarded, itof what he was going through. Butthe Word of the Lord came to him: is those who start and then us and just“If thou hast run with the footmen, finish. We must keep run- continually,and they have wearied thee, then how ning! Many times thosecanst thou contend with horses?” who get off to a fast start consistently,(Jeremiah 12:5). In effect, God wastelling the prophet, “Jeremiah, this is fade in time. Sadly, the Christian “course” is lit- steadily keptnot the worst thing you are going to tered with those who had running.go through.” a good start but did not We too must have determination keep going. Paul chal-and confidence. No matter what we lenged those in the churchface, Christ is beside us. In Romans at Galatia, saying, “Ye did8:37, Paul asserts, “In all these things run well; who did hinderwe are more than conquerors through you that ye should not obey the truth? good fight, I have finished my course, Ihim that loved us.” We will face chal- This persuasion cometh not of him have kept the faith: henceforth there islenges in many forms, but we must that calleth you” (Galatians 5:7-8). laid up for me a crown of righteousness”keep our confidence strong in the We appreciate those who started in (2 Timothy 4:7-8). He went on toLord. this Christian race before us and just make it clear that this glorious finish continually, consistently, steadily kept was not for him alone, but for all those Master self running and eventually finished the who love the Lord’s appearing. That To be successful in this race, we must course. Others were running when can include you and me! We want tomaster self. Paul said, “I keep under we got saved, and they are still run- fight this good fight, we want to keepmy body, and bring it into subjection” ning now. We must determine to keep the faith, and we want to finish the(1 Corinthians 9:27). The phrase going until the end of the race. There course.“bring it into subjection” means to will be distractions and challenges If you have not yet started in this“lead captive.” Paul was accustomed to from time to time. There will be those Christian race, we encourage you tobeing in prison; he knew what captiv- along the way who disappoint us, do so today. Offer your life to the Lord.ity meant. In this passage, he declared but we will be rewarded if we remain Kneel before God, repenting of thethat he had captured himself—had steadfast to the end. sins in your life, and subject yourselfimprisoned himself, or controlled Some people choose to run a differ- unreservedly to Him. He will give youhimself to that degree. ent race. They want a way where there the start that you need to get going in While success in the Christian race is no hardship, no price to pay, no dis- this Christian race.is not simply a matter of willpower, cipline, no subjection. Those ways do If you have already begun the race,we do not minimize its importance. exist. In fact, we were all on that type then keep on running. Keep forg-We know that we must exert some of course before we were saved. How- ing ahead. Ask God to help you to beeffort. God relies upon us to make ever, there is no joyous reward at the steady, to be consistent, to have endur-decisions along the way that are con- end of that race. We have the best way ance, and to keep your eyes focused onducive to a walk of sacrifice. What if because it ends in Heaven! that goal. If you do so, one day you willonly the strongest or the smartest or We know what a one-hundred-yard be rewarded in Heaven! That is ourthe most talented could qualify? Per- dash is and how many miles a mara- hope and what keeps us motivated inhaps that would rule out most of us. thon covers, but we do not know how running this good race.But Solomon said the race is not to long our Christian race will last. Wethe swift, nor the battle to the strong. only know where it ends, and we know Darrel Lee is SuperintendentThis Christian race is not about being we want to be running when it ends. General of the Apostolic Faith Churchclever or talented or fast. It is about Paul got to that end. Shortly before and pastor of the headquarters churchbeing teachable. It is about being his death, he wrote, “I have fought a in Portland, Oregon. Higher Way 5
  6. 6. A college classmate and I were headed to class one day in March, 1990, when we discovered that the class was cancelled. She was in the process of moving Her question about a friend’s out of her apartment, so she invited me to come over and Christian poster was the help her with some packing. In her apartment, I noticed a Christian poster on the wall and asked a question about starting point of this young it. While she continued packing, she described the pain- ful way in which Jesus died, with nails in His hands and woman’s spiritual journey. feet, and His suffering for us. God used her words to really speak to my heart, and I found myself weeping because of what He went through for me. By Dawn Boyce Because my friend was packing as she talked, it com- pletely caught her off guard to see me crying, and momen- tarily she felt badly. However, she realized the opportunity she had and asked if I wanted Jesus to be my Savior. I said6 Higher Way
  7. 7. yes, and she led me in prayer. I asked Jesus to be the Lord of being saved, the Lord was still with you and you would nev-my life, and my tears were a sign to God, as well as to me, ertheless make Heaven. That teaching did not sit right withof repentance. Immediately I noticed a change and won- me. At the Apostolic Faith Church I learned that a persondered if the instructor in my next class would notice any could backslide because of sin and be separated from God.difference. That concept really registered in my heart, and the Lord Looking back, my story starts earlier than that day in witnessed to me that this was the truth. I also heard that1990. From my childhood, I was tender hearted. Though a person could live victoriously over sin, and I knew thatour family did not attend church much when I was grow- was right too. The Lord let me know that the Scripturesing up, I was taught that there was a God, to pray by my supported these teachings and this was the church for me.bedside at night, and to do the best I could. However, I felt Then God began to show me how to live victoriously.guilt and fear over the bad things that I did, and also found Restitution for wrongs I had done in my past was probablymyself very afraid of death. the most difficult concept I had to learn as a new Christian, Once as a child, I went to a special church service with but now I am glad for it. One particular apology was thea neighbor. At the close of the meeting, they asked if any- hardest of all. After the Lord had been speaking to my heartbody wanted to receive Christ as about it for awhile, I finally told Himtheir Savior, and I raised my hand. that I would not do it. I knew it wasI have a vague memory of going to wrong to tell the Lord no, but I felta back room and repeating a prayer that I was just too scared to make theafter someone. On the way home, I Immediately situation right. At that point, I hadwondered what I was supposed todo from that point. Because I had no I noticed a change pushed the Lord away, but within a week or so, I was so miserable that Iinstruction, I drifted away. and wondered prayed in the back room of my work When I was in high school, I feltdrawn to read the Bible and to try to if the instructor place and asked Him to please for- give me, telling Him that I wouldunderstand it. Still with no guidance, in my next class make that apology. Immediately, II started in the Old Testament and knew He had heard and answeredseemingly found a God of destruc- would notice any my prayer, and I started to work ontion and judgment. In time, I devel-oped the viewpoint that God hated difference. taking care of that restitution. The following year at camp meet-me and I hated Him, and that seemed ing in Portland, God sanctified me.the best relationship we could have. One Sunday night during the con-Yet, God saw the desire of my heart vention I was sure the Lord hadand still drew me. He arranged the given me that experience, but by thedetails of my life so my classmate would have the opportu- next night I was in great doubt about whether I truly hadnity to lead me to Him on that day in 1990. received it. For the next several days I prayed earnestly after After praying and experiencing God’s salvation in my every meeting, but then the doubts would return. Finallyfriend’s apartment, I became involved with a Christian a Christian lady gave me some wonderful advice. She said,group at the college and attended a church where some of “When the Lord does these things for you, it’s like drivingthe participants went. However, that church was located a stake. The devil is going to try to pull those stakes up, butquite a distance from where I lived, and I had to take public don’t you be the one to pull them up!” It was just what Itransit. So my new friends encouraged me to look for a needed to help me believe that the Lord had truly sancti-church closer to home. As I started to search for a place to fied me.worship, my goal was to go where the Lord led me. In the fall of 1992, it was necessary for me to change col- During my high school years, I had developed a friend- leges to obtain my bachelor’s degree, and two schools wereship with a young woman who went to the Apostolic Faith options. Attending Portland State University would allowChurch in Portland, Oregon. After I was saved, I sought me to stay in Portland near my family and the church I hadher out to let her know what had happened to me. Before been attending. Going to Western Oregon State Collegelong, we were in the same college music program, and I would mean a move to a small town called Monmouth,went to some activities at her church. The Lord began let- which was close to an Apostolic Faith Church in Dallas,ting me know in my heart that this church was the one He Oregon. Over that summer, the Lord made it clear to mewanted me to attend. that I needed to go to Dallas. However, as summer came to Up to that point, I had done a poor job of serving God a close, my housing search had not produced results. I feltbecause I understood so little about how to be a Christian. that staying in a dorm was not an option because of theGod knew that I needed to have the truth of the whole negative lifestyles and influences that sometimes occurredGospel or I was destined for failure! From the beginning of there. Two weeks before I needed to be moving, a min-my Christian life, I had been taught that a person sinned ister’s wife from the Dallas church called to say she hadand must ask forgiveness every day, so I had a lot of trouble found a roommate and an apartment for me. The Lordbeing victorious. I was also told that if you sinned after had come through with a miracle, and I was very excited! Higher Way 7
  8. 8. Little did I know how hard moving away would be. daughters. Neither my husband nor I had the privilege toAlthough I was twenty-two years old, I missed my family grow up knowing the full light of the Gospel, and it is asorely, but God used this to draw me closer to Him. Before blessing to raise our children to know Biblical truths. Godthat, when I went through hard times, I had relied upon has healed our children and provided wisdom for me inthe spiritual strength of my friends and older Christians in handling situations as a mother. Our older daughter hasthe Portland church. But now I was in a place where I did special needs. When she was two years old, she was sched-not know anyone very well, and I had to learn to lean fully uled to have an MRI to help diagnose her problems. Weon the Lord. It had been a struggle to take time for private asked the ministers at the church to pray for her accordingdevotions, and reading the Bible and praying consistently to the instructions in the Bible (see James 5:14). Within twowas a challenge. Going through this difficulty led me to months of their prayer, she went from a twenty-five-wordmake the time to read and pray in order to survive spiritu- vocabulary to over seventy-five words. There have beenally. As God drew me closer to Him, my desire was to do other times as well when the Lord has undertaken for ourand be all I could for Him. children’s health, and it has given them something to look All of the experiences I had that fall culminated on a back on to build their faith.special night in October of 1992. One Sunday night we had In recent years, my husband was out of work for ninea great prayer meeting, and afterward someone asked if I months. His company provided a twenty-two-week sever-had received the baptism of the Holy ance that carried us from July 2009Ghost. The realization hit me that I through Christmas. Although he stillwas very close to receiving this experi- God helped me did not have a job, we had money inence from the Lord. That week I spent savings and unemployment to getextra time seeking the Lord and even to understand that us through to the end of February.had a prayer meeting with my room-mate, who was also a Christian, in our He is not looking for Then the Lord supplied us with more money which took us throughapartment. The next Sunday night, human perfection, the end of March. Right at the endthe Lord gave our church anotherwonderful prayer meeting, and He but for the desire of March, God provided a job, and to top it off, we had no less moneyfilled me, as well as one other person, of my heart to be in savings than we did at Christmaswith His Holy Spirit. In recent years, when his severance ran out. GodI have come to realize that the time perfect toward Him. had truly provided for all our needs.I’d spent seeking the Lord’s will and The Bible says, “I have been young,drawing close to Him was the key to and now am old; yet have I not seenreceiving that experience. It wasn’t a magical formula or the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalmsome great thing I had to do or consecrate. The desire of 37:25). Truly that was our case! We would tell our childrenmy heart was to be close to God and to do His will, and that some people who are out of work for this long losethat brought the blessing of the baptism. their homes and have very little. Yet we were able to make After I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, I found every house payment, always had food in our home, andthere were still trials. The enemy did not want me to move had no major health problems during the time when weforward, and many times he tried to convince me that I had no health insurance. The Lord took care of our everywas not saved because of mistakes I made. Yet God was need.faithful to help me understand who He is and what He We still live in Dallas and are serving the Lord with atruly expects from me. Over the next few years, He took wonderful church family as we await His return. It hasthe time to show me what a loving Heavenly Father He is. been over twenty years since God saved me. Where once IGod helped me to understand that He is not looking for thought the Bible told of a God of destruction and judg-human perfection, but for the desire of my heart to be per- ment, now I see a God of mercy and love. It was God’sfect toward Him. To this day, He continues to teach me dis- mercy that led me to Him, and it is His love that has keptcernment on how to know the difference between the two. me in His care all these years. He is my strength, Counselor, One of the veteran Christians in Portland used to testify, Healer, Friend, Lord, and King. I“Young people, if you want to be kept, you can be kept.” In am nothing special. All of the won-my early years as a Christian, I clung to those words and derful things He has done for memade the decision that I wanted to be kept from sin and are nothing more than what Hefrom falling. One of my favorite Scriptures says, “Now unto wants to do for all who will choosehim that is able to keep you from falling, and to present Him as their Lord and Savior. I amyou faultless before the presence of his glory with exceed- so thankful!ing joy” (Jude 1:24). This has been an encouraging versefor my life, and I want others to know that anyone can be Dawn Boyce is a member of thekept and that God has no desire to see His children fail. Apostolic Faith Church in Dallas, God continued to work in my life and led me to a won- Oregon, where her husband is on thederful Christian man. We were married and now have two ministerial staff.8 Higher Way
  9. 9. DAY TO DAYO ne of the clear mem- want to say to someone ories I have of when bigger and stronger, “Hold my children were my hand!”infants is putting my finger What is there about hold-on their palms, and watch- ing a strong hand that is soing their little hands grasp comforting? I love the pic-mine. How tightly those ture the prophet Isaiah gavelittle fingers held on! As my us when he said, “Thus saithchildren grew into toddler- the Lord to his anointed,hood, they loved to hold to Cyrus [and we can puthands with me. Sometimes our names there in place ofI would give their hands a Cyrus], whose right handgentle squeeze, and watchtheir faces light up as they Hold I have holden…” (Isaiah 45:1). The Hebrew word © ArtisticCaptures | iStockphoto.comreveled in the sheer joy translated holden literallyof having their dad close means, “to fasten upon; tobeside them. Love, joy, secu-rity, and safety were all com-municated to them by ourclasped hands. I remember hearing about Tight! seize, be strong, cure, help.” God was saying that when our hands are in His, a strong, unbreakable bond is formed between Him anda little girl who was walking us. And like that little girlhome with her father late grasping her father’s hand,one night. As they trudged we somehow find reassur-along in the darkness she Just as a little girl finds ance and understand thatsaid, “Take my hand, Papa!I can only take a little piece comfort in holding her we do not need to be afraid. As children grow aof yours, but you take the father’s hand, we find little older, their perspec-whole of mine.” A few min- tive about holding handsutes later she asked, “Papa, comfort in clinging to our changes. They becomeare you afraid?” “No,” he Heavenly Father. increasingly independent,replied. “All right!” she said. and at a certain point they“If you are not, I am not.” By Mark Worthington become embarrassed to be How many times have we seen walking hand-in-handbeen in the same position as with their dad. That isthat little girl? It may not have been a been a major crisis, but just a nagging normal when it comes to a child’swalk in the darkness that concerned sense of insecurity or foreboding. The development.us. Perhaps it was something far more fact is, no matter how strong we are, Sadly, it is also possible to developdevastating: a financial crisis, troubles times come when we feel like a scared an independent mindset in our spiri-with a rebellious child, serious illness, child inside. We all face circumstances tual journey, and begin to withdrawor the loss of a job. Or it may not have at some point in life when we simply from our Heavenly Father. Perhaps Higher Way 9
  10. 10. ten years from now if of His people. For example, regard- Jesus tarries. He knows ing the advantages of the righteous, where we will be. The David declared, “Thy right hand Psalmist said, “If I hath holden me up” (Psalm 18:35). take the wings of the The “right hand” in Scripture is morning, and dwell symbolic of power and authority. in the uttermost parts In Psalm 37:17, the Psalmist asserts, of the sea; even there “The Lord upholdeth the righteous.” shall thy hand lead Those who serve God are not prom- me, and thy right hand ised a trouble-free life, but they are shall hold me” (Psalm promised that God will be there to 139:9-10). We do not sustain them. Those who serve God need to see far into the It symbolizes our confidence and future, for God knows trust in God. Just prior to the 1988 are not promised a what we will be doing. Winter Olympics, a television pro- trouble-free life, but they We simply need to let gram featured the training of blind Him lead us step by skiers for slalom skiing. After master- are promised that God will step, past every detour, ing the skill of making right and left be there to sustain them. every temptation, and every rough spot in the turns on flat ground, they were taken to the slalom slope, where sighted road. partners skied beside them shouting, It gives us strength “Left!” and “Right!” Think of the con-we start to think that we are capable and courage. In the Book of Isaiah fidence those skiers needed to haveof taking care of our own problems; we find this wonderful promise, “Fear in those who were issuing directions!we do not need to “trouble” Him with thou not; for I am with thee: be not By dependence on the sighted skiers’every detail. We lose contact with dismayed; for I am thy God: I will words, they were able to negotiateGod because we do not feel we need strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; the course and cross the finish line. IfHim that much. As we loosen our yea, I will uphold thee with the right we live in trust and total dependencegrasp on God’s hand and cease to be hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah upon God, He will never let us down.fully dependent on Him, it is not long 41:10). Just a few verses on, we read, Knowing all this, why would we notbefore we find ourselves alone, and “For I the Lord thy God will hold want to hold tightly to His hand as awithout comfort or direction. thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear child does to a parent? When life is It is valuable to consider some ben- not; I will help thee” (Isaiah 41:13). fine, it feels good to nestle our handefits of holding tightly to God’s hand Although this covenant commitment into the sure grip of our Heavenlyall the way along our spiritual journey. was made to Israel, it applies to us as Father and enjoy the journey. When It shows God that we love Him. In well. What a wonderful assurance! life brings challenges, what a com-certain cultures around the world, it It is a source of provision for our fort it is to feel the strength of ouris customary for adults to hold hands needs. When Ezra the priest desired Heavenly Father’s hand holding ours.as a sign of friendship. I remember to lead a group of Jews back to No matter whether we are new inmaking friends with a Vietnamese Jerusalem, he faced a challenging task. this Christian journey or have servedinterpreter. Once or twice he reached We read, “And the king granted him the Lord for many years, let us remainout to hold my hand. I felt a little all his request, according to the hand as little children who depend on theiruncomfortable at the time, given my of the Lord his God upon him.” The father for comfort, assurance, help,American background, but I under- journey was accomplished “accord- and guidance. In the good times, letstood that the young man was trying ing to the good hand of his God upon God grasp our hand. In the hard times,to communicate that he was my friend him” (Ezra 7:6,9). Scripture does not let us grip His hand tightly. He willand he trusted me. I think God feels tell us exactly what Ezra requested or lead us safely all the way to Heaven!that way about us when we cling to His how this occurred, but clearly God’shand. He understands that it is one hand of blessing was upon Ezra. And Mark Worthington is the pastor ofway we show our love for Him. it can be upon us as well. the Apostolic Faith Church in St. Louis, It provides us with guidance. Only It is a support in challenging times. Missouri. He and his wife have fiveGod knows what will happen today, Many verses in the Book of Psalms children, and are now enjoying beingtomorrow, next week, next month, or speak of God’s support and defense grandparents.10 Higher Way
  11. 11. The Trial© Jeff Preston | GoodSalt.com of Our Faith By Florence Crawford Florence Crawford, the founder of the Apostolic Faith Father toward His children. You and I belong to God—we Church, had a burning desire to spread the Gospel—a flame are are His children through the second birth—and He that was ignited in her heart when she received the baptism desires to give, nurture, and care for us. of the Holy Spirit during the Azusa Revival of April, 1906, in A child has confidence in his mother and father because Los Angeles, California. In commemoration of that event, we he knows that they are his parents, and he has a right to ask are republishing one of her sermons, which was preached at them. He might shrink from asking someone else, but he the campground in Portland on July 26, 1929. has no fear of his own parents and goes to them boldly with his request. Just so do we go boldly to the Father. We ask F aith is a great subject. There is nothing we need more because we are His sons and daughters, and we expect Him than faith, for we read in Hebrews 11:6, “Without faith to give us that for which we ask, if it is according to His will. it is impossible to please him.” Jesus said, in Luke 18:8, What makes a child fear a parent? If he has disobeyed, “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find there is a fear on the part of the child when he comes faith on the earth?” He was looking down through the ages into the presence of the father or mother. So it is with us to these last days, when people give heed to “seducing spirits, and God, our Father. If we have something in our hearts and doctrines of devils,” and depart from real faith in God. that separates us from God, we do not come boldly to the In Hebrews 11:1 we read, “Now faith is the substance Throne of Grace and ask for that which we need. of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” A We read in Hebrews 12:1-2, “Wherefore seeing we also substance is something real, tangible; it is actual material are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let which comes into one’s possession. If we have a book in our us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily hands, a million people might tell us it is not there, but we beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set know it is. We feel that substance in our hands. If we have before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our that “substance” of faith in our hearts, it will bring things faith.” We are in a race from earth to Glory, and the writer of that are not seen into our vision. Faith is that reliance upon Hebrews tells us we are to run this race with patience. Fur- God by the human heart that will bring to pass that which ther on in the same chapter, he admonishes, “Make straight we hope for, though it remains unseen. Faith will cause paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of hope to be realized. the way” (Hebrews 12:13). Many are turned out of the way In 1 John 5:14, we find these words, “And this is the confi- on account of lameness that comes into their souls. If they dence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing accord- do not have a steadfast faith in God, that immovable con- ing to his will, he heareth us.” There must be an underlying fidence in Him, it is easy for someone to come along and confidence in God in order for us to have faith. Confidence shake their faith or bring in a doubt concerning the Word. engenders faith. It would be impossible for us to believe Then they become lame and are turned out of the way. that God could do anything for us if we had no confidence As we run, we look unto Jesus, “the author and finisher of in Him. our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured The natural inclination of parents is to give, nurture, the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right and bestow care upon their children. So it is with God the hand of the throne of God.” At times, temptations, tests, Higher Way 11
  12. 12. trials, persecutions, and slanders come against us; but like say, ‘God, You know the end from the beginning. All of myJesus, we are looking for the joy that is set before us. There- ways are in Your hands. I am not planning my way; I submitfore, we run this race with patience, because we believe that it to what You permit.’” God sees whether we will submit andis profitable and that it will pay to be true to God at any cost. not become rebellious, or anxious, or begin to find fault Jesus faced trials when He lived on this earth. Verse 3 with Him. We want to be clay in the hands of the Potter,says, “For consider him that endured such contradiction of and if the Potter sees fit to mold us a little, that does notsinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your give us permission to say to God, “Why doest Thou this?”minds.” Many people begin to faint in their minds because I have seen potters work with clay, and it offers a greatof tests. The enemy attempts to bring discouragement, per- lesson. Many times you think the vessel is perfect; yet thehaps saying, “You will never make it anyway, so you might potter will take that vessel and cut off a little here and there,as well quit.” Or, “The people of God don’t feel that you and a vessel comes forth which is much more beautifulare getting along very well.” The enemy is doing his best than you ever imagined! That is the way God is moldingto turn you out of the way by causing discouragement. In us today, and the only way to becomes what He wants us tosuch times, we need only to look at what Christ suffered, be is to stay pliable in the hands of the Spirit and let Himand that spurs our faith and courage to mold us, chisel us, and get us into thego forward. place where He will call us a good vessel. Verse 4 says, “Ye have not yet resisted The writer goes on, “Furthermore weunto blood, striving against sin.” Many The enemy may have had fathers of our flesh which cor-people think that they have done a won- rected us, and we gave them reverence:derful thing if they resist the least little come in like a flood, shall we not much rather be in subjec-temptation. Jesus resisted unto blood!We have not resisted unto blood yet. If a but you can hold tion unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastenedtemptation were so severe that it would onto your faith us after their own pleasure; but he forbring blood from your body, then youmight have something to faint about in from the moment our holiness.” Willmight be partakersOh his profit, that we chastening pay? ofyour mind. God will enable us to resist God saves you. yes, it will pay!the devil and to stand against him. “Now no chastening for the present At times God chastens us. We read, seemeth to be joyous, but grievous.” It“My son, despise not thou the chasten- does hurt when the chastening hand ofing of the Lord, nor faint when thou art God is put on us that He might try ourrebuked of him” (Hebrews 12:5). You may feel discouraged faith. But He says, “Nevertheless afterward it yieldeth theif someone says something to you that disturbs you—we peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exer-have all been through that. God is permitting that person cised thereby.”to try you. We cannot always see that. At times God has sent “Exercise” means work. Late last night I saw some menHis Spirit down and rebuked us directly, but many times laboring on the campground; they were at their task untilthe chastening of the Lord comes from those who are the three o’clock in the morning. I thought, “The camp is all atclosest to us: those in our household, in our place of labor, rest, but these willing hands still laboring.” God wants us toor in our ministry for God. God wants us to accept all as be exercised—to be affected by the test that comes upon us,the chastening that He has permitted to come. Romans 8:28 even if it hurts terribly. We will apply ourselves to acceptingsays, “All things work together for good to them that love it, and let it do its work in our lives. When this exercising ofGod, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” our faith is going on, the faith in our hearts is deepening.All means everything. If you are newly saved, God has given you faith. You may God does not afflict His people, for He is not the author be scarcely a day old in the Gospel when God will permitof disease—it is a result of the curse—but God does permit that faith to be tried. The enemy will come along; he maythese things to come into our lives. We read, “For whom the come disguised as an angel of light, or as a roaring lion. HeLord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom may say, “You weren’t really saved after all; I don’t believehe receiveth” (Hebrews 12:6). At times, God may permit God did anything for you.” The devil will do anything onthe chastening hand of affliction to be laid on those He earth to rob a soul of eternal life. That is his business! Butloves. The writer of Hebrews tells us, “If ye endure chasten- your business is to have that faith in your heart and standing, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he by it as long as the heavens hold. When God saves you,whom the father chasteneth not?” Whatever the reason for drive down a stake at that spot. Let the devil howl and ragethe trial of our faith, we can have an underlying confidence and do what he will. You stand firm and say, “I am saved,that God will take us through to the end. We need not lose and I know I am saved. I have the witness that I have passedour faith in Him. from death unto life.” The enemy may come in like a flood, A woman said to me not long ago, “Well, God doesn’t do but you can hold onto your faith from the moment Godthis for me, and God doesn’t do that for me, and I just don’t saves you.know where I am.” I said, “When I ask God to do something The devil does everything in his satanic power to drawand He doesn’t do it, I just fall back into the will of God and people from God and to wreck the faith of the saints of12 Higher Way
  13. 13. God. But God has given us, through the new birth, a work place. The enemy is just buffeting me about!” You wouldin our hearts which, if we will hold it fast, will cause the come out much better if you would leave those thingsdevil to take his flight. unsaid. Many times people say those things to draw sympa- I was brought up in an infidel’s home and after God saved thy to themselves. God help us to just bear it quietly ratherme, I had a battle royal. But God had planted the truth in than telling it to everybody. If we flaunt our suffering, wemy heart; I knew that I was a child of God. Neither men nor may lose all the benefit God has for us.devils could tell me that the change wasn’t real. In the night Scripture tells us that the gold of our faith is purifiedthe enemy would shout in my ears, “Now, do you believe by the trial of fire. 1 Peter 1:6-7 says: “Wherein ye greatlyyou are saved? What about this? and that?” I would say, “But rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heavi-God saved me, that I know!” Many times I would speak it ness through manifold temptations: that the trial of yourright out loud, and things would clear up like a bell. faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, When God comes into the human heart, that heart is though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise andtransformed by power divine. The angels of God, God honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”Himself, and Christ the Mediator between God and man, Gold is brought into perfection through heat.are back of him, enabling the Christian Twenty years ago in the city of Santo hold fast in the integrity of his heart. Francisco, I went into a place where In Luke chapter 4, we read of thetemptation of the Son of God. “And Gold can buy they were refining gold. There were vats of molten gold, and as we cameJesus being full of the Holy Ghost almost anything, to the hottest vats, we could bend overreturned from Jordan, and was led by and see our faces reflected perfectly.the Spirit into the wilderness, being yet as precious They may have other methods offorty days tempted of the devil. Andin those days he did eat nothing: and as it is, Peter said refining gold now, but purified gold is like a mirror.when they were ended, he afterward that the trial of Gold can buy almost anything, yet ashungered. And the devil said unto him,if thou be the Son of God, command our faith is much precious as it is, Peter said that the trial of our faith is much more precious.this stone that it be made bread.” more precious. Through times of trial, God is perfect- The Son of God had all power. He ing His Church—those who are borncould have commanded that stone and again, those who belong to that mysti-it would have become bread, but God cal body of Jesus Christ.was permitting Him to bear the temptation that He might We read in 1 Peter 4:12-13: “Beloved, think it not strangebe a High Priest who was “in all points tempted like as we concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as thoughare.” He answered, “It is written, That man shall not live by some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inas-bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4). much as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when Many times we might attempt to lift ourselves out of suf- his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceed-fering that God has permitted to come upon us by com- ing joy.” This Scripture is inserted here, I believe, so thatmuning with someone else and getting a little help from when these strange trials come, we might know what theythat one. I feel that it is better for us to bear our suffering really mean. At times an oppression will settle down untiland let God prove us, rather than to seek for relief from you almost gasp. Many times I have asked, “What can thissome other source to lift us out of what God has permit- mean?” And then God brings that Scripture, “Think it notted to come. Now, I do not say that we cannot ask God to strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, aslighten it, if our trouble seems more than we can bear. But though some strange thing happened unto you.”why not let God try the reins of our hearts? In Psalm 66:10 we read: “For thou, O God, hast proved The devil was not done tempting Jesus. We read that he us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.” Solomon said, “Thetook Jesus up to a high mountain and showed him all the fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but thekingdoms of the world, telling Him, “If thou therefore wilt Lord trieth the hearts” (Proverbs 17:3). Job said, “When heworship me, all shall be thine.” Jesus answered, “Get thee hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). Therebehind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the was the trying of the heart; it happened to the stalwarts ofLord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” The devil the Old Testament, and it will happen to us.was a liar, for all the kingdoms of the world belonged to The Bible is full of the precious truths that can satisfy ourGod anyway. However, the temptation was not any lighter hearts and can make us strong, healthy, sturdy pillars in thebecause Christ knew that. It was not the appointed time for temple of God. That is what we want. When we wholly sur-Him to take into His power all the kingdoms of the world, render to Him, faith just pours into our hearts. Then Godso He resisted the enemy. begins to try that faith, and we must say, “Lord, have Your I feel that we have a great lesson there in just leaving mat- way.” In the very depths of our hearts we say, “Lord, not myters in the hands of God when God sees fit to allow some- will, but Thine be done.”thing to try us. Many people, when they face a test, begin Is that the purpose of your heart? By the help and graceto complain and say, “Oh, I am going through such a dark of God, it can be.  Higher Way 13
  14. 14. EVIDENCEI WANT TO THANK and praise God “There is no hope for you.” However, and felt scared by what I had heard. Ifor a recent miracle of healing. Two God put a hunger in my heart to get prayed, “Lord, I want You. I want toweeks ago the Lord healed my body down before Him and seek for the be saved and to live my life for You.”from an accident that I had been deeper things of God, and He did not Though I was young, I really meantin over two-and-a-half years ago. I disappoint me. He wonderfully sancti- what I said, and I knew the Lord wouldwas hit by a car going fifty miles an fied me, and one of those nights when help me the rest of the way.hour; both vehicles were totaled out I was down praying, all of a sudden I didn’t realize then how much of anin that accident. My back was injured Heaven opened and God healed my impact coming to this church wouldseverely; the MRI showed extensive body. Our children were very young at have, but all the little steps in my lifedamage to the spine. the time, and that night my wife was have been shaped by that event. I met I have suffered a great deal of pain home with them. When I got home my husband, Ryan, in this church andas a result of that accident. Two days after church I told her, “The Lord has now we have three children and servebefore God healed me, I had thought, done something wonderful for me. God together. The Lord daily provesI forget what it’s like to be normal. The He’s healed me tonight!” Himself in our home. Our childrenpeople of God prayed many times, I worked as a logger, using a heavy are a blessing from the Lord, and whenand God has answered. On January power saw. Many times before God hard times come, we know God won’t24, when I woke up in the morning, healed me, I did not have the strength let our family down.I was completely healed. All the pain I needed. Sometimes I had to lie down I received sanctification as a teen-was gone for the first time. The Lord for a while out there in the bush to get ager, and a few years ago at camphealed me instantly! extra strength. After the Lord healed meeting, I was seeking for the baptism Also, for years I have had bone on my body, I went back to work a new of the Holy Ghost. After the last youngbone in my knees, but that morning I person. people’s service, I had a prayer meet-woke up to feeling new soft cushions God not only saved my soul and ing that was really different for me. Iin my knee joints. I couldn’t believe it! sanctified me and healed my body, but didn’t receive my baptism, but I feltIt just happened so fast. I just thank He gave me a greater spiritual hunger His Spirit and that kept me seeking forand praise the Lord for saving me, for than ever before. I wanted to receive more.healing me, and for the many things the power of the Holy Spirit upon my The next day I returned home withthat He has done in my life. — Marv life. One night, God baptized me, and the goal to keep going deeper with theReed what a wonderful experience that was! Lord. I remember getting down to pray I thank God for this old time Gospel. in my home while my children were It’s real. It’s wonderful. It works, and I taking naps. As I prayed, I brought love the Lord with all my heart. He has up our upcoming youth camp. I was been good to me, and I want to give going to be a counselor and I said,AS A YOUNG MAN, I was a back- the balance of my days to Him. — Kirk “Lord, if the Holy Spirit would helpslider, but God’s people began to pray Hewlitt me do a better job for You, then thefor me and at the age of twenty-two, baptism is something that You areHoly Ghost conviction got hold of me. going to have to give me.” I told GodOne Sunday evening I found myself that I wanted to be a stronger momin God’s house. The Lord was dealing for my children, and that I wanted towith me and I wanted to be saved. I MY PARENTS brought our family to teach them everything I could aboutthank God that instead of going back America from Romania when I was Him. I definitely felt undeserving, butout the door unsaved, I made my way small. Dad wanted his family to be in the Lord knew the desire of my heart.to an altar of prayer. There, I was able America because there was no freedom He showed me that He loves us despiteto pray through to salvation. As I left of religion in Communist Romania. our human imperfections. There inthe church, I was so excited. God had When we got to this country, the Lord my living room, He filled me with Histaken the burden of sin from me and led my parents to the Apostolic Faith Holy Spirit!had wonderfully saved my soul. Church. I was saved at a Tuesday eve- God really revealed Himself to me For three or four years I had been ning meeting after a presentation through that experience. Afterward,very sick with Crohn’s disease. Many on the Book of Revelation and the I felt so encouraged to know that Hetimes the enemy had whispered to me, end times. I was thirteen at that time could do something like that in my14 Higher Way
  15. 15. PERSONAL TESTIMONIES OF THE POWER OF GODown home. I realized that we don’t teenager. Though I didn’t have much those two, he headed straight for me.have to be at church or camp meet- time for the Gospel, I did not have any He said, “Ivon, don’t you want toing for God to work; He can work contention with my parents about it. pray?” I did, but I don’t know that Ianywhere and anytime. Later, I talked They were Christians and that was fine even gave him an answer. I just turned,with my sister-in-law about what hap- as far as I was concerned—they could and we walked down to the altar area.pened. She was seeking her baptism pray and get a prayer through when I got on my two knees and asked Godalso, and we tried to encourage each I had a problem. Then one evening I to be merciful to me a sinner, and Godother. Not long afterward, she received nearly lost my life in a sailboat acci- did it! God saved my soul; He gave meher baptism at home too. It is such a dent down on the river, and I began to mercy. He picked me up out of the lifeblessing to know that God can meet us realize that even though I was young, of sin I was living and transformed mywherever we are in such a definite way. I might have to stand before God life. I thank the Lord for the opportu- and give an account for the way I was I didn’t join a church that night. Inities He gives me to be a light, and living. I knew it was not right. just gave my heart to God and GodI want to do my best for Him. I love Not too long after that incident, I saved me. I knew when it happened,the Lord and I want to trust Him in came into another one of these Gospel and in the days and weeks follow-everything that happens throughout services. When it was over, I knew I ing, I learned that salvation worked!my life. — Iudita Trotter needed to pray, but I could not get the Although I was still in high school, I courage to go forward to the altar of was employed in a machine shop that prayer. I went out and walked around summer. God helped me to go back on the streets near the campground. on that job with the same men that I After a while I came back, and as I was had run around in sin with and liveI WANT TO THANK GOD for His standing outside the tabernacle, I saw for Him. That takes something for ahealing power. A couple of months one of the brothers talking to a couple young person to do that. It takes Godago, I had to have surgery to remove of young men my age. I knew he was to make that possible, and God did ita malignant tumor in my bladder. talking to them about getting saved, for me.That night in the hospital the nurses and figured that if I stayed right where I’ve had a good life serving God inwanted to give me some pain medica- I was, he would come over and say the many years since that night whention. I don’t like pain pills, so I refused something to me when he was done He saved me. He has blessed my lifethem. After the nurses left the room, I talking to them. in countless ways, and I thank Himturned over and talked to God about That was a wise decision, because for all that He means to me. — Ivonit. I told Him, “You know, I want this as soon as he was finished talking to Wilsonto be for Your glory.” I had absolutelyno pain from then until now, and thatwas a difficult surgery. I thank God WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?I had the chance to witness to manyof those nurses in the hospital. After Acknowledge “For all have Forsake “Let the wicked forsakeI was discharged, home health nurses sinned, and come short of the his way, and the unrighteous mancame every day to dress the wound. glory of God” (Romans 3:23). his thoughts: and let him returnThey would ask me, “How is your “God be merciful to me a sinner” unto the Lord, and he will havepain?” I could tell them that I had (Luke 18:13). mercy upon him . . . for he willabsolutely no pain, and the reason was Confess “If we confess our sins, abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7).that God was taking care of me. I just he is faithful and just to forgive us Believe “For God so loved thethank God for His faithfulness to me. our sins, and to cleanse us from all world, that he gave his only begot-— Lyle Bishop unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). ten Son, that whosoever believeth Repent “I tell you, Nay: but, in him should not perish, but have except ye repent, ye shall all like- everlasting life” (John 3:16). wise perish” (Luke 13:3). “Repent If you are a new Christian, write us ye therefore, and be converted, and request the tract entitled, “Start-HOW THANKFUL I am for what that your sins may be blotted out” ing Out.”the Lord did for me when I was just a (Acts 3:19). www.apostolicfaith.org Higher Way 15
  16. 16. The Restlessness Is Gone! The bright lights of San Francisco did not offer the satisfaction this young man from Borneo found in© Thye Gn | Dreamstime.com an unexpected place. By Phil Wong G od has made an amazing transformation in my life. I arrived on a Wednesday, and went to church with my Considering my background, it is miraculous that I brother on the following Sunday. When I walked into the can stand before the people of God with the joy of church, the Spirit spoke to me, “This is where you belong.” the Lord in my heart. I am so thankful for God’s faithful- I did not get saved that day, but the conviction of the Holy ness to me. Spirit began to work in my heart. Little by little, God helped I was brought up on the island of Borneo in Southeast me to realize that there was sin in my heart. When I asked Asia. We did not have a Christian home, but even at a very Him to forgive me, He did just that. Salvation is the most young age—probably eight or nine years—I believed there wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. was a God in Heaven. I had friends who were Catholic, and The first change I realized was that the restlessness was I learned to pray with them. They told me to say the Lord’s gone. My longing for the bright lights of the city and a great Prayer and Hail Mary twenty times when I was in trouble. I time in San Francisco was all gone. Church became my life. learned how to do so, but that was the only time I prayed— I am thankful for the people of God. They were so kind when I was in trouble. and loving to me—they instructed me in the ways of the In my teen years, I felt restless. I liked to party, go to Lord and helped me to grow spiritually. I had never heard movies, and be involved in sports. Those were fun at the of being born again until that time, so I had much to learn. moment, but at the end of the day I would feel a void in my God knew my heart, though, and He helped me to grasp heart. I was not satisfied. the sound truth of the Gospel. Later He sanctified me and I am so thankful that God brought me to a place where filled me with the power of the Holy Ghost. I could hear the truth of the Gospel. My brother was going God has been faithful to me, and I thank Him for His to school in San Francisco, California, but he was in the patience as I walk with Him. It is truly wonderful to be a same predicament as me: looking for God, but not know- Christian. I remember when I was first saved, the saints ing where to find Him. In 1972, he told some college friends of God would stand up and testify that they had been that he was looking for a church that preached the truth. saved for forty or fifty years and that their salvation was One friend told him, “It is down the street.” still sweet. I thought, How can that be? Now it has been My brother found that church—the Apostolic Faith almost forty years since the Lord on Sutter Street. He got saved and began to write to me saved me, and I can truly say that about what had happened to him. I did not really under- each day grows sweeter as the years stand, but my heart said, I want to go to San Francisco. I go by. The desire of my heart is to felt that if I could get there I would be happy. continue to serve God. I want to be God had a plan for me. The day came when I had an faithful and share with others what opportunity to go to school in San Francisco. I remem- God has done in my life. ber as I flew across the ocean, I prayed, “God, don’t let this plane blow up. Just get me to San Francisco!” I thought I Phil Wong is a minister of the wanted to have a good time and get a good education, but Apostolic Faith Church in Langley, God saw the real need of my heart. British Columbia, Canada. 16 Higher Way
  17. 17. Today’s Youth My Own Testimony She saw answers to her mother’s prayers, but could © Rubberball | iStockphoto.com she prove God for herself? By Catey HinkleA couple of months ago, my brother and me. Although I was too that, when I was only eight or nine, mom testified in a church ser- little to remember the sliver incident, my mom told me that if I wanted to vice about how grateful she I do remember being told about it as I be sanctified all I needed to do was askwas for our church’s literature, which grew up. As a somewhat skeptical little God to do it. I didn’t make it any moreis prayed over for the healing of the girl, it was hard for me to believe that complicated than that; I asked thesick before it is sent out. She was saved Jesus would even know who I was. But Lord to sanctify me and then simplywhen I was three years old and at that I could not deny that He must know believed He would answer my prayer,point she began trusting the Lord for me if He took out my sliver. And that and He did.the healing of our family members. was only one instance among other Even though I was saved and sancti-In her testimony, she told of a spe- miracles He did for our family. fied so young, as I grew up I still hadcific time when I was about four years When I was seven years old, on the doubts about whether the Gospelold and had a sliver in my finger that way home from a church service, my was the truth. My mom had told meshe couldn’t get out. She put a church mom asked my brother and me if we that when she was saved, everythingpaper under my pillow before I went were ready for Heaven. I told her I did about her changed—the hatred indown for a nap, and when I woke up, not think I was, so later we went to my her heart was gone, the sinful moviesthe sliver was lying next to my hand on parents’ bedroom and prayed. She said that she had liked became repulsivethe pillow. a prayer of repentance out loud and I to her, and with the Lord’s help she Immediately after my mom testi- repeated it after her. At that young age stopped telling the lies that she previ-fied, I thought to myself, I have a good I did not fully understand salvation, ously could not control. However, myheritage. I have such a good heritage! but I truly wanted to have my heart experiences of salvation and sancti-I was raised in a home where answers right with the Lord and I believed He fication were much less dramatic. Ito prayer were common, and my mom would answer my prayer. That night, I did not “feel” anything, and I did notwas sure to point them out to my knew I was saved. Not very long after notice a difference in my behavior, Higher Way 17
  18. 18. probably because I was raised in a for help with relatively small concerns, life more deeply, and as I did that thegodly home and wasn’t old enough although they seemed important at Holy Spirit came down more power-to get into much trouble. As a result, the time. Once, I prayed about a class fully, until one day He filled me com-sometime during my middle-school I was struggling with. It was a very dif- pletely and I began praying in anotheryears I started having doubts about ficult subject for me and I felt terrible language. In one sense, it was a hugewhether those experiences had been after getting a bad grade on one of my step in my walk with God. Yet, inreal. There was a serious struggle in tests. I prayed for help, and my follow- another sense, it was just one moremy heart, but what kept me hold- ing test scores were 100%, 100%, and step closer to the Lord. The Holy Spiriting on were the answers to prayer I 95%. There was no doubt that God continues to be with me every day, andhad seen and heard about growing had come through for me, and He far that is still miraculous to me.up. Not only was there the time God exceeded my expectations! Another Looking back, I am amazed at howtook the sliver out of my finger, but God had His hand over my life fromthe time He stopped the snow while the time I was so little—before I wasour family made a road trip to visitmy great-grandmother, and when Every time I have even aware of who He was. At first it was the miracles He did for my family,He instantly healed my brother of sought the Lord, He which He was faithful to bring to myhis migraine headache, and when He attention. Later, He allowed just theprovided exactly enough money to has provided more right challenges to come at just thepay our bills—down to the penny. than enough to keep right times; challenges that were bigAlthough my dad wasn’t saved until I enough to cause me to realize I neededwas in high school, he had been raised me headed in the His help, but not so great that I wasin a Christian home and I heard manystories of healing and miraculous pro- right direction. overwhelmed by them. And all along the way were countless moments ofvision from his side of the family as encouragement and guidance throughwell. Despite the doubts I had, I could testimonies, sermons, Sunday schoolsee that God must be real because He time, right before I was supposed to classes, and friends. Believing in Godanswered prayers. run three miles in my gym class, I got and continuing to serve Him is not Around the time I started high a blister on my foot that made even always easy. The temptations, pres-school, I realized I needed to have my walking painful. I was really worried sures, and competing views of thisown testimony of answered prayers. about it and decided I had nothing to world are strong. Yet every time I haveThe Lord was calling me to make a lose by praying. In a moment, the pain sought the Lord, He has provideddeeper commitment to Him, but I was totally gone and I had no prob- more than enough to keep me headeddid not have enough faith in Him to lem running the three miles. These in the right direction.make that commitment. The miracles answers did not happen every day, but Truly, I have a good heritage. I wasI had heard about growing up were my faith grew with each one. taught about the Gospel from as earlygreat and I did not doubt what God Around age sixteen I began seri- as I can remember, and I have benefit-had done for others, but I could not ously seeking for the baptism of the ted in so many ways from it. I havededicate my life to a cause based on Holy Ghost. I focused on consecrating peace in my heart and a clear con-someone else’s experience. Also, I felt myself to God and praying for His will science; I don’t have to worry aboutthat if it was possible to have a close in my life. During that time, there were the future because I know the Lord hasrelationship with the Lord, like what I many answers to prayer and times it planned already; and God has givensaw my mom and my grandma had, I when God gave some kind of encour- me a purpose in life. I want nothingdid not want to miss that opportunity. agement, and each of those instances more than to give everything I can to Up until that time, I had been reluc- helped build my confidence in Him Him, and for those who are not savedtant to take real problems to God and in the promises of the Bible. After to experience these blessings too.in prayer because I was worried He my first year of college, God fulfilledwouldn’t answer, and I didn’t think I His promise to me and filled me with Catey Hinkle is on the editorialcould handle that. But as I determined His Holy Spirit. There was not a spe- staff of the Higher Way magazine andto prove God for myself, He was so cific final consecration before I prayed attends the Apostolic Faith Church infaithful to me. I began by asking God through; I just kept consecrating my Portland, Oregon.18 Higher Way