The Healing of the Waters
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While driving up to Erie, Pennsylvania — it was the first drive of any distance I have taken by myself since I had some surgery on my knee about three months ago — and it took me about 13 hours to make the round trip because of road construction. I never saw so many road signs and orange barrels. I believe every orange barrel in the United States is up here on the road to Erie, Pennsylvania. And I got thinking about it: you know, we are still under construction. We are just as saved as we will ever be, but one day we are going to be like Jesus, and it is just wonderful to be with you folks tonight.
I asked Brother John Hamblin when I came in tonight, “How have the meetings been going this week?” He said, “Wonderful. We have had great preaching, great fellowship, and everything has just been great.” He used the word “great” I think about ten times in one sentence, and he said, “Brother Mendez got up on the piano and preached last night.” And I believe that. I really do. I think sometime somebody is going to tell me, “You should have been here last night. Brother Mendez walked on the water.” I believe he is going to do that one day, sure as the world. I am always glad to hear about good preaching. You know sometime when my flesh gets hold of me a little bit, I would like to go somewhere, sometime, and say, “How have things been going this week?” And somebody will say, “Brother Tom, we really missed you. The preaching has not been so hot this week.” But in 62 years, they have not said it one time. Somebody always hits a homerun just before I get there, and I like that. I tell you, I love preachers and I love to hear preachers preach. I like people to express themselves as you have done tonight, and my heart has been blest.
I want you to turn with me tonight to II Kings and the second chapter. I am going to read several verses to you tonight. I remember one time hearing Dr. Roloff preach. In fact, the first time I ever heard him was in Jacksonville, Florida when Dr. Bob Gray had invited Dr. Roloff and myself to be there for a week, preaching both morning and night. I had never heard Dr. Roloff preach before. He got up to preach and he said, “I have been flying all day,” (he flew his own plane) and he said, “I have been flying all day and I have been praying while I was flying — just got in a little bit ago — about what to preach on.” He said, “I want to read from the Bible,” and then he said, “Where shall I start? I think I will start at Genesis 1:1,” and that is where he started and he went all through the Bible. He never did have a text, but everywhere he went was on shouting ground and a burning bush, and I like that. So I do not know what I will take for a text tonight. I have some things on my heart I want to talk to you about, and I want God to bless us tonight, and I want you to pray for me.
Let us read from II Kings, Chapter 2. This is a great and wonderful chapter. This is the chapter in which Elijah was taken home to heaven without dying, and before he went, he asked Elisha, “What would you like to have? What request would you like to make?” And Elisha said, “I would like a double portion of thy spirit,” and great things take place in this chapter. The mantle of Elijah, the man of God, falls upon Elisha. I want to start at verse 12.
When Elijah was taken home without dying, the armies of heaven were in review, and Elisha saw the armies of heaven as Elijah went up. “And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan. And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither; and Elisha went over. And when the sons of the prophets…”
Now this was a school, a Bible College, so to speak. There were three of them mentioned in these chapters, and this was in Jericho. “And when the sons of the prophets…” [these were young prophets studying under the old prophets] “And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest per-adventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send. And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not. And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not? And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth; but the water is naught, and the ground barren. And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.”
And now let us stand to pray. Our Father in heaven, we thank Thee tonight for the wonderful grace of God that has been bestowed upon the people under this tent. Thou hast saved us and called us and brought us together, and Lord, we believe tonight that Thou hast something for us out of Thy wonderful Word, and may the sweet Holy Spirit of God tonight work in our hearts, and like He opened the heart of Lydia, open our hearts tonight and give us ears to hear what the Lord saith unto the churches. Oh God, tonight, bless Thy Word. And, Lord, this unworthy servant would ask of Thee tonight, Lord, give us of Your strength and Your power and of Your wisdom. May these lips not utter one word tonight that would displease our Lord, but may we speak as Thou dost lead us to speak from the Word of God, and may the Lord be honored and glorified. We ask it all in Jesus’ name and for His sake. Amen. You may be seated.
I think I will read a verse or two from this great miracle which took place in the city of Jericho when the waters were healed. In verse 22 we read, “So the waters were healed unto this day,…” [that is, they were healed permanently], “according to the saying of Elisha, which he spake.”
If I had a title for this message tonight, I guess it would be, “The Healing of the Waters.”
Healing in the Bible is a great and wonderful word. We had with us some years ago Dr. Hyman Appelman, a great evangelist, who won literally tens of thousands of people to the Lord. For the first time in a revival meeting, I heard an evangelist get up and take the Bible and preach on the subject of healing. I thought, at first impulse, that seemed a strange subject for an evangelist to preach on — healing, divine healing, in a revival meeting, where the great thrust has been to get people saved, and to have a great revival. But that is what he preached on. He preached on the power of God to heal. And here you see in the second miracle of Elisha, it was a healing miracle.
Now I am not talking tonight alone about divine healing as it refers to people who are ill. I believe there are a lot of other kinds of healing that we need amongst the Lord’s people tonight, and I believe that God can give that kind of healing. I remember hearing Dr. Rice years ago preach on divine healing. He mentioned it often, because it involved believing the promises of God and claiming God by faith to do a mighty miracle, and I heard him preach on healing. He said one of his girls — he had six girls — one of his girls had diphtheria and he said one day a nurse came and said. “We must quarantine this house.” Now Dr. Rice was a great evangelist. He went from place to place and was always on the go, preaching and honoring the Lord and getting people saved, and having great revivals. The nurse said, “You cannot leave this house. This house is quarantined now, and you cannot break the quarantine.” She repeated that the girl had diphtheria. Dr. Rice said, “You know, I am an evangelist, I have to preach. I cannot be locked up here all these days. I need to get out.” And she said, “No you cannot. This house is quarantined. You cannot go anywhere.”
Now if you knew Dr. Rice, you know there was a divine stubbornness about him that I really liked. If he got his head set, and he thought God was in it, nothing was going to stop him. So he said I believe that God can heal my daughter of diphtheria. He got down by the bed and called on God and he believed and he exercised faith, and he claimed the promises of God, and God answered his prayer and God healed that girl of diphtheria. Some folks said, “If she had it, the Lord healed her.” But, the doctors and nurses said she had it. But Dr. Rice believed that there was great healing power with the Lord. I am not talking about just healing someone whose body is sick. I believe there is a lot of healing that needs to go on amidst the people of God in this day. You know souls need to be healed by the blood of Jesus from the disease of sin, and I know God is able to do that, but there is a lot of other healing, and our hearts need to be healed by the comfort of God. I believe God can heal anything. You think of something that needs healing, I believe God can heal anything. God has the power, whether you believe it or not, God has the power to heal whatever needs to be healed about you and me tonight.
I remember a few years ago my wife and I went shopping for a refrigerator and a stove, and she picked out the ones she wanted. It was a beautiful pink enamel refrigerator and stove, and we had it ten years. One day my wife said to me, “The refrigerator is operating only intermittently.” I had to go look up the word intermittently to see what she was talking about and I found it meant that it would go on and go off and then go on and go off. Then it stayed off. So I had to call a technician to come and fix the refrigerator. I never will forget that fellow. I think he must have had a fuss with his wife because he looked so mad when he came to the house. He put down his tool chest and looked behind the refrigerator, took some things off and so forth, and he snapped his tool chest together like that, and he said, “This refrigerator cannot be fixed.” I said, “Now sir,” — you see, I knew something he did not know — he said it could not be fixed and I said, “Does it need a new motor … anything?” I did not have much money, but I said, “Whatever it needs — this refrigerator — you have to fix it.” And he said, “No, I ain’t gotta fix nothin’. You cannot fix that refrigerator.” And he slammed his tool chest together, and picked it up, and walked out of the house. My wife came into the kitchen and said, “What did the man say?” And I said, “The man said that our refrigerator is dead, and it cannot be brought back to life, cannot be fixed, and we are going to have to get another one.” Well I knew what that meant. That was a pink refrigerator and a pink stove, and I know my wife. We have been married nearly 59 years and I knew you could not buy just any refrigerator — you had to buy a stove and a refrigerator. And my, I got stirred up in my heart and mind. I slipped in there when she was not looking, and I hugged that refrigerator. I put my arms around it. You think I am just telling you a story tonight, but I am not. I said, “Lord, I believe you can heal anything, and I am in trouble. I am not able to buy a new refrigerator and a new stove, and you know my heart and my needs. I want you to heal this refrigerator?” I do not advocate you trying this, and I have never tried it since, and never expect to, but the refrigerator started running. I can prove to you tonight that it ran for another ten years, and then it did die. I think of these folks who talk about divine healing and who do not know the truth about the Word of God. You let them heal a refrigerator, and then I will listen to them with more interest. I believe God can heal anything. Anything that is wrong with you tonight needs the healing touch of God. Oh tonight I pray to have God heal things.
I know people who are unhappy because they do not like everybody, and you know that is an awful way to live. I made up my mind more than once in my life about this, but a few years ago with the help of God and on my knees in prayer, I made up my mind, God helping me, I never in my life would hold something bitter or a grudge against the saints of God. And I said to the Lord, “Lord, heal my heart. Let me love the people of God as you want me to.” I believe God can heal anything.
A few years ago when I first visited in the Bible lands, I went to the city of Jericho, and the guide said, “I want to show you something. you no doubt have read about it in the Bible.” He took us to where there were large stones and it looked like an arid kind of a place with this exception: coming out of those large stones was a pipe about this large, and water was gushing forth — clean, beautiful, clean, pure water — and the guide got some cups, and he said to our party, “Reach out with your cup, the water is pure, and drink until you are filled. These waters were healed thousands of years ago.” And I tell you, God has never changed. Why, the men of the city said, “The water is poisoned.” I know where there is a lot of poisoned water tonight, but God is able to heal.
This great miracle happened in what is called, in the Bible, “The City of The Curse,” the city of Jericho. God put a curse on it. It was that first city that rebelled against letting the people of God enter into the Promised Land, and God put a curse on that city. And God destroyed it, and God put a curse on it. There are two men mentioned in the Bible that both got cursed. It was the accursed city. I am not talking about men cursing, I am talking about God putting a curse on it. And one man said, “Curse or no curse, I like the things I see. In the fall of this city — the beautiful garment of cloth, and the beautiful pieces of gold and silver — and I want them. I saw them and I coveted them, and I took them,” Achan said. God said, “You have broken my Word,” and God destroyed Achan and all of his family. I am talking about the city of the curse.
Now wait a minute — hold on to that — the city of the curse. Hundreds of years went by, and one day an old wicked king ruled. Listen, we are not the first people who ever lived under rigid rulership. I am not talking about Democrats and Republicans. I am talking about people who do not want God, who do not believe in morality, and do not believe in purity, and do not believe in the Ten Commandments, who do not believe the Bible to be the Holy Word of God. I want to tell you, I thank God my crowd of people believe this Bible is God’s Book — yes, I am talking about this Bible — this Bible — and if Brother Kidwell, our song leader, has us sing that song so much where we have to raise our Bible, I am going to have to get a smaller Bible. I will tell you it tired me out to wave that Bible all that long.
But this king came on — Ahab — the most wicked man, and during his day the Bible says a man by the name of Hiel, who said, “I am going to rebuild the city of Jericho.” Not Jack Hyles, it was before his day, but a man named Hiel — “H-i-e-l” — and he said, “I am going to rebuild this city.” And the Word of God said, “There is a curse on it.” And God said, “He who rebuilds the city shall lay the foundation in the death of his oldest son, and hang the gates in the death of his youngest son.” The Bible gives those two boys’ names. And when Hiel laid the foundation of the building, the oldest one died, and when he hung the last gate, the Word of God, — which is always true and never fails — the Word of God came into effect, and the youngest son died. A man built against the will of God, what is called the accursed city in the Bible.
Well, a lot of people think this world is so cursed, this world is so far from God, and hates God and shows irreverence toward nearly everything about God in the Bible. Some people say you cannot see any blessings, any good things, any souls saved, or any revival, or any people called to preach. You cannot see any happy things in this day. It is the day of the curse. But I want to tell you, “The darker the night, the brighter the light,” and I believe in this world tonight God is still working miracles. Oh tonight, oh tonight, let God get hold of our hearts and believe that God can work miracles in a wonderful way. One man defied God in this city of the curse, and another man stole and took that which God said, “Do not you take it out of this cursed city.” Let me tell you, there are a lot of things that God does not want you to put your hands on in this accursed world. And whatever God says about this world I believe with all my heart.
In the city of the curse a great miracle took place. Now hear me. This city had been rebuilt for hundreds of years, and God took his two sons in the building. Man today is trying to build a lot of things. I tell you, this world has gotten caught up with what we call “hi-tech.” Everything runs by hi-tech today in this world. If you received the last issue of the Sword of the Lord, you ought to read one of the nicest little things, and funny in a way. It said that a high-priced salesman came to a place of business and said, “I want to sell you a filing system — there has never been anything like it in the world.” And so this business bought it. After a few months, the salesman came back by and said, “Well, how is the filing system going?” And they said, “It is the greatest thing we have ever seen. Just going wonderful. Why, this really works.” And the salesman seemed pleased about that and he said, “Well how is the business?” And they said, “Oh we do not have the business anymore. We do not have time for that. All we have time for is the filing system.”
And you know, when I read that little story, I thought that that is what God knows tonight. A lot of people are trying to build some kind of machinery with which to build a church, but God’s way is the only way, and to win souls in God’s way is the only way. It is not hi-tech! It is lowering yourself to your knees and going out with the message of God upon your lips. Oh, I believe in the city of the curse, and the world is cursed. Men are trying to build great ecclesiastical machinery that God is not in. Do you know men are trying to build the Tower of Babel all over again? They are trying to build something so you can get to heaven without believing in Jesus, so you can get to heaven and not even know anything about the blessed Lord. Men are building things God is going to burn to the ground — they amount to nothing. And man can rebuild a cursed city, but he cannot have the blessing of God upon him without believing and being obedient unto the Lord.
Men are building today for themselves another Tower of Babel. Man says, “We will bring in the millennium — one world — we will bring in the millennium.” Oh no, man is not going to bring in the millennium. Man is going to bring about the great tribulation — he is going to help — but no millenium. God is going to bring that. Aren’t you glad? You know, I have always wanted to reign over something. I know you have not because your sanctifier works better than mine. But I have always wanted to reign over something. And the Bible says when He comes — oh, we are going to reign with Him. Hallelujah! We are going to reign with Him. And let this old wicked world say all it wants to from the White House on down, let them curse and blaspheme, but one day we are going to sit in the White House, we are going to be in the palace, we are going to reign in this world and peace is going to be everywhere.
Some of you folks out there do not even love one another. One of these days you are going to love one another. You will have to because you are going to be in the millennium if you are saved. Oh, I thank God for the healing power, the healing touch of the Lord.
So these men that city of Jericho, the city of the curse, came to Elisha and said, “The water is poisoned.” Oh my, how we could take tonight and talk about poisoned waters. I know seminaries turning out poisoned waters. Pardon me, but some of these schools have gone so feministic. Now I respect womanhood, and Godly women, and I thank God for women who love God and whom God uses, but I do not believe God called women to preach. I just do not believe that. Everybody’s wife preaches a little bit to her husband, but I do not believe that. You say I am chauvinistic. No, I am “Biblistic.” The Word says, “If any MAN desire the office of a bishop, let him so and so.” I just believe that the call of God to preach the Bible, to be a Pastor, to stand in the pulpit, I believe that the call of God comes to men. Pardon me, ladies, you may be a lot closer to God than all the rest of us, but the Bible is still true, and there is poisoned water coming from many places tonight.
Many of these seminaries do not believe that the Bible is the Word of God. They have gotten educated beyond their intelligence. They do not believe this is the Bible. They talk about the original manuscripts and ask the dumbest questions. You know, nobody in the world can be as dumb as a well-educated theologian. God save us from theologians. For every theologian you have, you have got to have a great outpouring revival to offset that theologian. That is the fellow who thinks he knows all of philosophy and everything. Oh no, I will tell you, God Almighty is still in the business of getting out the truth, and a lot of people do not believe this Bible is the Word of God. I just happen to believe that it is. Nineteen hundred and thirty-five! My sweet mother lived to be 102. She was saved when she was just a teen-ager in the First Baptist Church of Russell, Alabama. In nineteen hundred and thirty-five when I got saved, my mother wept. She said, “Thank God you are saved.” I said, “Momma, I am going to be a preacher. God has called me to preach.” My mother went to the ten cent store and paid ninety-eight cents for a Bible — zipper on it, a black Bible — and my mother with her sweet hands took that Bible and put it in my hands and said, “Son, this is God’s Word. Now this is what you are going to preach. As long as God lets you live, you are going to preach this Bible.” And I want to tell you, if I did not believe tonight this Bible, I would walk out of this tent and give my Bible to somebody and I would never preach again. Hey, God have mercy on these people who do not believe the Bible is the Word of God.
My wife said to me a few weeks ago, “I want you to go to the big book store for a certain kind of Bible, a certain color and a certain size and I want you to buy one.” I said to her, “We have Bibles at the church, and we have Bibles at the School.” She said, “Yes, I know, but I want to give this to my niece who is graduating. I know what kind of Bible I would like to give her — a King James, of course — but I want you to go I want you to get this color,” (and she took her hands) “and about this size, and I want these words imprinted on it — her name and the year she graduated.” So I said, “Well, I know that is what you want. I do not think we have anything like that at the church or school, so I will go and get it.” So I went to the bookstore. I mean a big bookstore. I mean a bookstore where people used to go and you could get the Word of God. You would get books by the old saints of generations past who believed the Bible and were filled with the Holy Spirit of God, and were great soul winners and great separatists, and you could get your books there, and you could buy the King James Bible and there was not much else that you could buy. That is not so today. People have gone to some off-perversion of the Bible. Listen, I may be talking to someone tonight who has some other version of the Bible. Do you know that I read that only eighty percent of the Word of God is in one of the versions of the Bible being used by a lot of Baptist churches. Oh listen, shame on you if you use an NIV Bible. Shame on you! Who has the right to change the Word of God? No one. Who has the right to change what God has said, and who has the right to take something out of this holy Book or add something to it? You say, “Oh, but brother Tom, it is paraphrased, and I understand it.” Listen, you would understand this one if you would get the right Teacher. You go to the One who wrote it and talk to Him, and He will let you in on what He is saying. I know. I had to preach last night on something I did not know anything about — still do not know much. I prayed all through all those orange barrels but I could not understand it and I said, “Lord, I do not know what that means. I do not want those people on Wednesday night to know that I do not know what it means. I have to know.” That is like a friend of mine, Dr. Fred Brown. He told one time he met a fellow whose first name was Charles — he called him Charlie — they were good friends and this fellow was really great on the Bible. He lived in that Book, so Fred in his early days when he would find something he did not understand, he would make a note out by it saying, “Ask Charlie.” Many times he would ask Charlie, and Charlie would get the Bible and explain it to him in his younger days. But one day, God got hold of Fred’s heart as he was speaking to Him about the Bible — the Word of God — and what it means and who wrote it and who can teach it and who can open it up and who can use it like a sharp sword, and God said to Him, “Why don’t you just bypass Charlie and ask the One who wrote it and you will not have to fool with Charlie all the time.” And I believe that tonight. I believe God will help you know what the Bible teaches. But you say, “It has thees and thous in it.” That is alright. I like that. Like the old Quaker who never wanted to lose his temper. But one time he nearly did when he was milking a cow (And so did I. A lot of times I wanted to kill them. And I would kill them tonight if it was possible. I hate them. They would put their foot in the bucket while you are milking. They would swing that old tail around — with it frozen from going in the barnyard in the cold frosty morning — it hits you right between the eyes. You would find out if you are saved or not. If you have never milked a cow on a frosty morning — get up at four o’clock, feel your way in the dark and go down and get hold of old “Bossie,” and milk six cows, and have them step on your foot and turn around like that, you do not know whether you are saved or not). But I want to tell you, this old Quaker said, “If thou dost step on my foot one more time, I am going to smite thee.” Now I can understand that. He said, “Now cow, do not do that anymore,” And this old business of, “I cannot understand all those thees and thous,” that is an excuse to do wrong. That is an excuse, to not hold true, and not hold fast to the Word of God.
All right, this was a cursed city, and by the Word of God, thus saith the Lord, “these waters are healed.”
Now I want to talk to you about how they were healed just a moment. Dr. Lakin used to say, “I do not have much time, so I am going to do like they do on a train. I am going to take the caboose off, knock out some boxcars. I am going to do that with the sermon — just put them on a side track.” And I said, “Boy, I am going to learn how to do that,” but I never did learn because Dr. Lakin never did knock out any boxcars when he was preaching. He just waited till the caboose went by and then he quit. But I want to mention to you tonight about the water, pure water. Oh listen, water in the Bible has three things it stands for. Number one, it is the water of life. Oh we need pure water, pure water, pure, right from the Bible about how to be saved and who the Lord is, and why He died, and why He was buried, and why He arose again for our salvation. Water stands for salvation. I like what the woman at the well said when the Lord said, “Give me to drink,” and began to talk. The disciples went into the city to buy meat and came back and the Lord had led the woman to Himself and they said, “Has anyone given Him something to eat?” And Jesus said, “I have meat to eat that you know not of.” Soul winning! Soul winning! He led a woman to Himself at the well and He said to her, “Whosoever drinks of this water,” (I have had the wonderful privilege to drink out of it. The well is 150 feet deep. It is 90 feet down before you see the water, and it is wonderful drinking water in the city of Sychar.) This woman came to the well at noon, a dissolute character. She put her waterpot on the well and Jesus began to talk to her, and He said, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” And the woman said, “Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”
Oh, thank God for the water of life. I want to say to you tonight, if you have never known the meaning of the water of life — that is Jesus saving you and coming into your heart, coming to save you and giving you a new nature and making you a child of His — if you have never known this, oh, tonight, ask God for the pure water of life. Water in the Bible stands for the Word of God. Water in the Bible not only stands for salvation, but for the Word of God. It stands for power. Let me read to you a wonderful statement of Jesus. I believe its what Tom Malone needs tonight more than anything else in the world. With all my soul, I believe my greatest need is found in these verses. My greatest need as a Christian, as a preacher. Jesus said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly [his innermost being] out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” Hey, we need the Holy Spirit of God who lives in our body to let Him take over, and in our churches, and in our work for the Lord. In our own life, our body, we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. You know, water speaks of God and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I read a story one time about R. A. Torrey. If someone were to ask me, “Who did you learn the most from about sermonizing and building sermons and so forth?” I would say R. A. Torrey. I studied his sermons and tried to imitate how he built sermons and scripture and outlines, and so forth. It meant more to me, I think, than anyone else, as far as building sermons is concerned. But R. A. Torrey was filled with the Spirit of God. He was a world-wide evangelist. It was said one time of R. A. Torrey that he received a message from someone in New Britain, Connecticut. That is a thousand miles from Chicago. The only way he could go was to go by train — it was a Sunday School Convention — and they wanted R. A. Torrey to come and speak one time. He must travel a thousand miles by train and a thousand miles back, and this great man of God deliberated and sought the mind of God, “Shall I go or not?” And God put it upon his heart, “Even though it is a long trip, a thousand miles each way, you should go.” So R. A. Torrey went to New Britain, Connecticut. A great crowd of people, hundreds and hundreds of people gathered there to hear R. A. Torrey preach, and when he gave the invitation that night, he pleaded for Christians to let God take control of their lives. At the close of the service, a gentleman approached Dr. Torrey and said, “I know you are busy, but I must speak with you.” Dr. Torrey took him aside and brought up two chairs — he sat in one and the gentleman sat in the other — and the man said to Dr. Torrey, “I want the power of God in my life. I am tired of formalism, I am tired of empty altars. I want God’s power and if you would, if you would, would you take just a little time and pray for me? I want God’s power on my life.” Do you? Oh, that is my heart’s cry tonight. “Oh, Lord, give us your power.” That is what the man said. So in a moment the two turned and they got down on their knees by those two chairs and R. A. Torrey put his hands on him and prayed, and he said, “Oh God, here is this man who is a Christian, and in whom the Holy Spirit lives. Fill him so full of the Spirit that out of his life shall flow rivers of water and great things will happen.” Next year R. A. Torrey was asked back again, and he went back and someone said to him, “You remember the man when you were here last year who said, `I want God’s power in my life, I want the Lord to take me — I want the Lord to use me’?” And Dr. R. A. Torrey said, “Yes, I do remember him. But you know, I have not heard anything from him.” “Oh,” they said, “you must look into this. You must find out. You cannot miss out on this.” And he said, “Tell me about this man. I have heard nothing from him all this year.” They said, “Why, he went back to his church where there had never been revival, never had souls saved, and the power of God was on him and the church was filled so there was not room for the crowd, people getting saved and souls being won by the hundreds, and the power of God came on him, and in one year his whole church and his whole life were changed and great things happened. Not only that, but other churches all around him have caught fire and God is burning like a wild fire in this part of the country because of that man who let the Holy Spirit of God have all of him.”
Oh tonight, God said, “I will pour water on him that is thirsty and floods upon the dry ground.” Jesus said, “Out of your life shall flow rivers of living water.” People will know that God is working in you, and you can get people saved and you can do the work of God.” I believe water speaks of revival. God said, “I will pour water upon the dry ground, and I will pour water on him that is thirsty.” I believe God can send a revival, and I want to tell you, more than anything in the world, we need a heaven-sent, Holy Ghost revival in our churches. The machinery will not do it, but the revival and the Holy Ghost will. We need a revival in this country.
My wife and I were up in Flint, Michigan a few days ago to see a lady related to a sister of someone in our church. When I first went to Flint many, many years ago, I went there as an evangelist and held meetings and had a wonderful time. Now there was a little church out from Flint in a place called Genesee. Some of you folks may be familiar with it. I had never been there before in my life. There was a rather good sized brick building called The Methodist Protestant Church. This was around 1936, about sixty years ago. Those people loved the Lord in that church and they asked me to come and hold a revival. I went there on Monday night, and took a song leader with me from Bob Jones College. We were working all summer in revival meetings, and I went there to that little church in Genesee. The other day I saw a sign — a road sign — had Genesee on it, and my, how my mind went back. That Monday night we went and seventeen people showed up. The old devil said to me, “You will not have revival here.” But there was a preacher there who said, “You know, I believe God is going to give us a revival. I am believing God, I am believing God, and my heart is hungry for revival.” So we kept preaching, and pretty soon his church was filled, and 123 people that week turned to the Lord and that church was revived. And my heart was revived.
One of the great fundamental leaders in America said to me about five years ago, “Tom, there will be no revival in the rest of your life and my life. There will be no revival. These are truly the last days.” I want to say to you that I do not believe that. I believe God can send revival when people want to get right with Him. God said, “On the thirsty soul I will pour out my Spirit and I will give revival.” Oh tonight how we need revival. And water in the Bible speaks of revival in many places.
You know, in this miracle God used human agency. Men came and Elisha said, “You men bring me a new cruse and put salt therein.” And Elisha took that salt and healed the poisonous waters. The only healing thing about the life of America is the people Jesus called “the salt of the earth.” Oh, I believe tonight Christians hold back the wrath of God. But it is going to come. And we are the salt of the earth. And Elisha said, “Bring me salt,” and the salt was brought and the waters were made pure, and they have been running ever since. It was an eternal work that God wrought, and God is able to do that again. Ah, pure water! And God used human agency, a man — men and salt in order to bring about a miracle — and the waters are still running tonight. It is as if to say, “God never changes, and what He has done before He can do again.”
I like the way Ecclesiastes put it. I know that we look at that as the words of man under the sun, but it is still the Word of God. Ecclesiastes 3:14 says, “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it.” Somebody say, “Amen!” to that. You know, when I got saved, I did not know it was forever. Why, in that little old Methodist church they practiced backsliding — they practiced it, all year long — they practiced backsliding so that next year in the second week of August you get saved again. So when I went, I knew I was saved. But bless God, I did not know it was forever, until a little while after I found out it was never going to end. He wrote my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and it is up there tonight. Hallelujah! It is forever! And the water keeps running, and God keeps blessing.
I had a letter a few days ago from a lady down in Tennessee and she wrote, “My son is going into the hospital in Pontiac to have open heart surgery, and he is not saved.” He was a man about the age of my son, in his early to middle fifties. She gave me his name and told me it was St. Joseph Hospital. So I went to see him and I found out the first time I saw him that he was full of religion. He had religion. He had read all kinds of religious books and he had been in this religion and that religion. I spent over an hour with him that afternoon just taking his religion away from him with the Bible. Finally we got all the religion out of him and he had to admit that religion cannot save you — only Jesus can. I went back the second time and I explained to him how to be saved and how the Lord could come into his life and he said, “You know, I need that. I told my children when they reached seventeen they did not have to go to church anymore. I was in religion, and now they do not go anymore, and my heart is broken about my kids. Yes, I need what you are talking about.” I made it plain to him from the Bible, and he was wonderfully saved. I thank God I am going to get to write his mother in a day or two and tell her what happened to her boy. I am sure she already knows it. But you know, the waters are still running, and God is still in the soul saving business. I went out last Saturday morning, went to the hospital for a while and had two cards where I wanted to go. I went to a place in Pontiac, drove up to the number on the card and I recognized the house. I had been there before and invited people to come, but now the house was boarded up. So I thought, “I cannot do any good there, the house is boarded up.” But the Lord seemed to speak to me — I do not mean out loud — but in my heart. That still, small voice said, “But the house next door is not boarded up.” So I walked up the steps and onto the porch and knocked on the door, and a beautiful, handsome Hispanic man came to the door. And I started talking to him and he started laughing. I do not mean ridiculing, but he got tickled and then I got tickled at him being tickled, so we just looked at each other and laughed for a little while. I looked past him and there were about five pair of boots about this high — heavy, heavy boots. I said to him, “You are a cement worker, aren’t you?” And he laughed again and seemed to say, “Yes, that is right.” And then he said, “No speak; I cannot speak English.” I did not tell him but I cannot speak the Hispanic language. But here was a friendly man for whom Jesus died who needed to be saved. We began to make signs to the heart and about the Lord Jesus — Jesus — to take you to heaven —up there to heaven, and you can be saved. Let Jesus in your heart. Finally I said to him, “Wouldn’t you like to be saved?” And he said, “Saved, saved, yes, yes,” and in less time than it takes to tell it, he had bowed his head and trusted Christ. The waters are still running. It is forever.
Oh God tonight, purify with Thy healing our water and our lives.
Let us stand together and I want Brother Hamblin to come and close the service. God bless you. Oh, I want the Lord’s best for me and for you, and let us ask God to help us tonight.