Way of Life Literature
Publisher of Bible Study Materials
I can’t speak for others, but I very much believe in a miracle-working God.
I have experienced all sorts of miracles since I was converted in 1973. I can’t count the miraculous answers to prayer. The 30 years we have spent as missionaries in South Asia have been absolutely filled with miracles. Large numbers of Hindus have been brought out of gross pagan darkness to faith in Jesus Christ alone as Lord and Saviour. There is not a greater miracle than for a soul to be transformed from darkness to light, from death to life. Many demon possessed men and women have been delivered and saved. One of these graduated from our Bible college a couple of years ago.
Our missionary work was illegal during the 1980s, and for at least three years the government had a warrant out for my arrest, yet God protected us and kept us there to see a self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating national church established that decade. When we began holding weekly gospel meetings in our house, a long time went by and no one was saved. Some showed an interest in the gospel, but they knew that if they were to reject their idols and follow Christ as only Lord and Saviour they would be persecuted by their friends and relatives, they might lose their jobs, and they could be persecuted by the government. Finally, we had a time of fasting and prayer, and one man was saved. Then another man, then that man’s sister. Then another and another. One of those early converts from pagan darkness is a pastor and another is a pastor’s wife.
I could tell of miracles associated with bringing Bibles and Christian literature into that land at a time when it was illegal to do so. One time I brought 1,000 New Testaments into the country overland all by myself, and the Lord miraculously brought me through customs without any bribing.
Our literature ministry for the past 45 years has been one long miracle of God’s protection, provision, and power. When I wanted to print the book Mom and Dad Sleep While the Children Rock in Satan’s Cradle in 1979, I didn’t have any money for printing or any means to have it printed. I went to a commercial printer in North Carolina to see how much it would cost, and when I learned how expensive it was, I went out to my car, drove down the street a couple of blocks, parked under a tree, and poured out my heart to the Lord. I said, “Lord, I want to print this book. I want to exhort your people about this danger, but I don’t have any money. You see all of that printing equipment back there (at the commercial print shop). You see that they have the capability to print anything, but instead of using it for your glory, they are printing all sorts of worldly junk. Please open a door for me to have this book printed.” The next week I was in Brooksville, Florida, for a missionary meeting, and after I preached, I was introduced to a church member who owned a commercial print shop. His name was Bobby Meadows. I told Bobby about my situation and my desire to print the book, and he said, “You are welcome to use my print shop. If you want to come in after we close at 5:30 each afternoon, you can use any of the equipment, and I will supply all of the materials.” What a miraculous answer to prayer! I had worked as a commercial printer, so I found some volunteers at the church and for about two weeks we worked from 5:30 each day through part of the night, printing the first books under the name Way of Life Literature. It has been like that every step of the way.
One time I went all the way around the world without any money. We were living in Asia, and I felt the Lord leading me to expand the publishing ministry in America. I wanted to travel to the States with the goal of visiting several places across the country, conferring with some pastor friends in search of the Lord’s will. The problem was that I did not have the money even to reach my first destination, which was Florida, and if I were somehow to reach there, I didn’t have a car to drive on the trip across the States, and even if I were somehow able to obtain all of that, I didn’t have any money to return to Asia. Believing the Lord was leading me to go anyway, I purchased a ticket as far as I could, which was New York City. As I was flying from London to New York, I learned that the man sitting next to me was a Christian who was returning from a printing convention in Germany. We talked about the things of Christ, but I didn’t tell him anything about my situation. Before we landed in New York, he gave me $300 in traveler’s checks. When I landed in New York, I called a preacher in upper state New York. We had never met, but we had briefly corresponded a year or so before that. He had no idea I was coming through New York at that time, but he invited me to come up and preach for him that Wednesday night, so I took the money the printer had given me and purchased a ticket on a commuter flight. After I preached, the church gave me a nice love offering, which enabled me to fly on to Florida. Within three days of arriving there, a man in the church gave me the keys and title to a late model car with the insurance already paid. I headed out on my trip across the full length of America from Florida to Washington State! I didn’t have any meetings scheduled and no one knew I was coming, but the Lord provided step-by-step across the country, then back to South Asia. This is one of many such experiences I could describe.
I have personally experienced physical healing in answer to prayer multiple times. On a trip to the States in the 1980s, I experienced a wonderful healing. I had contracted a severe amebic dysentery in Calcutta just before embarking to the States. My first meeting was in Cody, Wyoming, and those first two days were miserable as the dysentery was showing no sign of abating. I was very sick and was planning to go to a doctor as soon as I could reach the next city. I stopped that night at the home of a pastor friend, Bill Redmond, in Thermopolis, Wyoming, and we talked into the wee hours of the morning. Before we retired, he prayed for me to be healed of my sickness. He didn’t rebuke the devil or demand that God heal. He simply prayed for me and we submitted ourselves to His will. When I woke up after a few hours of sleep to continue my trip, I discovered to my great joy that the Lord had completely healed me, and I felt like I had slept a full night’s sleep.
On August 19, 2014, I was hospitalized with acute pancreatitis. The pancreas is like the brain center of the abdominal organs and is associated with the lungs, kidneys, heart, gall bladder, etc. It is very sensitive and has been called a raging bull when injured. It can injure other major organs, which is why it is potentially life crippling, even deadly. The first four days was a fog of pain and misery. I was taken off of all food and liquids and fed through an IV. The doctors said things didn’t look good and there was nothing further they could do, and they were worried about which direction it was going. One lung had collected water, and I needed oxygen to breathe. My kidneys weren’t working right, and my bowels had shut down. That is the day when the word began to spread widely and many people began to pray for me. We received many hundreds of e-mails and phone calls from all over the world. The leaders of our church also came over and prayed for me according to James 5. The next day, things began to turn for the better and within three days my kidneys were functioning normally, the intestines and bowels were working, and the blood sugar was normal. After a week, everything was good except I still needed supplemental oxygen. One of the leaders of our church prayed for me, and within an hour my blood oxygen level shot up above 90% and has stayed there ever since. The next day I walked out of the hospital. Six years later, I have had no further problem with my pancreas.
Another example of miraculous healing was experienced by our friend Paul Timmerman, a pastor in New York State. Some years ago, he told me of a healing he experienced when he was piloting seaplanes in the Coast Guard, and I asked him to write it down so I could share it with others:
“Hello, I’m Paul Timmerman. I give the following as testimony of the great power that our God has to heal a person. I personally have had several instances of divine healing in my life that were just plain miracles, that could be explained no other way. These were attested to by federal medical personnel and flight surgeons, and the healings that I have had are a matter of my own military record.
“The one that I would like to share for this moment happened in 1971, when I was serving with the United States Coast Guard. I was stationed at Port Angeles, Washington, [at the] Coast Guard Air Station there, flying sea planes and single engine helicopters at that time. While stationed there, I developed a very sore wrist condition, whereby the use of my hands was badly impaired, and I had growths on the insides of my wrists that started growing up and came about a half an inch high or so on each wrist. It would keep my wrist from moving, became very painful, and the doctors checked it out, and, after X-raying and all, said that it was a tissue growth called a ganglia. They tried several different medical ways to remove them, and to stop the growth of them, and to give me back the use of my wrists, and these methods failed. So they sent me to a specialist at the Army hospital, Madigan General Hospital, Fort Lewis, Washington. There the medical staff again X-rayed and examined my wrists and set up the date for surgery because there was no other alternative that they had at that point to remove the growths that were quite visible, and very sore, and hindering the use of my hands. They set up the surgery date, and the day before my surgery I had to report in to the hospital for prepping, for pre-surgery examination. And the surgeons examined again the X-rays and my wrists, and saw the extent of the damage, and prepared me for surgery for the following day.
“However, that evening, after the doctors left, I was in my hospital bed there waiting, studying my Bible, and just relying on the promises of the Lord, and I turned sincerely to the Lord and asked Him--knowing full well He had the power to heal through surgeons or through divine healing--and I just asked Him to work a miracle, and take these away, that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ would be magnified and glorified throughout that hospital, due to the miracle that had been worked.
“In the morning, much to the surprise of the doctors when they came in, the growths were completely gone from my wrists. I had full use of my hands, my wrists. And to this day, almost 20 years later, I have never had a reoccurrence of this phenomena on my wrists. The doctors then were totally baffled by what happened, thinking perhaps they had the wrong patient or whatever. I simply witnessed for the Lord Jesus Christ and told them that I had asked the Lord to work a miracle a night before if it be His will, knowing full well that He could, and that He had decided that it was for the glory and honor of Jesus Christ that He did. And He healed me that night, and like I say, it has never reoccurred. I went about the hospital just praising the Lord Jesus Christ and glorifying His name, telling others about Him, witnessing to the great miracle that took place there. And the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ went throughout that hospital to many military men, and the doctors, of course, had nothing to say but that they certainly had done nothing to change that, but that condition was totally healed.”
I will give another healing testimony from an independent Baptist preacher who believed in the miracles of God today but not the sign-miracles of apostolic times. The following is the testimony of evangelist Al Lacy, which he gave on May 8, 1996, at the Bible Baptist Church in Oak Harbor, Washington. At the time this miracle healing occurred, Lacy was a pastor:
“My wife had a rare disease which destroyed her kidney and it had to be removed. Eight years later the same symptoms were discovered in her remaining kidney. The doctors said that two-thirds of the kidney was dead. They said she had one year to live. One and a half maximum. She was too weak for a transplant. (That was in the early days of kidney transplants.) I called the 27 deacons of the church, and they anointed her with oil and prayed over her. The Lord stopped the disease right there and she has lived 21 years as of this telling.”
Bible-believing Baptists of old believed in and prayed for divine healing, though they knew that God does not always heal and His people must be willing to bow to His sovereign purposes in sickness. There are several of these accounts in the old Baptist histories. One example is the ministry of Owen Thomas, who pastored the first Baptist church in Delaware. Thomas was born in Wales in 1676 and came to America in 1707. He took the pastoral care of the Welsh Tract church in 1740 and continued in that office until 1748, when he resigned it, to go to Yellow Springs, where he died, November 12, 1760. Pastor Thomas left behind the following note: “I have been called upon three times to anoint the sick with oil for recovery; the effect was surprising in every case, but in none more so, than in the case of our brother Rynallt Howel: he was so sore with the bruises which he received by a cask falling on him from a wagon, that he could not bear to be turned in bed: the next day he went to meeting” (David Benedict, A General History of the Baptists in America, 1813, Vol. 2, Chapter 1).
The following is from Monroe Parker’s autobiography Through Sunshine and Shadows (Sword of the Lord, 1987). Parker was an evangelist, radio preacher, Baptist pastor, a right-hand man of Bob Jones Sr. and Jr. during the early decades of Bob Jones University, president of Pillsbury Baptist College, and director of Baptist World Mission.
“I had a rash on my chest caused by eating too many strawberries. I scratched it and got it infected. Thinking it was eczema, I put eczema remedy on it, and that irritated it. I would preach very hard in every service and would sweat so much that my clothes would stick to my sore chest; and the only relief I could get was to strip my chest and lie on my back and fan. ... I closed the York [Alabama] meetings on Friday night and went to Thomasville, Georgia, for a citywide campaign beginning on my twenty-third birthday, June 23, 1932. The railroad from York to Montgomery had cut off passenger service, but they sold me a ticket and allowed me to ride in the caboose of a freight train. In Montgomery I caught a bus for Dothan, where I spent Saturday night. Jimmie Johnson and Fred Brown were in meetings not far away. Fred was to preach on Saturday night; so Jimmie came to Dothan for a visit with me. We had supper, and he left at about eight o’clock Saturday night. I was suffering from the infection covering the front of my body, by this time from my shoulders to my knees. I fell on my knees and cried out in pain, and said, ‘Lord, if You want me to go to Thomasville, Georgia, You will have to heal me. Otherwise, I will go to the hospital.’ Then I stood up and fell backwards on the bed with my clothes on, thinking I would get up in a few minutes and prepare for bed. But I fell into a deep sleep and did not awaken until eight o’clock Sunday morning. The infection and pain were all gone. It was a miracle God performed in answer to prayer and to get me to Thomasville, Georgia, where He was to use me signally. I believe in Divine healing, but I do not believe in human ‘divine healers.’ All healing is divine, whether it is through sleep or rest or medicine or surgery or diet or physiotherapy or a miracle of God.”
I believe in miracles for today, but I refuse to force the Bible to say what I want it to say. For 47 years, I have passionately sought to rightly divide God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15). The Bible tells me that the miracles of Christ and the apostles were unique and were not something that will be duplicated by Christians in general. If the sign miracles were something that were done by Christians at large, even in the first century, how could they have been the “signs of an apostle” (2 Cor. 12:12)? If you go through the book of Acts and examine the miracles, you will see that the apostles performed them in the overwhelming number of cases. See Acts 2:43; 3:6-8; 4:33; 5:12, 15; 9:40-41; 19:12; 28:3-5, 7-9. There are one or two exceptions, but they were done by men who were ordained by the apostles and who were associated closely with the apostles. When Dorcas died at Joppa, the believers in general could do nothing for her, but they called for Peter, the apostle, and he raised her from the dead (Acts 9:36-43). This was the sign of an apostle.
Furthermore, the Bible tells me that God often heals but he does not always heal. He did not heal Timothy (1 Ti. 5:23) or Trophimus (2 Ti. 4:20) or Paul (2 Co. 12:1-10). God taught Paul that his infirmity was God’s will so he would not be “exalted above measure,” so Paul learned to “take pleasure in infirmities.” The Bible says that faith is more important than miracles (Joh. 20:29). The Bible says that kingdom power and glory is yet future, and will flow when Christ returns (Isa. 35). The Bible warns that the end times will be characterized by deceiving signs and wonders (Mt. 24:24; 2 Th. 2: 9-10). Jesus warned, “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign” (Mt. 12:39).
We close with the words of Fanny Crosby about the matter of health. This godly woman, one of the most greatly beloved hymnists of the church age, was blind all her life, yet she did not demand that God heal her; she did not believe that the devil had afflicted her with the blindness; she did not rebuke the devil for her affliction; she did not doubt God because He chose not to heal her. She had a different testimony:
O what a happy soul am I!
Although I cannot see
I am resolved that in this world
Contented I will be.
How many blessings I enjoy,
That other people don’t.
To weep and sigh because I’m blind,
I cannot, and I won’t.
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Goal:Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc., the Fundamental Baptist Information Service is an e-mail posting for Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. Our primary goal with the FBIS is to provide material to assist preachers in the edification and protection of the churches.
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