John Graham Lake was born on 18 March 1870, in Ontario, Canada. And in 1886 moved with his family to Michigan. He was one of 16 children. Along with many of his brothers and sisters, he developed a strange digestive disease. This disease killed eight of them, but he managed to survive.
This overexposure to sickness and sorrow sparked in him a rare and intense desire for the power of God. One day while a young man, he wrote, “God made me aware of my true need when I needed healing from heaven.” As a member of the Methodist church, he had only witnessed one healing.
Lake studied for the ministry in the Methodist church and in October 1891, he was appointed pastor of the church in Peshtigo, Wisconsin. But rater than be a pastor here, he chose to go into business and founded a newspaper The Harvey Citizen.
He met and married Jennie Stevens in 1893 at Michigan. This was followed by setting up a real estate business, Michigan. On his first day, he made $2500 and at the end of a year and nine months, he had $100,000 in the bank, $90,000 worth of real estate and a $30,00 paid-up life insurance policy. He also helped start The Soo Times paper, and he also bought a seat on the Chicago Board of Trade.
He was later hired to manage one of the country’s largest insurance companies. Part of his job was to manage the company’ agents. He found that in his work he preferred to talk about salvation rather than business. He told his partners that he needed a holiday. He had a wage of $50,000 a year to come back to, but chose to leave shortly after, never to return to the business. He was now in full time ministry. It was at this time he also decided to dispose of all his possessions and use the money to meet the needs of others. Later his wife also became sick with a heart disease and tuberculosis. And at this time he still had two members of the family critically ill, (cancer and issue of blood) and one an invalid for twenty-two years.
John Alexander Dowie became a door of hope for Lake. As he began to take his family one by one, he saw them get miraculously healed. It was in this time of stress that he received a revelation of the scripture in Acts 10:38. As he read how God had anointed Jesus to heal all that were oppressed by the devil – it suddenly came alive to him.
Spiritual Awakening Lake later learned a great lesson from John Alexander Dowie when he criticized some of Dowie’ methods. Dowie soon told him that when he had had the vision that he has had, shed the tears he has, suffered what he had suffered and in God created a city of ten thousand Christians, then he would be competent enough to criticize.
Lake took to heart what he had heard and began to establish a work in South Africa, which lasted for decades and grew to seven hundred thousand in number in a nation of fifteen million.
His hunger for God continued to grow. After nine months of prayer, fasting and many shed tears, he was finally baptized in the Holy Ghost, whilst in someone else’ house where he had gone to pray for a sick lady. His life became more powerful after this; God flowed through him with a new force. And healings were of a more powerful order. To Lake, the baptism of the Holy Ghost was to give the Spirit of God such absolute control of the person that the Spirit will be able to speak through them in unknown tongues. Anything less he classified as being “covered” with deep anointing yet not sufficient to be called a proper baptism in the Holy Spirit. Lake had a revelation of the purpose that God had in mind for the human race.
To lift people in life and consciousness to the same level that Jesus himself enjoyed. This is the same vision that stirs our hearts today. A vision of the divine reality of the salvation of Jesus Christ. The knowledge of the relationship between your soul and of the soul Christ. His Ministry John Lake was a strong, rugged character with a loving and winning personality. He was about six feet to six feet two inches tall, and weighed about two hundred pounds. He had clear gray eyes and a hearty laugh. In 1901, Lake and his family moved to Zion City, but three years later left again. On 19 April 1908, he and his family left Indianapolis for a five-year missionary stay in South Africa. Here he founded the apostolic Church and was elected president, with one 125 white and 500 native congregations eventually organized. He returned to the United States in 1912, after his wife died unexpectedly of a stroke.
He never returned to Africa after this. John G. Lake had a deep love for his family. One of the greatest blows to him was the loss of his wife while he was on the mission field. In 1913, he married Florence Switzer of Milwaukee and fathered another five children – giving him twelve children. Then in 1914 he took his family and moved to Spokane, Washington. Here he purchased some rooms in an old office building. Lake transformed these offices into the Divine Healing Institute. This was a place for healing and a place where you could learn how to apply God’ healing power to your everyday life. A place where miracles happened.
He saw many miracles in these rooms. One in particular was that of Mrs. Teske, who at thirty-five years of age had developed a fibroid tumor: “A twisted mass of muscle and sinew, arteries and veins, teeth and hair. The most disorganized twisted and jumbled mass that is possible.”
This tumor was thirty pounds in weight that would equal the size of four seven and a half pound babies. One day she could no longer stand, nor sit, and out of her agony, she cried out to Jesus for healing. The power of God came on her and she began to twist and crunch, and within three minutes she was totally healed. The tumor had utterly vanished.
Lake had a right concept of God as a loving Father. He also had compassion, holiness, boldness, vision, humility, faith and prayer. All of these points play a part and they are all needed.
John G. Lake died in 1935, he was sixty-five years old.
His Nature and Lifestyle He never refused to answer the call of one who was sick, nor did he turn them away. Even to the point that he went to a strange city in Africa planning to get some rest. Once they knew he was there, they brought the sick, the blind, and the crippled. His compassion went out to them and God strengthened him in his time of need.
Mrs. Lake was also a versatile woman. She never knew when he would bring someone home or give away their groceries. This did not bother Mrs. Lake; she also had a love for His people.
He was very bold when he talked on the things of God. In a conference in Africa they were discussing the tremendous influence of the native medicine men Ôwitch doctors”. Lake said to them, “Why don’t you cast the devil out of them and get people delivered from their power.” Lake reminded them of the scripture “greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world”.
He was also called to pray for a man in Johannesburg, South Africa. They had locked him away as he was in delirium tremens (disorder due to heavy drinking) as he had already tried to over power four young men, almost killing them. But again, Lake stood on the promise, greater is he that is in you, and soon this man was delivered and on his knees weeping and praying, he had become human again.
He was a faith man, like all the other men of God. And God supplied his every need. One day he came home and his son told him they had no food, that they had just given the last of it to the younger children. His response, “Ô let us pray” and before breakfast, the next day a vehicle came with food for them.
He was a man who refused to compromise. Nothing would sway him from the word of God.
Lake was a very humble man, he always gave God the glory, and it was His power in him that did the things he did. He said, “his soul was not big enough to carry the wonder of God, nor his heart subdued enough. It was an anointing of power”.
Lake was also a man of prayer. He spent time on his knees praying but also like to walk and pray. This was his favorite way of communing with God.
The anointing is given for service, go out and use it; let it use you to destroy the works of the devil. Then you can run and pray, and pray as you run.
Lake had an all round message and understanding of the word. He not only taught on healing, but also on every subject needed to build a good, balanced Christian life. His sermons were twenty to thirty minutes long and he would take a point and develop it with living and real illustrations. They were driving, fearless messages. Yet, in ministering to the sick, he had a marvelous compassion and tenderness.
In finishing, I just want to share a vision given to John G. Lake while pasturing in Portland, Oregon.
“In answer to a cry from Lake’ heart, the angel took the Bible and opened to the book of Acts. He called attention to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and then proceeded thorough the book pointing out the great, outstanding revelations and phenomena in it. Then the angel spoke these words:
“This is Pentecost as God gave it through the heart of Jesus. STRIVE FOR THIS. CONTEND FOR THIS. TEACH THE PEOPLE TO PRAY FOR THIS. For this, and this alone, will meet the necessity of the human heart, and this alone will have the power to overcome the forces of darkness.”
As the angel was departing, he said: PRAY. PRAY. PRAY. Teach the people to pray. Prayer and prayer alone, much prayer, persistent prayer, is the door of entrance into the heart of God.
By Liz Godschalk (c) Anointed for Revival, 1995, Brisbane, Australia. Internet: http://www.pastornet.net.au/renewal/ Reproduction is allowed as long as the copyright remains intact with the text.
With permission from Job Anbalagan [email protected]