(The following is a letter written to Rev. and Mrs. Brooks by Rev. John Lake, June 16, 1916.)
Dear Brother and Sister Brooks:
For some days I have been moved by the Spirit to write to you. At the time of our marriage I felt that God had really laid upon your souls the burden of my need in God. As I moved out in faith at that time, endeavoring to trust God for physical strength and guidance and grace from heaven to accomplish His will, He richly blessed my soul and our work was accompanied by the power of His Spirit.
While at Philadelphia the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon me for healing and wonderful healings took place. Later we came to Spokane, Wash. The first door God opened here, strangely, was a door in what is known here as The Church of The Truth, a New Thought body. Their pastor was formerly a Universal preacher. He had seen Christ through Christian Science teaching. He was a hungry soul. He invited me to preach at his church. I said to him, “My message is not yours. I preach the Christ and Him crucified.” He replied, “Brother, preach your own message, and as much of it as you want to. You are in the hands of the Spirit of God.”
After the first sermon, he invited me to take one of the healing rooms in their church, and pray for the sick throughout the week. God gave wonderful healings. The church was mightily moved. It was a new manifestation of the power of God to them. I was invited to teach their weekday classes on the subject of the baptism of the Spirit. God showed me four persons in the church at that time who would receive the baptism. We ministered there about six months, then started our own work about Feb. 1st, 1915.
The first lady from the Truth church to be baptized in the Spirit was a Mrs. P. She received her baptism at the first service we conducted in our own hall. At the close of the Sunday morning service the Spirit fell on her and she was baptized in the presence of the congregation.
Mrs. P. told me that five years before, while in a real agony of soul, she fell on her knees and cried out for deliverance and light and help, saying, “Oh God, is there no one anywhere who can bring me the light my soul needs and show me God as my spirit craves?” And the Spirit spoke to her and said, “Yes, in Johannesburg, S. Africa.” On the day of her baptism as she was under the power of the Spirit, the Lord reminded her that He had fulfilled His promise to her, and that I had come from Johannesburg, S. Africa in response to her soul’s call and the soul call of others who needed God.
Another lady from The Church of The Truth was likewise baptized in the Spirit, Mrs. F. The Spirit revealed Christ and the Blood and His cleansing power. They have been beautiful souls, as also the other two.
In connection with our work we maintain healing rooms, open from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. every day, where the sick and otherwise needy souls come for prayer. We also have a hall connected with the healing rooms, where we have our week-day and week-night meetings. Our Sunday services are all held in the Masonic Temple. Sunday School in the morning, preaching at 11 a.m. and the large public service at 3 p.m.
Our work here has been characterized with wonderful healings and many of them. When I wrote the stories of the wonders God was performing in Africa to America the people largely said, “We do not believe it.” Satan tried in many ways to make the world believe it was not a fact. But our work here has been under the eye of such competent witnesses of such high character and so many of them that Satan cannot longer deny the stories of what God has done. The news has reached all the Pacific Coast states. People are coming, not the sick only, but teachers, particularly from among the Truth people of the Coast country, to inquire what it is and what is the difference, and what do we mean when we talk about the baptism of the Holy Ghost and how do you get it?
During the year 1915, 8,030 persons were healed. Mr. Westwood ministers with me in the work, and has the adjoining healing room. Mr. S. P. Fogwill, formerly a deacon of Zion City is also with me. He makes the calls from home to home throughout the city all day with the Ford car. Usually we minister to one hundred persons per day, sometimes more sometimes less.
Among the remarkable cases of healing are three of recent occurrence, which I want to give to you. They are out of the usual order of healings and in my judgment belong to the class of miracles of creative order.
One is Mrs. Pn., a trained nurse, a graduate of Trinity Hospital, Milwaukee. She was operated upon and the generative organs were removed, womb and ovaries in July last. In November she was operated upon again for gallstones. After the operation the bile broke loose and flowed from her body in quarts, to such an extent that death became imminent. Indeed, during the time she was being prayed for she passed into a state of coma, apparent death, and for about half an hour there was no evidence of life, and no breath passed her lips. Mr. Westwood was with her. He had been with her all night. It was about 4 a.m. The Spirit of God took gradual possession of her being in such power that she was healed entirely of the gallstone difficulty. Her generative organs re-grew and last month she became a perfectly normal woman. Mrs. Pn. is now the matron of our Divine Healing Home.
The second case is that of Miss K., a victim of glandular tuberculosis. She was operated on 26 times and was treated by 56 different physicians and finally left to die. One after another abandoned the case.
In one of her operations an incision was made in the lower abdomen. This was done in an endeavor to remove a great quantity of pus that had formed in the body. On account of the tubercular state of her flesh the wounds would not heal nor hold stitches. Three times she was opened and sewed up, but without avail. The consequence was that a normal movement of the bowels could not take place. This condition lasted for six and a half years.
While down in the city she fainted on the street. They were about to take her to St. Luke’s Hospital for an operation when she became conscious and refused to go. She came to our home and spent the night with us. We prayed for her.
On the next day, Sunday, as she sat in the tabernacle in the afternoon service, while public prayer was being offered, she said it seemed to her as if a hand was placed inside of her abdomen and another hand on her head. The voice of the Spirit spoke within her soul and said, “You are healed.” She arose from her chair and became perfectly normal.
Number three. Mrs. L., the wife of a Main St. merchant here, fell downstairs some ten or twelve years ago, which caused a prolapse of the stomach, bowels and female organs. She became an invalid. After several years of operations and suffering she was attacked with rheumatics and became a helpless cripple. When the doctors had failed, she was recommended to take bath treatments at Soap Lake, one of the hot lakes in Washington, where the water is very hot and very much mineralized. The treatments had this strange effect, that the disease left her body and centered entirely in the right leg. A formation of bone as large as a large orange came on the inside of the right leg and the bone of the leg began to grow until the leg was 3 inches longer than the other one and the foot became almost an inch longer than the other one.
Her lungs had fallen through tuberculosis. She was prayed for one day in the healing rooms and as she went out to get in the car she was amazed to discover that her lungs were raising up and her chest filling out. She was perfectly and instantly healed of that.
Later while I prayed for her concerning the lump on her leg, the Spirit came upon her powerfully and she burst into great perspiration, which ran down her person into her shoes. The leg which was 3” longer than the other one at that time shortened at the rate of an inch a week and in three weeks was perfectly natural and the same length as the other. The foot also shortened in length and now she wears the same sized shoes on both feet and her legs are of equal length.
God wants to do something new in connection with my work. It is not clear to my soul yet just what it is. Finances have been tight lately. There has not been the usual flow of financial help. Healings have not been so powerful for some 3 weeks. My spirit is disturbed. I recognize it as one of the stirrings that come to the soul previous to a change in the character of the work and ministry. I feel the need of your prayers. I know that God put me on your hearts. I know I am on your hearts still and will always be, for I believe God has laid the burden of intercession upon you dear ones for my life.
I may not always see the guidance of God as you see it, but I desire to assure you of my deep personal love for you all and of the bond in the Holy Ghost with you that is intense and powerful. I want your prayers.
Our work has extended into the country round about. We now have a congregation at Bovill, Ida., another at Moscow, Ida., the seat of the state University, and another at Pullman, Wash., where the Washington Agricultural Schools are located. We have another congregation in the north part of Spokane, aside from the central work.
Beloved, you know that we can trust God to apply to the soul that discipline that is necessary for its subjection to God. As I look back over the way, though it seems hard, I can see that every step of the way has been necessary for my soul’s discipline, not only that God’s humility might reign in me, but that God’s power might be made manifest through me, and my faith strengthened in God.
I feel I have never yet attained that place in God where I can accomplish the real life work that He desires through me. There is a broader ministry that God wants accomplished. I feel He has called me to it, but the way has never been opened so far, nor have I felt that my soul was really ready for it.
I have given you a good deal of detail concerning myself, for John Lake has always been a good deal of burden to himself and I feel that I want your loving prayer and holy faith in my behalf, that the real will of God may be done in me and through me to the glory of God. God bless you.
Give our love to all the dear ones.
Your brother in Christ,
John G. Lake
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(The following is Elder Brooks’ reply to John Lake’s letter, July 1, 1916.)
My Dear Bro. Lake:
Your long and interesting letter was received and read with much pleasure.
We were exceedingly glad to hear from you and to know that God has been so abundantly blessing you. I do praise Him for all He is doing in and through His people.
We have been in a severe strain of work for some weeks spending as much as 14 hours a day at times.
It did seem as if your request would have to go unheeded, for we knew that a short prayer would not meet the demands in your case. But the Lord said we were to have a 3-hour prayer for you; and in order to get it, we dismissed our usual meeting last night and called all the people in the 3 homes together and prayed for 3 hours, strong and powerful.
I’m sure our God has heard that cry and we believe that God will manifest the answer in the way and at the time of His choosing.
We do not need to tell you that we love you and greatly desire that you should measure up to the Divine requirements, therefore no apology is needed for a little word of admonition. My soul seems to sense a possible error you are making in reference to yourself and work. I do not say I am correct at this point, but I have the soul sense that you have your eyes in the wrong direction. You say, “God wants to do something new in connection with my work.” I do not doubt that. But what is it? It is enlargement? Development? Aggression? Gifts and dominion?
It may be all these or none of them, but one thing is true that if your eyes get on these, somewhere you will fail.
While I do not claim wisdom for these words yet I am quite sure of the correctness of the statement that no man can be used as largely as you have indicated and not be treading on most dangerous ground. And while it is true that greater conquest, enlargement, dominion, etc. may be intended by the Lord, one thing is absolutely necessary, if these victories are to be continued and that HUMILITY, genuine, deep, lasting – shall be yours.
You know that a man may be called and greatly anointed for a certain work and yet not be as powerful in God as some others not so greatly called. But have you learned that the man thus largely called must find that grace and depth in God or lose his stewardship and disgrace his name and profession? God needs certain works to be done and calls whom He will to do it, but He will sacrifice the work to save the worker – with God the worker is important, with man the work – God has His eye on the man – the man has his eye on the work. Your letter shows that you have the vision though somewhat mixed. You see God and you see your need, but you also see other things and these other things needing you.
The real vision is to see “Jesus only” and to see nothing else. Not Jesus and – just Jesus. The “single eye” sees none but Jesus – the double eye sees Jesus and.
If I could put into words the soul-sight of this you would get the idea and seek to impart it, but it is an experience and not a doctrine. It is the absolute sufficiency of Jesus for every need and the utter uselessness of every human effort.
Just as long as there are things and doings in our vision Jesus cannot be so mighty. When He alone is seen, He takes care of the things and doings. We try and fail until we are willing to give up and admit we cannot – then we may turn to Him.
My Bro. we are absolutely useless without Him. What if we have been used a bit when we were not recognizing Him? That does not prove our sufficiency, but His grace. He knew we were blind and was therefore patient. But our blindness and folly must be exposed and we fail and then awaken to find our springs had all been in Him all the time. It is the folly of the natural man to suppose that he is doing it until his conceit is exposed, and then finds that God made a vessel to honor because he had need, but when the vessel took glory to itself He broke the vessel that He might make it again.
Now, you know as well as I the things I am saying. Then why do I say them? Just to stir up your “pure mind.”
But there is one thing which you perhaps do not know as well as I – the unfailing and only way to attain that desired end. You are the one called and equipped (because of the need) without much effort on your part. I not being thus called must needs find at the foot of the cross what was imparted to you at the start, because of the need. Is God unrighteous? No, not at all. Then sometime, somewhere you too will have to go down at the foot of the cross to retain that which has been imparted for the time of need, or you will find yourself someday the “broken vessel.” No, I by no means indicate you should do as I do, nor by any means go the way I go – but I do say that go what way you may you have got to go on your knees. Nor do I think you should have to spend the time in prayer that we do, for your call being different the requirement would be different. But certain it is that if the prayer closet is neglected because of the stress of work, God will neglect the work sometime.
We can argue ourselves out of the victory with the thought that God will excuse our declension in prayer because we are so engaged in the vineyard. But when we turn to the life of our Lord and find Him leaving the multitude who had come to be ministered to and going off to pray, we have to admit there is no excuse left.
But surely I have exceeded the limitations of propriety. I simply intended to say a few loving words by way of remembrance and lo, I have been preaching to you at a wild rate and still have not said the thing yet I desired to say, for I did wish to just hold up Jesus and make you look at Him from every angle and see how transportingly beautiful He is – how all sufficient He is – how He fills all – meets every requirement – satisfies every longing – is Himself the equipment for every service. Oh, John Lake, there is no other need of ours in this world or that to come to Jesus. I know I’m not making it clear – I can’t, but it is true all the same.
It is so true that it is supreme folly to look for, desire, or be tempted with ought else. If He is “The Way” we can’t get lost. If He is “The Life” the devil can’t kill us. If He is “the Truth” we can’t be deceived by lies. What do we need beside Jesus? If everything proceeds from Him – if all things culminate in Him – if He is the embodiment, the fulfillment and the consummation of all things why should we seek after or even think of anything else?
No, I haven’t told you yet and now I despair of doing so, for Jesus is so infinitely wonderful that all words fade when referring to Him. Oh, my Bro. John, I once looked for power – wanted equipment, sought usefulness – saw gifts in the distance – knew that dominion was somewhere in the future, but glory to God! One by one these faded, and as they faded there was a form, a figure emerged from the shadows which became clearer and more distinct as these other things faded and when they had passed I saw “Jesus only.”
The Lord bless thee my Brother and fulfill all His purposes in thee. Our very earnest love to you and your dear wife.
All the saints greet thee in love. Wife and I among them.
In the bonds of Christ,