Swimming in Lake Exaggeration
John Lake and the Healing rooms
It is a good thing to pray for people to be healed. We are told to ask and it’s a wonderful thing to see your prayer answered by God. It matters not if one is a ministry, or an individual or a church that would see this take place.
Some of the names that stand out as healers are Smith Wigglesworth, William Branham and John Lake. To prove much of what they did is sometimes like looking for a quarter in a fog. The stories of these men are can be blurred between truth and fiction. These men are considered to be in their own category of “doing greater works”. We find men such as Kenneth Copeland, Roberts Lairdon, Mike Bickle and many others refer to john Lake as a prime example of exhibiting miraculous healing power, and the stories seem to be never ending. Lake is held in high esteem, as if he is not tainted by any false teaching or practice. But his past reveals otherwise. He is used as an example of modern Pentecostal power and referred to- much like William Branham and other (Pentecostal healers) are, despite the apparent controversies on certain points of false teaching.
Many have a romantic view of these healers, especially John Lake. Lake is called by some the most powerful healing evangelist of all time- which seems to be a title that should not be given to any man. The Healing Room ministry is based on the teachings of John G. Lake. When tested you will find much of it is NOT based on the Word of God but a man’s wrong interpretation of the word of God.
Lake was born in Canada March 8, 1870, when he was 16 he moved to the US. He came to faith at a Salvation Army meeting that same year. It is said that he received understanding on healing from an American Indian (John Lake Ministries- www.jglm2.atomicshops.com/whoisjglm.html) .
We are told that eight of his 16 brothers and sisters died of various diseases. Lake was introduced to John Alexander Dowie’s ministry in 1898. It is claimed that he experienced his own miraculous healing of his childhood rheumatoid arthritis, and saw his sister’s cancer and brother’s blood disease under the ministry of Dowie.
We read that he wanted to bring his sister who was dying to Dowie’s Healing Home in Chicago but it was late, so he telegraphed Dowie pleading for prayer. Dowie telegraphed back: “Hold on to God. I am praying. She will live.” That statement caused Lake to wage a spiritual attack on the power of death to not take another loved one– and we are told within the hour his sister was completely healed.
Unfortunately there is more than one story on his first wife’s illness being healed. We are told Lake's wife was healed through Dowie's prayer of faith. This seems to have happened years before he met Dowie.
Yet we are told in another story, His new wife also became sick and was on the verge of dying (April 28, 1898) and he stood his ground and would not allow it. His wife of Jennie battled for breath in her final hours when Lake finally put his foot down. He would not tolerate the enemy stealing away the mother of his children. He determined to believe God’s Word as it was revealed to him for her healing and at 9:30 a.m. he contended for her life in prayer upon which she rose up healed, praising the Lord in a loud voice. News then spread of Jennie’s healing, and Lake was sought after for his healing anointing.
This idea of the Devil claiming his wife is problematic in that believers are under the sovereign care of Jesus, it is he who has the keys of death and hell. No believer will die unless God himself allows it. The book of Job gives us insight on how God may allow the devil to afflict us but it is only by his permission, the Devil is not running around doing whatever he wants, his power and ability has to answer to God first.
Lake then began a study of divine healing. Lake moved his family to Zion, IL, in 1901, “For the purpose of studying divine healing so that can I learn it and teach it.” Lake learned healing under Alexander Dowie.
Lake’s involvement with Alexander Dowie is problematic. Dowie’s focus on healing was more than extreme, he insisted that those who prayed to be healed must relinquish their medication for faith. Lake also believed, "...one could only be healed in Dr. Dowie's Healing Home." http://www.christianhistory.org/lake.html Christian Historical Preservation Society. John G. Lake: A Man of Healing.
Most downplay the sheer eccentric ministry of Dowie, who had many doctrinal abnormalities. He founded a large commune called Zion City in the North Chicago area in the early 1900s (the real Zion is in Israel). Zion city was to be the "New Jerusalem" and would be the capital of the world. Dowie stated: "the starting point of the restoration, the city from which God would personally direct the affairs of his kingdom." The Prophet and His Profits, The Century Magazine, Oct. 1902, p. 941). While Lake was there he was learning from him and became an elder in his Zion Catholic Apostolic church. Dowie was a self-proclaimed healer, apostle and prophet who said he came in the spirit of Elijah. In 1901 he even claimed he was Elijah, the restorer, 3 years later told his 1,000 followers in his city to expect the full restoration of apostolic Christianity (much like Peter Wagner’s group today). He believed he was chosen as the first apostle of the end- times church. Dowie went further off theologically as the years went by and established “Divine Healing Homes.” He invited the sick and crippled to come for healing ‘as his private guests. They were to renounce doctors, medication, alcohol, etc. He explained to them that all illness was the work of the devil; their cure would come from God only by his request.
In 1905 Dowie suffered a stroke which changed everything. By 1906 both his health and following declined, he lost his community of Zion; some say there was financial mismanagement. Dowie died in 1907. The influence of Dowie on Lakes ministry is evident. Because of this, and other held teachings the amount of miraculous acts of this man are brought into question.
Lake had sought God hard for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and tells us that after nine months the power of God come upon him (1907). This is a wrong Pentecostal view, we are all baptized in the Spirit when we are saved, we receive subsequent fillings. The Holy Spirit can come upon us and often does as we step out in faith in service to the Lord. It is not something we must strive for. God promises to give his Holy Spirit to those who obey him (Acts 5:32).
Here is how Lake describes it: "I prayed for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit for nine months, and if a man ever prayed honestly, and sincerely in the faith, I did. Finally one day I was ready to throw up my hands, and quit. I said, 'Lord, it may be for others, but it is not for me. You just cannot give it to me.' I did not blame God. One night a gentleman by the name of Pierce said, 'Mr. Lake, I have been wishing for a long time you would come over, and we would spend a night in prayer together. We have been praying for the Baptism for a whole year and there is not one of us baptized yet. Brother, I do not believe that you are either, so we can pray for one another." I was so hungry to pray, so I went with all intentions of praying for the rest, but I had not been praying five minutes until the light of God began to shine around me, I found myself in a center of an arc of light ten feet in diameter, the whitest light in all the universe. So white! Oh how it spoke of purity. The remembrance of that whiteness, that wonderful whiteness, has been the ideal that has stood before my soul, of the purity of the nature of God ever since.”
"Then a Voice began to talk to me out of that light. There was no form. And the Voice began to remind me of this incident, and that incident of disobedience to my parents, from a child; of my obstinacy, and dozens of instances when God brought me up to the line of absolutely putting my body, soul, and spirit upon the altar forever” (pp. 16-20 'John G. Lake - Apostle to Africa', by Gordon Lindsay).
Lake finally had a spiritual experience that CHANGED HIS LIFE- he called it the baptism of the spirit. But no one in the Bible describes it in these details. In fact, we are warned of Satan coming as angel of light, a minister of righteousness, there are too many stories of this same light being a different revelation to Joseph Smith and others. What is uncanny is the similarity of Williams Branham's experience with a light. It seems that there is a consistency with men who exhibit these great supernatural powers- this light.
“I found that my life began to manifest in the varied range of the gifts of the Spirit. I spoke in tongues by the power of God, and God flowed through me with a new force. Healings were of a more powerful order. Oh, God lived in me; God manifested in me; God spoke through me. My spirit was energized. I had a new comprehension of God's will, a new discernment of spirit, and a new revelation of God in me.”
When visiting a sick lady at her home: The Spirit said, 'I have heard your prayers, I have seen your tears. You are now Baptized in the Holy Spirit.' Then currents of power began to rush through my being from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet. The shocks of power increased in rapidity, and voltage. As these currents of power would pass through me, they seemed to come upon my head, rush through my body, and through my feet into the floor... (ibid. pp. 16-20).
This description is similar when one experiences the Kundalini force through yoga and meditiation. These same descriptions are found with those who have been attending meetings of Toronto, Brownsville and Rodney Brownes (testimony) meetings.
"Then a new wonder manifested. My nature became so sensitized, that I could lay hands on any man, or woman, and tell what organ was diseased, and to what extent, and all about it. I tested it. I went into hospitals where physicians could not diagnose a case, touched a patient, and instantly I knew the organ that was diseased, its extent, condition, and location.”
Powers like these have to be questioned especially when we know the belief system Lake was trained under and what he himself believed (we will get to this). Lake’s life is surrounded with grandiose claims of “beyond apostolic miracles” and this is where it is hard to distinguish the truth from fiction.
Lake decided to go to Africa. Some say he had no visible means of support, and was miraculously provided every step of the way. Others say Lake prospered in the business world as a real estate agent and later a insurance executive and acquired much wealth (he had a wage of $50,000 a year that he left behind). As with a number of events in his life, we have at least two different stories.
Vinson Synan, writes of John G. Lake’s Pentecostal theology being brought too Africa: “In April 1908, he led a large missionary party to Johannesburg where he began to spread the Pentecostal message throughout the nation.” Another account states he went with only four other workers and his family. These disputed facts are not isolated incidences.
His first wife (Jennie) died six months after they arrived in South Africa in 1908. Lakes wife is said to have died of overwork and malnutrition, which seems to fit the story of their not being always provided with sufficient food to live on. He stayed there for four more years raising 7 children with his sisters help. We are told in 1912, after four years of ministry in Africa, having produced 1,250 preachers, 625 congregations (some say 700), and 100,000 converts. “Miracles and healings such as had not been seen in almost 2000 years became almost commonplace” (http://www.jglm2.atomicshops.com/whoisjglm.html).
That’s quite a feat in 4 years- that would be a preacher a day under him and a new congregation every two days. Well if you want to believe this you can. I wonder what kind of quality preachers these would be. Where did he find all these people? When Paul taught the Ephesians he went through the whole counsel of God, he was there with them for three years to teach them correctly. Anyone who has trained people for pastoral ministry or planted churches knows it is not something done quickly. All we need to do is look at the New Testament examples to see that churches were not made quickly and in great numbers. With Lake, again, we have what I believe is a greater exaggeration, not a greater work. There are too many different stories of what transpired and the numbers are not consistent
After Lake’s first wife died, he was contacted by a woman with a bad eye. Lake described the "Spirit" coming over her while she was sitting in a chair and:
"She arose from her chair, her eyes quite shut, and came in my direction. I got up and moved my chair. She walked right around and came to me. She slipped her fingers down, gave me a little chuck just like my late wife would have done, and said, ‘Jack, my Jack, God is with you all the time. Go right on. But my baby, my Teddy, I am so lonesome for him, but you pray so hard, you pray so hard" (John G. Lake: His Life His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith, Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1995, p.133)
Lake believed this to be his deceased wife talking to him, this experience was like channeling today. Lake did not seem to believe the Word said contacting the dead is wrong. He excused it by saying, "Listen, it is not dragging spirits up, and it isn’t dragging some spirits down. There is nothing about calling spirits down from God in the Word; only about calling them up out of the depths" (ibid.)
"Now I want you to fix this in your mind. The blood washed always go there [3rd heaven] and if you ever talk to anyone that is over there you will go to them. They are not going to leave the throne, but they will say, ‘Brother, come up here’. That is the only way you will ever communicate with them" (ibid.)
God forbids contact with the dead or using mediums (Deut. 18:9, 10, 11, 12) but Lake ignored the warnings and transgressed into an area that is harmful to one relationship with Christ.
When Lake returned to the US in Feb. 1913, he remarried 6 months later Florence Switzer and fathered five more children. He then began traveling. In 1914 he went to England and attended a meeting with Pentecostal leaders. While in England, Lake founded the International Apostolic Council. Upon his returned to the US, he moved to Spokane, WA. (1914). After six months he opened his own building called "Lake's Divine Healing Rooms". He began training “Divine Healing Technicians" through his organization: The Divine Healing Institute. From Feb. 1915 until May 1920, it is claimed that Lake and his Divine Healing Technicians saw over 100,000 confirmed healings. From there he went to various other cities traveling down the California coast duplicating what is now called Healing Rooms. We can see why he is in the category off doing greater works.
John G. Lake's "ministry" consisted of a mixture. He promoted New Age/ Eastern philosophies, contact with the dead (called necromancy), out of body experiences, church in dominionism (known as Latter Rain) and word faith teaching that we can all become a god. You could honestly say he was the Benny Hinn of his time.
The Dominion Theology belief was the basis for this ministry, (Latter Rain-Kingdom Now, and Manifested Sons of God.) This belief system teaches the church will be perfected through the apostles and prophets, the church will then affect the world, then Jesus returns to a pure and powerful bride.
The "dominion" is to be exercised over all things, people, sickness and even Satan. Lake claimed that sin was the cause of sickness and anyone who went to a doctor was like a heathen and yet he suffered from colds, a nervous breakdown and even died from a stroke in 1935.
“Lake believed his generation missed the mark by not realizing the true definition of apostolic ministry. Some attempted to build an apostolic church around the doctrine and manifestation of healing power.
Others attempted to establish the apostolic church around the restoration of the gifts and speaking in tongues, while some attempted to create and establish the apostolic order around the doctrine of holiness.
This next explanation should explain exactly what Lakes vision was about and how it coincides with the apostolic prophetic movement that is currently in the church and trying to mislead her.
“True apostolic ministry is a fulfillment of John 14:12, with the Holy Spirit performing the same works through the church that He did through the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a ministry of perfection coming to the church that will prepare her for the return of the Bridegroom.”
(you can see this same teaching in the third wave groups and prophetic ministries).
“He taught in Joel 2:25, the Lord makes a wonderful promise to restore all that the palmer worm, cankerworm, caterpillar, and the locust have destroyed (KJV). These four stages of a maturing locust are used to prophetically symbolize the way that the spirit of the antichrist would attack the church. In Joel 2:25, the Lord makes a wonderful promise to restore all that the palmer worm, cankerworm, caterpillar, and the locust have destroyed (KJV). These four stages of a maturing locust are used to prophetically symbolize the way that the spirit of the antichrist would attack the church.”
The Lord’s promise to restore the apostolic church began through the ministry of Martin Luther and has now matured to a level so that this generation can expect the complete restoration of biblical apostolic ministry.”
When the day of Pentecost had fully come, the Holy Spirit descended upon them and watered the seed within their hearts, producing the life of Christ and the apostolic church. This same process must be realized in this church age as well.” (Website- IFM International fellowship of ministries
This is pure Latter Rain speech and one who has followed the disappointments of prophet hopefuls that spoke the same such as Paul Cain and the Kansas group of prophets, they know this is not good.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” Lakes rendition of John 14:12, if true left out 99.99 percent of the church throughout all time except for the elite chosen ones, like Him.
According to Lake, “the truest definition of the apostolic church could be expressed in the awesome and reverential experience known as the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” While Lake rightly pointed out that the baptism was not just a gift of God, but God himself. Teaching that one did not become a dwelling place of God until they had this experience is contrary to Scripture (see Eph.1:13) – this is why Paul asked a certain group in Acts 19:2 if they received the Holy Spirit when they believed. Because that is when we are baptized by the Holy Spirit (See also Eph. 4:30; Acts 10:47,15:8).
While Lake was feverishly burning up for more of God (especially an experience through power), God asks that we give more of ourselves to him so that the life of Christ that is already implanted in every believer can have its way. In other words we need to die to self, our desires, our ways.
Lake is known as a man who walked in the revelation of "God in man." He believed that a Spirit-filled Christian should see the same type of ministry Jesus did while he was on earth, and that this could only be accomplished by seeing themselves as God saw them. His belief was that Christians are to become "gods." Lake a former Methodist believed in entire sanctification. Along with salvation, was a complete deliverance from illness.
Quotes on Lake from DesVoignes research are quite shocking, considering the respect people have of him.
"It is not honoring to Jesus Christ that sickness should possess us. We do not want disease. We want to be gods. Jesus said, 'I said ye are gods' (John 10:34). It is with the attitude of gods in the world that Jesus wants the Christian to live" (John G. Lake: His Life His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith, Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1995, p. 13).
'I said ye are gods' is a Scripture that is often taken out of context with those who are not biblically astute. Jesus want us to have an attitude of a servant, not a God (Phil.2 tells us this is the mind of Christ). No apostle ever taught the church that we are gods. But this is repeated today by Mormons –Occultists and word faith cultists. It is far more than just a mistake, it is what the Bible calls heresy. Ps.82 and John 10:34 needs to be examined it in context. Jesus was scolding them, not affirming their nature. This teaching happens to distort man’s nature and relationship to God. Anyone who teaches this should not be accepted as a good teacher of God’s word because it does not accurately represent what God has said about humanity and misrepresents the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Lake said: "The power of God, the Holy Ghost, is the Spirit of
Dominion. It makes one a god." (ibid. p. 13) God does not
see us as gods or an incarnation. Neither do we see the apostles exercising
dominion as Lake taught.
Incarnate from what? We did not exist as God before we were born which is
what this means with Jesus. Lake did not understand the incarnation.
Can man become an only begotten son, which makes him the savior? Again Lake exhibited a poor and heretical understanding of the core teachings of God and man. "I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God” (Isaiah 45:5-7) “And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none except Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other."(Isaiah 45:21-22).
Lake is mentioned as one of Kenneth Copeland's favorite mentors (besides his discipler Kenneth Hagin), Copeland states of Lake:
"The thing that was forfeited in the garden was regained. God gave him [Adam] dominion over the works of His hand. God made him His understudy, His king to rule over everything that had life. Man was master. man lived in the realm of god. He lived on terms of equality with God. God was a faith God. All God had to do was to believe that the sun was, and the sun was. All God had to do was to believe that the planets would be, and they were. Man belonged to God's class of being - a faith man, And he lived in the creative realm of God, " ("John G. Lake, " Kenneth Copeland Publications, Fort Worth, Texas 1994, p. 66.)
No one who has the ability to become a God, for the simple reason that God is not created – as humans we are. Adam was never to become a god, nor was he made an equal of God. There is no such thing as a creative realm of God, for God transcends anything he has created and is not limited by it. Neither do we as believers regain a rulership over creation. God did not create by faith, God did not create because of His faith. God created by the word of His power, not by faith in His belief.
Deify mans nature to make us the son of God? How is this possible when the Bible speaks of the ONLY begotten son of God as God himself? What kind of teaching is this. Lake teaching humans attain godhood corrupts everything else – in fact how can the God of truth honor such a lie with his power?
When you have such distorted beliefs of the Bible it affects how you look at other religions. What did Lake say about Eastern philosophies:
"Many of the ancient philosophies have marvelous light. One of the Indian philosophies, Bhagavad, were written five hundred years before Isaiah. In it they predicted the coming of a Son of God, a Redeemer, who was to come and redeem mankind." Buddha presented his philosophy five hundred years before Jesus. Pythagoras wrote four thousand years before Christ. In each one you will find many of the teachings of Jesus.”
“The teachings of Jesus were not unique in that they were all new. They were new because they contained something that none of the rest possessed. It was the divine content in the word of Jesus Christ that gave his teachings their distinguishing feature from the other philosophies" (John G. Lake: His Life His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith, Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1995, p.304)
Can false religions have a "marvelous light.” As Christians do we not believe light is found only in God’s word, Jesus being the true light. How can a book teach anything about God if the people who wrote do not know God? The Bhagavad Gita is Hindu teaching; it does not predict a Jewish Messiah. Buddha did not teach about God. You will find none of the teachings of Jesus in their books, what you may find is what is left known in mans conscience of right and wrong according to Romans 1:21-32. Can anyone come to know Jesus Christ through these other religions teachings? These books should not be used or spoken of as valid truth.
If what Lake stated is true, then why did Jesus say "All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:8-9).
Lake had much to say about being consumed with God and his presence, but this clearly is not the mind of Christ. We are told: “And do not be conformed to this world ...” (Rom. 12:2)
Deut. 4:2: “Do not add to what I command you” which is what is written in the Bible. Paul writes the same in 1 Cor. 4:6: “…that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written."
Is this is what the baptism of the spirit did to Lake? We must question teaching these concepts that would deny the Bible as the only word of God as complete and offer other religions as having similar teaching. This is what we call inter-spirituality.