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Living by God's Word

by Dennis L. Allen

The Bible is a revelation of Jesus Christ. It reveals the great salvation He has accomplished for us. In Rev.19 when we see the Lord Jesus revealed from heaven on a white horse we are told His name is called the Word of God. He is the living Word. What all that means we can only grasp now in a small measure, but His name is also King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

When Jesus was here on earth he never talked about unanswered prayer. In fact, at the tomb of Lazarus He said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I know that you always hear me.” When he said that Lazarus was still in the tomb and Mary and Martha were by His side weeping. He said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

Can God trust us with His silence? Today we still must walk by faith. “All things what-ever you pray and ask for, believe that you receive them and you shall have them.”

Today I would like to share with you some of the ways God has shown Himself faithful in our lives and in the lives of others we have known.

Betty’s Bus-fare

With her permission I will start with an experience Betty had. Both of us were privileged to study the Bible at the feet of Brother R. H. Boll in Louisville, Kentucky. He encour-aged us to put God’s promises to the test. Betty decided to do it. At a meeting she put all her money in her purse in the collection plate. She was working as a nurse at that time on night duty. When it was time to catch the bus she told her Daddy goodbye. He was in the habit of asking her if she had enough money. But this time he didn’t ask. She went out and started walking to the bus stop. A friend caught up with her and started walking to the bus stop with her. She was thinking, what will I do if I get on the bus with no fare. The bus came. She was ready to board. All at once he said, “I’ve been carrying this token around for weeks and I never ride the bus. Can you use it?” Her heart was singing as she got on the bus and paid her fare. Now from personal experience she knew there was a God in heaven who watches over His word to perform it.

God’s Guidance re: Where to Minister

When I went to Manila to work with Victor and Mae Broaddus, I felt that I should study the Tagalog language and work primarily among the Filipino people which I did. However, I got more and more involved in the Cantonese work and realized the Broadduses would soon be going back to the U.S. on furlough. Betty and I were married in Manila. After Victor and Mae returned we got reports of the opportunities in Hong Kong and the great needs because of the rapid influx of refugees from communist China. Victor had grown up in Hong Kong, knew the people well and spoke Cantonese fluently. It seemed logical that he should be the one to go. We began to pray that if the Lord wanted us to go that Victor would be the one to suggest it. We also prayed that the brethren in Hong Kong we had visited a few months previously would request that we come. The third thing we prayed was that someone would come from the States to take our place in Manila. Within a month all three of these answers came.

One day while talking to Victor he suggested we might consider going to Hong Kong. Also a letter came unsolicited from a brother in Hong Kong expressing the desire for us to come. About the same time we got word that the Harold Prestons were coming from the US. They knew nothing of the way we had been praying, so we began making plans to go to Hong Kong which we did in November 1957.
Jesus said, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into His harvest.” It is well for us to remember it is His harvest and we do not know who is the one He will choose to send.

An Amazing Family, and a Worldwide Ministry

Charles Soong was a little boy in China, during the late 1800’s when his family sent him to the U.S. to work in his uncle’s tea shop in Boston’s Chinatown. He told his uncle he wanted to get an education. But his uncle wanted him in the tea shop. So he ran away to sea. He managed to stow away on a ship anchored in Boston Harbor. Later he came out looking for food and was discovered by the crew. The ship sailed down the east coast. Charles ended up in a Methodist revival meeting in the South where he accepted Christ. With the support of many Christians Charles was able to realize his lifelong dream of getting an education. Eventually he graduated from seminary and became a pastor. He returned to China and the Lord used him in a remarkable way.

He had three daughters and a son. His second daughter married Sun Yat-sen who was the first president of China. This Madame Soong later became Vice-President of the Communist government. The third daughter became Madame Chiang Kai-shek, marrying the Generalissimo [who became the ruler of Nationalist China]. But she would not agree to marry him until he became a Christian! In 1980, shortly before Madame Soong died, she was visited by Ruth Graham and her sisters. She told them at that time that she had never become a communist. It is amazing to see the influence of that little boy and his children especially in light of the revival we now see going on in China.

A Ministry with a Worldwide Impact

When Bob Pierce was in China preaching for Youth for Christ, he found a little girl starving by the roadside. He took her to an orphanage and asked the lady in charge if she would care for the girl. The lady said she could not.

“Why not?” Pierce asked.

“I have already cut down my food portions to one fourth the usual.” She answered. “I’m feeding three other orphans with the remainder. We just don’t have enough food for another child.” “Would money help?” he asked. “Oh yes,” she replied.

“How much would it cost to take care of this little girl for food, clothing, medical care, and everything.” The lady said it would take the equivalent of $5.00 a month. So he gave her a check for $120. and the lady took the little girl. When Bob returned to the US and told this story, others wanted to sponsor an orphan too. He formed an organization to officially channel the contributions. That’s how he started World Vision. All because of one little orphan girl! And today World Vision is taking care of more than a million children around the world!

An Amazing Missionary and an End-of-life Conversion

The film, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, in which Ingrid Bergman starred, has won many awards. It tells the story of Gladys Aylward who went to China as an English maid to serve there. She had originally applied to a missionary society, but they told her she did not have enough education and was not qualified. However, she knew God had called her to go, so she began saving her money and when she could buy a ticket she went out not knowing whither she went. She worked with Jenny Lawson who started an inn to reach muleteers in northwest China. Beside the five traditional joys the Chinese knew of, they added a sixth which was the gospel of Christ.

During the Japanese invasion Gladys Aylward took 100 orphans through the mountains to safety. One of her converts, a former criminal, went along with her to help her. On the way in the mountains as the Japanese soldiers were about to discover them, this man ran in the opposite direction and shouted, acting as a decoy to save them. As a result he was shot and killed, but Gladys and the orphans escaped. Gladys and the orphans held his funeral. She read the words of Jesus Christ, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” She and all the children reached the Yellow River and were safe.

When we were in Hong Kong one day we were sitting at the YMCA lunchroom when Gladys came over to our table, pulled up a chair and asked if she could join us. She told us some of her experiences visiting churches in the US. On another day we invited her to our home and she spent the afternoon. She told us she was not happy for Ingrid Bergman to play her part in the movie [about Glady’s adventures in China] because she didn’t know the Lord. Later I read that Ingrid made a special trip to Taiwan to meet her. How-ever, a few days before she arrived Gladys caught the flu and died. Seeing Ingrid’s disappointment, Gladys’ co-worker, Katherine Smith, asked Ingrid if she would like to see the simple room where Gladys had lived.

Ingrid fell down beside Gladys’s bed and wept, saying she was not worthy of playing the part of such a woman of God. Katherine had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with Ingrid and she received Christ as her Savior and Lord. Only a few months later Ingrid died of cancer.

The Proud Indian who Became a Humble Evangelist

Another of God’s saints I’d like to share with you is Bakht Singh. Many of you may have heard of him; he has visited the U.S. He was a Sikh, born into a wealthy Indian family in the north of India. But later, to follow Jesus he left everything behind. Later the Lord used him to plant more than 600 churches, all self-supporting, in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

As a young man, Bakht Singh went abroad to England to study. There, embarrassed by his long hair he had his first haircut. (Sikh men are never supposed to cut their hair–that’s why they wear large turbans.) After graduation he took a boat to Canada to gain practical experience. On board he attended the Sunday morning service. “I’m just as good as anyone else,” he thought to himself. So I can go to their church service.” As the worship began everyone knelt in worship. “I’m not going to kneel to the Christian god,” he thought to himself. So he planned to get up and leave. But there were people kneeling in front of him, on both sides and in back. He was trapped, so he too knelt.
“Oh well, he figured, it won’t hurt me to kneel.” But as soon as he fell to his knees he realized he was kneeling before Jesus Christ and he sensed Christ’s presence and power. Thus began his search to know the living Christ. In the shower at the YMCA he heard a young man singing. Wondering why this man was so happy and joyful, he asked him. “I’m happy because all my sins are forgiven. I have everlasting life.” “Tell me more.” The young man did, and also gave him his own Bible. Bakht Singh was so hungry he sat up all night reading the four gospels. At first he thought this was a holy book for Westerners only, but then he read in John, “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!” Suddenly he realized this included him. Then he read John 3:l6, and realized he could be born again like Nicodemus.
Before he returned to India he wrote and told his family he had come to Christ. When he was reunited with his family his father said, “We know you have become a Christian. We will be happy to let you come home with us on one condition: that you will never mention this to a single soul. The family honor is at stake.”

Because he loved them so much he was tempted to agree, but then he remembered Jesus’ words, “If anyone loves father or mother or wife…more than me, he is not worthy of me.” So he replied, “I cannot agree to keep quiet about him.” Therefore his father disowned him. His parents and his wife left him. He never married again.

He began to witness on the streets of Bombay about Christ. Once he had gone all day without even a cup of tea. He was hungry when he went to bed. In the middle of the night he heard someone knocking on his door. A stranger stood outside, who asked, “Is anyone here by the name of Bakht Singh?” “Yes, I’m Bakht Singh.” “I had a dream tonight. Jesus Christ appeared to me. He told me to come to this address and find you, and invite you to dinner.” That man cooked a wonderful dinner for him, because Jesus told him to do it.

For the next three years Bakht Singh did nothing but study the Scriptures. He read through the Bible more than 100 times. He knew the Bible so well he could quote from it extensively without even glancing at it.

When we were in Hong Kong, Bakht Singh was invited to come and speak several nights. He was at the Chinese Brethren Church. I don’t remember why but I decided to meet his plane. When he arrived and came out of customs I was the only person there to greet him. The plane had arrived early and the leaders planning to greet him had not yet arrived. I remember he was dressed in simple clothes and slippers. I had never met him before but he was very gracious and I considered it a privilege the Lord had given me to greet him. Of course, the others arrived very soon and took charge as he was to stay with them. He went Home to his Lord several years ago.

Smuggling Bibles Behind the Iron Curtain

Another of God’s saints we have been privileged to meet is Brother Andrew. He is a Dutchman who was stationed as a soldier in Indonesia during World War 2. In the book, God’s Smuggler, he tells how he was injured, sent home and finally turned to the Lord. He went to Bible school and learned to walk by faith. One day he saw an ad in London inviting young people to attend a communist convention in Eastern Europe. He went and attended their meetings, but of course did not swallow their propaganda. He wanted to serve the Lord, but didn’t know where or how to begin.

On a city bus he stood up and said. “I would like to know some Christians.” It became deathly still on the bus, but before he got off the bus several people had slipped their names and addresses into his hands. When he got off he looked them up. That was his first contact with Christians behind the iron curtain. He got a picture of the persecuted Christians’ great need for help and encouragement. A few months later he loaded his little VW with Bibles and went to Romania. He tells of his experiences on that and subsequent trips. At the border he prayed, “Lord, when you were here you made blind eyes to see. Now I’m asking you to make seeing eyes blind.” Again and again the Lord enabled him to get Bibles in that would normally have been confiscated.

He finally went to China but found that he could not leave a Bible, gospel, or tract. Before he left the building they would hand it back saying, “Sir, is this yours?” I’m glad to report that it is much different in China today. We were able to meet Bro. Andrew in Hong Kong and have kept up with him since. I personally believe that his prayers and those of others he influenced had much to do with the breakdown of the Iron Curtain in Europe and Russia. In recent years he has turned his efforts to the Muslim world. He has been a great help and encouragement to Christians there. The Lord not only wants us to be interested in what He has done and is doing in the world today. He wants us to be prayer warriors — to pray, give and go. (See Matt.25:31-40.) He also wants us to live by his Word. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”




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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10