Joe McIntyre’s Vision of John G. Lake & E. W. Kenyon
I was driving down the freeway to attend the board meeting of the International Fellowship of Ministries, which was then known as Ministerial Fellowship of the USA. This organization of ministers was founded by John G. Lake shortly before World War II. At that time I was a trustee on the board.
As I drove down the road I was meditating in my mind on the scripture that I had been pondering that morning in prayer. The scripture was Eph. 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works that God prepared beforehand for us to walk in.” I was chewing on the first part of the verse, “for we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…” I like to meditate on the “in Christ” scriptures as a way of building myself up.
As I thought on this verse I went on in my mind to quote the rest of the verse, “for good works that God prepared beforehand for us to walk in.” As I quoted this part of the verse I was suddenly seeing the gates of Heaven. I say the gates, although I don’t recall seeing any actual gates, it was the entryway, the doorway into Heaven. There was a huge multitude of people entering in; you could almost say a cloud.
On either side of the mass of people there stood a man. On one side stood John G. Lake. On the other side stood E.W. Kenyon. They had streams of water flowing down their cheeks. They were weeping with gladness and gratitude. They were saying, “Thank you, thank you, for not losing the vision. Thank you for not losing the vision.”
As I later was re-telling this vision to some folks who visiting us from South Africa, I became aware of something that I knew at one level, but had never consciously grasped. This multitude was flowing from Africa into Heaven! A huge army of people from Africa had laid hold of the vision of Lake and Kenyon.
As I was beholding this sight of Lake and Kenyon and the multitude, the vision merged into a vision of the face of Jesus. At this point the anointing hit me and I burst into tears. Then, as quickly as it came, the vision was gone. I was back driving on the freeway!
The writings of Lake and Kenyon have probably touched my life more significantly than anyone else’s. Many godly authors have blessed me, but there was something about these two men that struck a chord in me like no others. I discovered Kenyon in the early days of my walk with God (early 1970’s), and through his writings came to know God as my Father, and the truth of divine healing. I also learned to confess the Word about who I was in Christ and that was possibly the most helpful lesson in my entire Christian life.
Some years later, I was reading Lake. I was so taken by what he was saying that I said to the Lord, “No one writes like this man, Lord.” And the Lord immediately said to me, “What about E.W. Kenyon?” I was taken aback by His response, but I responded to the Lord by acknowledging that yes, Kenyon does write like Lake, they seem to be cut from the same cloth.
A few years ago, when many books were coming out attacking the Faith Movement, and zeroing in on Kenyon as a supposed source of metaphysical influence, I felt I needed to respond. By then I was pastoring and teaching many of the truths that Lake and Kenyon had voiced. My original thought was to write something for my congregation so they would know how to deal with the misguided criticisms and misinformation that passed for scholarship.
Before long, I had about 120 pages. I decided to focus on Kenyon because the arguments of the critics stood or fell on whether or not Kenyon had been influenced by the metaphysical cults and therefore brought heretical ideas into his teachings. This supposed metaphysical connection, which the Faith Movement accepted by following Kenyon’s teachings, made the Faith Movement heretical. Or so the critics speculated.
Now anyone who read Kenyon in any real depth knew that he was opposed to the metaphysical cults. Christian Science, New Though and Unity are mentioned in his writings, always negatively, showing their inferiority to the Gospel. So I began to investigate the claims of one of his critics who had done some research on Kenyon’s early years. Kenyon says very little about his personal life in his books, so they are not a great source for material about his influences.
One author freely speculated, using circumstantial evidence, that Kenyon was surely influenced by this heretical teacher and lived in the same town influenced by… etc., etc. Although, oddly enough, his cri tic fails to even mention the influences quoted by Kenyon in his own books, because to do so would not strengthen his case, but would rather weaken it.
Because my book was turning out so largely to be about E.W. Kenyon, I thought I should let Kenyon’s daughter, Ruth Kenyon Housworth, who headed up Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, in nearby Lynnwood, WA, know that I was writing something in defense of her father. I was unable to get in touch with her, and within a month she had gone home to be with the L ord. I was asked to perform the memorial service and was honored to do so.
I had spoken with her over the years a number of times about her father and his writings. She had mentioned that there were boxes of unpublished materials by her father. After her passing, I mentioned to the staff at KGPS that I was writing about Kenyon and that Ruth had mentioned boxes of unpublished materials. They were somewhat shocked to hear of this and said they knew nothing of any unpublished material. I asked them if they would contact me if they found anything and they assured me they would.
A few weeks later I got a call from their office. They had found 5 boxes of old material, and wanted to know if I would be interested in seeing it? You can probably guess my answer. It proved to be a gold mine. A personal journal, teaching notes, periodicals from as early as 1898 and continuing into the 1930’s were among the wealth. Many dictated sermons and articles, radio messages, and hand-written thoughts and teachings filled the boxes.
The true story of Kenyon’s early years emerged. I had to start my book over for the most part. Rather than responding to the critics primarily, I would now tell the story of Kenyon’s life and ministry. Those who actually influenced Kenyon could be sh own as the story unfolded. The misrepresentations and suppositions would be shown to not square with the facts or testimony of Kenyon himself.
By a miraculous series of events, I was contacted by Creation House who had heard I was writing a book on Kenyon. They asked if I had a publisher and if I was interested in submitting a proposal for the book. They liked my proposal and agreed to publish my book. In 1997, Creation House published E.W. Kenyon and His Message of Faith: The True Story.
While working on the book and making many visits to Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society’s office, my relationship with the staff developed. Ruth’s husband Norman Housworth had assumed the presidency upon Ruth’s death.
He went home to be with the Lord in 1994. The staff asked me if I would consider becoming the president of the board of the ministry. I said yes and am currently the ministry’s head.
After a number of years as a board member of the International Fellowship of Ministries, which Lake founded, I was asked to assume the presidency of that organization as well. The two men for whom I have the greatest admiration, have left organizations behind them. By a series of events that I could never have orchestrated, I am the president of both of them. I am humbled by this and am aware of the large shadow cast by these two giants of the faith. Yet, I feel it is ordained of God. In the vision the Lord gave me, the significant line from Ephesians 2:10 that triggered the vision was “…created for good works, that God planned beforehand that we should walk in them.” Leading these organizations and “not letting the vision die,” is strongly in my heart.
I have begun a book on the life and ministry of Lake. I discovered in my research on Kenyon that he and Lake were friends. Lake ’s favorite book other than the Bible was Kenyon’s The Father and His Family. Lake preached for Kenyon when the latter pastored in Las Angeles in the late 1920’s. They used to meet together with some other brethren to discuss the future of the Pentecostal movement when Lake was building a work in San Diego. Lake ended up doing a great work in Spokane, WA. E.W. Kenyon spent his last 15 or so years in Seattle, WA. Both made a great impact by demonstrating the power of God in divine healing and miracles. Both demonstrated that the Church of Jesus Christ is to exercise dominion in His name. They were pioneers in the faith walk. They have shown us in a measure what is available for the Church to walk in. They have spied out the Land and given us a taste of its sweet fruit.
Let us go up and take the Land, we are well able!