The International Fellowship of Ministries began being formed, as early as 1915, founded upon the ministry of Dr. John Graham Lake. He originally called the group of ministers that he worked with in ministry and fellowship, the Apostolic Faith Congress. Lake ministered with incredible power and miracles in the name of Jesus Christ, as did many of his contemporaries. It became evident, in the succession of events, that in order to see the true power of God in the Church, there must be an anointing of Kingdom authority, which could only come through unity of like minded ministers with that kind of faith that the original twelve Apostles were given by Jesus Christ Himself. By Lake’s own teachings we can find the revelation that he had concerning the power of synergism, that is that “one can put a thousand to flight, but two can put ten thousand to flight.” Yet, “how can two walk together unless they are agreed.” John Lake believed that the Apostles were given everything that they needed to bring about the Kingdom of God to this earth. Nothing has changed God’s mind. What He gave to His apostles then, He gives to His apostles today.
Jesus prayed, “Father, that they may be one even as We are one.” Thus Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers are given by Christ to the Church for the building up of the body, until we reach the unity of faith. Apostolic faith is the whole government of God put into operation upon the earth with corresponding signs, wonders and miracles being performed by His ministers. The following is an excerpt from a sermon by Dr. John G. Lake. It is a testimony of his early days of ministry and how he was just coming to understand the principles of God’s power and His Kingdom. This, as well as other happenings in his life and ministry, changed the course of his very thinking on the Kingdom of God, and what God expects from His ministers.
Please read the following series of testimonies given by John G. Lake:
“There is an attitude of faith, an opening of the soul to God, a divine laying hold in the Spirit. I can imagine the soul cry in the prayer of Moses under these circumstances. Miriam, his own sister, now smitten and leprous, white as snow! What were the feelings of his heart?
I sometimes have thought that, there is no other circumstance in my own life, that ever called out so much faith in God and determination of soul to see God’s will done, as in the healing of a sister. One of my sisters and I had been chums from our childhood. She was a little older than I. The vision of Christ as the Healer was just opened to my soul. She was dying of an issue of blood.My mother called one night and said, “John, if you want to see your sister alive, you must come at once.”
When I arrived my mother said, “You are too late, she is gone.” I stepped to her bedside and laid my hand on her forehead; it was cold and dead. I slipped my hand down over her heart, and the heart had ceased to beat. I picked up a small mirror and held it over her mouth, but, there was no discoloration. The breath was gone. I stood there stunned. Her husband knelt at the foot of the bed weeping and her baby was asleep in a crib on the opposite side of the room. My old father and mother knelt sobbing at the side of the bed. They had seen eight of their children die; she, apparently, was the ninth. My soul was in a storm.
Just a few weeks before, my wife was healed, when almost dead. Just a few weeks before, my brother had been healed, after having been an invalid for twenty-two years.
A short time before, my older sister, with five cancers in the breast, who had been operated on five times and turned away to die, was healed. As I looked at my sister I said, “God, this is not the will of God, and I cannot accept it!” It is the will of the devil and darkness. He that hath the power of death, that is the devil.”
I discovered this fact, that there are times when your spirit lays hold of the spirit of another, and they just cannot get away from you. Somehow, I just felt my spirit lay hold of the spirit of that woman.
I prayed, “Dear Lord, she just cannot go.” I walked up and down for some time. My spirit was crying out for somebody with faith in God that I could call on to help me. That was twenty five years ago when the individual who trusted God for healing was almost insane in the mind of the church and the world. Bless God, it is different now.
That is the advantage of having people who trust God, and walk out on God’s lines, come together, and carry one another’s loads, and form a nucleus in society which has some force for God. I have no confidence or faith in these little efforts that people run after here and there. Most of them go up in a vapor. If you want something done for God and humanity, put your hearts and your hands together and your souls together. Organize your effort.
That baby’s mother, (referring to the baby in the audience), would have not been healed, except that a little nucleus determined to pray until the woman was healed! And they stayed in prayer all day! Monday, at five o’clock, they had the victory. It took them all day! I wish we had spirituality and faith enough to look through the mists and see what was taking place all that day long, until the powers of darkness were dispelled, and the healing came. As I walked up and down my sister’s room, I could not think of but one man that had faith on this line. That was John Alexander Dowie, six hundred miles away. I went to the phone and called the Western Union, and told them I wanted to get a telegram through to Mr. Dowie and an answer back as quickly as possible.
I sent this wire: “My sister has apparently died, but my spirit will not let her go. I believe if you will pray God will heal her.” I received this answer back: “Hold on to God. I am praying. She will live.”
Oh, God, I have said a thousand times, what would it have meant if instead of that telegram of faith I had received one from a weakling preacher who might have said, “I am afraid you are on the wrong track”, or “Brother, you are excited”, or “the days of miracles are past.” It was the strength of his faith that came over the wire that caused the lightnings of my soul to begin to flash, and while I stood there at the telephone and listened, the very lightnings of God began to flash in my spirit. I prayed, “This thing of hell cannot be, and it will not be. In the name of Jesus Christ, I abolish death and sickness, and she shall live.” And as I finished praying, I turned my eyes toward the bed, and I saw her eyelids blink. But I was so wrought up I said, “Maybe I deceived myself.”
So I stood a little while at the telephone, and the lightnings of God’s Spirit were still flashing from my soul. Presently I observed her husband get up and tip-toe to her head, and I knew he had seen it. I said, “What is it, Peter?” He replied, “I thought I saw her eyelids move.” And just then they moved again. Five days later she came to father’s home and the Lake family sat down to Christmas dinner, the first time in their life when they were all well.
Let me draw your attention to several important statements that Lake made, in this testimony. I Quote: “That is the advantage of having people who trust God, and walk out on God’s lines, come together, and carry one another’s loads, and form a nucleus in society which has some force for God. I have no confidence or faith in these little efforts that people run after here and there. Most of them go up in a vapor. If you want something done for God and humanity, put your hearts and your hands together and your souls together. Organize your effort.”
“As I walked up and down my sister’s room, I could not think of but one man that had faith on this line. That was John Alexander Dowie, six hundred miles away.” “Oh, God, I have said a thousand times, what would it have meant if instead of that telegram of faith I had received one from a weakling preacher who might have said, ‘I am afraid you are on the wrong track,’ or ‘Brother, you are excited’, or ‘the days of miracles are past.'” It was the strength of his faith that came over the wire that caused the lightnings of my soul to begin to flash, and while I stood there at the telephone and listened, the very lightnings of God began to flash in my spirit.”
This testimony shows the intentions of Lake in the bringing together of fellow ministers into a moving, living, working faith. Not a denomination or organization for organization sake. But an organization for the blending of like heartbeats, which are hungry for the miraculous works of God, that cannot be satisfied by any other means than the very power of God demonstrated.
The Kingdom of God is built, and therefore seen, through unity of faith. This faith is not just a set of rules or doctrinal lines, but a faith that heals, delivers, and sets free, while the world looks on and marvels. The miracles wrought by the apostles can only be wrought by apostolic faith. This kind of miraculous life is dependent upon a society of believers consecrated to walk together and believe God together for any and every need. Apostolic faith requires apostolic leadership of apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers, working together, to build up the entire body of Christ, preaching the gospel to all the world, manifesting signs and wonders.
The present leadership of The International Fellowship of Ministries is posturing itself to believe all of God’s promises, and for His miraculous life of continual signs and wonders. We are consecrating our lives to a walk of holiness to the extent that, we believe that we are not to just do the works that John G. Lake saw in his ministry, but, much more. We do not look to duplicate or search to attain to only the level of faith in which Lake and his contemporaries lived and experienced. We believe that our inheritance is to build from that level of operations, unto the vision that God has for us, as His servants. Yet, we do not discount, but highly value our inheritance. We believe that a demonstration of the Kingdom and the manifestation of its power flow from unity of like minded ministers.