With Signs Confirming.
About the second or third night after I’d finished speaking, I sat down for just a few minutes before leaving. I felt impressed to pray and as I did, something happened that has happened to me several times lately – especially over there. I started to pray out of my spirit but not out of my head. Most of my praying is a combination, but this just came right out. I prayed like this; “God, let something supernatural happen on this campground tonight that will be a demonstration of Your glory”. I had no idea what I was asking for, but I knew it was God. I slipped over to one of the leaders and told him what I’d done. I said; “We’re not going to tell the audience because that sets up the power of suggestion. I just want you brothers to know that I’ve prayed this way”. About 2:30am that morning, beautiful choir music was heard coming from the congregation hall which seats 10, 000 people. The unique thing was – there was no one in the congregation hall at the time! Now it wasn’t one or two people who heard it. The whole camp heard it! And it wasn’t only the whole camp that heard it; the neighbourhood heard it! And they protested; “Now we don’t mind you people singing until midnight but 2:30 in the morning is a bit ridiculous”. How could we say to these people, “We weren’t there?”.
This continued. There was a nightly angelic concert. And then other supernatural events started to happen all through the grounds. We’re documenting all of this, but what I’m saying to you, I’m just saying out of memory because I don’t have all the details. There were 750 children in the children’s group with two very fine men over them – Hugh Thompson and Mike Stevens. Hugh Thompson is a man of great competence in God, and his little boy said to him after one of the meetings, “Daddy, wasn’t it wonderful seeing all those gold angels with flames flying across the room?”. Hugh said, “What angels?”. The child said, “Daddy, didn’t you see them?”. He was telling us later, “I was the man of power; I was the leader but here’s my kid seeing angels and I didn’t see any angels!”.
By the way, I didn’t see any either but it reminded me of H. A Baker and others who, when they started to experience breakthroughs on a national scale discovered that it started with little children.
I couldn’t help thinking that at the moment of Israel’s apostasy when Jesus went into the temple for the last time, the bearded rabbis were demanding that Jesus show them His ordination papers while the little children were crying, “Hosanna!”. And I thought of Great Britain where so many religious people can’t understand the glorious things God is doing and the little children are seeing angels.
A book by seven leading Anglican clergymen had just come out over there attacking the virgin birth. I thought, “For a people who apparently need God and His divine revelation so desperately, the attack seemed to indicate an insensitivity to the real needs of the people. They didn’t need attacks on the faith. While they are attacking the virgin birth, little children are seeing angels”. It’s a matter of faith. If you want to get heady and discuss the biological impossibility of the virgin birth you go right ahead. I’d rather see angels!
On the last night a little boy got lost and they were organising a group of men to go out and hunt for him. About the time they were going out the door, the little boy walked in all smiles. They said; “Where were you?”. He said, “I was lost”. “Well” they said, “How did you get here?”. The child said, “A kind ghost brought me, but he’s gone now”.
We spent three days with the leaders evaluating the meetings. The brothers whose children had seen the angels are men in the top echelon of leadership. They said that they talked to these children again and again, but they couldn’t budge them. They know what they saw. Three and four children at a time saw them. Three girls saw an angel enveloped in light – dancing. There were some thirty sightings of angels altogether.
Now I don’t want to say “I told you so” but for the last two years I’ve been saying that if we are living in the time of the end, the Bible says God is going to send forth His angels to do a whole lot of things. And I’ve been saying we’re going to start to see angels. So this is a great confirmation of my own faith and in a very real sense, a great confirmation that we’re actually living in the time of the end. And if that’s the time we’re living in, a lot of exciting things are due to happen.
Shortly before we left, we found out about a man and his little boy who had come to the camp. When they went back home to Leicester they were talking to a couple of friends – a man and a woman who were unbelievers. The couple asked how it had gone at the meetings. The father was trying to explain and share rather delicately when his little boy said, “Tell ‘em about the angels Daddy”. The father said, “They wouldn’t understand son”. But the man said, “Oh I think we would. Tell us about the angels”.
So he started to tell them about the angels. And he told them what we had done on the last night – which I’m going to tell you about in a minute. The unbelieving couple said that as they were driving into the city of Leicester that night, there had appeared over the city a flaming cross, right at the time that we as a host of people under leadership were taking authority over the Prince of Great Britain.
Another remarkable thing was when Bryn Jones, who’s not a very excitable fellow said, “Ern look at this. We have never had UFO sightings in this area. There have been sightings in other areas, but we’ve never had them here”. But there in bold type in the Bradford paper, which is adjacent to Harrogate, were reports of UFO sightings.
Now I’ve made this subject a study throughout the years, having seen at one time a phenomenon in Arizona myself. I’ve been interested in it in a purely objective way. I don’t have any opinions about it, but I’ve read enough to know that they invariably involve some mechanical reference. “They look like this … They’ve got lights flashing … They look like saucers”. There’s always a mechanical factor in it. I said, “Let me read those”. And as I read those reports all those people saw were flames of fire and gold in the sky. There wasn’t anything mechanical to report. Now I’m satisfied that they were seeing angels manifesting in that entire area. I believe that entire area was literally and I use the expression respectfully, infested with angels.
Because of the singing in the middle of the night and the complaints of the neighbours it looked a little bad for us. The Harrogate showground and Harrogate itself is the place where all the upper class people, including kings and queens, dukes and duchesses, have come through the years (and when you say “years” over there, you’re talking in terms of centuries). They came to the beauty of Harrogate. And the Queen had just been there to see the horse show – before the “King” arrived! I’ll tell you, angels sure have horses beat a long way! But we were concerned because it looked like the protests of the neighbours would militate against our getting the grounds next year and there are no grounds in northern England comparable to it.
So we were praying about it because we not only wanted the grounds for next year but we were going to propose to the board of Harrogate showground that they add 3, 000 seats to the show building which would then seat 14, 000 people.
It looked like the angels had gotten us into trouble but we trusted God. Well, a retired major from the army who lives and has influence in Harrogate wrote a letter voluntarily to the board of the Harrogate showground. He said, “I understand that some of my neighbours are upset with the singing that’s coming from the grounds at night. First let me say, that we’ve never had a better-behaved bunch of people in that show ground in my living memory. And as far as the singing in the middle of the night is concerned, I enjoy it very much. I think it’s really sweet”. That letter did the trick. We not only have the showground for next year, but they’re going to put in 3, 000 extra seats.
We saw God working in mighty ways to bring in the unconverted. One night they were taking an offering for the poor. The offerings were running to about £2, 500 a night and that’s a lot for over there. An unbeliever had come with his wife that night to the meeting. He had come half disgruntled because she wanted him to and half under conviction because God wanted him to. As they were taking the offering for the poor, the basket came down by him and he looked and saw that some man had dropped in his gold watch. He looked at the watch and said, “This is real!”. Immediately he repented and began to talk in tongues and the next morning we baptised him.
The Climax to the Conference.
This was all a time of preparation leading up to Friday night. Through the ministry of the Word, which really came out of plurality because we constantly met as leaders before the services to go over everything, I believe we covered all the ground. We covered the area; “Are you personally right with God?”. Then we dealt with it community-wise; “Are you right with your neighbour? Are you right with your family?”. We did all that because the leaders knew that what we were going to do Friday night would either be maximised or minimised by the state of the people of God. So we let it be known in the camp that everyone was to get ready for Friday night. I don’t want to be irreverent but it was almost like the Lord telling Israel how to prepare for His coming down among them. They were all moving towards Friday night.
I think if ever there was a number of people that size ready to do a job, it was that people. They’d go back from the meetings under their shepherds and they would have Bible studies and talk sand they’d pray and minister to one another. It was like having a hundred meetings going on in the context of a large conference.
When the last night came we met an hour early as leaders to talk. One of the leaders is a retired army major and as I sat there and started to outline and list what I wanted, this major smiled and said, “Ern I’ve sat in plenty of military officers strategy meetings and this isn’t any different than a group of military officers getting ready to go into battle. The only difference is I like this kind of warfare”. When we went into that meeting we knew what we were going to do. Before Ruth and I left our hotel, we got down to pray and God seemed to say to me, “As Michael and Gabriel helped Daniel so the angels this night will help you”. As I began to minister about taking the Strong Man, there was a dynamic content of God there that I really cant describe to you. I shared that we were not now just going to hand out tracts and save souls one by one (not that we were going to stop doing that) but that as the redeemed community, our responsibility was to light the world and salt the earth and exercise spiritual authority. I told them that the leaders in the redeemed community were more essential than even the aldermen who were elected by unregenerate votes; that by spiritual weaponry and authority the redeemed community under its leadership should be able to alter legislation, change the life of the city and change the course of history.
Well these people were ready to go. By the time we got through speaking, they had cleared the platform of all the musicians and on the platform were the lead brothers – the top echelon of leadership in England. They came together and we linked our arms – this great host linked arms - and I have never felt such a strong anointing as came out of that kind of plurality. I came against the Prince of Great Britain to break his power that we might spoil his goods. And the cry of triumph that went up after that was something that I’d not seen ever before. You talk about victory! There was no fear; there was just a consciousness and a confidence that the evil power over Great Britain had been broken.
As the men started to go home to their various commitments and communities, in almost every case there were people waiting, wanting to know how to get converted, how to receive the Holy Ghost, how to be delivered. They were waiting for them! There were people waiting at the dungeon doors just for somebody to pull the door open and let them out. It was like God was giving a token that the power of the Prince of Great Britain had been broken. When I left it was still going on.