I came to know the lord in the army barrak room during WWII about midnight.
… the british army sent me overseas to North Africa and I spent the next 3 years in the deserts of N Africa. During that time I became sick with a condition that the doctors could not heal – a skin condition. I was moved from one hospital to another and I ended up in a British military hospital.
Well, there was a very unusal lady at that time in the city of Cairo. She was a brigadier in the Salvation Army. She was 76 years old at that time. I had met her once and this precious lady for whom I will always thank God heard about this British soldier who was a Christian lying in the hospital and she gathered together a little party, a British soldier, a Christian soldier, to drive the car and a small car and her American lady co-worker from the state of Oklahoma and they took this journey to Alba, park the car in the compound of the hospital and the brigadier walked into the hospital ward with her bonnet her ribbons, a uniform and overall the nurse and obtained permission for me to go out and sit in the car.
So I found myself I really wasn’t consulted as to whether I wanted to do it or not. I found myself sitting in the car in the back seat a very small 4-seater car in front where the driver in the driver’s seat the Salvation army brigadier with him in front and then this American lady missionary in the back seat beside me. And the brigadier said let’s pray and when the brigadier said pray you prayed. [ lagugh] And we started to pray and the American lady beside me started to shake. And then I felt her whole body vibrating. And then she began to speak in a tongue and of course I knew what that was. And then I started to shake. And then all the people in the car started to shake. And then the car started to shake… Well, I knew that was God had come into that car.
And after the utterance in tongues, this lady came out with what I knew to be the interpretation… When she came out with this interpretation, it was the most beautiful English… And in the course of this interpretation she said these words…
These words had a life-changing impact on me. “Consider the work of Calvary a perfect work. Perfect in every respect. Perfect in every aspect.” Furthermore it spoke to me particularly because I had studied Greek for many many years and I was familiar with the Greek of the New Testament. One of the last utterances of Jesus on the cross was “It is finished.” But in the Greek, that’s one single word, Tetelestai. And it’s the perfect tense of a verb that means to do something perfectly. So, you could amplify it, it is perfectly perfect. It is completely complete. And so when the holy spirit said consider the work of Calvary a perfect work, perfect in every respect, perfect in every aspect, my mind said that’s the holy spirit’s commentary on “It is finished.” And, I realized that the holy spirit was showing me that if I could understand what had been accomplished by the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross, all my needs could be met. There was nothing that I could not receive that I need.
That was a revelation. I got out of that car just as sick as when I got in. But God had showed me where the answer to my problem was and that’s what I want to share with you tonight.
We are going to have a healing service tomorrow night and I trust that many will receive healing but I question whether all will be healed. God does not heal everybody miraculously in a service. There are many different ways to appropriate healing. After that revelation I was healed through proverbs chapter 4 verses 20 through 22. “My son attend to my words, incline thine ear unto my sayings and let them not depart from they eyes. Keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they God’s words and sayings are life to those who find them and health to all their flesh.” And, the alternative reading in the margin for health was medicine. And I said to myself that settles it.
If God through his words has provided health or medicine for all my flesh, there’s no room for sickness. And so I was very simple. I decided to take God’s word as my medicine. I was an orderly in the royal army medical corps so I knew how people take their medicine three times daily after meals. And that’s how I took God’s word as medicine three times daily after meals. And it did the job. It healed me completely and permanently in one of the most unhealthy climates in the world.
So what I’m saying to you is God has his way to heal you. But whatever way healing comes, the basis is what was done by Jesus on the cross. And I’m not going to offer you just an orange. I’m going to invite you to the orchard. Once you get in there you can wander around and help yourself to all the oranges you want. And you’ll never trip God’s orchard bare.
Now, I want to share with you out of scripture what I learned as a result of that experience. I set my mind to find out what had been accomplished by the death of Jesus on the cross. And I want to tell you I’m still finding out. It’s an inexhaustible study.
But I’ll share with you what I believe is the key to understanding the cross. The key is that on the cross, a divinely ordained exchange took place. All the evil that was due by justice to the human race to each of us individually was visited upon Jesus that all the good due to the sinless obedience of Jesus might be made available to us who believe. Now, that’s very simple and it’s very basic. But, as that truth unfolds, it contains everything that you ever need. I’m going to say it even more simply. All the evil due to us came upon Jesus that all the good due to Jesus might be made available to us. That was the grace of God.
We had no claim upon God. We couldn’t have demanded that he do it. We didn’t even know he was going to do it. We couldn’t understand what he was doing. But out of his free sovereign measureless grace, he arranged that exchange and furthermore through his profits he had predicted it hundreds of years before it took place. Perhaps the main predictive prophecy is Isaiah chapter 53.
It speaks about an unnamed servant of the Lord. His name is not given. This unnamed servant of the Lord was Jesus of Nazareth. Isaiah 53:6 This is the central verse of the last 27 chapters of Isaiah and it really is the central verse of the atonement. “All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way. And the Lord has laid on him… that’s Jesus the iniquity or the guilt or the rebellion of us all.” What is the universal guilt of the human race?
We have not all robbed of a bank or committed adultery or stolen or got drunk. There are many things we could say we haven’t done. But there’s one thing that we’ve all done. We have turned everyone to turn his own way. And that in one simple word is rebellion. Rebellion is the universal guilt of the human race.
- Meaning of the Greek word, Tetelestai – The Sacrifice Is Accomplished